What a difference 6 points makes to popular opinion!
The last time I wrote about the club was just after a 1-0 win over Keynsham Town a couple of weeks ago. Since then there has been the 4-0 home win over East Thurrock United, for the Student promotion game, and then a 3-2 away win against Eastbourne Borough on Saturday 18th November.
Matt Richards has signed on for the club and we have filled the vacant director’s space with David James (no not the former shot stopper).
Lets start with looking at the games then players and then off the pitch.
Finally we got a decent win in front of some new faces and a bumper crowd with the student promotion seemingly doing very well. There was a very vocal section of school children from Oldfield School in attendance too and it was great to see them behind the goal making noise rather than sitting down.
On the pitch City started slowly against East Thurrock but grew into the game and were 3-0 up at half time; with two goals coming just before the break. Another goal was just reward for the hard work put in on and off the pitch since Gill had taken over.
You can read the full match report from Kevin Porter here.
Check out the rest of the goals on the Youtube channel.
I couldn’t make the away trip, ironically I made the only away league game that we have failed to score in when we played St Albans, so it’s probably best I don’t travel away much!
Reading to the results it looks as if City are finally gelling as a team and adopting Gill’s tactics he has introduced into the team. Which leads me nicely on to the players!
In this new way of playing it leaves the front man with a lot to do as the team line up in, roughly, a 4-5-1. Gill has been resting Marvin Morgan in the last three games and has opted for Nat Jarvis to play as the lone striker. The striker has to work hard in holding up the ball and making space for others and Jarvis even managed to score two goals.
There are two other noticeable improvements in personnel with Miles Welch-Hayes coming back from a loan spell with Oxford and Matt Richards.
Miles had benefited with a month away from the club and minutes under his belt and has hit the ground running. The young full back has looked sharp and hungry on his return and has now scored two from two, his first and second league goals for the club. In this formation he has also assisted goals as both full backs are encouraged to come forward as much as possible.
Matt Richards is a big part of enabling the full backs to play more as wing backs. The former Shrewsbury fan’s favourite breaks up the play in the middle of the park and is always communicating with the players around him. City have been longing for a player like this, and to sit front of the back four, since Chas Hemmings departed in the summer. Richards has the experience of playing a much higher level that Hemmings lacked and has come into the team with ease after having a year out of the game.
Frankie Artus has also been given a new lease of life playing in a more advanced role just off of the striker. He is getting more of the ball higher up the pitch and draws in defenders which leaves space for the creative Tommy Smith and Richards.
Danny Ball is forming a solid partnership with Jack Batten at the back and Anthony Straker has improved ten fold since joining in the summer and being made captain.
It is also noticeable how Andy Watkins and Opi Edwards have been told to start getting to the byline more, or at least making the space for Straker or Welch-Hayes to take on the man. I’m not sure whether this is down to a better understanding of tactics by the team or through fitness but there were a lot of deeper crosses when Gill first took over.
Now though the pace of the squad is being used more to really hit teams either on the break or out wide. Players like Watkins and Nick McCootie are now looking more comfortable in their defensive duties and this also allows the full backs to come forward and overlap if needed.
City are now in 10th place and just 6 points off top. It’s still too early and too many teams ahead to start to get excited but if the results keep coming then the crowds will increase at Twerton Park in the new year.
Off the field David James has joined the board of directors. I’m not sure what to make of this one as I’ve never seen or spoken to him. He came across well on Radio Bristol, starting at 37mins 40seconds.
He is the CEO for VisitBath and will have a lot of unexplored connections within the City. However he won’t be able to do this alone and at present there is still a shortage of volunteers at the club during the week and in the Supporters Club on match days. So please register your interest if you can to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your time, skills and expertise with the club.
Also Christmas is nearly here and there are some great gifts for City fans available here. Make sure you take advantage of a ticket bundle if you are new to the club.
Hope to see you at a game soon, I’ll be the one selling you a pin badge in the Supporters HQ (hint, it’s the shipping container next to the burger outlet)!