Saturday 8 March 2014 - York Road - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Ball, Gallinagh (c), Walsh, Burnell, Allen, Keats (Stearn 75), Reid (Low 60), Watkins, Pratt (Wilson 80). subs not used: Connolly, Bowman.
|man of the match:
||A Degnarain, C Williams, E Moore
|league position: 6th
||next match: Cheddar (SPC (A)
Report taken from
Bath City say they have not yet given up on the possibility of a play-off spot. And, after a close-run victory over relegation-threatened Maidenhead United on Saturday, and with City and Weston-super-Mare being the only two of the league’s top eight sides to record a victory, it is still too early to say that such an objective is unachievable.
For a long time at York Road it looked as if the visitors might go away with just the single point to complete a symmetrical sequence of three wins, three defeats and three draws.
That is until five minutes from the final whistle, when Josh Low popped up at the far post to take advantage of a dropped cross by the otherwise excellent Elvijs Putnins, leaving the City substitute with a simple tap-in.
However, at the start of the game, it was Maidenhead that were first out of the traps, with good runs by Harry Pritchard down the left that for a time Sekani Simpson found hard to handle.
City, although pressed back early on, soon got into their stride, with Simpson running down the right to put in a cross for Dave Pratt, returning to his former club, and his shot rebounded off Putnins in the Maidenhead goal.
Eight minutes later, City won a free-kick in a good position 22 yards out. However, Chris Allen failed to clear the United wall and Noah Keats sent the rebound high over the crossbar.
The traffic was not all one way and Pritchard was again the danger man for United. This time another run down the left saw his fierce cross deflected away from goal by City captain Andy Gallinagh. Tyrell Miller-Rodney followed up but his shot was well saved by Jason Mellor.
City’s best chance of the half fell to Pratt as a powerful cross from Dan Ball on the left saw him turn and shoot from close range, only to fire straight at Putnins with the goal at his mercy, allowing the keeper to push the ball away.
The visitors won their first corner just before half-time after a powerful run and interchange between Ball and Reid. The ball fell to Walsh but the tall centre-back, slightly off balance, failed to get any power on his header and only succeeded in giving Putnins an easy save.
Just before the interval, the home side again came back at City, with this time Walsh the villain, giving the ball away deep inside his own half to United’s Adrian Clifton. He laid the ball off for Miller-Rodney, whose shot was again well saved by Mellor.
In the second half it was City who started the stronger of the two sides but they failed to take advantage of two gilt-edged opportunities.
The first came just six minutes into the half when Pratt laid on a carefully-weighted through ball to Reid, who failed to round Putnins, ending up firing straight against the diving keeper.
A minute later, it was the lively Andy Watkins' turn to enter the ‘miss of the match’ award. After getting free of the defence down the left, he cut inside and, like Reid, as the ball ran away down the slope, found his late shot blocked by the onrushing Putnins.
It was sufficient to stir the home side into action. A succession of corners for United followed, although the height of the excellent Walsh served City well in defence as he competently cleared on more than one occasion.
The best chance for Maidenhead came 17 minutes before the end. Danny Green, who had come increasingly into the game in the second half, picked up the ball down the left and fired back across goal, with his shot only inches away from Mellor's far post.
As the clock ticked down, the game then looked to be drifting towards the inevitable draw until Putnins' error gave City their slightly undeserved victory.
For Maidenhead it was their 12th defeat out of fourteen meetings between these two sides, which left their manager Johnson Hippolyte ruefully admitting: "We very rarely get anything when we play Bath, they have been our bogey side for far too long."