It was a tough test for Gloucester City last weekend at Whaddon Road, but there are still plenty of positives for the club, writes club commentator, Ollie Williams.\r\n\r\nFollowing last week’s edition of ‘Behind the Mic’, I spoke about the positivity surrounding the club in the wake of superb back-to-back victories over sides who played at a higher level last term, however the last seven days has seen Tim Harris’ men train on the back of a disappointing 3-1 loss to AFC Fylde.\r\n\r\nIn truth, Fylde are a strong side, well managed and with talent in the side and looking to build on their finish from last year as runners-up.\r\n\r\nTo go a goal down made things extremely difficult, Danny Rowe’s header gave Jas Singh no chance, and it looked like being a tough day at the office for the Tigers.\r\n\r\nHowever City did reply, as a long throw was taken by James Bowen, evading many in the box before Obi Anaruo netted to bring the score level.\r\n\r\nBefore the game, the Tigers were unbeaten at home and for patches could have kept it that way. Sadly for Harris’ men, Sam Finley popped up to make it 2-1 for the visitors. Finley, a young midfielder, has won it all across the border with The New Saints in the Welsh Premier League, and spent a spell on loan at National League side Wrexham, he is hotly tipped to be one of Wales’ bright young players, and to see him at our level is, frankly, a massive coup for AFC Fylde.\r\n\r\nIt was made 3-1 in the second half rounding off a difficult game, and first home defeat, although we did have many chances and the performance showed plenty of positives.\r\n\r\nThat last bit has been the story of the season – “plenty of positives.” So far this year we’ve had plenty of positives, wins over the likes of FC United of Manchester, AFC Telford United and Nuneaton Town were huge points, whilst our new signings have bedded in well to the squad.\r\n\r\nJames Bowen was highly impressive against AFC Fylde last weekend, whilst Obi Anoruo has done exactly what he’s supposed to do, score goals. Now on three for the season and eight games having been played in the division so far, the young scouse striker has done very well, considering he’s spent most of his career in the North West with the likes of Wrexham and Colwyn Bay.\r\n\r\nWe’ve also seen some tremendous performances from goalkeeper Jas Singh, whilst consistent figures from last season’s squad such as Billy Jones, Sam Avery and Spencer Hamilton have done well.\r\n\r\nOff the field we have continued our participation in the community, heading out into the city to help clean local tourist attraction, the ‘Scrumpy Trail’. The players were armed to the teeth with cleaning equipment and got stuck right in. The duo facing this test were no other than Anoruo and Gloucester-born Joe Parker, who were champing at the bit to help the locals. I think it’s incredible how wide reaching the community arm of the club truly is, and selfless acts like this from Joe and Obi are what makes this club great. What we need to do though is keep ourselves in the public eye in Gloucester, we don’t want to be “out of sight, out of mind.” Keeping our presence in the city whilst still being in exile is essential for Gloucester City and something we’ve excelled at since the floods of 2007.\r\n\r\nIt’s also great to see the youth squad coming on leaps and bounds, after all they are the future of the club. Thursday night saw an impressive display against Chippenham Town in the FA Youth Cup. The young Tigers ran out 7-0 winners, showcasing their talent and giving us something exciting to look forward too. In particular Ollie Barnes was very impressive, rounding off an exemplary performance with a penalty in the 90th minute to seal his hat trick, which was no less than he deserved. Good performances from winger Stan Brown and Josh Ing also contributed but with the youth team performing so well under Neil Mustoe and Kenny Blackburn, the future looks very bright.\r\n\r\nBack to the seniors, and we face a stern test in North Ferriby United. The Villagers currently hold the FA Trophy having won the title on penalties against Wrexham in March, at Wembley Stadium. They give sides like ourselves plenty of hope in the competition. Currently in 8th, a point ahead of ourselves, we’ve got plenty of incentive as a win could see Tim Harris’ men move up to 7th, but it’ll be no mean feat up in Lincolnshire, with the hosts coming in to the game on the back of a 2-4 away win at Brackley.\r\n\r\nLet’s hope we pick up maximum points at North Ferriby (just as we should have done last year but sadly a very contentious officiating decision went against us), before we go straight back on the road to Keys Park for a trip to Hednesford Town, another hard away trip. We’ve never done well in Staffordshire but we have a much stronger squad than the last two times we’ve been up there so the fans should have confidence we can buck the trend!\r\n\r\nAfter all of that, it’ll be a personal pleasure to return to the mic to conduct commentary for the side, where I’ll be joined by Will Freeman, who makes his Tigers commentary debut in the home fixture against Gainsborough Trinity on September 19th.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nCOYY\r\n\r\nOllie Williams\r\n\r\n@OllieWills01

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