Football Tuesday 25th Nov ’14

Three games on a cold Tuesday
Match previews

By Mark Tanner – Picture – Simon Howe

It’s a big night for 3 of our West Country teams tonight with all 3 looking for a much needed win in their respective leagues; all for different reasons:

Promotion

Too early to use the P word? Not if you’re a Rovers fan! Barnet have made a solid start to a league they know all about following their relegation back in 2013. Last season they finished a respectable 8th place having to reshape their squad and management after Edgar Davids left in Jan 2014. Now under the reigns of Martin Allen they have been the team to beat this year and are already 11 points ahead of Rovers and 9 ahead of 2nd place.

So if this Rovers team want to bounce straight back up as champions, as most fans expect, then they will need to win tonight! Rovers have just signed two new strikers in Goldberg and Blissett and their goals will play a big part in whether they go up or not. So far their strikers have been disappointing after 21 games with the top goal scorer on just 4 goals.

They are also hoping that loan signing Della Verde will keep creating chances for their strikers. The game at the Memorial kicks off at 7.45 with tickets available on the gate at £18 for adults.

Form

Bath City entertain Hemel Hempstead Town tonight at Twerton Park coming off the back of two straight defeats in a week! Previous to that they have gone 4 games unbeaten so it’s a case of which City side will turn up for the game, or is it a case of which tactics will be used?

Having looked at City’s tactics last Tuesday it will be interesting to see which formation is used and if Lee Howells is bold enough to keep it the same for the 90 minutes. Personnel is also a issue now with several picking up far too many yellow cards and facing bans. One boost though is that top goal scorer Dave Pratt will be available for selection again after serving his one match ban for 5 yellow cards.

The other question for City fans at the moment, on the playing side, is how to get the best out of the talented Ross Stearn? He is a very tricky winger who can also play up front off the main striker but where to use him if they go for the 4-4-2 diamond again? Impact sub has been his main role for two seasons now, with an impressive goal return last season. However he can put in MOTM performances if starting in a 4-4-2 standard using the wings to cut inside.

Guess you’ll just have to come down and watch, 7.45 ko pay on the gate Adults £12 with special family ticket deals through the club office before the game!

Pride

It’s not often a County League match gets coverage but this isn’t an ordinary county game; Keynsham Reserves vs Saltford. It’s the closest thing Keynsham Town FC have to a proper old fashioned derby since Bitton left them behind in the league above.

The K’s are gearing up for a tough test for their young team but will be boosted by some first teamers needing match fitness. Those experienced heads will be vital in ensuring they finish the game with 11 players on the pitch and to drive the team forward should they concede.

Reserve team games do actually get more people watching than first team games, this maybe due to money. It costs a couple of quid, more like a donation, to watch a reserve/3rd/women’s game but the first team have to charge due to the league that they are in. This is something the club need to monitor at the game and think on ways to get people through the gate for the first team as once they have come in to watch the chance to sell them a programme, pin badge, raffle ticket or food will generate them more money than just having 30 odd through the gate. People are a lot more inclined to spend if their initial outlay is very little.

So if you want to see a fiercely contested game of football on a budget then get on down to the AJN Stadium for a 7.45 ko, just make sure you buy a raffle ticket!

Enjoy whichever game you can get to tonight, and let us know if we’ve missed anything!

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