FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Saturday 29 October 2011 - Crabble Athletic Ground - kick off 3.00pm
||Garner, Simpson, Gallinagh, Rollo, Jones (c), M Canham, Connolly, Russell, Stonehouse, Watkins, Phillips (Cook 75). subs not used: Matthews, Murray, Hogg, Webb, Preece, Swallow.
|man of the match:
||C Brook, G Kane, J Pike
|league position: n/a
||next match: Grimsby Town (H)
Report taken from
At the end of this match, Bath City boss Adie Britton turned first to his directors and then to the travelling fans before punching the air in delight, writes Andrew Kerslake.
His response was understandable - his side had just recorded their first away victory of the season and, perhaps even more importantly, secured prize money of £12,500 by progressing to the first round proper of the FA Cup.
City could potentially gain another bumper pay day against a Football League club, with teams in Leagues One and Two coming into this afternoon's draw (1pm).
Yet the game could have not have got off to a worse start for the City manager. Sean Canham was missing for family reasons and Joe Burnell was still unavailable, then Lewis Hogg pulled up with a foot injury just minutes before kick-off.
Paul Stonehouse pushed forward to play on the left flank in his absence, although it was Alex Russell who performed the Hogg-style harrying role in midfield.
It was a game that only came to life on the half-hour mark, with much of the early play from both sides being more about possession than threat. The major threats came down the flanks, with Marley Watkins looking potent down the right for City while Dover left-winger Leon Redwood twice got the better of Sekani Simpson to put in dangerous crosses.
Suddenly the game began to open up. First, Watkins got round onrushing keeper Mikhael Ruiz but then saw the ball snatched from him by Tom Wynter as he was about to shoot.
Watkins managed to put the ball in the back of the net a minute later, although referee Carl Brook had already blown for an infringement on Ruiz.
The next chance also fell to City as, from a corner, Andy Gallinagh headed over from close range when it looked easier to score.
City were nearly punished for their profligacy when George Purcell met a cross from the right with a superb back-flick. Keeper Glyn Garner clearly saw it late but acrobatically stretched out his hand to turn the ball over the bar. It was to prove the closest that Dover were to come to scoring all game.
After the match, Britton confirmed that strong words were spoken in the dressing room at half-time, emphasising to his players the vital importance to them and the club of securing a victory.
It was a team-talk that worked wonders as, within 53 seconds of the second half kicking off, City scored the only goal of the game. Stonehouse scampered after a hopeful ball down the left before putting in an instant cross to the heart of the Dover defence. Although there was no City player within ten yards, defender Ollie Schulz elected to hoof the ball into touch for a corner.
Marc Canham's flag kick was flicked on by Lee Phillips to Gethin Jones, whose header came back off the bar but was nodded home from close range by Gallinagh.
Instantly Dover manager Nicky Forster made a double substitution, bringing on Harry Baker and Kyle Vassel to add pace up front.
For a time, City were stretched at the back as Baker made headway down the left flank, leaving Purcell with slightly more space in the middle. He went closest to an equaliser for the hosts, narrowly heading over after a good move involving Barry Cogan and Baker.
From then on the match became a scrappy affair, with Dover resorting to long-ball tactics that were invariably mopped up by either Garner or the defence.
Deep into stoppage time, City had one final scare when Garner punched a free-kick against the back of opposite number Ruiz, who had come forward for the set-piece. The ball dropped for Glen Southam but his volley flew over the bar and City had just their second clean sheet of the season.
City in the first round of the Cup - as Chairman Mandy Rigby agreed, it has a nice ring to it!