Blue Square Conference South
Tuesday 1 January 2008 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, S Jones, Hogg, Harris, Edwards (Partridge 66), Gilroy (Keddle 89), McKay (Rogers 80).
subs not used: Simpson, Walsh.
|man of the match:
|league position: 3rd
||next match: Eastleigh (A)
Report taken from
Chris Holland's towering header prolonged the new year celebrations for Bath City as they climbed back into Blue Square South's top three. The defensive
lynchpin powered home his fifth goal of the season from Lewis Hogg's left-wing corner on 14 minutes to give City victory over bogey side Dorchester at
Twerton Park and make it eight points from a possible 12 over the festive period for John Relish's men. City were dominant in the first period and should
have been further in front at the break against a full-time Dorchester side batting against the drop into the Southern League. But they visibly tired as
the game progressed and were left to endure a nervy finish before the final whistle brought welcome news of defeats for Eastbourne Borough and Hampton &
Richmond, who were sitting second and third positions at the start of play. Manager Relish named an unchanged line-up following last Saturday's victory at
Weston-super-Mare and saw his men make a purposeful start, with Lewis Hogg again a key figure at the front end of a midfield diamond formation.
Holland headed straight at visiting keeper Simon Evans from City's first corner, taken by Hogg on the right in the fourth minute, but did not have to wait
long before giving his side the lead. Dorchester's Evans did well to hold a rising Justyn McKay effort from Dave Gilroy's lay-off, but the hosts won a
corner within seconds and Holland's majestic leap saw him rise above the visiting defence to send the ball into the top corner from Hogg's delivery.
City custodian Paul Evans was forced to tip an inswinging James Rowe free-kick over his crossbar moments later, but was rarely troubled before the break
as his teammates poured towards the Bath End goal in search of a second. Some brilliant inter-play between Dave Gilroy and Darren Edwards on the halfway
line saw the former race clean through from strike partner's overhead pass, but Evans advanced from his goal quickly and blocked with his legs before the
danger was cleared. Adie Harris was the next to threaten when he played neat one-twos with Edwards and McKay on the edge of the Dorchester box before the
ball broke to Gilroy, whose effort was saved by Evans as a referee's assistant flagged for offside. Jones Awuah, who scored Dorchester's goal in their 1-1
draw with City on Boxing Day, headed over under pressure from Gethin Jones on the half-hour, but the City right-back was soon in action at the other end
when his shot from the edge of the box cleared the crossbar by some distance. Three minutes before the interval, Edwards picked up a booking for diving for
the second time this season as he intercepted Bradley Middleton's weak header back to his keeper before falling in the box under Evans' challenge.
The second period was a far more even affair, but a City back-line who have only conceded four goals at home in the league this season stood firm and seldom looked like shipping an equaliser.
Dorchester pair Jamie Gleeson and substitute Darren Watts both missed the target with efforts from 20 yards after being allowed space to shoot, before Gilroy had the chance to double his side's lead on 61 minutes.
Skipper Mark Jermyn's under-hit clearance found Hogg on the right of the area and his first-time ball back into the danger zone presented the striker with a golden opportunity, but he delayed his shot and the danger was snuffed out by Middleton.
The tricky Ivan Forbes was becoming a source of concern for City on the Dorchester left and Evans was in the right position to hold his low shot through Jones' legs after City failed to clear their lines.
Awuah went even closer with 22 minutes to go as a patient series of passes on the edge of the City box ended with him outwitting Jones before seeing a fierce effort well tipped over by City's South African No 1.
Scott Rogers was introduced to the fray for a late run-out after more than a month on the sidelines through injury and almost made it 2-0 in the final minute.
With Dorchester committing more and more men forward, City broke quickly through Hogg, who fed Scott Partridge on the left. The striker's cross looked inviting for Rogers, but he failed to get a proper connection on his volley with the visitors' goal gaping.
Injury time brought more Dorchester pressure, but City dug in to record maximum points, together with their 10th clean sheet at home this season.