Tuesday 20 August 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Gallinagh (c), Ball, Preece, Adelsbury, Connolly, Keats (Stearn 73), Pratt, Watkins (Low 79), Brown (Allen 61). subs not used: Burnell, Bowman.
|man of the match:
||D Eaton, A Penwell, S Shaw
|league position: 10th
||next match: Gosport Bor (H)
Report taken from
Ben Strevens' deflected shot midway through the second half was enough to condemn Bath City to a narrow defeat against title favourites Eastleigh.
There was little to choose between the teams for much of the game, with both rattling the woodwork, but Eastleigh just had that little extra quality at both ends of the pitch.
City went with the same 16 which won at Bishops Stortford on Saturday but were sporting last season's kit, rather than their new retro shirt.
Stortford had complained at the weekend that it clashed with the referee's kit and it appears tonight's official, Derek Eaton of Tewkesbury, was in agreement.
Eastleigh are the big spenders of the division and included in their starting XI big summer signing Stuart Fleetwood, who had previously played for Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and Luton Town.
And it took the striker just 39 seconds to threaten after a long ball caught the City defence flat-footed but keeper Jason Mellor was able to palm Fleetwood's rising drive behind.
City were also caught napping at a throw in the 16th minute, with Mellor again called into action after Yemi Odubade hooked the ball goalwards.
But apart from those chances, the opening quarter was mostly played in midfield, with neither side able to really impose any authority on proceedings.
City's most promising moment came of the half came in the 36th minute when Sekani Simpson capitalised on a slip by a defender to drive to the edge of the box, where he was tripped by Glen Southam.
That earned the Eastleigh midfielder a yellow card but Aaron Brown was unable to punish the visitors further as his free-kick deflected over the bar.
There was a major let-off for City three minutes before the break when Jai Reason's low shot hit a defender's foot and spun against the base of the post with Mellor stranded but the half-time stalemate seemed a fair reflection of the opening 45 minutes.
The second half continued to be evenly-matched although Eastleigh were looking the more comfortable in possession, which might have prompted City's decision to send on Chris Allen for Brown just after the hour and move David Pratt to the left of a five-man midfield.
However, it was the visitors who made the breakthrough in the 68th minute when a ball from the right found its way to Strevens ten yards out. Simpson tried desperately to block his shot but could only divert it against the inside of the post and into the net.
That was the cue for City to go back on the offensive, with midfielder Noah Keats making way for Ross Stearn.
And the winger almost makes an immediate impact as he surged past two players before unleashing a rising drive which thumped against the post.
Josh Low came on for Andy Watkins with 11 minutes remaining, while Eastleigh's first change saw Craig McAllister replace Odubade.
His first touch almost ended up in the back of the net but McAllister's thumping header from Fleetwood's pinpoint cross was just inches wide.
City continued to push for an equaliser but were kept at bay by a well-organised Eastleigh defence, with the visitors' only scare in the closing stages coming when keeper Ross Flitney took two attempts to hold a driven Stearn cross.