Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 9 April - Northern Echo Arena - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Rollo (c), Henry (Murray 45), Jombati , Clough, Connolly , Canham , Burnell, Watkins, Phillips. subs not used: Borhy, Webb, Lennox, Mackie.
|man of the match:
||Lee Phillips/Sido Jombati
||P Graham, N Gibbons, M Rawcliffe
|league position: 11th
||next match: Mansfield Town (A)
Report taken from
Boss Adie Britton was clearly annoyed with Bath City’s lacklustre performance at the Northern Echo Arena this afternoon but refused to put the result down to the succession of long journeys his part-time side are having to undertake at the end of a long season.
Three Darlington goals inside the first 36 minutes put paid to the visitors’ hopes of avenging their 4-1 FA Trophy defeat at the same venue, with Lee Phillips’ second-half reply no more than a consolation.
“Our play was littered with mistakes from beginning to end,” said Britton. “It was a tired performance, particularly defensively, but I don’t think that was down to the travel.
“You can play what system you like but if you make such poor individual decisions then you are going to struggle.”
Starting without the injured Gethin Jones, who picked up a knock in Monday night’s draw at Gateshead, the City back-line made the worst possible start. In the first minute Paul Arnison crossed in from the right and the unmarked Liam Hatch was left with a simple six-yard pass into the net.
City then came back at their opponents and forced five corners in quick succession. Phillips had a shot flicked narrowly wide while Sido Jombati’s dipping cross was tipped over the bar at the last moment by Quakers keeper Sam Russell.
Just when it looked as though City might draw level Arnison again broke down the right. With Ryan Robinson stranded, Leigh Henry failed to reach the ball and Hatch stole in at the far post to head home from the narrowest of angles.
It was only Darlington’s second attack of the match but the experienced former Barnet player again clearly demonstrated his scoring prowess.
From then on City were always playing catch-up and despite having plenty of possession failed to threaten Russell’s goal for the remainder of the half.
Inevitably it was the home side who then added to their goal tally. This time it was the previously subdued John Campbell who broke down the middle, sidestepped Jim Rollo and as Robinson advanced off his line calmly slid the ball beyond the keeper and into the net.
Paul Terry shot narrowly wide off Robinson’s upright as Darlington threatened a fourth goal before the break.
Scott Murray replaced Henry at the break and City instantly created a good chance when Marley Watkins’ cross after a strong run down the left was headed wide by Phillips.
That was enough to rouse the home side into action and a succession of shots rained in on Robinson’s goal, culminating with Arnison’s cracking volley cannoning off the crossbar. Minutes later Hatch fired yet another Arnison cross over the top.
City replied with quarter of an hour to go after probably their best move of the match. Marc Canham played a pass out to Sekani Simpson on the right and the defender stepped over the ball, letting it run through to Murray. The substitute’s run was followed by a near-post cross and Phillips somehow stepped between two defenders to turn and put the ball in the net for his 15th league goal of the season.
It might have been expected that Britton would bring on fresh legs after that but instead he elected to see out the match with only the one substitute used.
In the end it was the home side who could have added to their total when from an Aaron Brown free-kick Darlington substitute Chris Senior put his header wide.