Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 10 September 2011 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Garner, Simpson, Stonehouse, Preece (Russell 71), Jones (c), Watkins, Canham (Burnell 64), Connolly, Swallow, Hogg (Cook 39), Phillips. subs not used: Rollo, Clough.
|man of the match:
||Phillips (15), Burnell (89)
||R Whitton (Braintree), R Hodges (Milton Keynes), A Serrano (Hemel Hempstead)
|league position: 24th
||next match: York City (A)
Report taken from
Bath Cityís nightmare start to the new Blue Square Bet Premier season continued on Saturday when they were beaten at home by Southport.
Adie Brittonís side are now without a win in their opening seven fixtures and continue to prop up the standings after another disappointing afternoon.
Dan Walkerís early strike looked likely to be the difference between the sides at Twerton Park until a dramatic final quarter of an hour. Tony Gray doubled the visitorsí lead with 13 minutes left but Marley Watkins grabbed an immediate response.
Try as they might, City could not quite force an equaliser and the most worrying thing for Britton will be why the majority of his sideís attacking impetus came when they were two goals down.
Coming into the match on the back of a break of almost two weeks after their previous 3-0 defeat at Forest Green Rovers, City got off to a sluggish start and were behind inside three minutes.
Lewis Hogg lost possession in midfield and Shaun Whalley raced upfield to find Gray. Mark Preece failed to get in a clean challenge and Gray released strike partner Walker, who curled the ball around Glyn Garner and into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Lee Phillips then wasted a glorious chance to get the home side level after a quarter of an hour when he headed Marc Canhamís free-kick straight at Tony McMillan.
Few further clear-cut opportunities materialised before the break but there was more anguish for City, with Hogg leaving the field on a stretcher after suffering a knee injury.
Garner produced a superb save to deny Kevin Lee from point-blank range early in the second half and City went close to forcing an equaliser from the counter-attack. Phillips found himself with the ball inside the Southport box and brought a smart stop from McMillan with a curling effort and the hosts could not quite force the ball over the line in the ensuing goalmouth melee.
With time running out, Gray looked as if he had killed the game when he grabbed the visitorsí second, smashing home a Lee cross after Steve Daly had flicked on.
However, City were in no mood to lie down and Watkins halved the deficit within two minutes. The midfield ace was in the perfect position to rifle home Alex Russellís pass from close range.
Last seasonís comeback specialists mounted another late charge, with a powerful Gethin Jones header and a brilliant swerving effort from Russell bringing the best out of McMillan.
The visitors were not to be denied, though, and left City with a lot to think about ahead of Tuesday nightís tough trip to York City (7.45pm).