Blue Square Bet Premier
Monday 25 April 2011 - Priory Lane - kick off 3.00pm
||Borhy, Henry (Clough 50), Rollo (c), Webb, Simpson, Canham (Burnell 78), Connolly, Hogg, Jones, Jombati (Mackie 68), Phillips. subs not used: Egan, Robinson.
|man of the match:
||T Robinson, D Cook, L Venamore
|league position: 13th
||next match: Mansfield Town (A)
Report taken from
Bath City’s hopes of a top-half finish in their debut Blue Square Bet Premier campaign were hit by defeat to already-relegated Eastbourne Borough at Priory Lane.
An experimental visiting side turned in a disappointing display in their final away game of the season and were twice saved by the woodwork before deservedly going down to second-half strikes from Richard Pacquette and Jamie Taylor.
The City line-up featured only six players that started Saturday’s 2-1 win over Histon, with reserve keeper Giancarlo Borhy handed his second league appearance of the season after Ryan Robinson dropped to the bench at the 11th hour.
He lined up behind a three-man central defensive unit that included Danny Webb, starting for the first time since suffering a broken cheekbone three months ago, recalled skipper Jim Rollo and Leigh Henry.
The home side were looking to sign off in style in their last home game before dropping back into Blue Square Bet South following three years in non-league football’s top tier and totally dominated the opening quarter of an hour.
Steve Brinkhurst tested Borhy with a low 25-yard drive in the second minute and Eastbourne forced three corners in quick succession soon afterwards, Lewis Hogg twice heading behind before Gethin Jones dived in to block Taylor’s fierce shot.
Dan Kelly’s header from a left-wing Matt Crabb corner came back off the angle of post and bar with Borhy beaten in the 13th minute and then Taylor just failed to convert Pacquette’s driven centre from the opposite flank.
City won their first corner when Sido Jombati, playing in an advanced position behind lone frontman Lee Phillips, saw a hopeful effort from distance deflected behind. The resulting corner from Marc Canham was only cleared as far as Phillips, who fired wide from the edge of the area.
Eastbourne still had the upper hand, though, and Crabb was not too far away with an effort on the run from fully 35 yards.
They went close to taking the lead on three occasions just after the half-hour mark. First, Simon Johnson headed over from a good position after Mick Demetriou’s left-wing cross picked him out before a great move through the middle that cut City open ended with Taylor shooting against Borhy’s right-hand post. As the hosts kept the pressure on the ball fell to Crabb, whose 18-yard strike whistled inches high and wide.
A disjointed City somehow weathered the storm and produced their only meaningful effort on target of the half six minutes before the break. Adam Connolly had an attempt blocked by a defender and Jones fired the loose ball goalwards from 25 yards, only for the underworked Rikki Banks to parry the defender’s shot wide.
The visitors switched to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation at the interval, with Webb moving up front to partner Phillips, Jombati switching to left-back and Jones moving from the left flank to his more favoured central defensive berth.
But the half was barely a minute old when Eastbourne were finally rewarded for their first-half endeavours. Kelly was afforded plenty of time to send over a cross from the right and the ball took a deflection before reaching Pacquette, who was left with the simplest of tasks at the far post.
City boss Adie Britton responded by introducing Charlie Clough for Henry and moments later Webb planted a firm header wide from Sekani Simpson’s right-wing cross.
As the visitors continued to probe, Gary Elphick miscued a clearance over his own bar after Phillips’ great flick sent Hogg clear on the right.
But City were looking increasingly vulnerable at the back, however, and the lively Taylor twice broke clear, first thrashing a first-time shot wide before being denied by the advancing Borhy, who then had to scramble back to his goal to claim the ball after being struck by Jones’ attempted clearance.
City’s best chance of the half – and probably the game – came with 17 minutes left. Canham’s cross from the left drifted across to Simpson on the opposite flank and the full-back hooked a great first-time centre towards the unmarked Webb. The ex-Salisbury man had the goal at his mercy but failed to make any contact with his header and the opportunity was lost.
Banks then made a diving save to his right to hold on to a flicked header from Phillips following another Simpson cross but City rarely threatened after that.
At the other end Pacquette lobbed wide after latching on to Jones’ weak header back to Borhy but the home side secured the points through Taylor with seven minutes left. A long punt from Demetriou found the striker all on his own on the edge of the City area and he finished clinically past a hesitant Borhy with a shot into the bottom corner.
And a bad afternoon almost got even worse for City when substitute George Purcell’s long-range effort squirmed past Borhy and just wide of an upright.
The result saw City slip to 13th spot ahead of their final game of the season, at home to Mansfield Town on Saturday (5.15pm).