Blue Square South
Saturday 19 December 2009 - Kingsfield Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe, Holland, Connolly, Simpson, Hogg, Edwards, Mohamed (Stolcers 80), Jombati.
subs not used: Caldwell, Douglas, Browning, Evans.
|man of the match:
||Mohamed (pen 28), Edwards (45), Hogg (74)
||J Busby, P O'Hare, S Smith
|league position: 9th
||next match: Weston SM (A)
Report taken from
Bath City gave their fans an early Christmas present as they came away from wintry Woking with three excellent points.
The visitors were on the back foot for long periods of the first half but scored twice on the break via a Kaid Mohamed penalty and Darren Edwards' goal on the stroke of half-time.
Keeper Ryan Robinson dropped the ball into his own net to give Woking a glimmer of hope but Lewis Hogg's stunning free-kick wrapped up City's second win over the Cards in three weeks.
The match was one of just a handful of games to go ahead in snowy Surrey, with a dusting of the white stuff still on the Kingfield Stadium pitch.
The surface was soft underfoot but with the sun already setting behind the main stand, City's pre-match concern was whether the pitch would start to freeze during the match.
City's other major worry came off the pitch with Mark Badman ruled out through a medial ligament injury. That forced a reshuffle with Hogg moving to central midfield, Sido Jombati replacing him on the left, Sekani Simpson pushing forward to the right wing and Gethin Jones going across to right back.
That allowed Matt Coupe to line up at centre-half and make only his second start for City since September.
Woking boss Graham Baker made five changes to the team which were thrashed 5-0 at Twerton Park at the start of the month.
The match was preceded by a minute's silence for Thomas Difelice, a 17-year-old member of Woking's youth academy who was killed in a car accident earlier this week.
Where City had flown out of the traps in the reverse fixture, taking a 2-0 lead after 10 minutes, the tables were turned this time round as the visitors found themselves well under the cosh.
Guiseppe Sole put a free header over the bar in the second minute and saw a dipping drive just miss the target, Robinson pulled off a fine save to deny Moses Ademola and both Jim Rollo and Chris Holland were forced to make vital blocks as Woking pushed for an early opener.
But City weathered the storm and were largely untroubled for the next 10 minutes, although Coupe did pick up a yellow card after tripping Matthew Wright as he threatened to capitalise on a defensive mix-up to go through on goal.
It was the turn of the Woking back line to make an error a couple of minutes when they gifted the ball to Jombati on the edge of the box but his shot was well blocked by Jon Boardman.
However, the home side's next mistake proved to be very costly indeed. City's best spell of possession so far ended with Hogg slipping the ball through to Edwards, whose heels were clipped by Mark Ricketts. The striker stumbled and referee Jamie Busby had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Edwards had missed his last penalty at Maidenhead so Mohamed took responsibility this time and placed it perfectly into the top right corner of the net.
Woking immediately went on the offensive from the restart but City survived a couple of hairy moments when Robinson went walkabout, the keeper finding himself by the corner flag as he tried to clear a dangerous ball before having to race back to block at his near post.
Ricketts then almost made amends for his mistake when he fired in a long-range shot which went just milimetres wide of Robinson's far post.
But there were no further worries after that as City began to grow in confidence. Indeed, they almost doubled the lead when Edwards' flick dropped for Mohamed, whose shot was blocked at close-range by keeper Ross Worner.
However, they did make it 2-0 from their next attack, the last of the first half. Simpson whipped in a brilliant cross from the right to pick out Edwards, who forced the ball home at the second attempt after his initial header had hit the underside of the bar.
It was a stunning end to the half and gave City something to defend for the second period, with Rollo showing their commitment three minutes after the break when his perfectly-timed tackle ended a dynamic run from Cards striker Nathaniel Pinney.
Wright also had a tame shot saved by Robinson before Woking boss Baker made his first change of the game, sending on Sam Sloma for Harry Arter.
Moments later, it was Coupe's turn to make a fantastic challenge in the box as the ball broke to Sole in a dangerous position.
But City were not finding themselves pegged back as they had been in the early stages of the first half and were able to get the ball into the Woking half more frequently, posing the occasional threat on the break.
However, they were dealt a self-inflicted blow midway through the half and it was another moment Robinson will want to forget. Not for the first time this season, the keeper allowed a high ball - this time a Ricketts free-kick - to squirm through his hands and into the back of the net, despite Holland's desperate attempts to clear off his line.
To their credit, City shrugged off the disappointment and immediately earned their second corner of the game, which led to Jones having a shot blocked and Edwards hooking the rebound over.
But they restored the two-goal advantage in style from their next set-piece. Edwards was brought down on the edge of the box by Aswad Thomas, who was booked, and Hogg stepped up to smash a low free-kick around the wall and past Worner at his near post.
City - who introduced Andrejs Stolcers for Mohamed with 10 minutes to go - had to defend in the closing stages but never really looked like conceding.
Indeed, they perhaps should have added to their lead when the Cards defence gave the ball to Stolcers with just one man to beat and two team-mates in support but the Latvian's shot was easily saved.