Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 3 March 2012 - Kenilworth Road - kick off 3.00pm
||Garner, Stonehouse, Jones (c), Connolly, Hogg (Shepherd 23), Preece, M Canham, Watkins (Murray 67), Burnell, Gallinagh, S Canham. subs not used: Rollo, Cook, Doherty.
|man of the match:
||R Whitton, A Degnarain, T Goddard
|league position: 24th
||next match: Barrow (A)
Report taken from
A goal in each half from promotion-chasing Luton Town handed Bath City their ninth consecutive defeat at Kenilworth Road.
On paper, the result looked inevitable but City turned in a spirited performance that they would have taken some comfort from had it not been for their dire league position.
Instead, they remain nine points adrift at the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier table – and 11 points from safety – with just 11 games to play and it is hard to see where their next victory might come from.
In the opening ten minutes Luton threatened to run City ragged as they passed the ball at pace with ex-Evertonian John Paul Kissock dictating every move and largely bypassing a static-looking away midfield.
Kissock nearly opened the scoring after three minutes with a shot from 30 yards that just skimmed past Glyn Garner's upright. Four minutes later a cross from Greg Taylor was only just palmed away by the recalled Garner before Mark Preece cleared downfield.
Just after the quarter-hour mark, City then conceded the first corner of the game. It was put into the heart of their defence and an unmarked Janos Kovacs rose for a fine glancing header that gave Garner little chance.
City were in further disarray when Lewis Hogg, suffering with food poisoning, was replaced by Exeter City loanee Chris Shephard. It was revealed post-match that the substitute was also violently sick at half-time and two other players were complaining of feeling unwell.
The visitors' woes were nearly doubled when, from a free-kick, the ball shot into their penalty area. Fortunately, this time Alex Lawless' header fell kindly into the hands of Garner.
City had their first real chance of the half just before the break after winning a free-kick 20 yards out. Gethin Jones slipped in from the left but his header sailed wide, with Marley Watkins just inches away from converting at the far post.
Luton had dominated most of the first half with some fast-flowing football but City changed their formation to 4-4-2 in the second period and began to reassert some control, aided by Kissocks' substitution.
Shephard, despite his illness, remained lively and with the second period only eight minutes old his ball over the top almost fell for Watkins.
Yet Luton still looked the most likely to score and again came close to doing so just after the hour mark. Another cross into the box saw Garner spill the ball and, after Lawless pounced, Gethin Jones was on hand to clear it off the line.
Both sides began to make mistakes and concede possession and City should have done better when Marc Canham's free-kick from the right sailed narrowly over Jones' head as yet again he stole in at the far post.
In the end, just when City looked most likely to score they conceded a second. This time a cross into the box saw Preece fail to get any power on his clearing header and the ball fell to substitute Adam Watkins, who fired home from 18 yards.
It was a dispiriting goal that brought to an end any hope of a City revival. It also brought some respite for a Luton crowd who clearly expected a goal glut against a side yet to record an away league victory this term and scarcely hid their displeasure from either their players or manager.
What would Adie Britton give to be third in the Conference Premier in front of near-6,000 crowd?