Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 28 August 2010 - The New Lawn - kick off 3.00pm
|| Robinson, Simpson, Jombati, Jones, Webb, Connolly, Canham, Harris, Hogg (c), Mohamed (Reid 61), Phillips (Mackie 67). subs not used: Edwards, Coupe, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||M Amphlett, R Lovegrove, J Clark
|league position: 17th
||next match: Wrexham (H)
Report taken from
Bath City's first league derby encounter with Forest Green Rovers for 13 years ended in stalemate, despite Lewis Hogg's dismissal.
The City skipper was shown a straight red card midway through the second half after diving in two-footed on Lee Fowler.
But the visitors survived to pick up a useful point helped by three woeful misses by Rovers striker Reece Styche, while Jonathan Else was twice denied by the woodwork.
City boss Adie Britton abandoned his midweek defensive approach at Crawley Town, bringing in creative midfielder Marc Canham for defender Matt Coupe.
Ryan Robinson was fit enough to start in goal against his former club, one of six City players with Forest Green connections.
The home side included two former City players in their 16, Yan Klukowki starting in midfield and the fit-again Scott Bartlett on the bench.
Rovers boss Dave Hockaday made two changes to the side which had started Tuesday's thrilling 4-3 victory at Hayes & Yeading United.
Coming into the team was Else, who grabbed the last-gasp winner in midweek, and he should have hit the target again just two minutes into the game.
City's defence failed to deal with a long throw into the box and the ball fell perfectly for Else eight yards out but his shot grazed the outside of the post.
It was the cue for a bright start by the home side, who pegged City back in the opening ten minutes. When the visitors did get possession, they gave it away too easily by launching long aimless balls forward.
It took 14 minutes for City to register their first effort of note, Hogg unable to direct his far-post header on target from Adam Connolly's driven cross.
City were struggling with Ian Herring's long throws and when the right-back hurled in another dangerous ball in the 17th minute, Klukowski's header dropped onto the roof of the net with Robinson beaten.
A ball over the City defence then threatened to release Styche four minutes later but the striker was dragged down by Danny Webb, earning the visiting centre-half the first booking of the afternoon.
City did get a sight of the Rovers goal 60 seconds later when an incisive flick from Adie Harris found Connolly, who turned his defender on the edge of the box but thumped his left-foot shot just a yard or two over the bar.
Styche became the second player in the book in the 28th minute after catching Robinson in the stomach as the City keeper grabbed a loose ball.
Lee Smith fizzed a shot well wide from 25 yards soon after but City were now looking much more comfortable, Harris getting the visiting fans fired up with a no-holds-barred tackle on Herring.
And they almost took the lead two minutes before the break when a mistake by home skipper Luke Jones allowed a long ball to go through to Kaid Mohamed, who held off Curtis McDonald before drilling in a low shot which keeper James Bittner did well to push round the near post. To add to City's frustration, referee Marvyn Amplett awarded a goal kick rather than a corner.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon came right on the stroke of half-time when Hogg sliced an attempted cross and managed to knock a policeman's helmet off. By the time he had retrieved it, the referee had blown for the interval.
City had made a slow start to the first half and they were caught slumbering again at the opening of the second period as Styche fired narrowly wide with just 21 seconds on the clock.
But the visitors also had an early chance of their own during an exciting start to the half, Mohamed flicking on a long ball for Lee Phillips whose lob from the edge of the box didn't come down in time.
Canham also tried his luck from 25 yards but his first-time shot was also going high and wide.
City were looking much more comfortable but they should have fallen behind in the 52nd minute when Else managed to slide a cross through Sekani Simpson's legs to pick out Styche. However, the Rovers striker seemed surprised by how much space he had and failed to make proper contact, hitting a tame effort against Gethin Jones from six yards.
And the visitors survived another major scare in the 58th minute when Lee Fowler's looping corner was met by Else at the back stick but his header came off the outside of the post.
Rovers manager Hockaday had made his first change of the game moments before then, sending on Steve Davies for Lee Smith, while Britton replaced Mohamed with Jake Reid just after the hour mark.
However, his plans were dealt a major blow two minutes later when Hogg was shown a straight red card following an awful challenge. The City captain over-ran the ball in midfield and, as he attempted to regain possession, dived in two-footed on Rovers midfielder Lee Fowler.
The home players were infuriated by the tackle, which was both rash and unnecessary, and referee Amplett had no hesitation in brandishing the red card.
Britton elected to shore up midfield by taking off Phillips and sending on Hector Mackie, with Reid left to battle on alone up front.
Rovers attempted to crank up the pressure but Robinson's goal came under very little threat, although Styche again should have done better when he twice managed to get behind the City defence in quick succession. However, he blazed his first effort well over the bar before rolling a cross-shot into the keeper's hands.
Those misses almost came back to haunt the Rovers striker in the 78th minute when Connolly dispossessed Lee Fowler and surged to the edge of the box before rolling in Reid, whose low shot was well saved by keeper James Bittner.
Rovers were forced to make their second change of the afternoon when former City plater Klukowski fell awkwardly and limped off to be replaced by James Baldwin.
The home side were, unsurprisingly, the dominant force in the final ten minutes but City soaked up the pressure admirably.
And they almost snatched the points with a couple of minutes to go when the ball broke for Connolly in the Rovers box but his goalbound shot was superbly blocked by McDonald.
However, that was a rare moment of respite for the City defence and they had to survive a barrage of corners during injury-time and a Herring drive which deflected just wide before finally securing that valuable point.