Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 8 March 2008 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, Harris (S Jones 60), Hogg, Rogers, Gilroy (Partridge 82), Edwards, Wood (Prince 73).
subs not used: McKay, Simpson.
|man of the match:
||R Ganfield (Weston SM), T Richardson (Weymouth), R Taylor (Weymouth)
|league position: 7th
||next match: Hampton & Rich (A)
Report taken from
Bath City checked Lewes' march towards the Blue Square South title with a fully deserved point against the leaders at Twerton Park. Scott Rogers' first
goal since October swiftly cancelled out an early own goal from skipper Jim Rollo to help City banish the memory of last weekend's abject defeat to Hayes &
Yeading. The hosts had the better of things after that and top scorer Dave Gilroy should have earned his side all three points when he raced clean through
on goal midway through the second half before shooting over the bar. Boss John Relish rang the changes following the 3-0 defeat at Hayes, with Jason Wood
making his first league start for the club in place of Luke Prince, Gethin Jones replacing midweek injury victim Sekani Simpson, Adie Harris coming in for
Justyn McKay and Scott Partridge making way for Darren Edwards in attack.
But City looked shaky to begin with and Andrew Drury curled a shot over from 25 yards with only a minute gone after Lewes debutant Charlie Ide robbed a
hesitant Matt Coupe. Paul Evans came to the hosts' rescue four minutes later when Ide stole in at the far post after Stephen Robinson nodded a Jay Conroy
free-kick into the six-yard box, scrambling the former Brentford striker's header behind for the game's first corner. But the title favourites did not have
long to wait for the opening goal of the contest. Gary Holloway was fouled by Gethin Jones on the left flank and, after a long stoppage while the midfielder
received treatment and left the field, Simon Wormull swung in a right-footed centre towards Drury's head. He failed to get a clean connection, but the ball
cannoned off Rollo's shoulder and wrong-footed Evans on its way into the net. The sides' meeting at the Dripping Pan back in December was a heated affair
and Harris raised the temperature in the return fixture when he flew into a challenge on Holloway soon afterwards. The incident seemed to spark City into
life and they were on level terms in the 12th minute with a goal from their first chance of the contest. Jones won a free-kick on the right and Lewis Hogg's
delivery was met with a towering downward header from Chris Holland which found Rogers all alone at the far post. The midfielder had the time and space to
chest the ball down before smashing it into the roof of Simon Williams' net to make it 1-1. City were almost ahead five minutes later as Williams spilled
Darren Edwards' low volley after good approach work from Rogers and Hogg and the ball fell invitingly to Gilroy in the six-yard box. But City's top-scorer
couldn't get his shot away and Conroy recovered to block his eventual effort behind for a corner, which saw Williams tip Holland's looping header over the
bar. Wood looked lively whenever he had the ball and turned Robinson inside out on the left before seeing a fierce centre towards the unmarked Gilroy headed
inches over his own bar by Anthony Barness. Lewes broke quickly from the resulting corner and were two versus two with the City back-line, but Evans
blocked Ide's deflected effort after he was found in space by strike partner Paul Booth. The table-toppers ended the half the stronger side and showed some
neat passing and movement off the ball, although their continued haranguing of the referee whenever City made a challenge won them few fans among the home
faithful. Evans opted to leave a vicious, inswinging free-kick from Wormall and was relived to see it fly over the angle of crossbar and post, while a
couple of corners from the same player came to nothing.
The early stages of the second half, though, belonged to City and the visitors - who before the game boasted the most potent attack in the division - rarely threatened a winner.
Gilroy saw a shot deflect off Robinson and over the bar five minutes after the break, before Hogg's right-wing free-kick brushed off the head of Holland as the centre-back again rose highest in the box.
There was danger at the other end when Evans spilled Tom Davis right-wing centre under a heavy challenge, but the alert Matt Coupe was on hand to make the clearance a yard in front of his own line with Ide and Booth breathing down his neck.
Hogg was looking increasingly dangerous for City and saw a shot whistle over the bar after dispossessing Wormull 30 yards out.
Harris made way for Steve Jones - who made his 200th appearance for City at Shepton in midweek - on the hour after being cautioned for a foul and three minutes later the home side should have gone in front.
Williams' goal kick was punted back towards him by Holland and Gilroy broke free of the visiting defence, but chose to hit his shot first time with the keeper in no man's land and put it too high with most of the goal to aim at.
Wood chipped a shot inches over from the edge of a crowded box after a quick free-kick from Rogers on the left and then made way for Prince with 19 minutes to go.
Partridge entered the fray for the closing stages in place of Gilroy and had the final chance of the contest in stoppage time, planting a far-post header straight at Williams after good work from Edwards on the left.
The result saw City drop a place in the table to seventh ahead of Tuesday night's trip to play-off rivals Hampton & Richmond, who were held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Weston-super-Mare, while Lewes' lead at the top was cut to two points by Eastbourne, who hammered Fisher 4-0.