Blue Square Conference South
Tuesday 2 September 2008 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
half-time: 0-0 result: L0-1 attendance: 437

team: Perrin, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, S Jones (Gosling 85), Hogg, Rogers (Badman 73), Paul, Douglas, Simpson (Slocombe 73). subs not used: Cochlin, Wood.
man of the match: Martin Paul
scorers: none
bookings: Douglas (39), Perrin (66), Paul (86)
officials: S Knapp (Bristol), I Kavanagh (Winchester), I Smith (Eastleigh)

league position: 11th form: Havant & W'ville (A) next match: dWDWDL

Report taken from

Bath City's wait for a home victory in 2008-09 continues after Hayes & Yeading United deservedly triumphed in front of the club's lowest league attendance at Twerton Park in more than two years. Just 437 supporters - City's lowest league turnout since a crowd of 405 saw them beat Aylesbury in a Southern Premier Division fixture in February 2006 - turned up as the visitors extended their winning run to five matches Scott Fitzgerald's hotly-contested 65th-minute winner also maintained the Londoners' impressive record against City, who they took four points from in Blue Square South last season. The hosts, severely depleted by injuries, were strangely subdued throughout and fortunate not to be trailing by a couple of goals at the break. City made one enforced change to the side that drew with AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, with Martin Paul handed his first league start since April 2007 in the absence of hamstring injury victim Danny Carey-Bertram. Steve Perrin continued in goal with Paul Evans still troubled by a long-standing knee problem and Jim Rollo had a pain-killing injection in his toe before making his 300th start for the club.

Both sides had goals disallowed within the first five minutes. Hayes' Ram Marwa bundled the ball home after a clear foul on Perrin before Stuart Douglas' celebrations at the other end were cut short by an offside flag. The latter's effort came after Paul, who looked City's best hope of a goal throughout, turned his marker and fired through keeper Aaron Howe's body and against the base of the post. A quiet start to the game did little or nothing to rouse a crowd less than a third the size of the one that witnessed the clash with Wimbledon. Hogg had a dangerous cross diverted behind by Howe and Paul just failed to get a shot away before Hayes started to impose themselves, forcing Perrin into action twice in quick succession. First, Will Hendry got between Chris Holland and Matt Coupe and saw his low drive blocked, the rebound ricocheting off Coupe's body and behind for a corner. Winger James Mulley then burst into space on the right of the box but Perrin was able to turn his 18-yard effort behind. The visitors nearly cashed in on confusion in the City defence just before he half-hour mark when Marwa raced clean through after Coupe and Holland both went in for a challenge on Hendry. Again Perrin was the hosts' saviour, advancing quickly from his goal to beat away the midfielder's effort. As Hendry remained on the floor, City's reluctance to put the ball out of play riled the Hayes players and Josh Scott was booked for a rash challenge on Steve Jones. The away side had clearly found their feet and a neat exchange of passes between Hendry and captain Tom Cadmore saw the latter's cross from the right present Fitzgerald with a golden opportunity. But, with Perrin helpless and faced with an empty net, the striker inexplicably diverted the ball back to where it came and away from danger. Although desperately dull, the game had a certain edge to it and Hendry picked up his side's second caution on 38 minutes after clattering into Gethin Jones, Douglas also earning a caution for his part in the melee that followed. It said much for the standard of the entertainment served up by City that the news TeamBath were trailing 2-0 to Dorchester at the break produced a bigger cheer than anything the home side had created in the first half.

Boss John Relish changed his formation at the interval, reverting to a five-man midfield, with Sekani Simpson on the right, Gethin Jones on the left and Jim Rollo joining Coupe and Holland in a three-man defence. Lewis Hogg moved into a central role behind the strikers and quickly had a sight of goal, volleying into the floor from Simpson's cross, with the ball bouncing harmlessly to Howe. Paul went even closer in the 52nd minute, meeting Scott Rogers' right-wing cross with a diving header that Howe scrambled behind for a corner with Gethin Jones closing in. Meanwhile, Douglas was walking a tightrope with referee Simon Knapp and was spoken to twice by the Pucklechurch official for needless fouls. With the rain coming down heavily, the pacy Mulley ran at the City defence and it took a good header from Coupe to put his cross behind for a corner - Hayes' sixth of the night. That came to nothing, but Hayes took a controversial lead in the 65th minute. Neil Martin's ball from the back released Hendry on the left and the striker advanced to the edge of the box, checked back and fired the ball across Perrin and against the inside of his left post. Rollo and Fitzgerald raced to meet it and the ball rebounded off the Hayes forward and into the empty net. City protested furiously, claiming Fitzgerald was in an offside position when Hendry let fly and Perrin earned himself a yellow card for leading the charge towards Mr Knapp. The depleted hosts looked increasingly leg weary after their exertions at the weekend but almost levelled matters with 15 minutes to go. Hogg forced a corner on the right that he took himself and, after Howe failed to claim it, Holland looped a header goalwards. The defender's effort lacked sufficient power and was cleared off a crowded goalline to Paul, whose volley whistled just over the angle of post and bar. Boss John Relish immediately sent on Martin Slocombe and Mark Badman for Rogers and Simpson in a bid to inject life into his side and they were followed into the fray by Jamie Gosling, who replaced Steve Jones in the 85th minute. It was Gosling's first appearance since he injured his back on the opening day of the season, but he could not inspire his teammates. A couple of crosses and long throws from Slocombe and a blocked shot from Hogg apart, City failed to trouble the Hayes defence unduly and the jubilant away side left with the spoils.