Blue Square South Play-Off Final
Sunday 9 May 2010 - Twerton Park - kick off 2.20pm
||Robinson, Jombati, Rollo, Jones, Holland, Harris, Simpson, Connolly (Browning 4 (Barlett 87)), Edwards, Mohamed (Mackie 84),
Hogg. subs not used: Coupe, Evans.
|man of the match:
||vote and see results here
||Mohamed (pen 56)
||J Amey, C Hatzidakis, I Fissenden
|league position: n/a
||next match: Next Season
Report taken from
Bath City are back among the non-league elite for the first time in 13 years after clinching promotion to the Blue Square Premier this afternoon.
Kaid Mohamed's penalty 11 minutes into the second half was enough to secure victory in the Blue Square South play-off final in front of thousands of ecstatic fans at Twerton Park.
The home side had to withstand tremendous late pressure from Woking before the final whistle went to prompt a mass pitch invasion from the delirious City supporters.
Players and fans celebrated together in front of the main stand as the realisation dawned that they would be playing the likes of Luton Town, Oxford United and Grimsby Town next season.
Both managers stuck with the same 16s they had fielded for their respective play-off semi-final second legs, which meant City were again without a replacement goalkeeper on the bench.
The match generated a huge amount of interest, with hundreds of people snaking back from the turnstiles and down Twerton High Street, and the kick-off had to be delayed for 20 minutes.
When the match finally got under way, it took just 33 seconds for City to earn their first corner. However, it took less time than that for key midfielder Adam Connolly to suffer a hamstring injury in a challenge with Mark Ricketts.
It was immediately obvious he would be unable to carry on and Connolly - City's only ever-present player this season - had to be replaced by Marcus Browning with just four minutes on the clock.
It was a major blow for City and they were almost dealt another one seconds later when Giuseppe Sole went down in the box after being tackled by Chris Holland. However, referee Justin Amey waved away Woking's penalty appeal.
The hosts somehow survived another massive scare in the 11th minute when Nicky Nicolau's cross from the left went through to Moses Ademola at the back post but the winger saw his fierce shot smash against the inside of the post and bounce along the goalline before rolling behind.
City's attacking ambitions were frustrated by the offside flag on a couple of occasions, with Sekani Simpson guilty of going too early when a better-timed run would have seen him go clean through.
However, his next involvement was much better as he held the ball up in the corner before rolling it back to Jim Rollo, whose cross was headed against the outside of the post by a determined Adie Harris.
Woking registered the game's first shot on target in the 40th minute with a Sole free-kick from the edge of the box, comfortably pushed over the bar by keeper Ryan Robinson, but the first half petered out after that.
The game really came to life in the early stages of the second half as City came out looking bright and positive. Browning volleyed over from 25 yards and Mohamed failed to hit the target after being played through by Harris but the momentum was now with the home side.
And it led to a breakthrough in the 56th minute. There was a sense of deja vu as, like in the previous home game against Chelmsford City, it came from a penalty earned by Darren Edwards.
The striker shrugged off Tom Hutchinson to latch on to Harris's through ball and round Ross Worner, only for the keeper to bring him down as he prepared to pull the trigger.
It was a cast-iron penalty and the only bone of contention, as far as the hosts were concerned, was that Worner escaped with a booking rather than being shown a red card.
Mohamed was also booked after confidently despatching the penalty before taking off his shirt during the wild celebrations.
It was a potentially priceless goal for City but it needed a brave save from Robinson at the other end to prevent Sole grabbing an equaliser moments later.
The City keeper had another fright in the 66th minute when he fumbled a Nicolau cross but was relieved to fall on the loose ball as Craig Faulconbridge closed in.
However, the home side were generally looking very solid at the back - with Faulconbridge hardly getting a kick from Chris Holland - so it was no surprise when Woking boss Graham Baker went for broke by sending on the towering Matthew Wright as part of a three-man attack.
His introduction sparked an immediate siege on the City goal, with Woking seeking to exploit their aerial power, but the home side held firm against a barrage of crosses and corners.
The Woking players were on their knees in the 81st minute when they squandered a glorious chance to equalise. A rare lapse in concentration in the home defence allowed Ademola to latch on to Ricketts' flicked header but, with just the keeper to beat, the Woking winger pulled his shot wide of the far post.
That meant Mohamed's penalty still separated the sides and the goalscorer left the pitch to a standing ovation when he was replaced by Hector Mackie with six minutes remaining.
But that was a rare respite in the Woking pressure and the visitors will be wondering how they didn't manage to equalise in the closing stages. Faulconbridge headed the ball into the back of the net from a deep free-kick but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Then the striker missed another great chance moments later when he leaned back as he made connection with Anane's low cross, meaning his shot flew over the bar.
However, that was the last major scare as City managed to see out the closing minutes before the final whistle was greeted with a massive outpouring of joy and delight.