Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday1 January 2011 - Spytty Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Pentney, Simpson, Jones (c), Burnell, Jombati, Mohamed (Webb 62), Connolly, Harris, Hogg, Russell (Murray 35), Phillips (Jeanne 90). subs not used: Canham, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Mohamed (57), Jones (90+4)
|league position: 11th
||next match: Wrexham (A)
Report taken from
Bath City fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst for the opening weeks of 2011 following their sideís poor home display against Forest Green Rovers only four days ago.
But Adie Brittonís team havenít earned their reputation as Blue Square Bet Premierís comeback kings for nothing. They first of all gave a sterling defensive display against second-placed Severnside rivals Newport County this afternoon before eventually snatching all three points with two second-half goals Ė the winner coming from Gethin Jones four minutes into stoppage time.
Britton had already declared before this game that he planned to set up his side defensively, with Adie Harris coming into midfield and Joe Burnell starting at centre back. It was a formation that was to be sorely tested, particularly in the opening stages.
After only five minutes the impressive Darryl Knight broke free down the right and his ball into the centre saw a shot from ex-City loanee Sam Foley scrambled away by keeper Carl Pentney.
Four minutes later Lewis Hogg gave away a free-kick that saw Newportís leading goalscorer Craig Reid head narrowly wide.
City survived the early onslaught but then had to weather further chances from a Knight shot that was blocked by Harris, followed by Hogg clearing off the line.
The visitorsí best move off the half came just after the 30-minute mark. Sekani Simpson picked up the ball just inside the Newport half and City then swept forward down the left and via a quick passing movement involving Adam Connolly and Hogg. The ball was played back to Simpson only yards from goal but his effort just caught a defenderís shin and sailed a yard wide.
The visitors then came under further pressure before the interval with County having a succession of corners. Somehow Pentney managed to punch the ball clear on one occasion while County attackers headed the ball wide on the other two.
The second half looked as if it was going to be more of the same as Knight again got around the City defence and Jamie Collins was only inches away from heading home.
City, however, had other ideas. From a Simpson throw-in just inside the County half the impressive Harris, facing his former club, headed forwards.
The ball was picked up by another ex-Newport man, Kaid Mohamed, who calmly strode forward before sliding the ball between keeper Glyn Thomasís legs for his ninth goal of the season and a customary booking for shirt removal.
From then on the test was always whether could City hang on. Mohamed was rapidly removed to make the formation even more defensive as Danny Webb came on to join Jones and Burnell in a back three, with Simpson and Sido Jombati patrolling the flanks.
With eight minutes to go and City increasingly on the back foot County finally broke through, and again it was Knight down the right who proved the visitorsí tormentor. After City had lost the ball in midfield he supplied a perfect cross for the prolific Reid to slide home his 17th goal of the season.
Yet City were not finished. Newport failed to apply the killer punch and four minutes into time added on the visitors made them pay. Adam Connolly won the ball in midfield and from an acute angle sprayed it out to Scott Murray on the right touchline. Murray then ran forward before playing the ball off the defender for a corner.
Given that City had been under pressure all afternoon from set pieces, the next few seconds were exquisite. The ball was delivered into the box and despite Webbís header being cleared of the line, it came to Jones at the far post and he decisively nodded home to give City perhaps their most unlikely victory of the season to date.