Club boosted by FA scheme
Wick Football Club Bristol have been boosted by a grant from the Football Association’s new Retain the Game funding scheme. The grant has been awarded to sustain men’s teams in grassroots football, and the club hope it will help their four senior teams over the coming years. Dave Beer, Wick FC Vice Chairman, said: “This is fantastic news and will help us secure the longterm future of our club. We want to encourage all our existing players and any new players to come along to training and this grant will certainly help allow us to provide safe and enjoyable sessions during the winter months. Thanks so much to the Football Foundation for their kind donation.” Retain the Game is a programme funded by the FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. It awards grants of £750 to existing grassroots football clubs to boost their financial sustainability and allow them to continue offering players opportunities to take part in organised football. Funding has been targeted at clubs that operate with two or more male teams aged under-17 and above, and currently hold the FA’S Adult Charter Standard Award or commit to attaining the award within the next footballing season. Commenting on the award, Paul Simpson, England Under-19s head coach, said: “It’s great to see The FA and the Football Foundation supporting participation in the adult male game at the community level. Affordability has often been identified as a key barrier, so this grant will ease the financial burden placed on clubs and allow them to concentrate on providing access to competitive football. “It is very pleasing to see Wick FC taking advantage of this pilot scheme and ensuring that they look forward to a bright future, providing regular opportunities for local people to enjoy the benefits of playing our national game.” Money invested as part of Retain the Game will go towards covering core costs - including matchday and training facility hire - first aid training and new Nike kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher. The new scheme aims to further bolster the FA’S efforts to increase participation in grassroots football. Earlier this year, they also awarded grants of £1,500 as part of their Grow the Game programme, with particular emphasis placed on boosting the number of female and disabled grassroots football teams.
Bath City made it two cup successes in four days with a narrow victory over Bishops Lydeard in the Somerset Premier Cup first round. It was, however, a near unrecognisable Romans outfit, who made 11 changes from Saturday’s win over Lewes, with five members of the usual first team squad installed alongside a collection of academy players and some with Bristol City links. For Bishops Lydeard, it was their first visit to Twerton Park, and the highest ranked side they’ve played in their history. John Mills had City’s first opening, skewing a half volley wide when picked out by James Morton’s superbly disguised cross. Mark Clunnie went closer a minute later for the Western Leaguers. Picking the ball up in midfield, he drove a shot from distance which shaved the top of Kieran Hodges’ crossbar. The visitors took a shock lead on 24 minutes. James Quick’s cross was deemed to have been handled deliberately by Kevin Amankwaah just inside the penalty area, and Clunnie’s resulting penalty was slammed into the corner, giving Hodges no chance. Bath recovered well and levelled within five minutes. Morton, pulling the strings, picked out Mills again, and this time the front man confidently curled past Nathan Whately to open his account. Whately kept his side in it with a fine save from Matt Richards’ precise free-kick, but was powerless to prevent a second a few minutes before the interval. A teasing ball in from the right was eventually met by Joe Hall, who did enough to stab the ball past the Lydeard stopper from close range. Morton was rested for the second half, Alex O’neill replacing him. Mills, buoyed by his opener, was thwarted by Whately after good work by the lively Kieran Smith, with youth winger Finn Coyle shooting into the side netting having cut inside of David Richardson. It took until the 77 th minute for City to increase their advantage. Charlie Wiles-richards located Mills who snuck in behind the visitors’ backline and kept his composure to round Whately before slamming into the unguarded net. Rather than cave in, Bishops Lydeard reacted positively, and deservedly pulled one back with five minutes of normal time remaining. Quick’s precision through-ball found substitute Zac Ryder in oceans of space to score.