Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 23 April 2011 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Jombati, Jones (c), Clough, Burnell, Connolly (Egan 67), Canham, Murray (Mackie 73), Phillips, Watkins (Hogg 56). subs not used: Rollo, Webb.
|man of the match:
||Watkins (8), Hogg (75)
||A Bennett (Devon), I Roberts (Cambourne), M Whaley (Plymouth)
|league position: 11th
||next match: Eastbourne (A)
Report taken from
Lewis Hogg marked his first appearance for two months by volleying home a superb winner for Bath City against a spirited Histon side.
The midfielder has been sidelined by a pelvis problem but came off the bench to seal three more points for Adie Britton's men.
The hosts had taken an early lead through Marley Watkins' header but relegated Histon responded well in the second half and levelled through Daniel Sparkes.
A lively start saw Hinton captain Antonio Murray almost capitalise on an awkward bouncing ball inside the opening 20 seconds but home keeper Ryan Robinson was alert to the danger.
City were also quickly into their stride, though, and should have taken the lead in the fourth minute. Marc Canham shaped to cross a free-kick into the box but instead rolled it back to Adam Connolly, whose low pass found Charlie Clough at the back post.
The City player looked to have the simple task of just guiding the ball into the net but instead his shot deflected off Histon defender Jim Stevenson and went wide.
However, the home fans did not have to wait too much longer to celebrate the opening goal. A period of controlled possession ended with Scott Murray whipping in a fine cross from the left for fellow winger Marley Watkins to emphatically head home from eight yards.
The game went into a bit of a lull after that but there was a flash of excitement in the 21st minute when the ball fell invitingly for Connolly on the edge of the box. However, his half-volley, while well struck, was straight at keeper Wes Foderingham.
With the sun beating down and the tempo dropping, the game increasingly had an end-of-season air about it and it took until the 30th minute for Histon to produce their first shot on goal, an angled drive from Omer Riza which hit the legs of Robinson at the near post.
Riza had an even better opportunity a couple of minutes later after being picked out by Sparkes but Sido Jombati managed to get a vital block on his goalbound shot.
And a period of good pressure from the visitors ended with Sparkes also forcing an excellent save from Robinson after Dee Okojie's low cross had reached him at the back post.
The second half started in similar vein to the first, with Murray having a sniff of goal inside the opening minute but dragging a 20-yard shot wide of the near post.
City took a while to get going but looked set to double their lead in the 52nd minute when a wonderful long ball from Clough found Sekani Simpson surging down the right flank and behind the Histon defence.
The full-back got into the box and rolled the ball across for Phillips to tap home but defender Erkan Okay had tracked back well and managed to prevent the City striker making a clean contact.
City boss Britton, now also temporary chairman, made his first change in the 56th minute when goalscorer Watkins came off to be replaced by Hogg, who was making his first appearance since February 22 following a pelvis injury.
He went into midfield alongside Joe Burnell, who tested Histon keeper Foderingham with a well-struck dipping volley which had to be pushed over the bar.
And that save looked all the more important when Histon equalised four minutes, a well-worked move ending with Sparkes latching on to Riza's incisive pass and rounding keeper Robinson before slotting the ball home.
Britton's response was to take off Connolly and send on 17-year-old Josh Egan for his City debut but Histon were now looking the more likely and Robinson had to make a good block to deny the sharp Riza.
However, the Histon striker appeared to strain his groin as he turned to shoot and limped off soon after to be replaced by Joe Asensi.
The subsitute's first involvement was to help set up Murray but the Histon captain snatched at his shot and failed to hit the target from 16 yards.
The other Murray on the pitch, City's Scott, was replaced by Hector Mackie as Britton sought to get his team back into the game.
And his substitutions paid off in style in the 74th minute. A deep cross by Egan was chested down by Phillips but he was quickly closed down by Foderingham. However, that meant the keeper was out of position when the clearance fell to Hogg, who expertly sent a dipping volley into the gaping net from 30 yards.
It was a finish of real quality and swung the momentum of the game firmly back in City's favour and they should have killed the game off when Canham's deep free-kick found Clough at the back post but he headed over from close range.
Histon manager David Livermore made his two final changes, sending on Elliott Cox and Hakri Hawkins for Dee Okojie and Ekran Okay respectively.
But City were still in control, although Mackie was wild with a cross and failed to pick out two unmarked City players in the box after comprehensively beating the offside trap.
Histon were still in contention and almost equalised in the 90th minute when Lee Smith curled in a free-kick which bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Gethin Jones also rattled the woodwork at the other end moments later, heading against the post from a corner.
But Hogg's goal proved to be the winner and City will now be looking to get past the 60-point barrier when they visit Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday (3pm).