Setanta Shield 2nd Round
Tuesday 28 October 2008 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 2-1 result: W4-1 attendance: 241

team: P Evans, G Jones, Slocombe, Coupe (c), Holland, Connolly, Simpson, Rogers (Collier 39), Edwards (Paul 83), Gilroy (Douglas 67), R Evans. subs not used: Gosling, Rollo.
man of the match: Dave Gilroy
scorers: Gilroy (42, 45, 54, 62)
bookings: R Evans (74)
officials: S Daly (Staines), C Wicks (Reading), M Engelbretson (Uxbridge)

league position: n/a form: WLWWLW next match: Weston SM (A)

Report taken from

Dave Gilroy helped himself to four goals as Bath City breezed into the third round of the Setanta Shield. It looked like being a frustrating night for the hosts when Craig Reid gave Newport the lead against the run of play after Darren Edwards had wasted four great chances to score. But Gilroy's quadruple deservedly turned things around and set up a home tie against Salisbury City next Tuesday. City boss Adie Britton started with a strong team, giving a debut to left-winger Richard Evans against his former club.

And it was a fairly lively start from both sides, with Edwards firing straight at keeper Glyn Thompson and Newport striker Chris Hartland blazing over inside the opening five minutes. Edwards had another glorious chance in the sixth minute after a quality City move. Martin Slocombe's incisive pass found Evans on the left and his first-time cross ran invitingly for Edwards but the striker dragged his shot wide. And it was a hat-trick of missed opportunities in the 17th minute when a neat pass from Gilroy sent Edwards clean through on goal but he was unable to beat the advancing keeper, who managed to touch the ball around the post. There were more groans six minutes later when Edwards again got behind the Newport defence - this time after excellent midfield work by Adam Connolly - but saw another shot hit on-rushing keeper Thompson before being scrambled clear. And City almost paid the price on the half-hour mark when a fine ball from former Cardiff City winger Kevin Cooper found Leek, who briefly had a sight at goal until his shot was closed down by the alert Chris Holland. City went straight up the other end and squandered another opening, Evans' cross being nodded back across goal by Edwards for strike partner Gilroy but his header at the back post lacked both power and accuracy. So after missing so many chances, it was almost inevitable that City should go behind - and, to rub salt into the wounds, it was a self-inflicted blow. Left back Martin Slocombe was caught in possession by Leek, who promptly surged down the right before pulling the ball back for Reid to drill past exposed keeper Paul Evans. The goal knocked City out of their stride for a while but they were given a lift by a great piece of play from Connolly, who unleashed a thumping right-foot drive from 25 yards which beat the Newport keeper but fizzed just past the post. And the hosts were level just a minute later when Newport were hassled off the ball and Edwards' pass found Gilroy, who gave his strike partner an example of how to finish by firing clinically past Thompson. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Richard Evans got down the left before picking out Gilroy, who had time to control the ball, turn and dispatch another deadly shot into the bottom corner to give City a deserved lead.

Newport began the second half in positive fashion and City had a big escape in the 48th minute when Leek's cross from the right went through Slocombe's legs but hit a surprised Reid and went behind. Slocombe made amends 60 seconds later when he was perfectly placed on the goalline to divert Cooper's cross-shot around the post for a corner. But City were looking dangerous when they pushed forward, especially down the flanks, and both Edwards and Evans maybe should have done better with headers from right-wing crosses. However, they did get a third in the 54th minute, albeit in controversial circumstances. A quick ball forward found both City strikers about five yards offside but play was allowed to go on and Edwards rolled the ball across for Gilroy to complete his hat-trick, much to Newport's astonishment. There was no doubt about his fourth goal in the 62nd minute, Gilroy latching onto Jones' pass and turning onto his left foot before rifling the ball past Thompson. It needed a brave save from the Newport keeper to prevent Gilroy getting his fifth straight from the restart and Jones also had a towering header from a corner cleared off the line by Dan Harrison as City threatened to run riot. But there was a bit of respite for County in the 69th minute when Britton decided to take Gilroy off and give Stuart Douglas a run-out up front. City continued to look likely to add to their total, though, with Evans' dangerous cross across the face of goal being just ahead of Edwards and Connolly seeing another fierce shot from distance be well held by Thompson. And the busy Newport keeper was called into action again two minutes from time to save Holland's header on the line following another dangerous corner.