Name: Bath City (formerly Bath AFC and Bath Railway)
Stadium: Twerton Park
Capacity: 8,840 (1,006 seated)
Last season: 9th in Vanarama National League South
With Gloucester City now in the Vanarama National League South for the 2017/18 season, that brings with it 21 new opponents for the Tigers to get to know ahead of the start of the campaign on Saturday 5 August.
However, the first new side that the Tigers will face aren’t really new at all. Despite not playing a league game against them in 10 years, Bath City are a well known former adversary of Gloucester City.
The last time the two sides met was in 2014 in the FA Trophy, where a 0-0 draw at Whaddon Road took it to a replay at Twerton Park, which the hosts duly won 3-1 after extra time.
There have been 23 meetings between the two clubs in all competitions including pre-season friendlies, and the record isn’t pretty reading for the Tigers.
Of those 23 games, City have only been victorious on five occasions, with their last win over the Romans coming 12 years ago when Jimmy Cox scored twice in a 2-1 triumph at Meadow Park.
Much like the Tigers, Bath’s entire history has been based in the non-league football pyramid. Having been formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, the club were close to becoming a Football League team in 1978, but missed out in the election ballot by a few votes.
The club would be relegated from the Football Conference in the 1996/97 season, back to the Southern League. It was here they stayed until the 2006/07 season, when they won promotion to the Conference South as champions.
A few seasons of mid-table finishes followed, before they reached the play-offs in the 2009/10 season where they would face Chelmsford City in the semi-finals.
The first leg saw a 2-0 victory for the Romans, before they triumphed again in the return fixture, coming out 1-0 winners to give them an aggregate victory of 3-0, setting up the play-off final against Woking.
Manager at the time Adie Britton masterminded a 1-0 win in the play-off final, which saw Bath promoted to the Conference Premier for the first time since 1997.
In the 2011–12 season, Bath City had a terrible run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National, needing 17 points from the remaining five fixtures to stay up. They were the first club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated that season.
The club’s performances have been mixed since, with the club just three points from the play offs in the 2013/14 season.
They did have success in the 2014/15 season, reaching the semi-final of the FA Trophy, beating Dover Athletic, Altrincham FC and local rivals Bristol Rovers, en route to losing on penalties to eventual winners, North Ferriby United.
In June 2015 “Big Bath City Bid” was launched by filmmaker & Bath fan Ken Loach to turn the club into a community-owned, ‘one member one vote’ club, in an effort to develop the club and clear its debts.
In September 2016 the appeal achieved its £300,000 target to turn the club into a community-owned asset and on 5 May 2017, the club completed its transition to community ownership.
Gloucester City vs Bath City
P W D L GF GA GD
22 5 6 12 22 37 -15