Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 14 August 2010 - Church Road - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Ruddick (Rollo 32), Jones, Webb, Murray (Mohamed 46), Connolly, Harris (Mackie 65), Hogg (c), Canham, Phillips. subs not used: Edwards, Coupe.
|man of the match:
||S Burt (Semilong), A Neil (North Cheam), R Ellis (Burgess Hill)
|league position: 16th
||next match: Rush & D'monds (H)
Report taken from
An opening-day defeat in bizarre weather conditions failed to dampen the optimism of goalscorer Gethin Jones, who believes Bath City have little to fear this season.
The defender was an unlikely candidate to score City's first goal in the Blue Square Bet Premier for 13 years but he did just that when his stunning angled drive from 25 yards flew into the back of the net.
Sadly that strike came in the 91st minute with the visitors already trailing to two Ben Wright goals and with insufficient time to force an equaliser.
Defeat was harsh on City, who looked competitive on their return to the top flight of non-league football but paid the price for two defensive mistakes.
Luck was not on their side either, with Jones having a shot cleared off the line by Lewis Ferrell and Lewis Hogg seeing a peach of a free-kick hit the underside of the bar and the back of keeper Lee Harrison before rolling behind for a corner.
And when Wright scored from an identical position at the other end, curling his free-kick under the body of keeper Ryan Robinson, City knew they were not fated for a winning return.
"It's a cliche I know but it was just one of those days," said Jones.
"Hoggy's free-kick summed it up – the keeper has got nowhere near it and the ball has hit him on the way down from the bar but it didn't go in. Then they went down the other end, got a free-kick and it's gone in.
"But overall I think we looked good and I don't think we've got too much to worry about. I think we'll do well this year as long as we keep battling and keep playing as well as that.
"It used to be a big step-up to the Conference Premier but to be honest non-league is getting so good now that there is only a little progression between the divisions.
"The only thing we will see, when we are playing the full-time boys, is they will be a little more organised as they have time to work on things. Fitness-wise, we just have to do a bit more work in our own time."
City certainly did not look out of place physically against a Hayes team which turned full-time in the summer but they did have a couple of lapses in concentration which ultimately cost them dearly.
After an evenly-matched first half, the visitors fell behind two minutes into the second period when Adie Harris's attempted clearance from an Ahmed Dean cross fell to Wright, who took full advantage.
That was the cue for ten mad minutes in the City defence and Robinson had to make three fine saves to keep Adie Britton's men in the game.
But as thunder and lightning emanated from leaden skies, City seemed to weather the storm on the pitch and were gradually gaining the upper hand when the killer second goal arrived.
Marc Canham gave away a free-kick in a dangerous area eight minutes from time and Wright – on loan from Peterborough – sent a low effort around the wall and underneath Robinson, who could have done better.