Fellow Yellows – Gloucester City AFC

Pre-Season Friendly
Cheltenham Town FC v Gloucester City AFC
Saturday, 20th July 2013, 3pm
Whaddon Road (Cheltenham Town FC)
Entrance £10 (kids under 11 free), Programme £3
Distance 88 miles, Attendance 571
Whilst the two settlements have very different histories, for over a century the teams of Cheltenham and Gloucester went toe-to-toe; starting in local leagues, they both joined the Southern League in the thirties. In regional trophy successes, City tipped the scales but the turning point – and ultimate parting of ways – came in 1997, in a race for the Southern League runner-up spot.
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Gresley were romping away with the title but their ground was unsuitable for promotion. In the end Gloucester’s three game-a-week run-in was just too much and, the tense tussle saw them unfortunately edged out on the final day of the season. From this point on the fortunes of these local rivals differed wildly.
As Steve Cotterill led the Robins to FA Trophy, Conference and league triumphs, Gloucester – who’d by now given up their red kit in favour of a sponsor’s yellow and black – suffered severe financial problems, made national headlines as their new Meadow Park stadium flooded (twice) and, became homeless.
130720 PSF Cheltenham Town v Gloucester City (68)wThe fans I met seemed more than happy to discuss their club’s plight, hopes for a return home and, the relief that last season’s “mistake” orange kit had been replaced. Four years back – whilst playing in Cirencester – the (now) “Tigers” eventually managed to win the league however, the ongoing exile continues to cause gates to dwindle. To make matters worse their nomadic life now sees them reside as tenants of local rivals.
Though I was always going to root for Gloucester – having asked to join me – my son consulted his “I can tell you everything about cheese” culinary preferences before cheering them on. The friendly stewards naturally gave us a ribbing for our stance but, being fully aware that Andy Gray had once turned out for the Robins, sitting in the red end was never going to pass muster.

130720 PSF Cheltenham Town v Gloucester City (52)w

Confusingly today, the landlords had the home dressing room but wore blue away kit, whereas we “home” fans cheered on the team of the away dressing room in their new yellow and black kit.
130720 PSF Cheltenham Town v Gloucester City (63)wPushed into a corner of the ground, as the game panned out, there was plenty for the Tigers’ faithful to feel positive about. Despite being three divisions lower, from kick-off they didn’t seem overawed and, the more physical attention they received was handled with far better grace than it was dished out.
??????????????????????An even encounter, the first period was only separated by two fine long range shots which James Bittner – a keeper borrowed due to injuries – had little chance of stopping. Up the other end a reasonable penalty shout was ignored by the ref and, winger Matt Groves – who’d earlier demonstrated some quality defensive tackling – had one terrific shot well saved by Scott Brown and a second whipped across goal after good build up play from Darren Edwards.
The second period was closer still. Naturally substitutes gave more players the chance to impress but, with the referee reluctant to find his cards the challenges also began to leave an impression.  Captain, Tom Webb, showed better composure on the ball which afforded Groves, Edwards and sub, Joe Tumelty time to attack en masse. The building pressure eventually gifted City a goal with Joe Parker hammering home as the ball ricocheted about the box. Behind him – gaining in confidence – Bittner pulled off a string of fabulous saves to help win the half.

130720 PSF Cheltenham Town v Gloucester City (75)w

Whatever was written after by the red half of Gloucestershire, a draw would have been totally deserved. Even so, there were some great individual performances both on and off the pitch to applaud at the final whistle. One hopes they all can be rewarded with ground of their own soon.
Special thanks must go to, former Tigers’ press officer, Jenni Silver, who runs the excellent “SportGlos” site. A great advert for both her club and non league football; she made our journey to this beautiful part of the country all the more enjoyable.
shorts league
P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Pts/P
GD/P
black
2
0
1
1
1
2
1
0.5
-0.5
red
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
yellow
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.

Fellow Yellows programme (8)

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