Tuesday 18 February 2014 - Woodspring Stadium - kick off 7.45pm
||Mellor, Bowman, Ball, Gallinagh (c), Preece, Allen, Keats, Connolly, Reid (Low 76), Watkins, Stearn (Brown 90). subs not used: Simpson, Pratt, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Bowman (21), Reid (70), Allen (75), Gallinagh (76), Preece (90)
|league position: 5th
||next match: Basingstoke T (H)
Report taken from
Bath City suffered only their fourth defeat ever to Weston-super-Mare as a controversial late penalty settled a slow-burning Somerset derby.
Weston had the better chances, hitting the post twice in the first half, but had to wait until the 76th minute before making the breakthrough when Andy Gallinagh was harshly deemed to have deliberately handled Kane Ingram's cross.
Ashley Kington rifled home the spot-kick and Dayle Grubb rubbed salt into the City wounds when he doubled the lead in injury-time.
City made four changes to the XI which started Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Dover Athletic, with the injured Ben Adelsbury being replaced by the fit-again Adam Connolly.
Josh Low, Aaron Brown and Dave Pratt dropped to the bench to make way for Chris Allen, Andy Watkins and Ross Stearn, who was clearly fired up to face his old club - to the point where he often tried too hard in the first half.
Weston suffered an early injury blow when Jordan Walker pulled up holding his hamstring and had to be replaced by Callum Laird with just nine minutes on the clock.
However, that did not prevent the hosts from settling quicker and they almost took the lead when Kington's shot bounced in front of keeper Jason Mellor, who could only push it onto the inside of the post before gratefully gathering at the second attempt.
City's first opportunity came when Stearn's deep free-kick was headed back across goal by Mark Preece towards Noah Keats before a Weston defender managed to force the ball behind for a corner which came to nothing.
Weston were enjoying the better of the chances, though, and City target Chas Hemmings - who had earlier headed over from six yards - rattled the woodwork again with a near-post drive after the visitors had fallen asleep at a throw-in.
Jamie Laird also headed over from close range, while Kington's well-struck free-kick cleared the wall but also the City bar as Weston pushed for the opener.
A head injury to captain Ben Kirk, which required three minutes of treatment, broke their momentum and City got into the game as the half ended, with Preece sending a powerful header narrowly over from a Stearn corner.
The visitors were firmly on the back foot when the second half resumed, though, and twice switched off at corners to leave Kington with acres of space on the edge of the box but he missed the target on both occasions.
There was another escape when Dan Bowman misdirected a back-header straight to Dan Gregson but an alert Mellor produced a fantastic point-blank save to deny him at the near post.
When City did venture forward, they earned a corner which Stearn dropped right in the six-yard box but no-one could quite get a touch.
However, it was Weston who were posing most of the problems and both Dan Ball and Preece had to make important blocks in quick succession to thwart Hemmings and Gregson.
City were generally limited to breakaways but one of them should have led to an opening. Jake Reid - who had a strong first-half penalty appeal waved away - turned his marker superbly before releasing Stearn down the right but the winger elected to shoot rather than cross and his effort was comfortably saved at the near post.
The breakthrough finally arrived 14 minutes from time - and there was a hint of controversy about it. Ingram's cross clearly hit the arm of Gallinagh in the City box but it was at close range.
However, referee David Woolford deemed it was hand to ball and, after a lengthy debate by the City players, Kington slammed home the penalty to give Mellor no chance.
The City bench's response was to immediately send on Low for Reid and they continued to pose the occasional threat on the counter-attack but Stearn, after getting away from Jamie Laird, dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box.
Stearn also saw a low free-kick, which he didn't quite get full power behind, go through the wall but be saved by Lloyd Irish at his near post.
City piled forward in the closing stages but Irish made a good block to deny Chris Allen.
Then, in the dying seconds of the game, Grubb intercepted a pass from Connolly and raced through before calmly firing into the bottom corner.