Skrill South
Saturday 15 March 2014 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 0-0 result: W1-0 attendance: 555

team: Mellor, Simpson, Ball, Gallinagh (c), Walsh, Burnell (Adelsbury 73), Connolly, Allen, Reid (Pratt 73), Watkins, Wilson (Stearn 57). subs not used: Bowman, Low.
man of the match: Andy Watkins
scorers: Burnell (47)
bookings: none
officials: S Knapp, S Yianni, A Penwell

league position: 6th form: LDDWWW next match: Chelmsford City (H)

Report taken from

Joe Burnell scored just the fifth goal of his 14-year playing career as Bath City edged past ten-man Dorchester Town at Mayday Trust Park. The midfielder broke from his defensive duties to produce a composed finish during a goalmouth scramble just after half-time. That proved to be enough to undo a Dorchester side which started brightly but faded and were very much second best after the break, with their frustration exemplified by a 75th-minute dismissal for experienced midfielder Nick Crittenden. City made two changes to the side which won at Maidenhead United last weekend, with Scott Wilson - who scored twice in the midweek Somerset Premier Cup success at Cheddar - handed his first league start. That was in place of Dave Pratt, while Noah Keats - who was not in the matchday 16 - was replaced in midfield by Adam Connolly. Dorchester were unchanged from the team which were only denied victory at Bishop's Stortford by a late equaliser.

And it was the visitors who made a lively start, with City keeper Jason Mellor only able to punch a second-minute corner as far as Nathan Craig but his rising drive just cleared the bar. Charlie Losasso also managed to find some space behind the City defence moments later but dragged his shot from the left corner of the area wide of the far post. City's first threat saw a driven Sekani Simpson cross fizz across the six-yard box without anyone able to get a touch on it. Chris Allen's free-kick from the right then found Phil Walsh in the box but the defender seemed surprised by how much space he had and could only scuff a tame shot straight at Alan Walker-Harris. The Magpies keeper found himself in the book in the ninth minute after racing out of his box to bring down Jake Reid as he broke down the right. Both sides were contributing to a decent opening quarter, with City defender Dan Ball doing well to head Losasso's dangerous cross to safety as Ash Yeoman waited to nod home at the back post. The Magpies also forced seven corners during the first half, while City earned a handful of free-kicks around the box, but clear-cut chances began to dry up and it remained deadlocked at the interval.

That changed less than two minutes into the second half as City took the lead through an unexpected source. Wilson's cross from the right was fumbled at his near post by Walker-Harris and while Magpies defender Nathan Craig did well to block Andy Watkins on the follow-up, the ball broke for Burnell to calmly pick his spot through a crowd of players. It was a fine finish from the defensive midfielder, who had scored just once for City in his previous 114 appearances, and set the tone for the opening 15 minutes of the half as Dorchester struggled to get going. However, they almost equalised out of the blue when Yeoman's shot struck Walsh and spun across to Losasso, who unleashed a thunderous angled drive which beat Mellor all ends up but smacked the upright and went behind. That chance came moments after City had made the first change of the game, with Ross Stearn replacing Wilson on the right, while Magpies manager Phil Simkins made a double switch just after the hour as Jake McCarthy and Dan Munday came on for Sam Lanahan and Warren Byerley respectively. It was City's turn to hit the woodwork in the 70th minute when Walsh met a Stearn corner with a firm header from six yards, only for it to rattle the bar. The hosts were enjoying the better of the second half and introduced fresh legs with 18 minutes to go as fit-again Adelsbury replaced goalscorer Burnell and Pratt came on for Reid. The Magpies were on the back foot and their frustration boiled over when they were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes to go. Crittenden, who had been booked for a challenge on Connolly a couple of minutes earlier, saw the red mist descend as he went in from behind on Ball. Referee Simon Knapp allowed play to go on but had no option but to blow up and show the second yellow when Crittenden promptly clattered into Watkins on the touchline. City, who were dominating possession, went for the jugular but were unable to find the second goal, with Allen thumping a left-footed volley just wide while Watkins' clever back-heel from eight yards went straight at Walker-Harris. Substitute McCarthy also produced a brilliant defensive header from virtually underneath his own bar as Pratt looked nailed on to head in Stearn's inviting cross. Another glorious chance went begging in the first minute of injury-time as Watkins - the most influential player on the pitch in the second half - sent Stearn racing clear but the substitute wastefully blazed his shot over the bar. But Burnell's goal proved to be enough as City recorded a second successive 1-0 win, moving them up to sixth in the Skrill South table.