Vanarama Conference South
Tuesday 12 August 2014 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Mellor, Gallinagh (c), Slocombe (Simpson 34), Ball, Walsh, Allen, Artus, Kington, Pratt, Watkins, Hemmings (Stearn 52). subs not used: Bowman, Adelsbury, Keary.
|man of the match:
||R Hulme, M Greenwood, S Allison
|league position: 21st
||next match: Chelmsford City (H)
Report taken from
Bath City have lost their opening two games of the season for the first time since 1995 after a first-half horror show against Basingstoke Town on Tuesday.
Some absolutely shambolic defending from a disjointed City side - who lost 3-0 at Concord Rangers on Saturday - allowed the visitors to race into a 4-0 lead with less than 30 minutes on the clock.
The shell-shocked hosts managed to get through the remaining hour without conceding - albeit with a bit of luck - but they rarely looked like scoring at the other end and have yet to register a goal this season.
There were three changes to the City team which slumped to the weekend's dismal defeat at Canvey Island, with Ben Adelsbury, Ross Stearn and Sekani Simpson all dropping to the bench.
Phil Walsh came into defence, with Andy Gallinagh moving to right-back, while Frankie Artus - who had recovered from a gashed shin - and Chas Hemmings were handed their first league starts in City shirts.
It didn't take long for Hemmings to make his presence felt, with the giant striker clattering into Basingstoke skipper Jay Gasson after only six seconds and earning a booking from Richard Hulme.
Among the referee's assistants was former City player Sam Allison and he raised his flag to indicate a goal in the sixth minute as Basingstoke took the lead when a cross from the right looked to be deflected into his own net by Gallinagh under pressure from Chris Flood.
It was the second time in as many games that City had conceded in the opening ten minutes but, unlike at Concord, they cleared their heads and created some decent openings.
However, Chris Allen's well-flighted free-kick evaded everyone and Artus nodded over following a slick move down the left before Andy Watkins sent an angled header narrowly wide of the far post.
Instead, it was the visitors who scored the second goal - and again it came from down their right as Shaun McAuley's fizzing cross-shot could only be parried by keeper Jason Mellor and Manny Williams took a touch before rifling home off the near post.
And things went from bad to worse in the 27th minute as City were again sliced apart down the left and Liam Enver-Marum stood a cross up to the back post. Simon Dunn sliced his shot back across goal but it fell kindly for Flood to smash home.
City's defence was now in absolute disarray and they parted like the Red Sea again a couple of minutes later as a simple pass from Flood found strike partner Enver-Marum in acres of space, allowing him to beat Mellor with ease.
In an act akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, City chiefs Adie Britton and Lee Howells took Slocombe off after 34 minutes, with Dan Ball moving across to the left and substitute Simpson slotting in at right-back.
City managed to get to half-time without conceding again and they almost pulled one back seven minutes into the second period when a good move ended with Artus working some space in the box but he couldn't keep his shot down.
Hemmings was replaced by Stearn moments later, allowing Dave Pratt to go more central, and he was narrowly off target with a fine diving header from Watkins' cross.
But while City had slightly improved, Basingstoke still posed a threat whenever they went forward and Enver-Marum dragged a shot wide of the far post, while Flood had his hat-trick celebrations cut short by an offside flag after a thumping header.
Flood also blasted the ball across the six-yard box at the end of a rapid break when strike partner Enver-Marum was waiting to tap into an empty net.
The latter became the first Basingstoke player to be replaced in the 77th minute, with Sam Argent being sent on for his debut, and Louis Soares came on for McAuley soon after.
And it was Soares who nearly gifted City a consolation four minutes from time when a free-kick deflected off his head and looped towards goal before being pushed to safety by visiting keeper Jonathan Henry.
Pratt also managed to pull the ball back to Watkins in injury-time but his mis-hit shot bobbled wide, summing up City's miserable opening week.