Blue Square Bet Premier
Tuesday 14 February 2012 - Spytty Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Garner, Simpson, Gallinagh, Burnell (c) (Russell 82), Preece, Connolly, M Canham (Hogg 58), Stonehouse, Watkins, Shephard,
Phillips. subs not used: Matthews, Rollo, Egan.
|man of the match:
||Simpson (69), Burnell (73), Stonehouse (87)
|league position: 24th
||next match: Ebbsfleet (H)
Report taken from
A Severnside derby lacking in passion, quality and chances ended in Bath City losing further ground on Newport County in their increasingly forlorn battle against relegation.
.The visitors had the majority of possession but struggled to do anything with it and ultimately paid the price for another moment of sloppy defending, which gifted County the only goal early on.
City, with Joe Burnell in midfield and Mark Preece starting at centre half, made the better start and forged the first chance in the seventh minute when Marc Canham's corner broke to Chris Shephard, whose shot was blocked.
However, not for the first time this season, they shot themselves in the foot by gifting the opposition the lead against the run of play. City's defence failed to deal with a cross from the left and the ball fell to Lee Minshull, who made no mistake from eight yards.
Another error almost handed County a second soon after, with Paul Stonehouse's pass being charged down and putting three home players through on goal. However, Ryan Charles elected to shoot and was denied by a fine near-post save from Glyn Garner.
Despite the setback, City remained confident and committed to a passing game, which should have brought dividends midway through the half. A flowing move ended with Canham pulling the ball back to Lee Phillips, whose shot was only parried by Glyn Thompson. However, Shephard put the loose ball wide of the far post from six yards.
It wasn't the first time in the half that City got some joy down the right but it was the only time a chance came of it, with the final ball being poor on too many occasions.
That meant the visitors were unable to fully capitalise on some hesitant defending from County, with Thompson looking particularly nervous when he drilled a routine clearance straight at Phillips. Fortunately for the home keeper, the ball deflected away from goal and out for a throw.
Phillips also got away from the back four moments later and cut in from the left to create a shooting chance but saw his curling shot take a nick and deflect wide.
County emerged for the second half looking in more determined mood and forced a couple of early corners, the second of which was played low to the unmarked Elliott Buchanan whose drilled shot went through a crowd of players but inches wide of the far post.
City were looking desperately short of fight and spark in midfield, which boss Adie Britton sought to remedy by bringing on Lewis Hogg for a below-par Canham.
But before the change could take affect, City should have found themselves 2-0 down. Again a corner was not cleared and the ball dropped perfectly for Gary Warren inside the six-yard box, only for the former Team Bath defender to smash his volley miles over.
That miss kept City in the game and they almost levelled in the 64th minute when Shephard's low cross from the left was allowed to reach Marley Watkins, whose shot was deflected narrowly wide off target.
Thompson was forced into action for the first time in the second half moments later, showing alertness and good hands when Stonehouse drove a free-kick low towards the near post.
However, despite finishing the stronger team and having five minutes of stoppage time, City were unable to force an equaliser with Stonehouse going closest when he volleyed narrowly over in the dying stages.