Saturday 31 August 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Gallinagh (c), Salmon, Ball, Preece, Adelsbury, Stearn (Simpson 82), Connolly, Pratt, Watkins (Low 83), Keats (Brown 66). subs not used: Burnell, Allen
|man of the match:
||Stearn (15, 59), Preece (68)
||S Knapp, D Goard, P Lister
|league position: 10th
||next match: Ebbsfleet Utd(A)
Report taken from
Ross Stearn helped himself to a brace as Bath City eased to their second victory of the Skrill South season at the expense of newly-promoted Concord Rangers.
The Canvey Island-based side arrived at Mayday Trust Park on the back of an impressive run of results and beat fancied Dover Athletic on their own soil seven days previously.
But they were undone by a City side that looked to have renewed its vigour and energy following a depressing draw against Gosport Borough, with Stearn demonstrating just why the City management had been so keen to sign him from local rivals Weston-super–Mare.
Concord went close to a third-minute opener, however, as Sam Collins unleashed shot from more than 35 yards that rebounded back off an upright with City keeper Jason Mellor stranded.
Collins again went close nine minutes later when he headed a Leon Gordon cross over from an unmarked position.
Despite seeing little of the ball in the early stages, it was City who opened the scoring after Dave Pratt had been fouled 25 yards from the Rangers goal.
Stearn stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and unleashed a shot of such power that the ball had time to rebound off the crossbar and across the line before Jamie Butler in the visiting goal moved.
“I have never scored a goal like that before and probably won’t do so again,” said Stearn after the match.
The visitors looked stunned and City went on to take control of the game.
Stearn headed narrowly over the bar, before an Andy Watkins shot was cleared off the line by Jack Lampe.
Pratt was equally keen to get in on the action, robbing Butler of the ball just after the half-hour mark after the keeper had taken too long to make a clearance. Pratt looked destined to score until Butler leapt to one side and got enough of his head on the ball to deflect it behind for a corner.
It was unfortunate for the lively City forward, who caused the Rangers defence problems all afternoon and deserved a goal.
Yet if City dominated the closing stages of the first half, Rangers repeated their early pressure at the start of the second.
They got their reward just before the hour when Mellor let a rather tame shot from Collins go through first his hands and then his legs - an uncharacteristic error and one which will leave the normally confident shot-stopper relieved that there was no video recording of the match.
However, the scores were level for just two minutes as City again poured forward and a good pass from loanee Will Salmon found Stearn, again in predatory mood. He cut inside from the edge of the 18-yard box before firing home through a crowd of players to restore the hosts’ lead.
The home side rounded off the scoring with 23 minutes to go when Salmon’s shot from a Stearn free-kick came back off a post and Mark Preece made no mistake with the follow up.
Concord attempted to get back into the game in the closing stages, although their best chances again came from set pieces. Steve King headed narrowly wide from a Collins free-kick and did likewise with a flicked effort a minute from time.