Blue Square Conference South
Saturday 17 January 2009 - Church Lane - kick off 3.00pm
||Perrin, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe (Simpson 70), Holland, S Jones (Gibb 82), Hogg, Connolly, Gilroy, Edwards, R Evans
(Douglas 77). subs not used: Slocombe.
|man of the match:
||Edwards (5), Gilroy (87)
||W Atkin (Crawley), P O'Hare (Wycombe), V Torre (Aylesbury)
|league position: 9th
||next match: St Albans City (H)
Report taken from
It has been 12 years since Bath City last beat Hayes. Since then the Middlesex side has been through a merger with Yeading (to little benefit in terms of
support if today's sparse attendance was anything to go by) and both clubs have suffered relegation from the highest division of non-league football.
This time the early omens looked good for City. After just five minutes a long ball played downfield by Steve Jones, in the side for the suspended Mark Badman, bounced kindly for Daren Edwards. With a flick forward, and as the defence stood watching, he drew Hayes & Yeading keeper Aaron Howe to fire the visitors in front with a well-taken goal.
Their advantage lasted precisely seven minutes. From a throw-in 10 yards inside the City half, the ball was rapidly played forward and Will Hendry brought out a diving save from Steve Perrin. But City couldn’t clear from defence and the ball was again played back into the box, this time by Steven Gregory, for Josh Scott to fire home.
City never really looked to recover their equilibrium after that goal as their opponents, who initially looked shaky at the back, gradually began to grow in confidence. With Esmond James causing Jim Rollo difficulties down the right and Scott up front, the home side looked by far the most likely to add to their goal tally.
Their second goal came on the half-hour mark after a free-kick conceded just over 20 yards from goal by Chris Holland was taken short. The ball was crossed in by the impressive Scott and Steve Jones, in trying to turn it behind at the far post, only succeeded in firing the ball into the roof of his own net.
The second half proved to be a different story. With the wind at their backs, City kept the home side penned into their own half for much of the second period yet failed to have a shot on goal for the first 30 minutes. The change only came after some inspired substitutions by the management.
First, Sekani Simpson entered the fray and City moved to three players at the back and five in midfield. Gradually they began to edge closer towards scoring. Holland, for the first time, connected well with the ball from a set piece and his header went two feet over the crossbar. Then Dave Gilroy had a close-range shot blocked at the last minute by James Mulley.
City then changed their line up again, this time Stuart Douglas replaced Richard Evans to join a three-man forward line.
Finally came the trump card. With seven minutes to go and to much pent up applause from the City fans behind the goal, Ali Gibb made his first appearance for his new side after spending the first five months of the season on the sidelines.
As the game opened up so the chances began to come thick and fast.
Holland cleared off the line from Scott with Perrin beaten and from the clearance the ball was played out to the right. Thirty yards from goal and with his first touch of the ball, Gibb played a curving cross into the heart of the Hayes defence. It was flicked on by Edwards to Douglas and keeper Howe, who had looked slightly uncertain in his touch all afternoon, came for the ball only for Gilroy to glance it into the net for the equaliser.
There was still time for the home side to get the winner and they went close right on the 90-minute mark. Again it was a City substitute to the rescue.
Kierran Knight got behind the defence and, clear on goal, looked certain to slide the ball beyond Perrin. Instead Simpson, racing back, did just enough to get between forward and goal to delay the shot and eventually the ball was played behind for a goal kick
It might not have been the victory City were looking for but, as Adie Britton admitted after the match, it felt like it.