Blue Square Bet Premier
Monday 3 January 2011 - The Racecourse Ground - kick off 3.00pm
||Pentney, Simpson (Murray 59), Jombati, Jones, Rollo (c) (Jeanne 81), Burnell, Connolly, Harris (Hogg 67), Canham, Mohamed, Phillips. subs not used: Robinson, Webb.
|man of the match:
||J Collin, T Harty, E Smart
|league position: 13th
||next match: Luton Town (H)
Report taken from
Gareth Taylor's first-half penalty and a late strike by substitute Mathias Pogba condemned Bath City to defeat on their first-ever visit to the Racecourse Ground.
The visitors played their part in an entertaining contest but struggled to create clear-cut chances and only forced two saves during the afternoon.
Wrexham were no great shakes themselves but were gifted the opening goal 11 minutes before half-time following Kaid Mohamed's clumsy trip on full-back Curtis Obeng in the box.
And Mohamed was at fault again for the second goal, giving the ball away in the build-up to Pogba's killer strike.
With Alex Russell having left for Yeovil Town and Lewis Hogg being rested after playing two full games in four days following a lengthy lay-off, City boss Adie Britton made a couple of changes to the team which started at Newport County on Saturday.
Captain Jim Rollo came in at right-back, with Sekani Simpson pushing forward to the right of midfield, and midfielder Marc Canham was restored to the starting XI, allowing Connolly to play in the support-striker role vacated by Russell.
A bright start to the game saw the visitors earn the first corner after two minutes. However, it was easily collected by Wrexham keeper Chris Maxwell, whose clever kick then released Adrian Cieslewicz at the other end but the winger's curling shot sailed high and wide.
City had settled quickly and were putting together some encouraging attacking moves, one of which ended with Lee Phillips heading over after being picked out at the back post by Connolly's driven cross.
To be fair to the striker, it was a difficult chance but that was not the case at the other end moments later when Cieslewicz's cross from the left found Jay Harris unmarked 12 yards out but he put his free header well wide.
Namesake Adie Harris was similarly off target with the next chance, lifting his shot over the bar after the ball had broke to him on the edge of the box following a mazy run by Connolly.
City were looking dangerous, particularly on the break, but the next opportunity fell to Wrexham, with Jay Harris smashing in a first-time shot from 20 yards which fizzed just over the angle of post and bar.
The visitors were almost gifted an opening from Carl Pentney's subsequent goal-kick, which was headed past an advancing Maxwell by Mark Creighton. The defender's blushes were spared, though, when the home keeper managed to dive on the loose ball just before Phillips could get to it.
City continued to threaten, with Simpson's dangerous cross from the right almost picking out Connolly at the near post, but all their hard work was undone in the 34th minute when Wrexham took the lead from the penalty spot.
An incisive pass down the right released full-back Obeng, who got goalside of the covering Mohamed before having his heels clipped by the City striker. It was a clumsy challenge and gave referee Jake Collin no option but to award a penalty, which Gareth Taylor confidently converted.
The goal visibly lifted Wrexham, who had looked disjointed before then, and both Dean Keates and Cieslewicz had chances to extend their lead only to slip at the vital moment.
Wrexham's resurgence forced a defensive tweak from Britton, with full-backs Rollo and Sido Jombati changing sides, and there was an attacking switch at the start of the second period with Connolly moving to the left and Mohamed going more central.
It almost paid early dividends as Mohamed moved the ball quickly to Simpson, whose cross to the far stick was headed back across goal by Connolly but diverted behind by Creighton for a corner. The subsequent flag-kick found Harris at the near post but his flicked header dropped over the bar.
Wrexham's first chance of the half came from a pinpoint pass from Jay Harris which released Andy Morrell but Pentney was quick off his line to smother the ball at the striker's feet.
The hosts had the ball in the back of the net in the 59th minute but the referee had already blown for a foul on Jombati before Taylor rifled the ball home.
Simpson had been dispossessed during that move and it proved to be his last touch of the ball as he was replaced on the right by Scott Murray.
The substitute's first involvement was to whip in a lovely cross from the flank, which was cut out, and he should have been put through moments later but Mohamed instead elected to shoot from 25 yards - a poor decision seeing as Phillips was also available on the left.
Phillips thought he had a clean run on goal soon after and could not hide his frustration when the linesman's flag went up late but he did get a sight of the target in the 65th minute after finding space at the back post, only to hit his shot straight at keeper Maxwell.
That came just a couple of minutes after Harris had forced a good save from Pentney at the other end and was indicative of how much the game was opening up.
Perhaps with that in mind, Britton took off defensive midfielder Adie Harris and sent on the more creative Hogg, while Wrexham manager Dean Saunders' first changes saw Nat Knight-Percival and Pogba come on for Morrell and Cieslewicz.
As play became more frantic, Wrexham tried to impose some control by playing keep-ball but their approach did not go down well with the home fans, particularly when chances to launch counter-attacks were squandered.
The home side's inability to kill the game off left City in the hunt and they had a good chance to level in the 78th minute when Phillips nodded the ball down for Murray but he couldn't quite get enough power or direction in his volley, which looped straight into the grateful hands of Maxwell.
City survived a scare a couple of minutes later when Keates' inswinging free-kick went across the six-yard box and dropped just wide of the back stick without anyone getting a touch.
Britton took his final gamble with nine minutes to go, taking off defender Rollo and sending on the attacking Leon Jeanne, but it needed a fine last-ditch tackle by Gethin Jones on the hesitant Pogba to keep City in the contest.
However, there was no stopping the substitute four minutes from time as he finally doubled Wrexham's lead. Mohamed's loose pass was intercepted by Harris and he immediately rolled it through to Pogba, who held off Jombati before firing home.
The tidy finish was out of keeping with the rest of Pogba's lumbering performance, which was summed up by a massive air shot which brought roars of laughter from the 2,602-strong crowd.