Saturday 24 August 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Gallinagh (c), Brown, Ball (Simpson 31), Preece, Burnell (Keats 62), Stearn, Connolly, Pratt, Watkins, Adelsbury (Low 68). subs not used: Allen, Salmon.
|man of the match:
||Stearn (39), Adelsbury (62), Simpson (63), Pratt (73)
||M Amphlett, J Whittingham, C Smith
|league position: 12th
||next match: Concord Rangers (H)
Report taken from
Dave Pratt's first-half injury-time goal was immediately cancelled out by James Brown as Bath City and ten-man Gosport Borough played out a low-quality draw at Mayday Trust Park.
The home side were hoping to avenge their FA Cup exit to then lower-league Boro last season but struggled to impose themselves as an attacking force, despite Pratt's energetic performance.
City head coach Lee Howells made two changes to the team which lost 1-0 to Eastleigh, with winger Ross Stearn coming in for his first start after impressing as a substitute in midweek.
Joe Burnell also made his season debut in midfield as Aaron Brown switched to left-back. Captain Andy Gallinagh moved to the right of defence in place of Sekani Simpson, who started on the bench alongside new signing Will Salmon.
City wore their purple away shirt, due to an ongoing problem with their new black and white home kit, and found themselves largely on the back foot in the opening ten minutes as Gosport forced a flurry of corners.
One of them was cleared as far as Michael Gosney, who went past Brown with ease before pulling the ball back to Dan Wooden but his first-time shot from eight yards flew wide of the near post.
Other than a determined run from Pratt, there was little to get the home crowd fired up during a flat opening 30 minutes which was interrupted by two lengthy injury stoppages.
Gosport defender Sam Pearce was able to play on after landing awkwardly on his shoulder but City's Dan Ball, who took a blow to his face as he stooped to head a ball on, had to be replaced by Simpson, with Gallinagh moving to centre-half.
The injuries meant there was plenty of stoppage time and that was when the half finally came to life, with both teams finding the back of the net.
There had been hints of what was to come in the five minutes beforehand, with Andy Forbes nodding a Gosport free-kick against the bar and an Andy Watkins header hitting an unsuspecting Nathan Ashmore at the other end.
The visiting keeper was unable to stop Pratt moments later, though, as the forward found himself one-on-one with the keeper after a clever run and coolly guided the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
That was 90 seconds into injury-time but there was still time for Gosport to equalise before the half-time whistle, with James Brown being given acres of time and space in the box to turn and fire past City stopper Jason Mellor.
Apart from those closing minutes, the first half had been a poor affair and the second period was no different, with both teams struggling to find any coherency or retain possession.
Howells attempted to inject some energy into his team by taking off defensive midfielders Burnell and Ben Adelsbury to send on the more attack-minded Noah Keats and Josh Low.
But while City started to pose more threat down the flanks, chances remained few and far between with a driven Stearn cross which was deflected narrowly past the post by a Gosport defender being the closest they came.
The visitors posed a couple of threats, with City fortunate when Forbes was slow to react after an attempted clearance fell to him six yards out.
Gosport finished the game with ten men after defender Pearce was shown a second yellow card in the 89th minute and Pratt almost made them pay as he drilled in a fierce shot which Ashmore did well to push around the post.
Aaron Brown also had a chance when the ball was laid off to him on the edge of the box but his wayward shot nearly went out of the ground, summing up the afternoon.