Blue Square Conference South
Tuesday 12 August - York Road - kick off 7.45pm
||Evans, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, S Jones, Hogg (Slocombe 68), Rogers, Edwards, Douglas (Paul 83), Simpson.
subs not used: Cochlin, Badman, Caldwell
|man of the match:
|league position: 17th
||next match: B Stortford (A)
Report taken from
Bath City collected their first point of the new Blue Square South campaign after a stalemate at York Road. But while City's defensive unit returned to
something like their best form following last Saturday's 4-0 hiding at the hands of Welling, they again looked toothless going forward and only forced
Maidenhead keeper Shane Gore into action once all evening. The hosts had the best of the chances and forced City back after the break, but could not find a
way past Paul Evans to add another victory to their impressive opening-day success at Bromley. City made two changes to their starting line-up, with Jamie
Gosling's back injury forcing a reshuffle. Lewis Hogg switched to the left of midfield as a result, with Sekani Simpson pushed forward to the right flank.
Gethin Jones earned a recall at right back, while Steve Jones replaced Mark Badman in the midfield anchor role. Badman dropped to the bench, where John
Relish named former Forest Green midfielder Ashley Caldwell, who signed for the club last Thursday, among his substitutes for the first time.
A quiet start saw both sides adjusting to a slippery playing surface, but Scott Rogers almost broke the silence in the 14th minute with a well-struck volley from 30 yards that whistled just wide of Gore's right post with the Maidenhead keeper totally unprepared.
The hosts, playing down the slope, countered when captain Ashley Nicholls sent a header over the bar from Narada Bernard's left-wing cross and somewhat fortuitously won a corner.
Rogers, clearly buoyed by his earlier effort, went even closer on 20 minutes with a low drive after Stuart Douglas was tackled in the box, but saw Gore beat away his effort before the ball was hacked clear.
Dominic Sterling and Jermaine Hinds both tried their luck from distance for Maidenhead without success and winger Dale Binns was lucky to escape a caution when he tripped Simpson as the City man burst towards the box, the resulting free-kick from Hogg failing to beat the wall.
Maidenhead started to exert some control on proceedings and it took a fine challenge from Chris Holland to snuff out the danger when Ashley Smith headed a cross into striker Lee Newman's path 12 yards out.
Douglas and Darren Edwards cut frustrated figures up front for much of the first period, often coming off second best while competing for high balls from the back. The former managed to find some space in the box three minutes before the break and won a corner, but Hogg's delivery was again disappointing and his right-wing centre skimmed off Holland's head and away from the danger zone.
It was the home side who made the better start to the second half and they created an opening when Richard Pacquette flicked the ball into Newman's path eight yards out, but the striker was closed down well by Evans and slid his shot wide of the near post.
Binns passed up a great chance in the 55th minute after a swift counter, choosing to shoot from a tight angle after Pacquette played him in on goal from the left rather than centre for the better-placed Newman.
Matt Coupe then picked up the first booking of the night, hauling down the lively Newman after he was turned 25 yards from goal.
Ashley Smith's drive from the resulting corner was deflected behind for the first of two quick corners, but City weathered the storm.
Hogg handed City yet another injury worry when he limped off with a knee problem to be replaced by Martin Slocombe midway through the half, having been felled by a hefty challenge five minutes earlier.
Holland then required treatment after tangling with the muscular Pacquette, but referee Nigel Lugg waved play on and the striker drove just wide of the far post with Evans beaten.
With the front pair becoming increasingly isolated, City's best hope of a goal looked like a shot from distance and Holland and Rogers both saw speculative efforts blocked within seconds of one another.
Holland then flicked a header wide from a Rogers free-kick after out-jumping keeper Gore, but City's vociferous appeals for a corner were turned down.
Maidenhead continued to look the liklier winners and Gethin Jones booted the ball clear from inside the goalmouth after initially looking to have sent Newman's dangerous low centre spinning towards his own net with a heavy first touch.
That was the cue for veteran Martin Paul to enter the fray in place of the misfiring Douglas and play became stretched as both sides sought to break the deadlock with a late goal.
The increasingly dangerous Pacquette almost managed it with four minutes to go, but his powerful drive flew straight at Evans after Bobby Behzadi picked him out in the area.
Coupe then pinched the ball off Ben Surey's toes as the substitute looked to finish another neat move on the edge of the City box.
Four minutes of stoppage time brought little alarm for either keeper, although City looked the happier of the sides when referee Mr Lugg brought an end to proceedings.