FA Trophy 2nd Roundr
Saturday 15 January 2011 - Northern Echo Darlington Arena - kick off 3.00pm
|| Pentney, Rollo (c) (Murray 52), Ruddick, Jones, Webb, Simpson, Canham, Harris (Jeanne 72), Jombati, Harris, Mohammed. subs not used: Robinson, Phillips, Hart.
|man of the match:
||Adam Connolly/Kaid Mohamed
|league position: n/a
||next match: Crawley Town (H)
Report taken from
Bath City's poor record in the FA Trophy continued after a fruitless trip to the North East ended in a heavy defeat.
City have not progressed past the second round in the competition for six years and they failed to do so again after Darlington ran away with the tie in the second half.
Paul Arnison had given the home side the lead at the end of a lacklustre first half and Liam Hatch doubled it just after the restart before Adam Connolly pulled one back with a quality finish.
However, Aman Verma ended any hopes of a comeback before Hatch rubbed salt in City's wounds with the Quakers' fourth.
With Albinian forward Albjon Blloku not receiving a work permit in time, City boss Adie Britton made just two changes to the team which drew 0-0 with Luton Town last weekend.
Danny Webb came in for the injured Joe Burnell and striker Lee Phillips failed a fitness test on a quad strain, meaning Sido Jombati was pressed into an attacking role with Luke Ruddick - available again after a three-match suspension - taking his place at left-back.
And it was a superb driving run from Ruddick into the box which almost led to City taking an eighth-minute lead. His cut-back from the byline found Kaid Mohamed in the six-yard box but defender Ian Miller was perfectly placed to make the block.
At the other end, left-back Dan Burn tried his luck from 30 yards but hit his shot straight at Carl Pentney, while debutant Nathan Modest - signed on loan from Sheffield Wednesday yesterday - robbed Gethin Jones in the box but blazed his effort high and wide.
Apart from that the game was scrappy, with neither team able to impose themselves on proceedings, and it wasn't until the 20th minute that the next chance arrived, Gary Smith's angled cross being headed just wide of the far post by Darlington striker Hatch.
Ruddick, sent off in his last game against Forest Green Rovers for kicking out at an opponent, was fortunate not to find himself in the book on the half-hour mark after shoving Arnison, who the City full-back felt was impeding him at a throw-in.
It was a rare spark in an otherwise low-key affair, not helped by the vast empty spaces in the 28,000-season Northern Echo Arena.
What home fans there were came to life in the 32nd minute when Modest went through on goal. They thought the striker, whose low shot was well saved by Pentney, was being pulled back by the covering Danny Webb but referee Russell Fletcher disagreed, happy to let play go on.
Jamie Chandler should perhaps have done better when a corner was allowed to reach him on the edge of the box but the half appeared to be petering out.
However, a minute into injury-time, Darlington managed to work the ball to Arnison inside the box. The right-back could have hit it first time but cleverly knocked the ball around a wrong-footed Ruddick before finding the far corner of the net.
It was a poor end to the half for City and the second period began in equally disappointing fashion as Darlington doubled their lead. The visitors managed to clear a dangerous free-kick but were caught napping when the ball was played back into the box, with Hatch scoring at the second attempt after his initial shot was brilliantly saved by Pentney.
The setback prompted an immediate response from City manager Britton, who took off skipper Jim Rollo and sent on Scott Murray, with Sekani Simpson dropping to right-back.
And City did have the better of the next few minutes, although it was Darlington who looked the more likely to score again with Pentney relieved to grab the ball at the second attempt after fumbling Hatch's long-range shot.
Jones had to show good pace to just beat Hatch to a long ball over the top, then Verma put his close-range header straight into Pentney's hands as the visitors sought a killer third goal.
Instead, the next decisive blow went to the visitors as the impressive Adam Connolly latched on to Murray's pass and produced some excellent footwork to create space in the box before drilling a low shot past Quakers keeper Sam Russell and in off the post.
However, Darlington restored their two-goal advantage within four minutes as Curtis Main's flicked pass found Verma, who beat the offside trap before smashing a left-foot shot past Pentney at his near post.
It was a major blow to City and took the wind out of their sails, so it was no surprise when Britton attempted to reintroduce some life to their performance by taking off the defensive Adie Harris and sending on Leon Jeanne.
However, he had barely been on the pitch a couple of minutes before Darlington killed the tie off with a fourth goal. Ruddick gave away a free-kick on the left and the cross was only half-cleared by Webb, allowing Miller to nod the ball down for Hatch to rifle home.
City will be looking to bounce back from this disappointment when they entertain second-placed Crawley Town in the league on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Britton revealed he is hoping to bring in at least one striker on loan before that game and possibly a wide man.