Clarets to take a Bath

Last updated : 31 July 2012 By Tony Scholes

In truth, it's no longer called Twerton Park. It now has the fancy name of the Mayday Trust Park but I suppose it has as much chance of being referred to by that name as Newcastle has of getting the Sports Direct Arena to be accepted by their fans.

Charlie Austin, looking to add to his goals at Altrincham

It is the first time we've played Bath, but not the first time we've played there. Twice in the 1990s we travelled to Bath to play Bristol Rovers who were, at the time, sharing the ground. We lost there 3-1 in the 1993/94 season. We trailed 3-0 at the interval but Kevin Russell scored a late consolation.

Two seasons on and an early season midweek game ended in a 1-0 defeat with a Gareth Taylor goal winning it for the home side.

Tonight, it's a game against the home club Bath City who suffered relegation at the end of last season having finished bottom of the Blue Square Premier League with just 31 points from 46 games. This came after a tenth place finish a year earlier after they'd won promotion in 2010.

One thing does seem to remain constant at Bath, and that is manager Adie Britton. He joined the club in July 2005 as assistant manager to John Relish and when Relish resigned in October 2008 he became manager.

He's continued in that role since, and even added the duties of temporary chairman for a period a year ago ahead of the 2011/12 season before handing over to current chairman Amanda Rigby.

Back in the Blue Square North, Bath are building up to an opening day league fixture at Welling United and tonight's is their fifth pre-season game. They won the first, 4-1 at home to Cinderford Town, drew 1-1 at both Odd Down and Cirencester Town and last Saturday were beaten 1-0 at Shepton Mallet.

After tonight's game they face two more away games at Clevedon Town and Yate Town before the big kick off.

Britton has added five players to his squad since the end of last season with the first of them goalkeeper Jason Mellor who they signed from Clevedon Town. Josh Low soon followed. He was released by Cheltenham at the end of last season and has moved back to Twerton Park where he started his career with Bristol Rovers some 17 years ago.

Luke Cummings was signing number three and his wages will be paid by the David Palmer Memorial Fund. This fund was set up last year by Palmer's employers in memory of the former Bath player and assistant manager and Cummings, signed from defunct club Neath will be the recipient in the forthcoming season.

Striking options were increased with the capture of Charlie Griffin. He's played league football for Swindon, Wycombe and Stevenage but last season was at Forest Green Rovers before his release.

The fifth signing, in the last few weeks, is 20-year-old Danny Ball who has been on trial with them since leaving Bristol City at the end of last season.

As for team news tonight. Their most recent game featured the development squad but for the game against Cirencester they lined up: Glyn Garner (Lewis Pierre 70), Luke Cummings, Gethin Jones (Jim Rollo), Joe Burnell (Mark Preece), Jonathan Brown (Sekani Simpson), Marc Canham, Josh Low (Brad Norris), Kerry Morgan (Giani Kapika), Adam Connolly (Noah Keats), Adie Harris (Danny Ball), Charlie Griffin (Josh Klein-Davies).

There is no team news as such from the Burnley camp but manager Eddie Howe will again, I expect, be looking to utilise a number of players in the squad. Of the 24 who have made the trip to the South West we know that Marvin Bartley won't play but the rest of them are all expected to be available.

We'll select from: Lee Grant, Brian Jensen, Jon Stewart, Kieran Trippier, Luke O'Neill, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Danny Lafferty, Joseph Mills, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Steven Hewitt, Ross Wallace, Junior Stanislas, George Porter, Keith Treacy, Alex MacDonald, Martin Paterson, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings.