Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 25 February 2012 - Twerton Park - kick off ?pm
||Matthews, Gallinagh, Stonehouse, Jones (c), Preece, Burnell, Connolly, Murray (Cook 65), Doherty (Watkins 45), Hogg (Shephard 63), S Canham. subs not used: M Canham, Phillips.
|man of the match:
||S Canham (88)
||Hogg (2), Watkins (60), Stonehouse (78)
||R Wigglesworth (Doncaster), I Parsons (Salisbury), P Lavelle (Totten)
|league position: 24th
||next match: Luton Town (A)
Report taken from
Bath City's Blue Square Bet Premier relegation worries deepened as they fell to their third single-goal defeat in eight days, with Jack Byrne's brace inspiring Kidderminster Harriers to victory.
The result condemned City to their eighth consecutive loss in all competitions, while also ensuring Harriers' own promotion bid got back on track after a run of five games without a win.
Adie Britton's side were again left to rue a case of what might have been at Twerton Park as, despite late drama courtesy of a poacher's strike from Sean Canham, more poor defending meant they were always chasing the game.
City's Lewis Hogg dominated the opening exchanges, finding himself in referee Richard Wigglesworth's notebook inside 90 seconds for a crude challenge on Lee Vaughan before then going closest to the opening goal when he volleyed Scott Murray's free-kick into the side-netting after racing in unmarked at the back post.
Lacklustre City defending gifted the visitors the lead with their first attack, however, when they failed to react to a loose ball in the box.
Joe Burnell blocked a shot from Anthony Malbon, who then brought a fine reaction stop from Jason Matthews when the ball came back to his feet, but the home defence were too busy admiring the save to prevent Byrne tapping in from close range.
Jamille Matt wasted a glorious chance to double Kidderminster's lead soon after when he beat the hosts' offside trap and raced into the box but could only fire wide when one-on-one with Matthews.
Gethin Jones then did well to thwart Matt, while Murray went close with a couple of long-range strikes and impressive debutant Tommy Doherty saw a chip sail just over the top as the home side failed to level the scores before the break.
If City's defence were at fault for the opening goal, there was nothing they could do about Byrne doubling his side's advantage ten minutes after the break. The midfielder played a neat one-two with Malbon on the edge of the box before rifling a shot into the top corner that Matthews could get nowhere near.
A brilliant reaction stop from Tony Breeden prevented half-time substitute Marley Watkins from reducing the arrears immediately after, the midfielder stabbing at Canham's low cross three yards out, only for the Harriers stopper to fling himself at the ball.
Hogg was lucky not to be given his marching orders when he tripped Byrne on the edge of the City box before Stephen Guinan wasted a glorious chance to put the game to bed. Matt Gittings picked him out inside the six-yard box, only for the unmarked striker to completely miss the ball.
Canham went close with a header and shot for a City side that were determined to go down fighting before finally getting his reward with two minutes to play. Substitute Chris Shephard burst into the Kidderminster box before firing a low delivery across the face of goal and the leading scorer bundled home from all of a yard out.
Andy Gallinagh powered an effort into a crowded box as City pressed for what looked like an improbable equaliser but it turned out to be a case of too little, too late as the visitors ground the clock down to take the points.
City's commitment to the cause cannot be questioned but, ten points from safety and with games rapidly running out, next weekend's trip to Luton Town looks unlikely to provide the boost they so badly need.