Blue Square Bet Premier
Tuesday 21 February 2012 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Matthews, Simpson (Rollo 46), Gallinagh, Jones (c), Preece, Murray, M Canham (Watkins 74), Connolly, Hogg, S Canham, Phillips (Shephard 58). subs not used: Cook, Doherty.
|man of the match:
||L Swabey (Plymouth), A Matthews (Stroud), K Morrison (Hereford)
|league position: 24th
||next match: Kidderminster (H)
Report taken from
Bath City's latest self-inflicted defeat could prove to be the fatal blow as it leaves them nine points adrift of victorious Hayes & Yeading United at the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Once again Adie Britton's men only had themselves to blame as another moment of shambolic defending allowed their fellow strugglers to take a first-half lead.
City's back line allowed a long clearance to bounce on the edge of the box and, as keeper Jason Matthews raced into no-man's land, Michael Thalissitis had the simple task of sending a looping header into the gaping net.
Ironically, Matthews had been recalled to the team following a costly mistake by Glyn Garner which gifted Ebbsfleet United the opening goal on Saturday - just one in a long line of poor goals conceded in recent weeks.
Winger Scott Murray also returned after a hamstring injury and Marc Canham was restored to the starting XI, with Marley Watkins and Joe Burnell making way.
With both teams having won just four league games between them since November, it was perhaps no surprise that the game was an extremely tentative affair.
It was the 17th minute before the first meaningful threat on goal arrived - and it should have led to the opener for City. Adam Connolly's driven cross from the right was diverted goalwards by Sean Canham inside the six-yard box but straight into the face of Hayes keeper Steve Arnold.
City worked some decent positions without creating much - and then pressed the self-destruct button seven minutes before half-time when Thalissitis capitalised on some hesitant defending and a misjudged charge from his line by keeper Matthews to head a long clearance into the empty net.
It was a massive blow to City and it could have got worse seven minutes into the second period when Luke Williams produced some good footwork before picking out Julian Owusu with a cross, only for the striker to head over from six yards.
He missed another glorious chance midway through the half when a City corner was cleared to Hogg, who was dispossessed in midfield. A quick pass sent an offside-looking Owusu clear on goal but Matthews made amends for his earlier error by racing off his line to make a brilliant block on the edge of the box.
The keeper came to City's rescue again moments later, pushing away a powerfully-struck shot by substitute Toby Ajala, as Hayes threatened to put the result beyond doubt.
Despite sending on attacking midfielders Marley Watkins and Chris Shephard, a home side looking increasingly devoid of confidence struggled to create chances, although the latter did at least work the keeper in the 76th minute with a hooked shot which had to be turned over.
An equaliser never looked on the cards, though, condemning City to a seventh successive defeat.