Saturday 30 November 2013 - Meadow Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Brown, Gallinagh (c), Preece, Connolly, Ball, Keats, Pratt (Allen 85), Watkins, Burnell. subs not used: Bowman, Rollo, Low, Adelsbury.
|man of the match:
||S Butler, D Smart, D Ellams
|league position: 5th
||next match: Boreham Wood (H)
Report taken from
Bath City climbed into the Skrill South play-off zone after Andy Watkins’ early goal earned them a scrappy win at Boreham Wood.
The result extended the visitors’ unbeaten league run to seven matches, with the return fixture against struggling Wood to follow at Mayday Trust Park next Saturday.
On a tight and narrow pitch there was little room for either side to play flowing football and few goalscoring chances. What good football there was came in the opening ten minutes and City fully capitalised on the briefest of opportunities.
A long ball was played down the right flank and Andy Watkins set off in chase. Shadowed by Wood’s Mark Jones, Watkins took the ball to the byline before pulling it back and then putting in a looping shot, which, in perfect imitation of the goal that Jack Wilshere scored for Arsenal against Marseille in midweek, flew into the top right-hand corner of James Russell’s goal from the edge of the 18-yard box.
It was Watkins’ first goal since the opening day of the season but, after such a highlight, it was all downhill from then on.
A minute later Adam Connolly hit a shot from long range that was well wide. Then, just after the quarter-hour mark, again Watkins went close when he outstripped the home defence on the left before firing a low, skimming shot which Russell did well to save.
Gradually the home side came back into the game but still Jason Mellor in the City goal was primarily a spectator-cum-ballboy, his main task being to collect the long downfield punts that frequently sailed over the heads of the Boreham Wood forwards.
The only time the hosts threatened was through good work down the left flank, where Jones and Matt Whichelow came closest to getting around City’s defence. The latter had a shot three minutes before the interval which Mellor easily saved.
Boreham Wood came out rejuvenated after the break as a double substitution saw Jones and Whichelow make way for Greg Morgan and David Moli, a 6ft 4in forward on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Moli was instantly in the action, twice tangling with Mark Preece in the opening five minutes of the half as he attempted to run the City defence. However, just a few minutes later it was not Moli but Billy Lobjoit who seized on a loose ball only to fire his shot narrowly wide.
Then just after the hour mark came Boreham Wood’s best chance. For the first time, Moli got the better of the visitors’ back line and unleashed a powerful ten-yard shot which Mellor did well to turn away one-handed.
It was the turning point of the match. The home side never really looked threatening again and City, with Joe Burnell turning in an excellent performance in front of the defence, again began to press forward.
Connolly had a further long range shot which sailed narrowly wide of the upright and Watkins at one point looked clear on goal before being hacked down by Wood captain Charlie O’ Loughlin
In the closing stages the ever-willing Dave Pratt was taken off for Chris Allen as City coasted to victory.