Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 1 December 2007 - The Dripping Pan - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland (S Jones 83), Harris, Hogg, McKay, Walsh, Edwards (Gilroy 75), Keddle (McKeever 67).
subs not used: Dunn, Simpson.
|man of the match:
||Keddle (5), Harris (45), McKay (61), Coupe (75)
||L Collins, C Mallows, B Childs
|league position: 5th
||next match: Maidenhead (H)
Report taken from
You get the distinct impression there is some unfinished business between Bath City and Blue Square South title favourites Lewes following last Saturday's
wet and wild affair at the appropriately named Dripping Pan.A bad-tempered, niggly match which first erupted into life when City's Paul Keddle got involved
in a fifth-minute fracas with Lewes' Andrew Drury ended with visiting assistant boss Adie Britton angrily kicking a cluster of spare footballs in the
direction of the away dugout on the final whistle. In between, City had midfielder Justyn McKay dismissed with 22 minutes left after he was issued with two
quick yellow cards by Hampshire referee Lee Collins, who showed a lack of consideration for the dreadful playing conditions throughout.
The post-match comments of City's management and players suggested strongly that their defeat - which came courtesy of Paul Booth's 17th goal of the
season - together with the swaggering attitude of their hosts had left a sour taste in the mouth.
On balance, Lewes deserved their victory having created the best attacking moments of a game where goalscoring opportunities were very few and far between
and would have won by more had it not been for the goal-frame and the brilliance of Paul Evans.
A patched-up City side beset by injury problems showed plenty of fight, as you would expect, but tested home keeper Steve Williams only once, when Darren
Edwards sent a 20-yard drive straight at him midway through the first half. By that stage, they were already behind to Booth's close-range finish, which
came after strike partner Matt Groves had sliced Dale Binns' left-wing centre back across goal in the 11th minute.
The only goal came against the run of play after City had made the brighter start playing up the slope and into a strong, gusting wind.
But it sparked a spell of pressure which could have buried the visitors before the half-time whistle, with Jay Conroy hitting the underside of Evans' bar
with a wind-assisted 35-yard thunderbolt and Booth losing his footing when he raced through one-on-one with the City keeper.
Relish's reaction to the half-time whistle - a pumped fist - spoke volumes, with his side having the big advantage of the elements in their favour after
But a series of heavy showers left the pitch in an increasingly treacherous state and, with both teams struggling to create chances in a stop-start affair, a set-piece looked like City's best hope of finding an equaliser.
Chris Holland, who was later to join the walking wounded with a knee problem, made a crucial block as Booth attempted to shoot into an unguarded net just after the break, before going as close as any City player in the second half with a header from a McKay corner that was hacked clear.
Edwards twice worried a tall and mobile Lewes back-line with balls across the box, with the first mis-controlled by Keddle on the left, but, that apart, City rarely threatened.
And their cause was virtually hopeless against a side unbeaten in the league at their quirky home this season when McKay was red-carded by Mr Collins after twice bringing down Drury within the space of 10 minutes.
The official had already set a precedent when he cautioned the former Swindon Supermarine man for a tackle his teammates protested was legal on 58 minutes and subsequently gave McKay his marching orders for a similar challenge - to the dismay of the visiting bench.
City's frustration threatened to boil over when Matt Coupe joined McKay, Keddle and Adie Harris in the book for clattering into Tom Davis after Mr Collins had awarded the away side a free-kick and Lewes re-gained a grip on proceedings, with Evans doing magnificently to tip Drury's 25-yard pile-driver over his bar four minutes from time.
The final whistle sparked more confrontations, with Britton squaring up to Lewes boss Steve King while sidekick Relish sought out the referee for a quiet word in his ear.
While obviously not at their best, the hosts showed enough signs of quality to prove that they could well hold on to their lofty perch in the table.
But, although they are now 11 points clear of fifth-placed City following Saturday's win, they will not be looking forward to the prospect of a trip to Twerton Park to face Relish's fired-up side on March 8 next year.