Saturday 21 September 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Gallinagh (c), Salmon, Ball, Preece, Adelsbury (Burnell HT), Stearn, Connolly, Pratt, Keats (Allen 74), Low. subs not used: Simpson, Brown, Russell.
|man of the match:
||G Jerden, A Waters, D Cook
|league position: 14th
||next match: Gosport Bor (FAC) (H)
Report taken from
Bath City slipped to a second successive defeat as their miserable week continued with a home loss to Dover Athletic.
The visitors were good value for their win, particularly after a first half when City produced a very poor performance.
There was a surprise name on the City bench, 40-year-old Alex Russell who last featured for the club in April 2012 and spent last season at Clevedon Town before announcing his retirement from the game in March.
Joining the veteran on the bench was Chris Allen, who was replaced by Noah Keats in the only change to the XIs which started against Tonbridge Angels and Staines Town.
Late goals cost City three points in those games, while Dover had lost their previous four league matches, so neither side showed much confidence or composure in the early stages.
The visitors were the first to settle and produced the opening chance, with Nathan Elder shrugging off Will Salmon and firing in a stinging shot which Jason Mellor tipped over at the near post.
The keeper also produced a good save to prevent James Rogers' fine shot finding the back of the net, with Elder heading the subsequent corner over from close range.
Thomas Murphy then placed an effort millimetres wide of the post from the edge of the box, while Mellor again came to the rescue by pushing Rogers' dipping 25-yard strike over the bar as Dover turned the screw.
The breakthrough they had been threatening came from the subsequent corner. Mellor managed to claw it away under pressure but when Tom Wynter played the ball back in, the keeper was finally beaten by Elder's well-placed header.
The goalscorer should have had a second five minutes later when a corner found him in the six-yard box but he somehow headed wide of an open net.
City were struggling to get any kind of toehold in the game and were grateful for a well-timed tackle from Dan Ball which prevented Michael Bakere going clean through on goal.
Lee Howells was clearly unhappy with what he had seen and made a switch for the second half, with Joe Burnell coming on in midfield for the ineffectual Ben Adelsbury. Ross Stearn and Josh Low also switched wings
And City finally produced their first shot at goal in the 52nd minute when Dave Pratt's angled drive was pushed out by Mitch Walker as far as Stearn coming in from the left but he couldn't keep his shot down.
Pratt's determination also set up a half-chance for Keats but he was immediately closed down as he tried to get his shot away.
Dover made their first change just before the hour, with Elliott Charles replacing goalscorer Elder, while Ricky Modeste - who was sent-off for Chelmsford against City in the play-offs three years ago - came on for Bakere in a new-look strike force.
Visiting boss Chris Kinnear also introduced his son of the same name in the 70th minute for the injured Wynter, with the changes a tacit admission that Dover's performance levels had dropped in the second period.
City were slightly better than the first half but were still struggling to create chances, prompting another change with 16 minutes to go when Allen came on for Keats.
And the substitute was involved in City's best chance, earning a corner and then putting it into the area. It was flicked on and fell to Will Salmon in the six-yard box but his header dropped onto the bar.
Another set-piece, this time a free-kick, led to another half-chance as Pratt's downward header narrowly missed the outstretched foot of Dan Ball.
Dover keeper Walker was flapping at every corner and cross, and it was a shame City were unable to test him more often.
Mellor, by contrast, was City's best player on the day but he was unable to prevent Dover doubling their lead five minutes from time as Modeste's inviting cross was nodded home at the far post by Thomas Murphy.