Saturday 5 October 2013 - Melbourne Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Brown, Preece, Gallinagh (c), Ball, Burnell (Adelsbury HT), Connolly, Pratt, Chamberlain (Stearn 67), Low (Allen HT). subs not used: Bowman, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Connolly (43), Adelsbury (90)
|league position: 18th
||next match: Bridgwater (FAC) (A)
Report taken from
Bath City’s players were locked in the dressing room for an hour after suffering their third Skrill South defeat on the trot at Melbourne Park.
And with the season clearly not going the way head coach Lee Howells and director of football Adie Britton intended, next Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Bridgwater has taken on added importance.
Robert Edmonds scored what proved to be the winner six minutes before the break and Aaron Brown collected City’s first red card in nearly two years soon afterwards to leave them with a mountain to climb.
Neither keeper was troubled in an opening 35 minutes that saw the ball relentlessly and pointlessly played long by both sides.
What half-chances there were fell to City. Elliot Chamberlain flicked a ball across the area and just inches in front of Dave Pratt before two quick corners in succession in a spell of pressure ended with Adam Connolly firing over the crossbar from around 20 yards.
However, Chelmsford then got their noses in front when another long ball found Edmonds one on one with Mark Preece as Dan Ball failed to intercept. Edmonds then got a yard on the centre-back before sliding the ball under Jason Mellor’s body.
Minutes later, an incident by the corner flag saw Ball and Charlie Henry tangle and referee Cooper award a free-kick in City’s favour.
With the home crowd still roaring its dissent at the decision, Aaron Brown and Tom Davis then collided with each other in midfield. With the players milling around both Brown and Davis, referee Ian Cooper raised a red card and the City full-back was sent off.
As much as the goal, it proved to be the turning point of the game.
Chelmsford started the second half looking like a side that had rediscovered its confidence.
Just two minutes in, Redwood had a shot that first hit one post and then the other as a desperate Mellor scrambled after it, before the ball was eventually pumped clear.
Four minutes later, goalscorer Edmonds saw another attempt from distance go narrowly wide.
Yet despite being down to ten men City still had chances.
Connolly raced into the box before clearly being fouled by Redwood. Mysteriously, Cooper failed to award a penalty, instead giving a free-kick right on the 18- yard line, but City failed to capitalise as the ball was deflected for a corner which was easily cleared by the home defence.
Back came Chelmsford and on the hour mark Edmonds flicked the ball on to Henry, whose shot skimmed the crossbar. Next it was Tom Derry’s turn as his attempted lob of Mellor also came back off the bar.
Three minutes later and City were again under siege. This time Redwood was an unlikely saviour as he blocked Edmonds goalbound shot, instead heading it over the visitors’ bar.
Yet despite Chelmsford’s pressure they still only had the single-goal lead and City were very much in the game.
Substitute Ross Stearn, on for Chamberlain, went past two men on the right side before his curving shot was flicked away by Carl Pentney.
Three minutes before the end a deep cross from Chris Allen found Pratt at the far post and his fierce, low drive was well saved by the home keeper, who had a loan spell at City during their spell in Conference Premier.
It was to be City’s final flourish as Hughes and Derry both hit the woodwork for the home side in the closing stages.