FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Saturday 22 November 2008 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||P Evans, G Jones, Slocombe, Coupe, Holland, S Jones, Simpson, Rollo (c) (Gilroy 45), Douglas (Edwards 72), Badman
(Rogers 69), R Evans. subs not used: Paul, Connolly.
|man of the match:
||Simpson (46), Gilroy (58,68,85), G Jones (64)
||M Rushton (Pewsey), R Smith (Chippenham), M Niemirski (Swindon)
|league position: n/a
||next match: Maidenhead Utd (H)
Report taken from
Dave Gilroy came off the bench to score a hat-trick and help Bath City ease into the next round of the FA Carslberg Trophy.
Sekani Simpson also struck just 38 seconds into the second half to finally break the deadlock against defensive-minded lower-league opposition, while Gethin Jones was on target as well.
City boss Adie Britton had gone into the game with the same 4-5-1 formation which worked to such tremendous effect at Chelmsford City in the league last week.
The only change to the starting XI saw Mark Badman return from suspension to replace Lewis Hogg, who was banned.
However, East Thurrock were playing a very similar system, albeit with much more emphasis on defence, which meant the first half was largely a scrappy, midfield battle.
A very low key start to the game saw neither team create a chance of note until the 13th minute, when City keeper Paul Evans had to show good alertness to clear an underhit back pass from Chris Holland as Martin Tuohy closed in.
The first moment of quality came from Richard Evans, who showed good pace to beat full back Ryan Sammons and surge to the byline before whipping in a tremendous cross which dropped over keeper Richard Wray but was also missed by Badman at the back post.
Badman had another sniff of goal in the 23rd minute when Stuart Douglas nodded a long ball down to him on the edge of the box but his scuffed shot was easily saved by Wray.
East Thurrock were getting nine men back behind the ball - happy to leave Tuohy totally isolated up front - and City were finding them difficult to break down, despite having plenty of possession.
The best outlet looked like Evans down the left and he put in another excellent cross in the 28th minute, which was headed just over by Simpson.
There were a few hearts in mouths a couple of minutes before half-time when, in a rare attack, Tuohy got the wrong side of Holland and then went down under the centre-half's challenge. The referee blew with his whistle but, rather than give a penalty, correctly awarded a corner kick instead.
East Thurrock earned three more corners on the stroke of half-time as they finally showed signs of coming to life but they came to nothing as the half finished goalless.
Britton changed to 4-4-2 for the second half, taking off skipper Jim Rollo and sending on Dave Gilroy to partner Douglas in attack.
But even he would not have expected such a quick response from his players, who immediately put together a good attack from the kick off.
It ended with Douglas laying the ball off to Simpson, who took a touch before rifling his shot past the helpless keeper.
It was the second week running that City had been quick out of the blocks, with Douglas having scored ten seconds into the second half at Chelmsford City.
It got even better for the hosts in the 58th minute when Gilroy produced a real moment of class. Simpson played a precision pass through the middle for the sub, who flicked the ball up with his first touch before guiding a cushioned lob over the advancing keeper.
Douglas was only just off target with a curling shot soon after but City did not have to wait much longer for a third goal, Gethin Jones' inswinging cross from the right being misjudged by the keeper as it bounced in at the near post.
And it was 4-0 in the 68th minute when Steve Jones nodded the ball down to Gilroy, who lifted his shot over the keeper from close range, despite the opposition appealing for offside.
East Thurrock grabbed a consolation in the 74th minute when sub Jo Bojowa scored from the edge of the box, seconds after Ryan Sammons had hit the bar with a spectacular effort from 40 yards.
But it was City's half, Gilroy's in particular, and the sub completed his hat-trick with five minutes to go when he latched onto Darren Edwards' pass and rounded the keeper before tapping home.
East Thurrock should have had the last word when Tuohy fired in a shot which was destined for the net until it hit Lee Williams, his own captain, on the line.