Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 28 April 2012 - The Impact Arena - kick off 3.00pm
||Garner, Hogg, Gallinagh, Jones (c), Preece (Egan 73), Connolly (Simpson 35), M Canham, Watkins, Russell, Murray, Cook (Stonehouse 76). subs not used: Smith, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Murray (pen 25)
||D Handley (Bolton), J Johnson (Liverpool), B Lamb (Manchester)
|league position: 23rd
||next match: Next season
Report taken from
Bath City were unable to end a sorry season on a high note as they went down 2-1 in Derbyshire.
The damage was done in the opening 20 minutes as Alfreton twice cashed in on uncertain defending to take a 2-0 lead.
Scott Murray marked his final appearance before retirement by pulling one back from the penalty spot but City could not find an equaliser, with Alex Russell being denied when clean through seven minutes from time.
Despite the defeat, City avoided finishing bottom of the table after Kettering Town were beaten 3-1 by fellow relegated side Darlington.
The City teamsheet, featuring six midfielders, suggested that the visitors be playing with three at the back at Alfreton but it was actually a 4-2-3-1, with Lewis Hogg at right-back and Russell, Murray and Marley Watkins playing off lone striker Jamie Cook.
He was in the team after Sean Canham suffered a reaction to his long-standing Achilles injury, robbing City's leading goalscorer of a final run-out in black and white stripes.
It also denied him the chance to put right one of the low points of the season, his red card for throwing the ball at the referee in the reverse fixture. That was a reaction to Gethin Jones being wrongly sent-off on a desperate night when City lost 3-0 at home.
Alfreton used that result to springboard up the table but City went on to lose the next six games and were relegated, so there was plenty of incentive for the visitors to set the record straight.
However, they looked lethargic in the opening stages and susceptible to the long ball forward. Within five minutes, Nathan Jarman was left with a clear sight of goal but lifted his shot wide of the far post, then the offside flag twice came to City's rescue.
But there was no escape in the 17th minute as a long punt forward put City on the back foot. Connor Franklin was able to beat Mark Preece to the ball before rolling it across to the unmarked Daniel Meadows, who finished with aplomb.
Worse was to follow three minutes later as Jarman showed great urgency than Jones to win a ball he was second favourite for, then picked out Anthony Wilson who couldn't miss from six yards.
It looked like being a long afternoon for City but they were handed a lifeline in the 24th minute when Franklin was adjudged to have handled a driven cross from Murray. The right winger - making his final appearance before retirement - rushed to collect the ball and slotted home the penalty, although keeper Dan Lowson did get a hand to it.
City were still looking unconvincing defensively and Adie Britton made a change ten minutes before half-time, with full-back Sekani Simpson replacing Adam Connolly and Hogg moving back to his usual midfield role.
And Simpson make an immediate impact, brilliantly blocking opposite right-back Josh Law's goalbound shot. He had been left with an open net to aim at after keeper Glyn Garner had raced off his line to make a superb parry at the feet of Wilson, who had been put clean through by Nathan Arnold.
City were looking for an improvement in the second half and almost got off to the perfect start when Cook's flick fell for Andy Gallinagh, whose volley flew just over the bar.
The visitors' bright start to the second period prompted Alfreton boss Nicky Law to make a double change in the 56th minute, replacing goalscorer Wilson and Arnold with Adam Cunnington and Jamie Mullan.
But City were still looking the better team and almost levelled when Simpson brilliantly jinked inside Franklin before firing in a low shot which had to be pushed round the post for a corner by keeper Lowson.
The equaliser was proving elusive, though, so Britton took off centre-half Preece and sent on young winger Josh Egan. A less attacking move saw Paul Stonehouse replace lone striker Cook, with Watkins going central.
Alfreton almost cashed in on the extra space in City's three-man defence as Cunnington was allowed two shots in quick succession, both of which were blocked, while Murray had effort charged down at the other end.
City had a glorious chance to level seven minutes from time when, following a slick exchange of passes around the Alfreton box, Russell was left with a clear sight of goal but he scuffed his shot and keeper Lowson was able to make the save.
Hogg also fired over with virtually the last kick of the game as City were beaten for the 29th time in 46 league games.