Blue Square Bet Premier
Monday 4 April 2011 - The International Stadium - kick off 7.45pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Jombati, Jones (c), Rollo (Murray 66), Henry (Clough 58), Connolly, Canham (Mackie 83), Burnell, Watkins, Phillips.
subs not used: Borhy, Lennox.
|man of the match:
||Jones (82), Watkins (86), Clough (88)
||R Joyce, W Broadbent, C Woodall
|league position: 9th
||next match: Darlington (A)
Report taken from
Charlie Clough’s late header ensured Bath City made the long trip home from Gateshead last night with something to show for their efforts as they extended their unbeaten Blue Square Bet Premier run to five matches.
The City squad headed north yesterday morning and are not due home until around 5am but looked destined to end up empty-handed after trailing to Nathan Fisher’s early goal for much of a bitterly cold night.
However, City yet again demonstrated their potential to come back from the dead when, with two minutes to go, Clough glanced home Scott Murray’s right-wing centre to register his first goal for the club and send the 20 visiting fans into raptures.
City began on the back foot as Gateshead poured forward in numbers, determined to avenge their 1-0 defeat at Twerton Park on Saturday. Despite that it was the visitors who had the first shot on target when Marc Canham unleashed a curving tenth-minute effort that keeper Tim Deasy could only gather at the second attempt.
However, the home side did not have long to wait for a goal. The ball was played deep down the left hand side for Fisher and the forward took one touch before unleashing a fierce shot across goal and into the far corner, leaving Ryan Robinson stranded.
The home side should have been 2-0 up just four minutes later but this time Robinson was able to save from Jon Shaw at point-blank range.
From then on it was all Gateshead with City’s defence, bolstered by Jim Rollo playing as a sweeper, seeing most of the action. On 35 minutes Leigh Henry – making his first start since signing from Swindon Supermarine - nearly scooped the ball into his own net from a corner. This was followed in quickly by Martin Brittain putting a close-range shot just wide of the upright.
Right on the half-time whistle the home side spurned a further chance when an unmarked Shaw put the ball wide from Andy Ferrell’s cross
City’s chances were few and far between, although Sido Jombati was unfortunate to put the ball over the bar after Henry headed on a Canham corner with 20 minutes gone. Five minutes before the interval City had a further chance when a one-two between Adam Connolly and Marley Watkins saw the former put the ball uncharacteristically over the top.
The second half promised more of the same, with Gateshead pressing down either flank and City leaving Lee Phillips to battle away on his own up front. The home side again went close when Fisher had a 25-yard shot tipped round the post by Robinson.
However, the turning point came with three crucial substitutions. City made the first move, with Clough replacing Henry just before the hour. Moments later the defence switched to a flat back four, with Scott Murray coming on for Rollo. Equally important was the exit of the excellent Ferrell, who City had already faced once before this season when he was on loan at Barrow, due to a knee injury.
Instantly City’s attack began to look more potent, with Murray racing down the right and Connolly getting further forward into the attack. In the end it was this combination that led to the City goal.
With only minutes remaining Murray laid the ball back to Connolly and his well placed cross to the heart of the home defence saw Clough rise to glance the ball expertly beyond Deasy. It was the cue for riotous celebration from the team and the small cadre of City fans, although the young defender, on loan from Bristol Rovers, celebrated by removing his shirt and whirling it round his head for which he received the customary booking - Kaid Mohamed eat your heart out!
On Saturday, a defiant and angry Gateshead manager Ian Bogie had labelled his side not mentally tough enough in his post-match interview.
Tonight he simply looked weary, as if he had seen more than enough of Bath City, the side he had rashly predicted last week his men would take six points from over the two matches. Instead he had to settle for just the one.