Blue Square South
Tuesday 8 December 2009 - Cressing Road - kick off 7.45pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Rollo (c), Jones, Holland, Connolly, Jombati (Evans 67), Badman (Mohamed 55), Douglas (Edwards 67), Stolcers, Hogg.
subs not used: Coupe, Dunn.
|man of the match:
|league position: 10th
||next match: Woking (A)
Report taken from
Bath City suffered their first Blue Square South defeat in more than two months at Cressing Road tonight.
This was the proverbial game of two halves, unfortunately neither of them successful for City as their seven-match unbeaten league run game to an end.
Yet overall it proved to represent a microcosm of their season so far.
The first half was all slick passing football with Braintree spending most of the 45 minutes chasing shadows. It was therefore a surprise that the home side managed to go in two goals up at the interval thanks to George Purcellís brace.
The second period, much like the second half against Newport County in Cityís preceding fixture, was dull and pointless with the visitors unable to break down opponents determined to defend.
In the end the difference between the two sides proved to be the finishing of one player - Braintreeís leading goalscorer Purcell.
City went into the game with something of a disadvantage over and above a four-hour midweek coach journey. Florin Pelecaci didnít travel as he is still stricken down with flu and was joined on the sick list by Marcus Browning.
Yet if this was game that City didnít want to have rearranged for a Tuesday night there were few signs of tiredness from the kick-off. A rearranged front line saw Stuart Douglas and Andrejs Stolcers start with Kaid Mohamed and Darren Edwards on the bench, the latter nursing a slight hamstring strain.
Douglas was soon into the action, forcing a corner within the first two minutes, and despite Sean Marks having an early chance for the hosts City dominated the opening stages. Sido Jombati and Stolcers brought out good saves from keeper Craig Holloway and Douglas fired narrowly over the crossbar from a tight angle.
Therefore, it came as a shock when their outplayed opponents went in front on 22 minutes.
Douglas conceded a free-kick on the edge of the City box and despite being faced with a six-man wall Purcell stepped up and fired a skidding shot through the wall and beyond an unsighted Ryan Robinson.
It was only a temporary respite from the City pressure as Braintree continued to struggle to gain any possession. Lewis Hogg saw a 30-yard shot go just wide, while Jombati again headed narrowly past the post.
Just when City looked as if they would go in at the interval only a single goal down, Purcell struck again. This time receiving the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box the forward twisted to his left, evaded the City defence and fired into the bottom left-hand corner of Robinsonís net.
If the first half had enthusiasm and skill from the visitors and resolute defence from the home side the second half petered out into a meaningless contest.
Braintree looked content to make only the occasional foray forward while City resorted to long balls downfield that were easily cleared by the Braintree defence.
City made three substitutions, with Mark Badman limping off after just seven minutes of the second period to be replaced by Mohamed and then Edwards and Richard Evans coming on for Jombati and Douglas.
It made little difference to the pattern of play as City struggled to regain the energy and fluency of their first-half performance.
Indeed the only shot of the second period worthy of note fell to Town and that was something of a mistake as Robinson appeared to misjudge a cross by Reece Harris, turning a dipping ball over his bar at the last moment.