Early Halloween nightmare for Bath
By Mark Tanner
Bath City and Bath Rugby had weekends to forget on Saturday 25th with loses that could impact the rest of their seasons. Avon Rugby must have thought it was April Fools days when their match was called off at the last minute, whilst Bristol Rovers, Larkhall and Keynsham both picked up wins with Odd Down drawing again.
It was FA Cup action for Bath City and Bristol Rovers who travelled to East Thurrock and Dorchester Town respectively. Both games finished in the same score line, 7-1, but our teams had very different games. Bath City took the lead against Ryman Premier division East Thurrock but then it all fell apart.
Many fans are saying they have never seen a defeat like it after such a promising first half an hour. This means Bath crash out of the famous cup competition just one win away from the first round proper and potentially a massive payday. It’s their worse FA Cup defeat since 1946 when they lost by the same score line. The wider implication for the club is that players may have to leave as a result. It is widely documented that Bath are coming to the end of their 3 year plan set out by Manda Rigby stating that loans to directors, including her £140,000 loan, must be paid back by April 2015. So worrying times for Bath’s premier team with attendances failing this season too, so make sure you get out in force and support the lads this weekend when they entertain St Albans.
Bristol Rovers on the other hand treated their fans to a comprehensive win over their Southern Premier opposition. Dorchester were relegated from the Conference South last season after becoming fans owned and are in process of rebuilding and will have a big ask to lift their players after this latest set back. Andy Monkhouse scored twice, which will be pleasing for the Rovers fans as his contribution this season may be the difference between the play offs or automatic promotion. However the headlines rightly belong to Ellis Harrison who came off the bench to score a perfect hattrick. The only think holding this Rovers team back this year is a regular goal scorer so they will be brimming with confidence this week in training.
Bath Rugby played their first European Rugby Champions Cup game at home in front of a sell out crowd. However Toulouse were too strong for them as they went down 21-19 at the Rec. This means they have will have it all to do in their remaining group games to progress.
Avon Rugby Club were left baffled this weekend when their referee failed to turn up! Steve Bird said that “the exchange referee from Liverpool failed to arrive thus forcing the game to be cancelled. We’re awaiting the rescheduled date from the RFU. Next week 5th placed Avon have a tough challenge at home to unbeaten league leaders Coney Hill.”
Larkhall managed to hold on to their lead to over come Bishops Cleeve 3-2 at home to maintain their fantastic start to the season. After close games in the cup competitions it was a relief to get back to winning ways in the league for the Larks who are now up in 5th place. It’s their first season in the Southern League Div One and the club as a whole are still adjusting to the standard of football and different opposition. Their MOTM was Tyler Sibbick who bagged a brace, with Rob Hobbs getting the other goal from a good attacking move.
Keynsham Town fielded some more debutants at the weekend and managed to overcome Roman Glass St George 3-1 away. These are the teams they should be beating if they hope to improve on last season’s disappointing finish. Young striker Liam Robson managed to get his first and second goals of the season as he looks to step up and become an important player for the Ks this season. The teenager was mainly used as a winger from the bench last season by former manager Steve Cains scoring 4 goals, but Chris King has put his faith in him and will hope for double figures from him by the end of the season as he continues to improve.
Finally Odd Down proved a hard working team again when they managed a 2-2 draw with Bitton. It’s now two draws against two very local Bristol based teams in the last two weeks. Troy Simpson levelled for the hosts just before half time and looked set to win the game when Matt Guy put them in the lead with just 8 minutes left. However Bitton are never an easy team to play and equalised shortly afterward to see the game finish a point apiece.
So an indifferent weekend for our sports teams here in Bath but after a week of training and working hard they will be ready to go again next weekend. Make sure you check back during the weekend for some more exclusive content on Bath Futsal club and Walking Football, enjoy your week!
Many thanks to Simon Howe for the main picture of Pat Keary looking confused at what is happening on Saturday.