Saturday 18 January 2014 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor Gallinagh (c), Brown, Simpson, Preece (Bowman 74), Burnell, (Adelsbury 72), Stearn (Low 81), Connolly, Pratt, Watkins, Keats. subs not used: Jarvis, Allen.
|man of the match:
||Preece (18), Pratt (49), Connolly (64)
||C Powell, D Goard, S Annis
|league position: 9th
||next match: Tonbridge Angels (A)
Report taken from
Bath City were left to wonder how they failed to claim the scalp of Skrill South table-toppers Bromley after a cracking contest at Mayday Trust Park.
An impressive crowd of 755 were treated to a match that had everything - goals, two penalties, shots cleared off the line and a villain in referee Chris Powell, who was resoundingly booed off the pitch at the final whistle.
City started by far the brighter of the two sides and looked determined to force a second successive defeat on the runaway league leaders, following their shock loss at home to Concord Rangers in midweek.
It only took seven minutes for Ross Stearn to start torturing the visitors’ defence when a mazy dribble saw him go past three players before his shot flicked off a Bromley defender for a corner.
Dave Pratt then raced on to a long downfield clearance, only to be stopped by the excellent Dean Pooley in the Bromley defence.
But despite City’s efforts it was their back-line who let them down. After a Bromley free-kick, Mark Preece barged into Bromley captain Rob Swaine and the visitors were awarded a penalty. Manager’s son and striker, Bradley Goldberg, made no mistake with his spot-kick, sending City keeper Jason Mellor the wrong way.
In the past, City heads might have gone down but the goal only seemed to incentivise the home team and they poured forward in numbers.
Again Pratt went close, this time latching on to a through ball from Stearn only to see his shot beaten away at the near post by keeper Joe Welch.
Referee Powell then evened up the penalty count when just after the half-hour mark Swaine was judged to have handballed from point-blank range after he stopped an Adam Connolly shot with his arm. However, Stearn could not copy Goldberg’s effort, firing hopelessly high and wide.
His failure did little to daunt City as again they pressurised the Bromley defence and earned their reward ten minutes before the interval. A cross from Watkins on the right to Stearn was flicked forward for the lively Noah Keats to fire home from close range.
City had one further chance before half-time, when Stearn was fouled by Swaine on the edge of the 18-yard box, but the diminutive forward’s free-kick cannoned into the wall before dribbling through to Welch.
Little changed at the start of the second half as City won yet another corner. Aaron Brown’s delivery found the head of Keats, only for his effort to be cleared off the line by Pooley with Welch beaten.
Just when it looked as if City would go in front, Bromley struck again. This time Brown conceded a free-kick on Bromley’s right and Elliot Buchanan swung his free-kick into the heart of the City defence, allowing Pierre Joseph-Dubois to finish with a simple header.
It was a harsh outcome for the home side’s efforts and another relatively soft goal to concede from a free-kick.
City came back at the leaders again, with Watkins twice using his pace to get beyond the Bromley defence. On each occasion his crosses failed to find a City head.
With the clock running down, there was time for one more missed opportunity. Another City corner, another header by Keats and again Pooley was there to clear the ball off his line.
“It’s what defenders are there for,” commented his less-than-generous manager, Mark Goldberg, before adding: “But I must say he had an excellent game.”
Disappointed City director of football Adie Britton said: “We certainly had a go but I feel disappointed really because sometimes you just don’t get what you deserve.
Box to box we were the better side but in the two boxes they were better than us. We had our chances to draw and even win the game, but we just didn’t take them.”