Blue Square South
Saturday 23 January 2010 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Rollo (c), Jones, Holland, Harris, Jombati, Connolly, Edwards (Douglas 21), Mohamed (Stolcers 76),
Hogg. subs not used: Coupe, Caldwell, Dunn.
|man of the match:
||Connolly (31), Hogg (46)
||Robinson (62), Holland (64)
||K Morris (Hereford), A Ricketts (Bristol), S Wales (Tewekesbury)
|league position: 10th
||next match: St Albans City (A)
Report taken from
Bath City had to settle for a point this afternoon after throwing away a two-goal lead.
Two stunning efforts from the impressive Adam Connolly and Lewis Hogg looked to have sealed three important points for City in their push for the play-offs.
But Bishop's Stortford - who produced nothing in the first hour - somehow managed to conjure up a Charlie Sheringham double to salvage an unlikely draw.
City boss Adie Britton made one change to the team which lost 3-1 at Thurrock last weekend, dropping Matt Coupe to the bench and bringing Adie Harris into midfield for his first start since returning to the club for the third time.
His presence allowed Lewis Hogg to move into a more attacking role and also freed Connolly up, enabling him to support the strikers on a more regular basis.
Sido Jombati returned to the right flank, Sekani Simpson reverted to right-back and Gethin Jones slotted in at centre-half. However, Mark Badman was missing through illness, meaning the bench looked a bit lightweight.
A lively start to the game saw Connolly curl an angled shot just over the bar and Chris Holland have two goalbound headers scrambled away from corners, while Bertie Brayley headed against the bar at the other end, although the flag had already gone up for offside against the Bishops' striker.
The best chance arrived in the 15th minute when Darren Edwards flicked a header through to Kaid Mohamed but the City striker was unable to lift the ball over the onrushing Nick Eyre.
Mohamed needed treatment on a dead leg after being caught by Eyre and was holding his thigh for a few minutes afterwards but it was strike partner Edwards who went off with blurred vision in the 21st minute to be replaced by Stuart Douglas.
Unfortunately, after such a bright opening, the game dipped markedly but it was given a major boost in the 33rd minute courtesy of a stunning goal from Connolly.
A fine move on the edge of the box saw Douglas lay the ball off to Hogg, who in turn teed up Connolly for a thumping drive into the bottom corner from 22 yards which gave the Bishops keeper no chance.
Hogg carved open another chance in the 38th minute when his incisive pass picked out Douglas but the striker's first touch was poor and allowed a visiting defender to clear the danger.
The concern at half-time was that City might pay for not having turned their possession into chances during the opening period but that appeared to be eased within 35 seconds of the restart as they doubled their advantage.
Again it was another eye-catching effort with Connolly's slide-rule pass releasing Mohamed down the left. He then cut into the box before curling in a fine cross which Hogg headed home in fine style at the far post.
The midfielder was not far away from another spectacular goal in the 50th minute, his fierce first-time shot fizzing just over the bar after Jombati's mis-hit effort had rolled kindly into his path.
City looked set to go on and win at a canter but the Bishops grabbed an unlikely lifeline in the 61st minute when a cross from Ben Nunn was turned home by the prolific Sheringham, who was allowed too much space by the home defenders.
It was the visitors' first shot all match but clearly gave them a lift and they went on to dominate the next few minutes. Indeed, they almost drew level when Sheringham's glancing header from Glen Southam's free-kick dropped just wide of the far post.
City were suddenly unable to clear their lines and the edginess on the pitch was transmitting itself to the terraces, with the home supporters growing increasingly nervous.
Connolly almost eased the tension in the 71st minute but his deflected shot was pushed around the post by Eyre. Mohamed also had a chance to roll Hogg in but elected to shoot instead and blazed his effort well over the bar.
That was the striker's last meaningful involvement before he was replaced by Andrejs Stolcers but within two minutes of the Latvian's introduction, City found themselves pegged back as Southam's driven cross from the right was bundled home by Sheringham.
It was a scoreline which had seemed so unlikely just 20 minutes earlier but City, to their credit, rallied immediately and thought they had regained the lead through Connolly's fine effort, which Bishops keeper Eyre just managed to get a block on.
City had few scares to contend with at the other end but Jombati did have to produce an important header to prevent Sheringham heading home at the back post from Nunns's looping cross.
Unfortunately the hosts also struggled to create chances and the game petered out into a draw.