Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 7 January 2012 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Matthews, Simpson, Stonehouse, Jones (c), Burnell (Preece 80), Watkins, Connolly, M Canham, Russell (Rollo 89), Hogg, S Canham (Phillips 82). subs not used: Garner, Cook.
|man of the match:
||S Canham (5)
||Hogg (45), M Canham (56), Preece (90)
||W Barratt (Bromsgrove), A Bromley (Plymouth), S Plane (Plymouth)
|league position: 24th
||next match: Basingstoke Tn (H)
Report taken from
Bath City's hopes of achieving back-to-back wins for the first time this season were dashed by a controversial injury-time penalty.
Sean Canham's early opener looked to have been enough to secure three more precious points, only for referee Wayne Barratt to point to the spot in the fourth minute of time added on.
He alleged that Sean Marks had been pulled down in the box by substitute Mark Preece but the video replay suggests he ran into one of his own players. Regardless, the penalty was awarded and while Marks' effort was brilliantly saved by Jason Matthews, the Irons striker tapped home the rebound to snatch an unlikely point for the visitors.
It was cruel on City, who were without the in-form Scott Murray after the winger, who had scored in his previous five games, was given time off for compassionate leave.
Alex Russell came into midfield, allowing Watkins to take Murray's place on the right and Lewis Hogg to go wide left in support of striker Sean Canham.
And the attacking trio combined beautifully in the fifth minute to give City the lead. Watkins' incisive pass found Hogg in acres of space in the box and his cross-shot was tapped home at the back post by Canham.
It was the striker's second goal in as many games since returning on loan from Hereford United and he had another chance to add to his tally moments later after Watkins brillantly back-heeled Paul Stonehouse's cross into his path but Canham sliced his first-time effort wide.
Braintree were struggling to get into the contest but did go close in the 21st minute when a corner from the right was firmly headed towards goal by defender Matt Paine but pushed to safety by City keeper Matthews.
Play immediately went up the other end and Sean Canham's flick found Watkins, who cleverly lobbed the advancing keeper but saw his effort drop onto the roof of the net.
The City winger went even closer just before the half-hour mark after shimmying past three defenders and lofting a shot over Nathan McDonald, only to see it bounce off the far post to safety.
Russell and Canham also tried their luck without success and Gethin Jones had a header saved from a free-kick as City remained largely in control but a swift break almost led to an equaliser for the visitors when Aswad Thomas picked out Andy Yiadom, whose shot flew into the side-netting.
Yiadom had another sight of goal moments later when City were caught napping from a corner but the Braintree winger failed to hit the target from the edge of the box.
City deserved to lead at half-time and Marc Canham twice had the chance to double their advantage in the opening minutes of the second period, Hogg teeing him up on both occasions, but the midfielder's shots sailed over the bar.
The home side's failure to bag a second goal meant Braintree were still well in contention and Ben Wright thought he had levelled midway through the second half as his 30-yard free-kick sailed towards the top corner, only for Matthews to brilliantly tip it over the bar.
The resulting corner was partially cleared as far as Wright, whose cross picked out Yiadom at the back post but the Braintree winger headed over from six yards.
City had gone off the boil but had three chances to kill the game off with 12 minutes remaining - all squandered. Watkins had a shot blocked by keeper McDonald, then tried to tee up Hogg whose first touch was too heavy and allowed a defender to challenge. However, the ball broke invitingly for Adam Connolly, only for the midfielder to blaze his shot over the bar.
A couple of changes saw Mark Preece come on for Joe Burnell at the back and Sean Canham be replaced by Lee Phillips, whose first touch was to put the ball in the net. However, he had strayed into an offside position by the time Hogg put a delayed pass through to him.
And City paid the price for their failure to kill the game off in injury-time when Marks went down in the box, then scored at the second attempt after Matthews saved his initial penalty.