Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 30 August 2014 - Meadow Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Ball (Slocombe 71), Keary, Gallinagh (c), Adelsbury, Stearn (Hemmings 90), Artus (Bowman 79), Pratt, Watkins, Kington. subs not used: Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Pratt (45), Stearn (53)
|league position: 21st
||next match: Whitehawk (H)
Bath City collected their first win of the Vanarama Conference South season with a deserved success at Boreham Wood.
The visitors delivered a performance filled with energy and commitment that made a nonsense of their bottom-of-the-table position as much as it made second place for Boreham Wood, prior to the game, seem overstated.
They trailed midway through the first half after Scott Thomas put the hosts ahead with a long-range effort that beat City keeper Jason Mellor.
City went in at the break level after Dave Pratt headed home Ross Stearnís cross on the stroke of half-time.
Last seasonís top-scorer returned the compliment for what proved to be the winner eight minutes into the second half as Stearn marked his return to the starting XI with a goal..
The early stages saw chances for Boreham Wood and with just five minutes gone a slip by Sekani Simpson let Ricky Shakes in, only for his shot to be hit straight at Mellor.
Seven minutes later Lee Angol took the ball to the byline on the right, only for Mellor to again come to the rescue by smothering his shot at his near post.
Despite City gradually coming back into the game, aided by the excellent Frankie Artus in midfield, it was the home side who scored first.
The danger came from City's left flank as Dan Ball gave Ben Nunn too much room. A cross came into the box and as the defence struggled to clear it, Thomas sent a daisy-cutter of a shot towards Mellorís goal. Whether it took a slight deflection or whether he was unsighted the City keeper made no move towards the ball and the visitors fell behind.
However, if nothing else this rejuvenated City side hardly let their heads drop, with the determined Pratt leading the line as its finest exponent.
Just before the half-hour mark his tireless running nearly paid dividends when he slipped in between Josh Hill in the Wood defence and keeper James Russell, only for the shot-stopper to get enough on Pratt's attempted lob to push the ball wide for a corner.
Yet just when it looked as if City would go in a goal down at the interval Pratt came to the rescue. Stearn collected the ball from a City throw and with his left foot put in a searching cross to the far post. Pratt rose above the defence to head home just seconds before the half-time whistle.
The second half, like the first, again saw the home side start strongly. A powerful shot from Graeme Montgomery from well over 25 yards out had Mellor at full stretch to put the ball round his post. Surprisingly, it was the last clear-cut chance Boreham Wood were to have.
Just seven minutes after the restart Pratt won the ball just inside the centre circle. Setting off on a run towards the opposition goal, his first attempted pass rebounded off the hapless Hill before his second fell cleanly into the path of Stearn.
Without hesitating, the forward took the ball neatly before volleying it into the back of the Wood net. It was the cue for a typically enthusiastic, but well-deserved Stearn celebration.
From then on City always looked in control without creating many more chances. They were forced somewhat back into defence, but as much through forced substitutions to Ball and then Artus through injury as the oppositionís threats on goal.
One scare in the final seconds saw substitute Austin Lipman put the ball wide but it did little to dampen the relieved celebrations that took place on the final whistle as the City bench rose as one to acknowledge the applause of the travelling fans.