Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 13 September 2014 - ProKit UK Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Bowman, Ball, Simpson, Gallinagh (c), Kington, Stearn (Dale 62), Allen (Gibbons 44), Pratt, Watkins (Hemmings 75), Keary. subs not used: Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Keary (8), Bowman (40), Ball (51)
|league position: 20th
||next match: Eastbourne Borough (H)
Report taken from
Bath City recorded their third straight game on the road without defeat but no doubt will look back on this as two points lost rather than one gained against a lacklustre Bishop Stortford side.
To add to Cityís woes, their already lengthening injury list was added to as Chris Allen was stretchered from the pitch just before half-time with a suspected ligament tear.
It now brings the walking wounded to five, with Phil Walsh and possibly Frankie Artus out as long-term casualties, and Ben Adlesbury and Martin Slocombe also unavailable due to injury.
City, as they have done several times this season, got off to the worst possible start. Despite conceding two corners in quick succession, there still looked to be little threat from the home side. However, the ball was laid back to an unmarked Ryan Auger, whose flick into the box was found by Anthony Church to slide the ball into the net.
But City, if still missing the skill of Artus in midfield, are nonetheless a far more determined and battling side than at the start of the season. Therefore, it was perhaps not surprising that just before the half-hour mark, with Sheldon Sellears steaming through on goal, it was Ross Stearn making the last-ditch tackle.
Encouraged, Stortford began to press forward in numbers and it was the turn of Jason Mellor to keep his side in the game. From 25 yards, Auger unleashed a powerful shot destined for the top right-hand corner of the net but Mellor leapt across to turn the ball away one-handed.
With the interval beckoning, Allen collected his injury. Just inside the opposition's half he turned and appeared to catch his foot in the turf, with Stortfordís Rod Young colliding with him as he went down for good measure. Allen was down for a full four minutes before eventually being stretchered off to be replaced by youngster Elliot Gibbons.
At that point things looked bleak for City. But cometh the hour, cometh the man, and needless to say it was last seasonís top scorer Dave Pratt who strode to the rescue.
He latched onto a through ball from Ashley Kington, bulldozed his way past three defenders and unleashed an unstoppable shot that Joe Wright in the home goal stood no chance of collecting
The second period was something of a different story, with the best of the chances falling to City. Four minutes into the half, Gibbons was brought down 25 yards out but Stearn's free-kick landed straight in the arms of the keeper.
Watkins also had a chance a few minutes later, running onto a perfect through ball from Gibbons, only to take a heavy touch and settle for a corner.
The best opportunity came 11 minutes from time when, after good work down the right, Pratt put in a perfect cross for substitute Chas Hemmings, who failed to collect cleanly and his soft goalbound effort was easily cleared off the line by George Allen.
Moments earlier Allen had gone close when his cross glanced off the upright and Stortford again had a brief flourish in the dying seconds but Pat Keary, who had played well alongside the ever dependable Sekani Simpson, put in a critical header to keep the scores level.