Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 30 August - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Perrin, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, S Jones, Hogg, Rogers, Douglas (Wood 77), Carey-Bertram (Paul 30), Simpson (Badman 45).
subs not used: Slocombe, Cochlin.
|man of the match:
||Paul (49), G Jones (70)
||T Power (Harrow Weald), I Kavanagh (Winchester), I Smith (Eastleigh)
|league position: 10th
||next match: Hayes & Yeading (H)
Report taken from
AFC Wimbledon's 100 per cent record came to an end at Twerton Park as depleted Bath City battled for a creditable point against the league leaders.
The leaders, roared on by 985 travelling fans at the Bristol End, looked on course for their sixth win from six games in Blue Square South when Elliott Godfrey gave them the interval lead.
But City turned the tide against the strongest opponents they have faced to date in 2008-09 and were ahead with 20 minutes to go after veteran Martin Paul levelled the scores and right-back Gethin Jones made it 2-1 with a superb solo effort.
The hosts could not hold on in the face of mounting pressure, however, and Alan Inns rescued a point the Dons thoroughly deserved in the 85th minute.
With Paul Evans still sidelined by an ongoing knee problem, Steve Perrin retained his place between the posts in a City squad unchanged from the one that triumphed 1-0 at Worcester on Bank Holiday Monday.
The visitors were handed a huge pre-match boost with the news £25,000 record signing and top scorer Jon Main was fit to retain his place in their attack after an injury scare.
The outnumbered home fans in a crowd of 1,675 were subjected to the chant 'You're only here for the Wombles' from the away end as they filtered into the
ground, but saw their side create the first chance on six minutes.
Lewis Hogg flicked the ball towards Stuart Douglas on the edge of the box and the striker turned his marker before shooting straight at Dons keeper Andy Little.
A mistake from Matt Coupe gave the visitors an opening three minutes later as he allowed Godfrey to steal in from the left, but the striker could only side-foot tamely at Perrin.
Godfrey then handed City a chance when he fouled Sekani Simpson 30 yards from the Dons goal and Chris Holland nearly punished him with a downward header from Hogg's free-kick that bounced in front of two City players and just past Little's left post.
Captain Jim Rollo, looking for his first goal in just over a year, then had a rare sight of the opposition net, but saw his shot from 15 yards take a deflection on its way out for the game's first corner.
Perrin, who produced two top-drawer saves to earn the win over Worcester, was at it again on 20 minutes when Inns met Godfrey's left-wing corner with a firm header, but saw the veteran tip his effort over the bar in acrobatic fashion.
Sam Hatton then curled a free-kick wide from 25 yards after Hogg fouled Anthony Finn, but the visitors took the lead after 26 minutes.
Hatton's low ball from the right flank was threaded in between the defensive line and Perrin and Godfrey was on to it like a flash, lifting the ball over the keeper and into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
City were handed another blow nine minutes later as short-term signing Danny Carey-Bertram added to their injury woes. The former Forest Green forward pulled a hamstring after giving chase on the left flank and could not continue, with Paul taking his place alongside Douglas.
The Dons looked in control at that point and Coupe escaped a caution after bringing down Finn on the left touchline before putting too much weight on a header back Perrin from Luke Garrard's cross, the ball dropping wide of the net for a corner.
Scott Rogers collected the first booking of the afternoon four minutes before the break for a foul on Tom Davis and Hogg almost followed him after tripping Garrard as the full-back raced away from the area.
City gave a sign of things to come by finishing the half strongly, though, with Douglas having a couple of chances. First, the striker controlled Simpson's centre well before scuffing a shot straight at Little and then fired into the side-netting after Inns made a hash of dealing with Gethin Jones' cross from the right.
The home side made their second switch at the interval as Simpson made way for Mark Badman, manager John Relish looking to negate the increasing threat from the Dons' midfield quartet.
And his side were soon on level terms as substitute Paul levelled the scores in the 49th minute with his first goal of the season - and his 114th for the club.
Inns headed a right-wing Hogg free-kick behind and the midfielder's corner from the opposite flank was flicked on for Paul by Holland. The striker's initial header was parried back to him by Little, but he crashed home the rebound with the aid of the keeper's right upright.
The goal spurred City on, but Wimbledon recovered their composure quickly and almost regained the lead when dangerman Main had his first sight of goal but shot straight into Perrin's midriff.
The visitors were starting to get back on top, but were rocked when Gethin Jones produced a goal from nothing with 20 minutes left.
The City right-back robbed Finn on the halfway line and charged infield with Douglas and Hogg in support. As it turned out, Jones needed neither of them as the Dons' defence back-pedalled without making a challenge and allowed him to roll a shot past Little and into the far corner of the net, triggering wild celebrations from the City bench.
Jason Wood stepped off the bench for his first appearance of the season when he replaced the hard-working Douglas with 16 minutes left, while the Dons introduced Dean Mason for Kennedy Adjei.
The away side were clearly not prepared to give up their unblemished record without a fight and the impressive Finn came within inches of an equaliser in the 78th minute, cutting inside from the left touchline and curling in a superb 20-yard effort that beat Perrin all ends up but cannoned back off his left post. The rebound fell at Godfrey's feet, but Perrin recovered to push his shot out for a corner.
Finn switched wings to good effect and popped up on the right to send a dangerous centre to the far post which Gethin Jones headed behind under pressure from Godfrey.
The visitors have earned something of a reputation for scoring crucial late goals this season and underlined it through Inns with five minutes left.
A ball into the right channel put Godfrey in behind the defence and his low cross saw the central defender get just enough power onto his side-footed finish to beat Perrin's despairing dive to the delight of their huge following behind the goal.
The Dons turned up the heat as the clock ticked down and Jason Goodliffe was inches away from connecting properly with another threatening cross from the right.
Five minutes of stoppage time saw City with their backs firmly to the wall, but they held on in customary fashion and are now unbeaten in five matches.