Blue Square Bet Premier
Tuesday 15 February 2011 - Rockingham Road - kick off 7.45pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Ruddick (Hogg 68), Jones (c), Burnell, Jombati, Canham, Connolly, Watkins (Murray 77), Mohamed, Watson.
subs not used: Borhy, Rollo, Phillips.
|man of the match:
||Simpson (52), Ruddick (64)
|league position: 13th
||next match: Rushden (A)
Report taken from
Bath City were dealt a cruel late blow at Kettering Town tonight when Danny Mills curled home a stunning winner with just two minutes to go.
The substitute, who only joined on loan from Peterborough United yesterday, cut in from the left before bending a brilliant shot past the helpless Ryan Robinson from 22 yards.
Defeat was tough on City, who had recovered well from a poor start which saw captain Gethin Jones concede a tenth-minute penalty which Jean-Paul Marna converted.
The visitors went on to look the more threatening of the two sides but only had one goal to show for their attacking intent, with Sido Jombati's 31st-minute shot bouncing off the underside of the bar and being helped into the net by defender Marcus Kelly.
City boss Adie Britton made two changes to the team which started against Tamworth on Saturday, with Ben Watson - who scored the opening goal against the Lambs - being picked to lead the line rather than Lee Phillips. Luke Ruddick also came in at the back to replace the injured Jim Rollo.
The game kicked off in torrential rain and it was the home side who adapted quickest to the slippy conditions underfoot, although many of the travelling fans were not in the ground to see the opening exchanges as the Supporters Club coach had broken down en route.
Kettering looked certain to take the lead in the fifth minute when Callum Wilson's low cross skidded through to Paul Furlong eight yards out but Sekani Simpson brilliantly threw himself in the way of the shot to deflect it behind for a corner.
The flag-kick was cleared back to Wilson, whose inswinging cross dropped on to the roof of the net with City keeper Ryan Robinson furiously backpedalling.
Kettering went on to force two more corners in quick succession in the tenth minute - and the second one led to the opening goal. Jones was adjudged to have handled the cross during an aerial tussle with Furlong and Marna coolly tucked away the resulting spot-kick.
City were struggling to get into the game and had another lucky escape in the 21st minute when Ruddick was dispossessed in midfield by Wilson. Furlong was in acres of space in the middle but the young winger took too many touches and found his team-mate in an offside position when he finally played the pass.
The visitors had to wait until the 28th minute to record their first shot on goal. It came at the end of a swift break, which started with Robinson and involved Kaid Mohamed, Marley Watkins, Marc Canham and Watson, whose lay-off was drilled goalwards by Adam Connolly. However, experienced Poppies keeper Willy Gueret was able to hold on to it at the second attempt.
City were beginning to pose more of a threat and Gueret did well to intercept a Watkins cross at the near post with Mohamed and Watkins lurking in the centre.
The visitors were finding more space around the Kettering penalty box so it did not come as a surprise when they drew level in the 31st minute, although they did so in strange circumstances.
Connolly showed great determination to win a loose ball in the box and prod it to Jombati, whose lofted shot was tipped onto the underside of the bar by Gueret. Kelly raced back in an attempt to clear the danger but only succeeded in heading the ball into his own net.
City thought they had taken the lead a couple of minutes when Mohamed rifled an explosive shot past Gueret from 25 yards but the flag had gone up for offside.
The visitors now looked dangerous on every attack and Watkins was twice unlucky in quick succession, first with a low cross which evaded everyone in the box and then with an angled drive which Gueret pushed just past the far post.
In between those efforts was a glorious chance for Kettering's Nick McKoy, who was found in space by Wilson, but the Poppies winger miscued his shot and the ball was volleyed clear.
But it was all City at this stage and Canham was desperately unlucky to see his shot take a huge deflection off Ian Roper, which saw it loop onto the crossbar. Kettering only half cleared the rebound but Mohamed dragged the ball wide from eight yards.
City ended the first half on a high but it was Kettering who almost got the second half off to a flier when Luke O'Neill's cross was headed narrowly wide by Wilson.
Simpson became the first City player to go in the book following a foul on Marna, although the greasy conditions make the tackle look worse than it actually was.
It had been a fairly even start to the second half but City gradually began to assume the upper hand again, with Watson just off target on the stretch and Gueret forced to push over Roper's sliced clearance following another testing cross by Watkins.
Kettering boss Marcus Law was clearly unimpressed with his teams display and made three changes in five minutes, bringing on Sol Davis, Romone McCrae and Mills.
Britton sent on his first substitute midway through the half, Lewis Hogg replacing Ruddick who was booked moments before for a crunching tackle on Wilson.
The winger was the Poppies' main threat and City keeper Robinson was relieved that no-one was lurking behind him after Wilson's cross sailed over his head in the 74th minute.
Poppies skipper Brett Solkhon did manage to divert home a Wilson cross two minutes later but the home celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Scott Murray came on for Watkins with 14 minutes to go and was involved in a move that led to a corner which defender McCrae nodded just past his near post.
Murray also warmed Gueret's hands after cutting in from the right before firing in a left-footed shot, while Robinson survived a scare at the other end after missing another Wilson cross.
However, he was beaten all ends up in the 89th minute when Mills showed his Football League quality by curling home a goal worthy of winning any game.