Blue Square Conference South
Tuesday 24 February 2009 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||P Evans, G Jones, Rollo (c) (Slocombe 79), Coupe, Holland, Connolly (R Evans 46), Simpson, Hogg, Gilroy, Edwards, Rogers
(S Jones 73). subs not used: Douglas, Caldwell.
|man of the match:
||Gilroy (56), Holland (69), Coupe (76)
||A Davies (Southampton), P Buckeridge (Eastleigh), T Wood (Quedgeley)
|league position: 7th
||next match: Basingstoke (A)
Report taken from
Three goals in 19 second-half minutes got Bath City’s Blue Square South play-off bid back on track as they ran out comfortable winners against Weston-super-Mare at Twerton Park tonight.
City struggled to assert their authority on proceedings in a dull first period but were totally dominant from the moment top-scorer Dave Gilroy gave them a 57th-minute lead from close range.
Central defenders Chris Holland and Matt Coupe joined him on the scoresheet to wrap up the points after Weston captain Charlie Comyn-Platt saw red for a professional foul on Gilroy.
The victory continued City’s stranglehold in fixtures with Weston and helped banish the memory of Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Paul Evans made a long-awaited return to the City goal in place of Saturday’s man of the match Steve Perrin. It was the keeper’s first start in three months following knee surgery.
Richard Evans and Steve Jones dropped out of the side convincingly beaten 1-0 by Hampton as Coupe and Scott Rogers were recalled to a more familiar 4-4-2 formation.
The visitors included two members of City’s 2006-07 championship-winning squad, Adie Harris and Mike Green, in their line-up but former Twerton Park favourites Scott Partridge and Mark McKeever were both missing through injury.
A quiet opening saw precious little in the way of attacking intent from either side and it took 17 minutes for the first effort on target to arrive. That came when Rogers won and took City’s first corner from the right and Holland met it with a downward header, only to see Weston defender Craig Rand make a crucial block in a crowded goalmouth.
Rand then entered referee Andy Davies’ book for a foul on Darren Edwards as the striker burst forward 35 yards from goal.
Lewis Hogg spared Evans’ blushes with a header off the goalline after the big South African let Ben Wells’ left-wing corner slip through his fingers in the 23rd minute.
The keeper’s mistake seemed to lift Weston and they enjoyed their best spell of the night. Mark McGregor headed Dean Grubb’s right-wing cross towards goal, although this time Evans held on to the ball.
Grubb went close just after the half-hour mark, seeing an effort go just past Evans’ left post after a last-ditch challenge denied him a clean strike on goal 10 yards out following good approach play from Manny Williams and Jack Compton.
Harris marked his return to his old stamping ground with a booking for a late challenge on former midfield partner Rogers 10 minutes before the break and the half ended in scrappy fashion.
Holland’s header on goal from a Rogers corner on the left sailed over the bar and City were handed an injury worry on the stroke of half-time when Adam Connolly limped out of the action following a heavy challenge.
The midfielder trotted out for the second half with his teammates but lasted only a minute before he was replaced, tellingly as it turned out, by winger Richard Evans.
City then conceded a free-kick 25 yards from goal and Compton almost punished them, curling his effort over the wall and wide of Evans’ left upright. It was to prove their final effort on goal as the hosts seized complete control of proceedings.
Substitute Evans shot over the bar at the other end seconds after a mix-up with Gilroy in front of goal but City did not have to wait long for the opening goal of the night, taking the lead on 57 minutes.
Evans fed Edwards on the left and the former Yate man unselfishly centred to provide Gilroy with the simplest of finishes in front of an empty net a yard out.
The goal sparked a frantic spell around the hour mark and Edwards went close to making it 2-0, finding himself in acres of space following a defensive mistake and rolling the ball past advancing keeper Ryan Northmore before Tom Parrinello recovered to clear off the line.
Gilroy had the ball in the net seconds later after Northmore parried a low 25-yarder from Rogers, only for his celebrations to be curtailed by an offside flag.
And Weston were left to play the final third of the game with 10 men after captain Charlie Comyn-Platt stumbled into the back of Gilroy, who was clear on goal, 20 yards out and offered little in the way of a protest as referee Mr Davies brandished a red card in his direction.
Holland became the first City player booked for an innocuous-looking challenge on Williams but doubled the hosts’ advantage six minutes later with a towering downward header from Evans’ pin-point left-wing corner.
He was joined on the scoresheet soon afterwards by Coupe, who doubled his tally for the season with a firm right-footed finish after Evans’ centre from the opposite flank following another corner dropped at his feet.
Coupe had another sight of goal with five minutes to go but volleyed well wide after a corner was only half cleared.
As the game entered injury-time, Steve Jones, on as a substitute for Rogers, had a firm header well saved by Northmore and Rand denied Gilroy as he dithered over his finish six yards out.