Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 13 September 2008 - Beveree Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||Evans, Rollo (c), Slocombe, Coupe (S Jones 57), Holland, Cochlin, Hogg, Badman (Simpson 84), Edwards, Gilroy (Rogers 73),
Connolly.subs not used: Carey-Bertram, Caldwell.
|man of the match:
||S Jones (60)
||C Powell (Poole), R Albert (Catford), D Morgan (Woking)
|league position: 14th
||next match: Eastleigh (H)
Report taken from
Bath City suffered their first away defeat of the season against a lively Hampton and Richmond side, who, on this performance, looked good candidates to
again achieve at least the play-off position they managed last season.
Possession in the first half may well have been fairly even between these two sides but it was Hampton that posed all the threats.
As early as the third minute they should have gone ahead when a fine cross from Craig Tanner sailed over the head of Paul Evans and Ian Hodges blasted his shot wide.
Bath continued to see plenty of the ball but against tight man to man marking they failed too often to reach the twin strike partnership of Dave Gilroy, returning for his first league start of the season, or Darren Edwards.
However, the home side's twin strike force of Lawrence Yaku and Barrie Matthews always looked to have the pace to threaten the City defence, aided by some strong runs by Hodges who created the first goal.
The number nine took the ball to the by-line on the left, got round Jim Rollo, still looking stunned from an over zealous sliding tackle from Craig Tanner, before putting in a far post cross for the unmarked Tanner to fire home.
City could muster little response. A flick on to Edwards was just grabbed in time by Matt Lovett in the home goal and Adam Conolly had a good shot from 20 yards go narrowly wide but it was still the home side who looked the more threatening.
On the half hour mark the 'Beavers' got their second. A long ball played out of defence down the left found the dangerous Yaku. He left Paul Cochlin standing, cut inside before firing across Evans and into the net.
Just two minutes later the forward nearly repeated the trick. This time it was Holland who was left standing. However, instead of shooting, Yaku crossed and Hodges was only inches away from heading Hamptons third.
By now this was a highly physical contest. Not only had Rollo been ferociously tackled but within minutes of the half time whistle Matt Coupe received a
bad head wound and was still in the process of receiving attention when the half time whistle signalled welcome relief for the City side.
Managers with two goal first half leads are renowned for telling their sides not to concede early in the second period. Assuming Allan Devonshire, the Beavers manager, to be no exception, he can only have been dismayed to see Bath pull a goal back within just seven minutes of the restart.
A Lewis Hogg free kick some 20 yards from goal on the left was curved deep across the Hampton defence for Chris Holland. Holland's header came back across goal for his lanky defensive partner Cochlin to head home. It was a goal that looked to come down off the cross bar and just go over the line, a fact disputed so vehemently by Hodges for the home side that he earned a yellow card.
At that time it looked as if this was going to be another City comeback.
However, a succession of headers from free kicks and corners either went wide or were cleared by the home defence. Hogg and Steve Jones, on for the injured Coupe, both had shots that were fired straight at the keeper and Darren Edwards running on to a through ball, arrived narrowly late as keeper and defender combined to clear the ball.
City's cause was not helped by Danny Carey-Betram being unavailable having pulled his hamstring during the pre-match warm up.
The physical side of the contest also hardly stopped. Clattering tackles from both sides continued unrelentingly and often unpunished. Rollo was again nearly sliced in half just after the hour mark, a tackle which was too much for Coupe, who despite having been substituted still managed to earn a red card for arguing with the referee's assistant.
In the end Bath did have the last word, unfortunately the word 'own' was placed immediately before 'goal'. Right on the 90th minute a free kick was played to the still threatening Yaku. He put through Stuart Lake whose shot was saved by Evans but the ball bounced back to Holland who played it into his own net.