Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 9 February 2008 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, Simpson, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, Harris (wood 70), Hogg, Rogers, Gilroy (Edwards 77), Partridge, Prince (McKay 87).
subs not used: Walsh, S Jones.
|man of the match:
||Harris (7), Hogg (36), Coupe (40)
||K Johnson (Weston SM), I Harley (Yeovil), G Childs (Dorchester)
|league position: 6th
||next match: Welling (H)
Report taken from
If an economic recession has hit the western world, it's a points recession that seems to be hitting the lofty heights of the Blue Square South. City fans
may have trudged away from Twerton Park, despondent at their side failing to win for their fourth match in succession but, of their competitors, only
Eastbourne and Eastleigh managed to hit the 'max' out of the league's top nine at the start of the day. Even league leaders and seemingly impregnable Lewes
have now mustered only one win in four as the league compresses and competition hots up. The past few weeks have seen Bath dig deep.
The early part of the season was easy - carried forward on a tide of league champion adrenalin, the momentum only began to falter as pitches got heavier
and injuries and suspensions took their toll. Even then fortune seemed to favour Bath. A remarkable comeback at Eastleigh was topped by a crushing victory
over Sutton United. Then a draw, two successive defeats and Saturday's goalless game, and the sense of a season slipping away in a winter of discontent had
begun to feel a real possibility. However, there were some green shoots of recovery in this match.
Scott Partridge gambolled around the pitch like a spring lamb, belying his 33 years and his nine-month absence.
The defence was its usual parsimonious self - still the second meanest in the league, despite recent results - and the midfield seemed to have recovered their zest as they passed the ball with ease on a soft and sometimes bumpy pitch.
Finally, the City attack was aided by Luke Prince giving some width, and attacking support, down the left.
Prince, as his manager admitted, may still not be back to his best and sometimes lacked pace and accuracy, yet it was one of his determined runs which should have kick-started a Bath victory.
Harris picked up the ball deep in the Bath half before spraying it to his left for Partridge. He pressed forward before in turn passing to Prince. As the diminutive midfielder slipped inside the visitors' defence he was felled a yard inside the penalty area.
The briefest, and probably not to be repeated, discussion ensued between Dave Gilroy and Lewis Hogg, before the latter hit his spot kick against the wrong side of the keeper's right post.
From then on, Partridge had a lob which was pushed aside at the last minute by the lofty Billy Morgan in the Braintree goal, and Chris Holland, Hogg and
Prince all had shots which either went narrowly wide or were easily taken by the keeper.
Yet, as the game wore on, the City attacks became increasingly bogged down as Braintree, shamelessly unwilling to attack, placed most of their side behind the ball deep in their own half.
But the abiding image of this match will be of Partridge, making his first home league start of the season and still running at the final whistle.
If City are yet to get something out of this season, forget 'sub primes', John Relish will certainly be hoping his 'new' striker is not past his prime.