Blue Square South
Saturday 17 October 200 - kick off 3.00pm
||Perrin, Jombati, Rollo (c), Jones, Holland, Connolly, Pelecaci (Perrott 81), Badman, Edwards, Mohamed (Simpson 54), Evans.
subs not used: Coupe, Gwinnett, Browning.
|man of the match:
||Jones (44,70), OG (47), Perrott (90+2)
||Badman (17), Jones (19), Evans (75), Perrin (90)
||B Knight (Waterlooville), J Fortescue (Bournemouth), C Hubbard (Wimbourne)
|league position: 13th
||next match: AFC Totten
Report taken from
Substitute Mike Perrott bundled home an injury-time winner as Bath City edged a seven-goal thriller against 10-man Basingstoke Town.
In what was very much a game of two halves, the hosts looked well off the pace in the first period and Basingstoke striker Jahson Downes cashed in with two excellent goals.
But Gethin Jones headed home just before the break to give City hope and they were the better team in the second half, turning the game around through a Sean Hankin own goal and Jones' second of the game.
Basingstoke were also reduced to ten men when Hankin was sent off in the build-up to City's third goal but they looked to have snatched a point when substitute Ashley Mitchell was left unmarked from a free-kick to make it 3-3.
However, with time running out, Perrott managed to force home a free-kick to seal City's first win at Twerton Park since August 15.
The match was preceded by an impeccably-observed minute's silence in memory of Melanie Hall, whose dad Steve was chairman of City for seven years.
There was a crowd of 685 in attendance for the first match at Twerton Park in five weeks but it was the visiting contingent who had first cause to celebrate as they took an eighth-minute lead.
It was a superbly-crafted goal as well, with incisive passes from Rob Rice and Jide Ogunbote putting Downes through and the striker showed great composure to put his shot through Steve Perrin's legs and into the net.
City were struggling to find any rhythm but they did have a couple of half-chances in the space of a minute, Kaid Mohamed's long-range effort being punched to safety by keeper Ross Kitteridge and defender Matt Finlay just beating Mark Badman to a teasing cross from Richard Evans.
But it was Basingstoke who continued to look the more threatening going forward and it needed a fantastic low save from Perrin to prevent former Chippenham Town striker David Pratt making it 2-0 with an angled drive.
The visitors squandered another great chance to double their lead in the 23rd minute when Pratt's cross picked out Downes on the penalty spot but the striker, under pressure from Jones, completely missed his shot.
That came as a mighty relief to City, who were looking completely out of sorts at the back. Chris Holland, making a return from injury after two months on the sidelines, was particularly off the pace in the opening exchanges.
So it was no surprise when the second goal eventually arrived in the 31st minute. And it was another one to savour, with Downes picking the ball up 40 yards out and showing great footwork to beat Jones and Holland before lashing a dipping drive into the top corner.
The finish had to be admired but City contributed to their own downfall again as Jim Rollo had given the ball away with an aimless ball forward, one of many played by the lacklustre home team during the first half.
They had a chance to pull one back four minutes before the break when Adam Connolly controlled Florin Pelecaci's pass on the edge of the box and turned his marker superbly but his shot was saved at the near post.
City did grab a lifeline in the 44th minute, though. Connolly's free-kick picked out Jones at the back post but he mistimed his header and saw it go across the face of goal. However, City kept the ball alive and when Evans put it in again, Jones was still placed at the back stick and this time his header found the back of the net.
And the home side were back on level terms two minutes into the second half, with a helping hand from Basingstoke skipper Sean Hankin. A fine passing move, which saw City switch play from right to left, ended with Evans sliding the ball through to Pelecaci. The Romanian's low cross appeared to pose little threat but Hankin found himself facing his own goal and sliced his attempted clearance into the net.
Pelecaci celebrated with a triple somersault and the goal clearly gave his team-mates a massive boost as well with City suddenly looking the more likely side, although they were dealt a blow when striker Mohamed was stretchered off with a thigh injury after running into Hankin at full speed.
Despite this, City were creating more chances with Connolly seeing his thumping volley deflect just over the bar and Holland having a header cleared off the line by Ogunbote from the subsequent corner.
The defender found the back of the net with his next header but City's celebrations were cut short when the referee noticed his assistant's flag had been raised for an infringement.
It was Basingstoke's turn to look jittery at the back and Sekani Simpson, who had replaced the injured Mohamed, almost capitalised on a couple of occasions. He also put in a deft cross which Darren Edwards headed straight at the keeper.
However, the game turned completely in City's favour in the 70th minute when Basingstoke lost both their captain and a third goal. Hankin, who had been harshly booked when Mohamed ran into him, tripped Jones on the edge of the box and was shown his second yellow card by over-officious referee Ben Knight.
Rollo's subsequent free-kick led to a series of headers but when the ball finally dropped to Jones, he drilled his shot through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner.
But if City thought they had done the hard work, they were proved mistaken four minutes later when they conceded a free-kick on the right and Tom Williamson's delivery was emphatically headed home by substitute Ashley Mitchell, who had come on for his debut following Hankin's dismissal.
The equaliser knocked City out of their stride and they only had a couple of chances in the closing minutes, with Simpson smashing a volley well over and Rollo seeing his shot from the edge of the box tipped over for a corner.
But with two minutes of injury-time played, Williamson handled the ball to give away a free-kick some 35 yards out. Connolly's delivery was flicked on by Holland and seemed to hit Perrott at the back post before rolling over the line.
City had to see out four more minutes of stoppage time but held on to clinch an exciting and deserved win.