Saturday 2 November 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Bowman, Ball, Simpson, Preece, Gallinagh (c), Stearn (Brown 90), Keats, Pratt, Watkins (Allen 90), Adelsbury (Connolly 36). subs not used: Burnell, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Stearn (16, 71, pen 75)
||Gallinagh (68), Ball (82)
||G Jerden, J Whittaker Jnr, D Cook
|league position: 14th
||next match: Larhall Ath (SPC) (H)
Report taken from
The irrepressible Ross Stearn hit a hat-trick as Bath City produced a fine display to beat Havant & Waterlooville and record back-to-back league wins for the first time since February.
Stearn's first-half free-kick was cancelled out by sub Sahr Kabba just after half-time but he lashed home from close range to restore the lead before winning and converting a 75th-minute penalty.
An incident-packed match saw an 18-minute delay at the start after Havant got stuck in traffic, then a ten-minute hold-up in the second half when one of the assistant referees suffered an ankle injury and had to be replaced - following an appeal to the crowd - by a City fan.
City named the same XI which started Tuesday's excellent 4-2 win at Farnborough but welcomed Aaron Brown back to the bench following his three-match suspension.
And they went closest to opening the scoring, with Andy Watkins' dipping half-volley dropping just the wrong side of the post in the seventh minute.
There was another sniff of an opening after quarter-of-an-hour when Dan Ball's deflected cross dropped to Dave Pratt at the back post but his header across goal was behind strike partner Watkins.
Scott Bevan also had to use all 6'7" of his frame to keep out Noah Keats' long-range skidding strike but the keeper was at fault moments later as City took the lead.
Havant conceded a free-kick 25 yards out and Stearn produced a trademark driven strike which fizzed through the wall and through Bevan into the net.
City were in the ascendency and almost extended their lead when Stearn produced a clever turn and chip over the defence, which was just inches in front of a lurking Pratt.
Stearn was clearly in the mood and it was a foul on him from behind that earned Havant full-back Ryan Case the first booking of the game in the 29th minute.
City were playing well but were forced into a change in the 36th minute when Ben Adelsbury was injured during an aerial challenge. There was no sign of a cut but physio Lee Williams immediately signalled the midfielder would be unable to continue and he was replaced by a fit-again Adam Connolly.
Havant had a goal disallowed for offside moments later but offered little else during a first half where City were easily the better team.
However, they paid the price for failing to put the game to bed as the visitors levelled four minutes into the second half.
Havant made two changes at half-time, bringing on Kabba and Christian Nanetti for Alex Przespolewski and Scott Jones.
And it was Kabba who equalised, drilling home from close range after Jesse Kewley-Graham's cross from the right was cleverly back-heeled into his path by Dennis Oli.
One of the linesmen was injured during that attack and had to be carried off with an ankle injury, forcing a ten-minute delay while the appeal went out to find a qualified referee in the crowd to replace him.
A City fan eventually came to the rescue and, after a ten-minute wait, the already-delayed game was able to resume.
The home side looked to have lost their momentum but regained it in emphatic style in the 71st minute when Stearn surged into the box and laid the ball off to Watkins, who in turn pulled it back from the byline for the winger to slam into the roof of the net.
And the points were effectively wrapped up four minutes later when Stearn was checked in the box and picked himself up to send the keeper the wrong way from the subsequent penalty to complete his hat-trick.
Stearn, who Havant felt had gone down too easily, had the ball in the net for a fourth time from Pratt's lay-off following a flowing team move but the flag had already gone up for offside.
It was a good afternoon for City, although there were a couple of disappointments - the low crowd of 451 and injuries to Adelsbury and Watkins, who pulled up during the lengthy injury-time and was replaced by Chris Allen, although he wasn't moving too badly when he left the pitch.
Up next for City is a home Somerset Premier Cup tie on Monday (7.45pm) against local rivals Larkhall Athletic, who recorded their 13th Toolstation League Premier Division win in 14 games at Street today.