FA Trophy 1st Round
Saturday 11 December 2010 - The Glassworld Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||Pentney, Jombati, Ruddick, Jones (c), Webb, Canham (Hogg 55), Watkins, Connolly (Jeanne 78), Russell, Phillips, Mohamed (Murray 58). subs not used: Rollo, Harris.
|man of the match:
||Russell (70, 90+3), Murray (73)
||M McLaughlin, R Earl, T Hollidge
|league position: n/a
||next match: Southport (H)
Report taken from
Bath City are rapidly becoming the comeback kings of non-league football.
Trailing to two soft Histon goals with 20 minutes of today’s FA Trophy first-round tie remaining, they looked like they were heading out of their third cup competition of the season.
Instead, inspired by some timely managerial substitutions, a superb Alex Russell brace and the odd moment of magic from newcomer Leon Jeanne they booked their place in Monday’s second-round draw.
It was the fourth time inside three months Adie Britton’s side had recovered from a two-goal deficit, with Russell’s 90th-minute winner meaning they did not even require a Tuesday night Twerton Park replay to progress.
The first half started much as the Blue Square Bet Premier match between the sides 16 days ago had, with passes going astray and little threat on either goal, although the work-rate of both teams was a considerable improvement on their previous meeting.
Histon made the breakthrough just after the half hour. A ball played down the middle looked easy for the City defence to mop up. Instead, Sido Jombati and Danny Webb both went for it, collided and instead of heading it back for keeper Carl Pentney to collect, only succeeded in putting it into the path of Histon midfielder Daniel Sparkes.
Hardly able to believe his luck, Sparkes took one touch before sliding the ball past Pentney for an easy goal.
City could have got back on level terms just minutes later when Adam Connolly hit a long-range shot well, only for it to be well saved by Histon keeper Joe Welch.
Despite some nice passing moves City had to settle for the one-goal deficit at the interval.
If Britton’s half-time team talk had focused on doing more of the same and not dwelling on a single defensive mistake he was soon made to eat his words early in the second half.
After only eight minutes Sparkes broke down the left and took the ball to the byline before putting in a penetrating cross. It avoided both defence and attack before reaching Zac Attwood, who was left with a tap-in from only a couple of feet.
Another famous City fightback began on 70 minutes, however.
The visitors won a free-kick 20 yards from goal and despite a four-man defensive wall and the 6ft 4ins stature of keeper Welch, Russell curved the ball superbly, placing it in the top right-hand corner of the net.
Three minutes later City were back on level terms. A corner was not cleared by the Histon defence and as players hesitated substitute Scott Murray stepped up to slot home his first goal for the club.
Suddenly the whole balance of the game had turned with the visitors brimming with confidence as they swept forward. Lewis Hogg, who came off the bench for his first match in months, missed a sitter, Murray was denied a second by an upright and Webb had a shot superbly saved by the impressive Welch.
With 12 minutes to go Britton had his last throw of the dice, bringing on Jeanne for a limping Connolly. It might have been only a cameo appearance, but it displayed artistry that if capable of regular repetition will have the Twerton faithful drooling in anticipation.
Just when it looked as though a replay was inevitable and with only seconds remaining of the four additional minutes, Russell clinched victory.
Marley Watkins, another making his comeback from injury, put in a dangerous cross and Russell was on hand to put the ball in the net from close range and send City through to the last 32 of the competition for the first time in six years.