Blue Square South
Saturday 14 November 2009 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.15pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, Connolly, Jombati, Badman, Douglas (Browning 79), Mohamed (Perrott 85),
Hogg. subs not used: Pelecaci, Evans, Edwards.
|man of the match:
||D Eaton (Tewkesbury), B Durie (Tewkesbury), M Hall (Wellington)
|league position: 12th
||next match: Maidenhead Utd (A)
Report taken from
Stuart Douglas' first goal of the season just about gave 10-man Bath City the edge in a nail-biter at wind-swept Twerton Park this afternoon.
The home side really had to work for the points after Matt Coupe was sent off in the 58th minute following a challenge on John Martin.
Ironically, it was the fourth game in succession against Chelmsford that City had been reduced to 10 men - and they have now won three of them.
However, they really rode their luck in the closing stages with the visitors hitting both posts in injury-time and having a shot cleared off the line.
City skipper Jim Rollo shrugged off a rib injury he suffered in the midweek draw at Staines to start the game, unlike Darren Edwards who was restricted to a place on the bench by a similar injury.
Douglas retained his place up front while Coupe slotted in at centre-half in place of Gethin Jones, who had suffered a groin strain in midweek.
The game went ahead despite heavy showers during the preceding 24 hours and started with rain gusting across the pitch, behind the home players as they attacked the Bath end.
And the wind played its part in the first chance of the game, which should have seen the visitors take the lead. Martin whipped in a fantastic cross from the left, which seemed to hold up a bit as it dropped invitingly for the unmarked Danny Hockton but he headed over from eight yards.
City had a couple of great chances of their own two minutes later. The first came when Chelmsford's central defenders made a mess of Sido Jombati's cross and deflected it straight into the path of Kaid Mohamed, who saw his shot saved at the near post by Craig Holloway.
And the visiting keeper was called into action again to scramble away the subsequent corner, which Lewis Hogg dropped right underneath the bar.
Opposite number Ryan Robinson had to be at his best in the 13th minute, pulling off a tremendous reaction save to prevent Mohamed heading into his own net as he tried to clear a dangerous inswinging free-kick.
After such a lively start, the game went through a scrappy period where both sides struggled to cope with the dreadful conditions, although the pitch itself was standing up well to the deluge.
There was also a lengthy break in play around the half-hour mark when Adam Connolly - so influential in City's seven-match unbeaten run - stayed down after a challenge with blood pouring from a broken nose.
The midfielder was off the pitch for six minutes but during that time, City were able to take the lead. Douglas looked to be offside when Jombati played the ball down the inside-right channel but play went on. The City striker then appeared to have taken a touch too many as he ran through but produced a clever lofted finish to beat the keeper from a tight angle.
City just about deserved the lead on the basis of play and they almost doubled it just before half-time when Mohamed tried his luck from 25 yards but Holloway kept his drive out with a fine diving save.
The visitors had struggled in the first period but started the second half well, unlike City keeper Robinson who had a few unnerving moments.
His first came when he dropped a corner underneath his bar but, fortunately for the hosts, Sekani Simpson was on hand to clear the danger.
Robinson then had to stand and watch a deflected effort from Ricky Modeste drop just over the bar before flapping at the subsequent corner, with Chris Holland heading off the line to save his keeper's blushes.
At the other end, Mohamed saw a long-range shot go well off target but the game took a turn against City a couple of minutes later when Coupe was shown a straight red card.
Mark Badman played his team-mate into trouble when he gave possession away about 30 yards out. Coupe slid in to a tackle with Martin but his foot hit the top of the ball and into the Chelmsford player, who went down holding his leg.
There was no malice in the challenge but the referee, after taking some time to consider his decision, produced a red card, much to Coupe's disbelief. The luckless defender, who has just got back into the team, will now miss the next three games, including the FA Cup second round.
Chelmsford, sensing their chance, made a couple of changes with Oliver Berquez and Anthony Cook coming on for Martin and Matt Lock but City manager Adie Britton continued with the players who had started, with Rollo moving across to centre-half and Jombati going to left-back.
But the home side were still looking less than convincing in defence and it needed a tremendous tackle at the back post from Hogg to prevent Modeste tapping Ricky Holmes' cross into an empty net.
However, they almost gave themselves some breathing space in the 78th minute when Douglas beat the offside trap and raced on to Rollo's long clearance, only to blaze his shot well wide.
Indeed, the shot was so far off target that the officials erroneously thought the ball must have taken a deflection and awarded a corner, which Chelmsford managed to clear.
Douglas almost went through again a minute later but was flagged offside this time and that was his last involvement as he was replaced by Marcus Browning, who came on to shore up the midfield.
Chelmsford also made their final change, sending on Antonio Murray for Modeste, while Mike Perrott replaced the hard-working Mohamed with five minutes of normal time to go.
The substitutions seemed to have worked in the home team's favour as they took the momentum out of Chelmsford's play.
However, the visitors looked like they were finally going to equalise in the 89th minute when sub Berquez stepped past Rollo and Robinson to get a sight of goal but saw his shot hit the perfectly-positioned Jombati on the line.
And Chelmsford must have known it would not be their day in injury-time when Hockton saw one shot hit the inside of the post, then Berquez hit the other upright from the rebound.
Robinson also saved efforts from Hockton and Holmes as City held on for dear life, with the fans erupting in delight when the final whistle blew.