Blue Square Conference South
Tuesday 24 March 2009 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
||P Evans, G Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, Connolly, Simpson, Badman, Edwards (Gilroy 62), Douglas (Klein-Davies 71),
Rogers (Gibb 86). subs not used: Caldwell.
|man of the match:
||P Evans (90)
||A Serrano (Hemel), D Jacecko (Swindon), R Smith (Chippenham)
|league position: 8th
||next match: Bromley (A)
Report taken from
Darren Edwards' early header was enough to settle a dire game in Bath City's favour and secure their third successive win.
The goal came from Sekani Simpson's sublime cross, a rare moment of quality in a game which started promisingly but soon descended into crushing boredom.
The second half was particularly nondescript but points matter more than performances at this stage of the season, especially for a City squad down to the bare bones.
Such were their injury problems that Adie Britton was only able to name four substitutes, among them youth player Ashley Caldwell.
Richard Evans will miss the rest of the season after having his jaw broken during a mugging, Martin Slocombe had failed to recover from a hip injury sustained against Newport County and Lewis Hogg was starting a two-game suspension after picking up 10 yellow cards.
However, Gethin Jones and Mark Badman - doubts before the game - were able to take their place in the starting line-up.
Simpson was also restored to the team and he almost embarrassed Ross Kitteridge inside the opening minute, his cross from the right threatening to drop under the bar before being punched clear by the visiting keeper.
However, the winger's next delivery led to the opening goal. It came at the end of a move which saw play switch from left to right, with Jim Rollo's pass being flicked by Jones into the path of Simpson.
He took a touch before whipping in another peach of a cross, which this time eluded the keeper and fell invitingly for Edwards to nod home at the far post from virtually on the line.
It was no more than City deserved for a bright start and only the slightest of deflections prevented in-form striker Stuart Douglas from doubling the lead in the 16th minute, his powerful header from a corner being glanced milimetres wide of the near post.
Edwards had the ball in the back of the net again 10 minutes later but he had already been flagged offside.
Basingstoke were restricted to the occasional foray forward but their attacks posed little threat, with a free-kick into Paul Evans' hands and a Phil Ruggles snap-shot which went wide the sum total of their efforts.
City were in control but were unable to add to their lead before half-time, with Edwards failing to head goalwards in injury-time when Scott Rogers was better placed behind him to deal with Jones' cross.
There were some hesitant defensive moments for City at the start of the second half, which was otherwise very low key.
The game desperately needed a spark to restore some life and Britton turned to Dave Gilroy to provide it, sending on City's leading scorer for Edwards - who had been labouring in the second half - just after the hour mark.
But still very little was happening, although there was some concern in the 70th minute when Douglas went down in a heap following an aerial challenge with Sean Hankin. The club doctor and stretcher-bearers were called onto the pitch but the striker, while unable to continue, was at least able to walk off with a lump the size of a golf ball developing on his forehead where he was accidentally elbowed.
He was replaced by Josh Klein-Davies, who duly provided City's first effort on goal in the second half. Unfortunately it lost its sting after hitting defender Jerome Maledon and bounced through to the keeper - but at least it was a shot.
Fortunately for the hosts, Basingstoke were looking equally toothless at the other end and City were happy to play out the game, their attitude being summed up by keeper Evans' booking for time wasting in injury time.