FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Saturday 26 October 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson (Bowman 80), Ball, Preece, Gallinagh (c), Burnell, Allen (Stearn 62), Adelsbury, Pratt, Watkins (Chamberlain 56), Keats. subs not used: Low, Rollo, Connolly.
|man of the match:
||Watkins (24), Preece (39), Ball (58)
||R Martin, A Ricketts, R Cockle
|league position: n/a
||next match: Farnborough (A)
Report taken from
A thumping Theo Lewis header two minutes before half-time was enough for Salisbury City to end Bath City's hopes of progressing to the first round proper of the FA Cup.
The hosts perhaps paid the price for giving too much respect to the Conference Premier side, with the starting XI looking set up to play a containing game rather than take the tie to their visitors.
It worked to an extent, with Salisbury offering only a sporadic threat, but City struggled to create any chances of their own and were generally restricted to long-range shots.
City were boosted by the return of striker Andy Watkins to the starting line-up after a lengthy injury absence, while midfielder Ben Adelsbury was also back after missing last week's 2-2 league draw at Whitehawk.
However, wingers Josh Low and Ross Stearn had to made do with a place on the bench as City elected to field four central midfielders, with Joe Burnell playing just in front of the defence in a 4-1-3-2 formation.
And it was his mis-control which gave Dan Fitchett a sight of goal in the third minute but the Whites strikers' angled drive flew over the near post.
Lewis also curled an effort just over from the edge of the box but, apart from that and a Watkins cross which was just too high for City strike partner Dave Pratt, the opening quarter was fairly nondescript.
The first goal almost arrived just before the half-hour mark when Fitchett managed to get to the City byline and chip the ball back towards midfielder Clovis Kamdjo, who rattled a header against the bar from six yards.
And there was a lucky escape for home keeper Jason Mellor a couple of minutes later when he started to go for an Elliott Frear corner but then changed his mind and was relieved to see the ball fly across the box without anyone getting a touch.
But he was beaten a couple of minutes before half-time as Salisbury broke the deadlock, Lewis powering a close-range header into the net after charging 20 yards to ensure he beat City's flat-footed defence to Frear's looping cross.
It was a blow to the hosts, who needed a bright start to the second half. Watkins almost provided it following a quick break by Sekani Simpson from a Salisbury corner but the striker's well-hit shot was straight at former City keeper Will Puddy.
Watkins was replaced by Elliott Chamberlain in the 56th minute and Stearn was introduced for Allen just after the hour, the winger greeted by a big cheer from the four-figure crowd. Fellow wide man Low watched the last 30 minutes from the main stand having suffered a calf pull in the pre-match warm-up.
Salisbury also made their first change in the 64th minute, with Angus MacDonald coming on for Frear, and the substitutions contributed to a scrappy, disjointed showing from both teams.
The visitors had a chance to double their lead when Lewis had a shot blocked by Dan Ball but cleverly back-heeled the rebound to Chris McPhee, who showed rather less composure as he blazed his angled drive over the bar.
With Low in the stand and Adam Connolly still not fully fit, City's final change was to send on youngster Dan Bowman for Simpson with ten minutes to go.
However, the hosts were still struggling to create clear-cut chances, although Puddy was forced into a low save by Adelsbury's strike from the edge of the box.