Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 20 August 2011 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Garner, Simpson, Stonehouse, Jones (c), Preece, Mills (Rollo 82), Connolly, Hogg, Russell, Cook (Murray 63), Phillips. subs not used: Webb, Burnell, Matthews.
|man of the match:
||Phillips (37), Mills (79)
||M Bull (Chelmsford), M Tweed (London), K Kirkbridge (Uxbridge)
|league position: 22nd
||next match: Hayes & Yeading (A)
Report taken from
Adam Boyes' close-range strike midway through the second half condemned Bath City to a second successive home defeat.
It wasn't until April last season that Adie Britton's men suffered back-to-back reverses in the league but that has happened just three games into the current campaign.
City lacked a cutting edge throughout, with a frustrating afternoon being summed up in the 69th minute when Lee Phillips' penalty was saved by visiting keeper Danny Hurst.
Home boss Britton made three changes to the team which started the midweek 2-0 defeat to Wrexham, two of them enforced by injuries.
Marley Watkins was unable to feature while Joe Burnell's calf strain restricted him to a place on the bench. Their absences meant first starts for Jamie Cook and Gary Mills since their summer moves, while Adam Connolly came in for Scott Murray.
Barrow, ravaged by injuries and suspensions, could only name four players on the bench and they found themselves under some pressure during the opening exchanges as City sought an early goal.
They were almost gifted it in the fifth minute when a mix-up between visiting keeper Danny Hurst and defender Adam Quinn left the ball bouncing towards an open net with City striker Phillips racing in to apply the final touch. However, Quinn recovered well to get back and prod the ball behind for a corner.
Alex Russell saw a snap-shot on the turn fly just inches wide and Lewis Hogg warmed Hurst's hands with a well-struck half-volley from a tight angle as City asked all the early questions.
They almost produced an early goal of the season contender midway through the first half after a one-touch move of the highest quality between Russell, Connolly and Lewis Hogg. It ended with the latter finding space on the edge of the box and whipping in an inswinging cross for Phillips, whose diving header was well parried by Hurst.
The loose ball fell to Connolly 12 yards out but it was too high for him to control his volley, which flew just over the bar.
It was a move which summed up City's positive start to the game but they were unable to force the breakthough, with Cook hitting the side-netting after forcing his way into the box.
Barrow had hardly been in the game but they could have snatched the lead against the run of play on the half-hour mark. Paul Rutherford broke up a City attack on the edge of his own box and surged forward, playing an incisive one-two with Andy Cook to be left a clear run on goal.
However, the Bluebirds midfielder seemed to be in two minds whether to shoot or cross and ended up doing neither, scuffing his kick and allowing Mark Preece to scramble the ball to safety.
That move did at least spark the visitors into life and they went on to earn their first corner soon after, although it came to nothing. Jack MacKreth also found himself in a good position in the City box but failed to pick out a team-mate with his cross.
The winger did manage to find Louis Almond with a mis-hit cross moments later but he was quickly closed down by Sekani Simpson, who produced a good block.
But Barrow were now enjoying their best spell of the half, with MacKreth's pace causing plenty of problems down the right flank.
And it was from another of his crosses that Andy Cook found himself in space at the back post, only for his volley to take a slight deflection off a defender and drop just wide of the far post with City keeper Glyn Garner stranded.
City's performance levels had dropped in the latter stages of the first half but they almost made a flying start to the second when Connolly's incisive pass released Phillips but the striker's shot was well blocked by Mike Pearson.
Barrow did not have to wait as long for their first shot in the second period, with just three minutes gone when home keeper Garner misjudged a free-kick and allowed it to fall to Andy Cook inside the six-yard box. However, he also seemed surprised that the ball had reached him and spooned his volley over the bar.
Apart from those couple of incidents, it was quite a flat start to the second half so it was no surprise when joint Barrow bosses David Bayliss and Darren Sheridan elected to make a change, with Robin Hulbert coming on for Almond.
The former Bristol City man had barely arrived on the pitch when City almost made the breakthrough, captain Gethin Jones heading narrowly wide from Hogg's well-delivered corner.
Another ex-Bristol City player was introduced to the fray in the 63rd minute, this time for the home side, with Murray replacing Jamie Cook. The striker was unable to make an impact on his first start since signing from Crawley Town and is clearly still seeking full match sharpness.
By contrast, Barrow striker Adam Boyes has made a superb start to the season and scored for the third time in as many games to finally break the deadlock in the 66th minute.
MacKreth was again heavily involved, forcing his way to the byline and pulling the ball back across the six-yard box for Boyes to force home despite pressure from Preece.
The goal was a blow to City but they were handed a glorious chance to get back on level terms three minutes later when Paul Smith was adjudged to have brought down Russell in the box. However, Phillips' penalty was too close to Bluebirds keeper Hurst, who dived low to his right to make a fine save.
It was indicative of City's afternoon and there was more frustration in the 78th minute when Murray beat the onrushing Hurst to a Hogg pass and pushed the ball around the keeper but, with the goal gaping, the winger could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.
Holding midfielder Gary Mills was booked for a foul on Barrow sub Hulbert and, moments later, found himself being replaced by club captain Jim Rollo, who was making his first appearance of the season.
But, despite a brief scare when Paul Stonehouse's floated free-kick had to be tipped over the bar, Barrow held on comfortably to claim their first win of the season.
City will be looking to do the same when they visit Hayes & Yeading United on Tuesday (7.45pm).