Saturday 23 November 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Bowman (Brown 84), Simpson, Preece, Gallinagh (c), Keats, Ball, Connolly, Pratt (Burnell 89), Watkins, Low (Allen 72). subs not used: Gibbons, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Keats (75), Ball (88)
||D Rock, C Bodell, C Kidd
|league position: 10th
||next match: Boreham Wood (A)
Report taken from
Bath City may have only moved up one league place in the Skrill South after their 1-0 victory over Maidenhead United at Mayday Trust Park, but they now sit just one point from the play-off positions, having extended their unbeaten league run to six matches.
In truth, this should have been a victory by a much wider margin as City repeatedly squandered chances, primarily through striker Andy Watkins.
After a bright start from the visitors, City soon got into their stride. Their first corner of the game after ten minutes flicked off a defender, only for Watkins to put his shot wide.
Next in the near-miss campaign came former Maidenhead striker Dave Pratt who, one-on-one against Elvijs Putnins, fired straight into the keeper's hands.
Three minutes later Watkins repeated the feat and then went one better, getting past Putnins only for his shot to be cleared off the line by Leon Solomon.
City eventually broke the deadlock when, from a move started by Watkins, an inch-perfect cross from Josh Low found Pratt, who, with a deft flick of his head, put the ball in off the far post.
City then began to sit back and let Maidenhead into the game. However, despite good work from Solomon and Harry Grant, the visitors did little to test home keeper Jason Mellor.
Their best chance came three minutes before the interval when a cross from Solomon found Richard Paquette unmarked, only for his shot to travel a yard high and wide of the City goal.
The second half saw Maidenhead come out reinvigorated, putting pressure on the home defence, and Grant fired over the crossbar within a minute of the restart.
Yet, despite plentiful possession for Maidenhead, Mellor remained a spectator for much of the second half. The only time the visitors seriously looked like getting back on level terms came 20 minutes from time.
A United corner found Daniel Brown six yards from goal but his powerful shot through a crowd of players rebounded off Mellor's legs and City easily cleared.
While Maidenhead may have had more second-half possession, it was the home side who had the best of the chances, squandering opportunities with an abandon that belied their solitary-goal lead.
With 50 minutes gone, an accurate cross from Pratt on the right saw Watkins put his header over the bar. A minute later the ball was again cleared off the line with the keeper beaten - this time Watkins' first attempt was saved by Putnins and his follow-up scooped away by Grant.
Still the chances came for Watkins - three minutes later another stinging cross from Pratt whizzed inches wide of his diving header.
Watkins fired into the side-netting on the hour mark before rounding off his afternoon of near misses when he sent a shot wide two minutes into stoppage time.
City’s misses apart, the only blots on the afternoon were youthful wing-back Dan Bowman limping off with suspected cramp and a booking for fellow defender Dan Ball, earning him an automatic one-match ban as it was his fifth of the season.
If City might rue that their winning margin was no more than a single goal, any possible dismay on the final whistle could not have been as great as that of visiting manager Johnson Hippolyte.
The Maidenhead said afterwards: “Apart from winning promotion here seven years ago [a solitary victory over Bath City’s former tenants Team Bath], we never, ever seem to have much luck here. Even when we have played well we just never seem to get a result”.
It’s a situation that is becoming increasingly problematic for the visiting Magpies as, after a run of ten games without a league victory, they now find themselves only one place off the relegation spots.