Blue Square South
Saturday 6 February 2010 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Jombati, Rollo (c) (Coupe 69), Jones, Holland, Harris, Simpson, Badman, Edwards (Douglas 80), Mohamed, Connolly.
subs not used: Bartlett, Caldwell.
|man of the match:
||W Linden (Northwood), A Groves (Windsor), I Douglas (Windsor)
|league position: 9th
||next match: Maidenhead Utd (A)
Report taken from
Bath City picked up a dogged draw against play-off rivals Dover Athletic in a scrappy match at Twerton Park.
The visitors created the better of what few chances there were as City found it difficult to impose themselves on a game which was high in effort but low in quality.
Lewis Hogg was missing after suffering a knee injury during Tuesday's 1-0 win over Weston following the late challenge by Josh Klein-Davies which resulted in both players being sent off.
Adie Harris replaced him in midfield, while new signing Scott Bartlett had to make do with a place on the bench following his arrival from Weston.
Neither side was able to get a grip on the game in the opening exchanges but Dover almost took the lead out of the blue in the ninth minute when Jim Rollo misjudged a bouncing ball and Adam Birchall was able to seize possession. The striker then cut into the box but, fortunately for the hosts, fired his shot straight at the legs of Ryan Robinson.
Another defensive slip moments later ended with Frannie Collin putting in a cross which was fumbled behind by the keeper. From the resulting corner, Ollie Schulz looked certain to give the visitors the lead with a towering header but his effort was somehow cleared off the line by Gethin Jones.
City had to wait until the 20th minute for their first sniff of a goal, Adam Connolly's free-kick being headed just over the angle of post and bar by Jones.
The City defender had been central to most of the notable action so far and it was a second foul on him by Shaun Welford in the space of five minutes which resulted in the Dover forward being shown the first yellow card of the afternoon.
And when Welford appeared to catch Jones in the face with an elbow in the 30th minute, City boss Adie Britton was among those calling for further punishment but referee Wes Linden elected to give the striker a talking-to instead.
City had hardly been in the game as an attacking force but should have done better in the 34th minute when Harris's pass saw Kaid Mohamed spring the offside trap. Rather than shoot, he elected to play in Darren Edwards but the pass was overhit, meaning the stiker had to pull the ball back to Sekani Simpson for a tame effort which was easily saved.
If the first half had been forgettable, the second half began even worse with absolutely nothing of note happening for the first 12 minutes.
Then Connolly won a tackle on the edge of the box and received a quick return pass from Mohamed before surging through on goal. However, just as he was about to pull the trigger, Dover right-back Danny Walder just managed to stretch his leg out and toe the ball away.
That incident seemed to have given the game a much-needed injection of life, with Robinson twice being forced to save with his legs in quick succession to deny Welford and Birchall.
Walder had picked up a knock while challenging Connolly and had to be replaced in the 61st minute by Hakeem Adelakun, who soon tested Robinson with a low free-kick.
City made their first change in the 69th minute, with Rollo coming off for Matt Coupe. He went to right-back, while Sido Jombati moved into the gap left by the skipper.
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler brought on his two final substitutes in the 74th minute, sending on Michael Abnet and James Rogers for Dean Hill and, surprisingly, Birchall, as he went for the three points.
Mohamed had a chance to ease the pressure when he was released by Connolly's long pass but after working some space in the box, the City striker failed to shoot and was eventually crowded out.
However, it was Dover who were doing all the pressing, with the home side struggling to get out of their penalty box during a three-minute spell which saw the visitors force three corners and Robinson push over a stinging drive from Jon Wallis.
Stuart Douglas came on for Edwards with 10 minutes remaining and he was claiming a penalty five minutes later after going down as he tried to brush off Schulz. However, it was a half-hearted appeal, although it did lead to a heated exchange of words between the two managers.
City finally earned their first corner of the game in the 87th minute, when Mohamed's shot was deflected over by Schulz, but it came to nothing.
The home side had to survive one final major scare when Adelakun's driven cross was brilliantly cleared by Jombati under pressure from Abnet. Welford then put the rebound high and wide as the match finished goalless.