By Harry Mottram: If you like your football grounds to be old school then Twerton Park in Bath is for you. A level pitch surrounded by terraced housing and local shops Twerton Park in Bath is the opposite of the Rec where the city’s rugby union club play – and at the rugby ground tickets are at a premium price. Standing room aplenty on the terraces, friendly stewards who greet the fans by their first names and nobody having a punch up – it’s an advert for the game – if only the game was more exciting. You can take your maiden aunt along to watch the action and even buy her a glass of prosecco to aid her observation of a match.
In short, on the club’s community day on February 25th, 2023, if you wanted to watch a professional football match then this was your opportunity – and you didn’t even have to pay the going rate of adults £14 and OAPs £11 and children £2 normally on entry. Simply in the words of the club it was ‘Pay What You Want.’
As an OAP I chipped in a tenner and entered the park along with around 1,200 of other fans, to watch the Tunbridge Angels do battle with the Romans in what was to prove a scrappy and unremarkable game. That was until the late, late, show when the Angels scored a winning goal in all but the last minute of the game. There were groans from the crowd at the final whistle moments later and complaints that Jerry Gill (the manager) doesn’t have a target man up front. But in fairness it had been an even game in terms of chances although on the day the Angels slightly edged it.
The Bath Club gave this report: “City were on the wrong end of a perfect smash and grab performance from Tonbridge Angels at Twerton Park this afternoon. The visitors had spent the majority of the game with ten men behind the ball, looking to catch City on the break with long balls forward. And this tactic paid off perfectly two minutes from time when Wood fired across Max Harris into the corner of the net to secure the three points.”
The main impression was how friendly it all was. No obscenities, no racist chants, no aggression. The spectators were roughly 20% female and about 10% families. Outside the ground the Police gave out leaflets on their campaign of Street Safe – how to combat violence against women and girls. It was all very British and welcoming. The only real grouch was it was cold. But it was February. How does it compare to the Rec and Bath Rugby? Well this is not the topflight of football – but compared to the spectator experience at the Rec it is more favourable – as you can move around the ground and it is a fraction of the price to get in. Plus you can park outside on the streets or pop into the local Morrisons to stock up on chocolate or sarnies.
I did queue up for the burger stand but I gave up as the wait was too long – but a shorter queue at the bar offered beer, cider and Prosecco at pub prices. The toilets were adequate but not five star – and programmes were on sale for £3 – good value with tables, editorials and the vital information that included that the Tonbridge team’s name drives from the 1947 date when they took charge of Angel Park. It’s amazing what you can learn in a programme.
Bath City FC 0 v Tunbridge Angels 1
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