Blue Square South
Saturday 16 January 2010 - Ship Lane - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Jones, Rollo (c), Coupe (Stolcers 46), Holland, Connelly, Simpson, Hogg, Edwards, Mohamed, Jombati.
subs not used: Douglas, Badman, Harris, Caldwell.
|man of the match:
||Mohamed (pen 90+3)
|league position: 10th
||next match: B Stortford (H)
Report taken from
Three goals in the space of nine first-half minutes condemned Bath City to a heavy defeat in their first game since Boxing Day.
The scoreline was tough on the visitors, who did not play too badly but gave away soft goals at the one end and only had Kaid Mohamed's injury-time penalty to show for their efforts at the other.
Indeed, City will perhaps be disappointed that the match - under threat due to the snow and subsequent heavy rain - did not get called off after all.
It may have been a few weeks since they last played but City boss Adie Britton elected to start with the same XI which began the two victories over Woking and Weston, meaning Lewis Hogg was preferred in central midfield to the fit-again Mark Badman and the returning Adie Harris.
City started positively but it was Thurrock who had the first shot at goal, Reiss Gilbey unable to control a difficult volley which he sliced high and wide in the fifth minute.
Three minutes later, the visitors got their first real sight of goal - and should have taken the lead. Thurrock keeper Joe Woolley fumbled a cross under pressure from Darren Edwards but redeemed himself by making a fine save to deny Kaid Mohamed on the follow-up.
Mohamed thought he was through again in the 13th minute but was pulled up by a very late offside call from the assistant referee.
At the other end, Thurrock's first corner of the game led to a scare as the ball was flicked across the six-yard box by David Bryant but Rob Swaine was unable to get a touch at the back post.
However, the ball had brushed off a City player, leading to another corner. And when the visitors failed to clear their lines from that one as well, the pressure told as Matt Bodkin's cross from the left was emphatically headed home by defender Kenny Clark.
It went from bad to worse for Britton's men as, within seconds of the restart, the City defence parted and allowed Bryant to run on to a simple through-ball.
Jim Rollo tried desperately to retrieve the situation but could only bring the striker down, conceding a blatant penalty which Leon McKenzie coolly converted. Fortunately for the visitors, skipper Rollo escaped with a yellow card from referee Tony Power.
Hogg volleyed over at the other end but City were rattled and found themselves even further behind on the half-hour mark. Again it was too easy for the hosts as Bodmin's pass released Craig Pope down the left and, under seemingly no pressure, the full-back was able to amble into the box before beating Ryan Robinson at his near post.
After being the better team for the opening 20 minutes, City suddenly found themselves virtually out of the game already. A quick reply may have given them some hope but Mohamed saw his fierce 25-yard drive, which seemed destined for the top corner, brilliantly pushed around the post by keeper Woolley.
Mohamed was City's most threatening player by some distance but was having no luck in front of goal, Clark nicking the ball off his foot after the Welsh striker had created a shooting opportunity with some outstanding close control.
Defender Matt Coupe took advantage of a break in play to rally the troops, yelling 'we've done it before', but thoughts of a comeback faded further when Edwards ran on to Mohamed's clever flick but, with only the keeper to beat, dragged his shot well wide.
With little to lose, Britton made a positive substitution at the start of the second half, taking off Coupe and sending on Latvian international Andrejs Stolcers to play just behind the front two.
However, City continued to waste chances, with Chris Holland rifling the ball wide from 12 yards after a free-kick had dropped perfectly at his feet.
Good skill by Stolcers and a decent cross from Sido Jombati then led to another opportunity for Edwards but he was unable to get any power into his header, which was comfortably saved.
Apart from an ambitious Stolcers volley which was always going over, that was pretty much it for the next 15 minutes as the game went completely flat.
But City did get another sight of goal in the 65th minute, Jombati seeing two back-post efforts blocked in quick succession following a free-kick, while Rollo threw himself in the way of a McKenzie shot at the other end moments later.
But the game was still lacking shape and Mohamed, who had looked so threatening in the first half, was unable to make his presence felt.
His half - and, indeed, City's afternoon - was summed up in the 75th minute when a deep free-kick was headed into Mohamed's path by Holland but the striker smashed his close-range shot into the car park.
Bryant was more controlled with his volley at the other end in the 80th minute but saw his fine angled effort go just wide of the far post.
Thurrock introduced all three of their substitutes in quick succession but there was no sign of movement on the City bench, with Britton unwilling to make any further changes.
Perhaps the boss knew it was not going to be his team's day, a fact further underlined when an incisive move involving Stolcers and Hogg ended with Mohamed's shot being saved at his near post by Woolley.
City finally got on the scoresheet with virtually the last kick of the game, Mohamed converting a penalty following a foul on Stolcers.
But it was little consolation for Britton's men, who now find themselves eight points behind Thurrock in the race for the play-offs.