Bodin seeks video evidence to clear Skidmore (29/12/98)
Paul Bodin is hoping that a video of yesterday's draw with Dorchester may prove Rob Skidmore's innocence and save the midfielder from a three match ban. The player was sent off after an incident between Graham Colbourne and Dorchester sub Simon Cooper despite being five yards from the clash. Bodin said, "If we see something worth appealing then we will appeal but until we have studied the video we can't really decide on that." He was also unhappy about the offside decision which disallowed Mike Davis' 44th minute 'goal', saying, "I have no idea how Mike was ruled offside. The ball was knocked across goal and flicked on and nobody could have been offside."
City held as referee takes centre stage (28/12/98)
Disallowing what appeared a perfectly good goal, sending the wrong player off, not sending another player off, ignoring 2 clear penalties. However you look at it it wasn't the best of days for Mr Witherington of Poole. Apparently he has already made himself unpopular at Dorchester after a couple of previous visits and today he seemed intent on getting his place back on the Christmas card list. And it had been going so well, Graham Colbourne giving City the lead on 10 minutes with a free header from a Davis cross. City then seemed to relax and allow the home side into the game and the equaliser arrived shortly before the interval, O'Hagen flicking in a free kick. As the half moved into stoppage time Mr Witherington began to extert his ever increasing influence, disallowing Mike Davis' far post finish after a Colbourne flick. The same incident saw Town keeper Maloy carried off with a suspected broken ankle but any advantage this gave City disappeared on the hour when a scuffle involving Colbourne led to Rob Skidmore being sent off. Shortly afterwards Dorchester sub Cooper aimed a kick at Jimmy Fraser but only recieved a booking from the increasingly away with the fairies referee. Two penalty shouts, for handball and a push on Bodin, were waved away and with it City's hopes. I realise this all may seem like sour grapes, and I accept that City didn't play well and Dorchester certainly deserved a point, but when clowns like Mr Witherington are allowed near a football pitch you begin to wonder why you bother.
Weather the winner in Boxing Day washout (26/12/98)
City's hopes of closing the gap on Dr Martens Premier League leaders Nuneaton were washed out today as their clash with lowly Salisbury was postponed due to a waterlogged Twerton Park pitch. A delayed inspection, after the late arrival of the referee, confirmed the expected decision, that heavy and persistant rain had left the surface unplayable. City will now hope the weather relents and allows Monday's clash with another struggling side, Dorchester Town, to go ahead. On the positive side a couple of morning kick-offs saw promotion rivals defeated, with Gresley losing 1-0 at Burton and Ilkeston crashing 3-1 at Grantham.
Christmas gifts squandered as City slide to defeat (20/12/98)
City's long unbeaten run, stretching back to September, came to an end with a 3-2 defeat against Rothwell yesterday. They were given a dream start when in the first minute an harmless looking cross by Stuart James went straight through home keeper John Parsons hands into the net. However, just 10 minutes later Rothwell led 2-1. First a free header at the far post by Richard Jowett drew the Bones level and then a 25 yard effort by Simon Dunlop put them ahead. Playing down the considerable slope in the second half should have given City the perfect chance to get back into the game but another defensive laspe saw them fall further behind, Ricky Marshall slotting home after being allowed a clear run on goal. City battled away but the heavy conditions and 'up for it' home side allowed them few chances. Two minutes from time another mistake from Parsons gave City some hope, sub Steve White finished from close range after the keeper had flapped at a Paul Bodin cross. City almost grabbed an unlikely, and undeserved, draw when Martin Paul got free on the left but his cross flashed across the face of goal and Rothwell had their well earned victory. Despite the defeat City remain second but drop a further point behind leaders Nuneaton after their draw at Cambridge.