Blue Square South
Saturday 10 April 2010 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Jombati, Rollo (c), Jones, Holland, Connolly, Simpson, Harris, Edwards (Browning 90), Mohamed (Mackie 86), Hogg.
subs not used: Coupe, Douglas, Evans.
|man of the match:
||Holland (58), Edwards (90+2)
||M Whaley (Plymouth), C Mann (Exeter), A Quinn (Plymouth)
|league position: 5th
||next match: Bromley (A)
Report taken from
A brilliant strike from Chris Holland and Darren Edwards' injury-time lob earned Bath City a priceless victory and propelled them into the play-off places at the expense of their beaten opponents.
Inspirational defender Holland showed he is as good with his feet as his head when he controlled a Kaid Mohamed cross with his thigh before drilling the ball home to give City the edge.
And Edwards sealed the win with a fantastic finish two minutes into injury-time, although Staines were complaining that play should have been stopped as the injured Gareth Risbridger was playing the City striker onside.
The result means City are now fifth with three games remaining, two points above Staines who drew a blank despite throwing on three attacking subs in the final 15 minutes.
City boss Adie Britton stuck with the team which beat Worcester City on Easter Monday and was boosted by the return of Hector Mackie on the sub's bench after a hamstring injury.
Staines star striker Ali Chaaban was also fit to lead the line for the visitors, having been an injury doubt before the game.
Despite having plenty riding on it, there were little signs of nerves in the early stages as both teams signalled their attacking intent.
Both Chaaban and Sekani Simpson saw low crosses just evade their team-mates at either end of the pitch, while Simpson also headed over from Darren Edwards' clever lofted pass.
Simpson was looking very lively down the City right and released Kaid Mohamed with a good through ball but defender Yado Mambo was able to get a block on his shot.
All of that happened in the first 10 minutes but the game entered a lull after that and, with the ground bathed in sunshine, took on the feel of a pre-season friendly.
It desperately needed a goal and one almost arrived in the 25th minute when City could only clear a free-kick as far as Howard Newton, whose first-time shot was hacked off the line by the well-positioned Gethin Jones.
Newton went close again 60 seconds later, albeit with less intent, as his cross drifted towards the top corner and had to be clawed away by keeper Ryan Robinson.
Staines were beginning to enjoy some good possession around the City box, forcing a succession of free-kicks and corners, but the home side managed to hold out.
Chaaban was posing a threat and Robinson had to make a good save after the striker had weaved into space before drilling in a low shot.
City were struggling to rediscover their early attacking promise but they did have a glimmer of an opening in the 42nd minute when Mohamed managed to get to the byline and pull back a cross towards the lurking Edwards but the striker fell over and the chance was gone.
Another half-opening went begging on the stroke of half-time as visiting keeper Louis Wells flapped at a corner and then allowed Lewis Hogg to nick the ball off him on the edge of the box but the City midfielder's cross lacked height and was too easily cleared.
Hogg was guilty of another poor touch just seconds after the break when Mohamed rolled a ball into his path which was crying out to be hit first time.
Elliott Godfrey needed no second invitation to shoot seconds later when the ball fell kindly to him on the edge of the City box but Robinson was able to push his firm strike over the bar.
It was a frantic start to the second half and, from a City corner, Holland's goalbound header had to be nodded off the line by visiting right-back Simon Jackson.
But the defender was not to be denied and gave the hosts a precious lead in the 57th minute. A good spell of possession ended with City earning a free-kick on the edge of the box but the chance looked to have been wasted when Adam Connolly hit a poor shot into the wall.
However, the ball bounced across to Mohamed, who did well to work a bit of space before chipping a cross towards the edge of the box where Holland brilliantly controlled with his thigh before rifling a superb low shot into the bottom corner.
The ground erupted and the City supporters in the crowd of 762 were almost celebrating again a couple of minutes later when Simpson burst through on goal but had his shot blocked by Mambo.
Staines thought they had levelled in the 68th minute when a corner dropped perfectly for Gareth Risbridger but his volley took the slightest of deflections as it drifted just millimetres past the far post.
City continued to push for a second goal and Edwards twice had penalty appeals turned down before dragging a shot wide when well placed.
Staines needed an equaliser and boss Steve Cordery made a positive change in the 77th minute, taking off full-back Jackson and sending on John Marquis in attack. Marc Charles-Smith also came on for Newton five minutes later as the visitors went for it.
Marquis almost benefitted from a mistake from Holland, who missed a header, but Sido Jombati was on hand to mop up the danger.
The visitors made their final throw of the dice five minutes from time when Scott Taylor, another striker, came on for Godfrey while Mohamed was replaced by Mackie moments later as Britton made his first change.
Staines unsurprisingly applied plenty of pressure in the closing stages and Chaaban looked set to go through on goal but Jombati again came to the rescue with another well-timed interception.
However, City made the points safe deep into injury-time, albeit in controversial circumstances. Risbridger was lying injured on the edge of the Staines box but referee Marc Whaley played on and when Jim Rollo chipped the ball forward, Edwards was left in acres of space to superbly lift his shot over the advancing keeper and into the net.
Staines complained bitterly and there was still time for their day to get worse when captain Andre Scarlett hauled Mackie back to pick up his second yellow card.