Somerset Premier Cup 2nd Round
Monday 4 November 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 7.45pm
||result: W2-1 aet
||Barrington, Miller (Fisher 80), Mitchell, Perry (Gibbons 67), Burnell (Wright HT), Rollo (c), Pryor, Allen, Legge, Hailston, Brown. subs not used: Ricketts, Cunnington.
|man of the match:
||Brown (81), Fisher (119)
||K Johnson, J Bishop, A Tremlett
|league position: n/a
||next match: Dorchester Town (A)
Report taken from
It was a bitterly cold evening in Twerton as the crowd awaited the very first competitive game between the two sides.
It didn’t take long for the strong following of Larkhall supporters to be warmed up though, as in only the 3rd minute of the game they broke confidently down the left wing and won a free kick in a dangerous position on the left hand side on a decent angle but it unfortunately came to nothing.
Shortly afterwards Ben Thomson struck low from the edge of the area but it went wide of the right post narrowly.
Larkhall had definitely started the game on top.
The game was soft up until this point and Ben Horan wanted to remind everyone this was a derby as he threw himself into a hard but fair challenge in midfield, this was immediately replicated back by Bath City to show that they ‘the youngsters’ were not going to be intimidated.
A heart in mouth moment came for Larkhall goalkeeper Chris Snoddy in the 7th minute as a sky high lobbed cross was dropping under his cross bar but he dealt with it comfortably reassuring his defence of his undoubted ability.
City started growing more in the game at this point as to be expected but Larkhall dug in well and stuck to their men well and thwarted any real through balls.
The derby atmosphere was rather quiet as a fan behind the goal deemed it a good time to crack the air horn out. Unfortunately nobody was feeling it at this stage as maybe a little too tense and cold to get into a noisy mood.
Larkhall fans were making noises shortly afterwards though, Joe Stradling broke behind the Bath backline and looked to cut it back but unfortunately couldn’t deliver the pass needed.
Larkhall were now starting to look comfortable and even look on top as another break down the left wing occurred but again a better cross was needed, this time from Thomson.
Jim Rollo was feeling the heat all of a sudden and a vocal cry was issued out to rally the troops.
City responded accordingly and some better controlled football followed and a decent cross towards the back post in the 10th minute was only just taken off the head an oncoming City striker.
Larkhall again showed they were happy to compete and some good work from Mark Wall in the 14th minute won them a corner, this was drilled in low and cleared with ease.
Ben Thomson’s general contribution to the start of this game for Larkhall down the left was impressive and he was clearly looking to impress when he could.
The game went scrappy for a while with a midfield battle but then in the 20th minute Larkhall came alive with a flurry of attacks. First Thomson again broke down the left but once again a better cross was needed. One shortly followed though from him in a similar situation which met the head of Joe Stradling in the middle but the Bath Keeper Barrington saved to his left hand side well. Another cross arrived this time from the right hand side from Lyons and was put towards goal in a crowded area but was again saved easily enough.
The opposite goalkeeper Chris Snoddy was a bit more concerned in the 26th minute as a bad clearance from his defence led to the ball dropping behind his back four, the ball was then nodded past him by a on rushing Bath forward and was heading over the line, a Larkhall defender managed to rush back and head it away but it looked over the line to all the fans. Luckily for Larkhall the Striker had been flagged offside for the original move anyway so there was nothing to worry about for anyone.
Bath City then turned it up a gear and had a couple of chances and probably the best so far as Nathan Legge got in behind the Larkhall back four and dribbled towards goal, he shot hard and low and brought an excellent left handed save from Snoddy, He again saved Athletic by being on his toes and rushing out to clear the ball away, before Legge got in on a ball over the top of his defence.
Larkhall then pushed forward once more in this very close and competitive game and as a shot rained in Barrington fumbled but was lucky to get away with just giving away a corner. Larkhall then succeeded to win 4 corners but couldn’t take advantage of any of them with Bath City clearing easily enough on each occasion.
City then had a break down the right and a perfect cross was delivered and the crowd just waited for the inevitability of Aaron Brown heading it into the net but Luke Scott rose well in defence and nipped the ball away from the experienced ex-football league player.
Ben Thomson then ended the half as he started by impressing and he was unfortunate to again see a shot this time from maybe 30 yards go low and wide of the right hand post. The referee blew for half time much to the relief of the Bath football faithful who at this stage were feeling the cold and required any form of hot beverage.
The second half started at a slower tempo than the first but in the 51st minute Bath City won a free kick on the edge of the Box on the right hand side at the Bath end. Aaron Brown took the free kick but in cannoned of the wall for a Bath corner.
Larkhall Athletic Striker Nathaniel Auckland was battling hard for his team and was playing the lead Striker role and was having some good success holding the ball up and laying it off for his on-coming team mates with some neat layoffs.
The game was even but the feeling was Larkhall were the more likely to get the opener and they had a glorious chance from a corner in the 58th minute but Ben Horan powered his header wide. Great work from Larkhalls defender Luke Scott charging forward won them yet another corner shortly afterwards in the 64th minute as fireworks made the vast majority of the crowd jump also.
The corner was followed up by yet another for Larkhall which was again fumbled by Barrington but he had protection as it was cleared by his defence.
Larkhall were smelling blood and turned up the intensity as their friends, family and fans cheered on loudly. A fine low cross from Thomson caused trouble in Baths box and after several half clearances it was finally volleyed out for a throw to relieve the pressure.
The game was end to end but calmed after a wild sliced strike from Larkhall sub Scott Lye was cheered after it ended up closer to the corner flag than the goal.
In the 77th minute the deadlock was finally broken, a nice fast ball was drilled in from a corner on the right hand side of the Bristol end and Larkhall Athletics number 7 Jamie Lyons rose and placed his header down and past goalkeeper Barrington into the bottom left hand side of the goal to make it a shock score line of Bath City 0 - 1 Larkhall Athletic. Lyons was overjoyed by his goal and ran away to celebrate it like the derby goal it was, maybe in the process annoying some Bath City fans as he seeked to do it in front of the popular side gathering consisting mainly of Bath City fans.
Larkhall were encouraged by taking the lead and all of a sudden found an extra yard of pace as they pushed forward again, their fans also loved the first time feeling of beating your rivals.
Bath City then made an important substitution in the grand scheme of things but this wasn’t shown immediately as almost the first thing James Fisher did was fall over when clear through on goal with only 7 minutes remaining.
In the 84th minute parity was resumed as Bath’s Aaron Brown speculatively shot from 30 yards - the shot went across goal from left to right and bounced just in front of the diving keeper Snoddy and found its way into the corner of the net. The keeper may well feel he could have done better on that one.
Larkhall had a great chance at the end of normal time to win it as a great cut back was placed into the box to Ben Thomson who struck but should have done better as Barrington gathered in the ball. City then broke straight away and quickly down to the other end but as they cut the ball back after rushing down the right there was nobody available to slot the ball home.
Extra time was looming but not before Auckland had 2 more strikes for Larkhall to win the game. One from 25 yards which went narrowly wide of the left hand post and a shot straight at Barrington from a good ball in from Mark Wall.
The Full time whistle blew and the scores were level, this meant one thing and one thing only to the now freezing following...unwanted extra time. Announcer Mark Stillman obviously seen the funny side of it by playing Klaxons ‘It’s not over yet’ in the interval.
Extra time started with several chances for both sides but nothing too dangerous until in the 94th minute Jim Rollo for Bath City powered a header from a corner narrowly wide which was greeted by a gasp from the crowd.
Larkhall keeper Snoddy then made a great save from a shot from the edge of the box from City, and then this time Aaron Brown got his revenge by clearing a ball destined for Auckland’s head in front of the City goal.
Both teams passed and prodded but there were no more chances of note in the first half of extra time.
Penalties were in the air in the second half of extra time as both teams still keenly contested the game but it was getting tighter and there was less room for fancy football and the game became a bit scrappy. Auckland managed an effort but was weak and right at the Bath keeper.
Then somewhat surprisingly considering the flow of the game in the 119th minute of this epic first local derby the deciding moment was made. Bath City’s Will Hallston broke down the left hand side and got in behind the Larkhall defence and went towards goal, Snoddy came out and spread himself well and made good save low with his left hand, the ball the spilled out in front of goal about 6 yards out and then substitute James Fisher made up for his earlier slip but calmly rolling the ball into the empty net past a helpless sliding Larkhall defender to make the game and the final score Bath City 2 Larkhall Athletic 1.
Bath City will now progress into the quarter-finals of the Cup but Larkhall Athletic can be proud of their performance and can hold their heads high and fingers crossed if all goes well for them, this fixture may one day be a little more regular.