Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 20 October 2007 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, Rollo (c), Keddle, G Jones, Holland (McKay 76), Harris, Hogg, Rogers, Edwards (Paul 81), Gilroy (Walsh 56), McKeever.
subs not used: S Jones, Coupe.
|man of the match:
|league position: 5th
||next match: Newport (A)
Report taken from
Bath City were beaten at Twerton Park in a competitive match for the first time in 2007 as Basingstoke Town staged a smash-and-grab raid to take the points.
The home side were denied by the woodwork four times - twice in each half - and also found Basingstoke's former Chelsea youngster Nick Hamann in inspired form between the posts as they laid siege to the visitors' goal in the second period.
But, try as they might, City failed to score for the second Blue Square South match in succession and Michael Charles' soft goal three minutes after the break consigned them to their first home defeat in league or cup since Hitchin returned home with the points after a 2-1 success way back on December 9, 2006.
And they ended the contest with ten men and midfielder Lewis Hogg in goal after keeper Paul Evans was stretchered from the field with an ankle injury that threatens his involvement in Wednesday's league match at Newport County and next Saturday's home FA Cup showdown with Torquay United.
Paul Keddle was handed his first league start since September 1 in place of groin injury victim Sekani Simpson and slotted in on the left side of defence, with captain Jim Rollo switching to right-back.
But City made a shaky start and Matthew Warner had already sent a tame effort wide when Evans did well to push a Charles effort wide of his goal after the striker raced through in the third minute.
Warner sent a shot straight into Evans' midriff three minutes later after a mix-up between Hogg and Rollo, but City gradually warmed to their task and Chris Holland connected four times with Mark McKeever corners before the interval without tasting success.
Twice the big City No 5 failed to get enough on the ball at the far post, while his final attempt saw the inspired Hamann tip his header onto the top of the bar and over.
From the resulting corner, City rattled the goalframe again, with Adie Harris this time catching a relieved Hamann out of position as his header from distance beat the Basingstoke stopper but clipped the bar six minutes before the break.
City had ridden their luck early in the first half, but Basingstoke punished them for a defensive lapse at the start of the second period.
Scott Fitzgerald ran across Evans' line of sight as he prepared to gather Ben Wells' harmless-looking ball into the box from the right and the South African keeper was distracted enough to spill it to the grateful Charles, who tapped into an empty net from a yard out.
City might have fallen further behind eight minutes later when Fitzgerald - in acres of space - rushed his effort from the edge of the box and shot straight at Evans.
But, from then on, it was all City as they were sparked into life by substitute Phillip Walsh - on for the ineffective Dave Gilroy up front.
Four minutes after his introduction, the big target man powered a header over from McKeever's cross and was then denied by Hamann's bravery after racing through one-on-one.
City forced a series of corners and Hogg saw a stinging 25-yard effort pushed over by an unsighted Hamann before the keeper gathered McKeever's low free-kick at the second attempt after Harris' strong run was checked on the edge of the box.
Centre-back Gethin Jones struck the foot of the post after Basingstoke failed to clear City's ninth corner of the afternoon and the dangerous Walsh twice directed efforts over before nodding invitingly into the path of an unmarked Scott Rogers, who headed the ball agonisingly wide from 15 yards.
Rogers passed up an even better chance with nine minutes to go. Again it was Walsh who found him with a back-post header from debutant substitute Justyn McKay's deep cross, but the midfielder's effort lacked conviction and bounced back into the arms of Hamann off the inside of his post.
Then came the injury to Evans, who needed a stretcher to leave the field after racing from his goal to clear from the onrushing Wells, with Hogg taking the gloves for the final seven minutes.
But the midfielder was not tested in his unfamiliar role, while City - with veteran Martin Paul on for Darren Edwards - ran out of ideas at the other end.