Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 22 January 2011 - Moss Lane - kick off 3.00pm
||Pentney, Jombati, Rollo (c) (Harris 86), Jones, Webb, Ruddick, Canham, Connolly, Watson (Murray 76), Phillips, Mohamed.
subs not used: Robinson, Simpson, Hogg.
|man of the match:
||Phillips (36,88), Mohamed (81)
||R West, N Guest, M Parker
|league position: 13th
||next match: AFC Wimbledon (H)
Report taken from
A brilliant piece of quick thinking from a disputed free-kick set Bath City on their way to a significant and deserved victory over struggling Altrincham.
Gethin Jones went tumbling on the edge of the box in the 35th minute and, while the Altrincham players were busy appealing for a dive, Marc Canham put the ball down and tapped it to the City defender, who had been left unmarked in the penalty area.
His shot was well parried by keeper Stuart Coburn but Lee Phillips followed up to sweep the loose ball into the net, despite appeals for offside.
The goal was greeted with anguished cries of 'cheat' from the home fans but, on the balance of play, City had done enough to earn the advantage.
And they went on to make the points safe with two late goals, Kaid Mohamed atoning for a penalty miss - which resulted in Altrincham's Wes Baynes being sent off - and Phillips tapping home his second.
City went into the vital game with a positive approach, pairing the returning Phillips with loanee striker Ben Watson in a two-man attack.
And they forged an immediate understanding as City created several good openings in the first half.
It was from a Phillips lay-off that Adam Connolly put Watson through for an angled shot which was comfortably saved by Coburn.
Phillips then released Mohamed, who shot wide of the near post, before trying his luck from 25 yards but his drive was always rising and sailed over the bar.
Jones, playing as the spare man in a back three, was encouraged to get forward when City had possession and it was his pass which sent Mohamed through but he couldn't get the ball under control and blazed high and wide.
Considering their lowly position, Altrincham had shown little fight in the opening 25 minutes but were almost gifted an opening goal when Jim Rollo headed a near-post cross up in the air, then Carl Pentney twice failed to punch clear, leaving Michael Twiss with a clear sight of goal but his effort missed the target.
City went straight down the other end and had another chance to open the scoring when Watson pushed the ball past one defender, then battled past another before firing in a shot which Coburn did well to parry.
Altrincham's only other chance of the half came on the 30-minute mark when Damian Reeves found space between Rollo and Jones but, just as he was lining up his shot, Danny Webb stretched a leg out to prod the ball behind for a corner.
Within five minutes, that intervention looked even better as City took the lead and the nature of the goal seemed to knock Altrincham out of their stride as the visitors dominated the closing stages.
City also started the second half brightly and Connolly will perhaps feel he should have hit the target after cleverly working some space 25 yards out.
Altrincham attempted to get back into the game but were restricted to a couple of long-range efforts from Sam Hewson and Mark Beesley, both of which failed to hit the target.
The hosts made two changes midway through the half, sending on Nicky Clee and Chris Denham for Robbie Lawton and Twiss, but they found themselves a player down a couple of minutes later.
Again the home crowd were enraged as Mohamed appeared to handle the ball before surging through on goal. Referee Richard West played on then but blew up when the City striker was brought down by Wes Baynes inside the box.
Baynes saw red and Rob Williams was booked during the ensuing argument over the decision and the fact that it took three minutes for the penalty to be taken may have put Mohamed off as his shot was saved by Coburn.
Altrincham were in uproar again a couple of minutes later when Shaun Densmore crashed over Jones' outstretched leg in the box. However, the referee played advantage, only for Beesley to drag his shot wide of the far post.
That proved to be the final fling for the hosts as, with nine minutes to go, City got a killer second goal. Coburn gave away an unnecessary corner and when Sido Jombati flicked Canham's flag-kick across the box, Mohamed was on hand to atone for his penalty miss.
Connolly curled a shot wide of the far post before City made it 3-0 with a couple of minutes to go. Mohamed's blocked shot fell to Canham who, rather than shoot, instead spread play wide to substitute Scott Murray and his low cross was tucked away by Phillips.
Altrincham had a couple of chances to grab a late consolation but Carl Piergianni headed wide at the far post and Reeves smashed an attempted lob out of the ground.
Connolly and Mohamed also went close to adding to City's total but three goals was enough to secure an impressive victory.