Blue Square Bet South
Tuesday 15 January 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Ball, Jones (c), Preece, Burnell (Morgan 59), Low (Brown 70), Keats (Canham 71), Nichols, Connolly, Griffin. subs not used: Stephenson, Walker.
|man of the match:
||A Hopkins (Plymouth), A Quin (Plymouth), M Lawrence (Bridgwater)
|league position: 12th
||next match: Farnborough (A)
Report taken from
Bath City crashed to defeat at home to mid-table Bromley on a bitterly cold night at Mayday Trust Park.
The disappointing hosts were undone by goals from Louie Theophanous and Pierre Joseph-Dubois either side of the interval as they failed to build on last week's impressive victory at Weston-super-Mare
City were playing only their third home league game since the beginning of November and head coach Lee Howells made one enforced change to the side that beat Weston, with Chris Allen's injury earning Mark Preece a recall at the heart of the defence.
With the temperature dropping to -2C before kick-off, chances were at a premium in a first period that saw both sides approach a slippery playing surface with understandable caution.
Noah Keats produced City's only shot on target of the half four minutes in, collecting Tom Nichols' pass 20 yards out before unleashing a powerful effort that was beaten away by Joe Welch.
Tony Finn produced a wayward effort at the other end after Jason Mellor failed to claim Joseph-Dubois' cross, while the lively-looking Nichols cut in from the left and shot well wide of the near post just before the half-hour mark.
Bromley were beginning to look the more dangerous side, however, and just about deserved the opening goal when it arrived seven minutes before the break. Joseph-Dubois found space in midfield and threaded the ball through to Theophanous, who stole a yard on Gethin Jones before driving a confident low finish under the advancing Mellor and into the net.
City were rocked and Finn's dangerous left-wing centre flashed across the face of goal two minutes later as Bromley looked to turn the screw.
The hosts began the second half promisingly and forced a fruitless corner a minute after the restart, while Nichols slipped while trying to fashion a shooting chance inside the box.
Charlie Griffin then produced a tame cross from Nichols' neat lay-off, although the striker lacked any support from a static midfield which was clearly missing Allen's influence.
City were left with a mountain to climb as Bromley doubled their advantage on 56 minutes. The roles were reversed as Theophanous' chip into the six-yard box was chested goalwards by Joseph-Dubois and the ball rolled over the line, despite Mellor's desperate attempt to grab it. The goal was awarded by an assistant referee, with few protests from the home players.
Winger Kerry Morgan then entered the fray at Joe Burnell's expense and City began to push forward with more purpose.
Griffin's header from Dan Ball's left-wing cross drifted just wide of the top corner before Morgan miscued a shot after fellow substitute Marc Canham – on for Keats – superbly picked out Nichols on the right.
Nichols created space for himself 12 yards out and finally tested the underworked Welch with a rising shot that the keeper pushed behind for a corner. The on-loan Exeter man then fired straight at the keeper after first Mark Preece and then Adam Connolly had shots blocked.
Griffin had the best of the chances as City continued to press in the final ten minutes and just failed to connect with Morgan's dangerus low cross from the right. He then headed straight into the arms of the grateful Welch before firing into the side-netting as the hosts' frustration continued until the final whistle.