FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 14 October 2014 - Meadowbank - kick off 7.45pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Ball, Gallinagh (c), Keary, Kington, Watkins (Stearn 76), Adelsbury, Pratt (Patten 73), McCootie (Taylor 85), Hemmings. subs not used: Rollo.
|man of the match:
||McCootie (6), Adelsbury (38), Watkins (54)
||Pratt (36), McCootie (81), Patten (90)
|league position: n/a
||next match: Bromley (A)
Report taken from
Bath City enjoyed an evening stroll on Pike Hill in Stroud as they brushed aside lower-league Shortwood United to set up a FA Cup fourth qualifying round trip to East Thurrock United.
Having had to twice come from behind in Saturday’s original tie at Twerton Park, City made their Conference South quality tell from the start as they effectively killed Tuesday’s replay off before half-time.
Nick McCootie - coming into the team for Kyle Patten in the only change to Saturday’s starting XI – needed just six minutes to open the scoring, bundling the ball home after a deep cross to the back post had been headed across the six-yard box by Dave Pratt.
Shortwood left-back fizzed a right-footed shot just wide of Jason Mellor’s goal soon after but that was to prove the home side’s only chance of a one-sided opening 45 minutes.
McCootie felt he should have had a penalty when he seized on a poor touch by Jake Lee before going down under the defender’s recovery tackle but referee Andy Headley was unmoved.
Andy Watkins then collected a long clearance from Mellor and exchanged slick passes with Sekani Simpson and Pratt before advancing to the edge of the box, where he hit a shot with the outside of his right foot. However, it didn’t have quite enough fade and went wide of the far post.
Watkins was causing problems with the ball at his feet and cut in from the left before teeing up Ben Adelsbury for a low drive which was straight at keeper Tom King.
The midfielder had another shot deflected wide for a corner and Pratt lost his footing on a skiddy surface as he lifted an effort into King’s hands when well placed.
The surface was also against Pratt when he slid into a challenge and caught Lee on the shin. Referee Headley took the conditions into account and only produced a yellow card.
Lee picked himself up but his next involvement was to head a clearance straight at McCootie, who pushed the ball into space by rifling another shot wide.
City finally hit the target again in the 38th minute when Shortwood fell asleep at a corner and allowed Adelsbury time and space on the edge of the box to pick his spot.
It was his third goal in as many games and he almost netted again with a dipping shot that King could only parry. Pratt tucked in the rebound but was flagged offside.
The busy keeper produced his best save of the half in injury-time, diving to his right to push McCootie’s goalbound shot to safety and ensure his side only had a 2-0 deficit to take into the second period.
Any hope Shortwood had of getting back into the game was extinguished in the 54th minute, though, and in fine style as McCootie released Pratt, who surged past left-back Humphreys before rolling the ball across for Watkins to rifle home.
It was an excellent goal and was almost immediately followed by a fourth as that man Adelsbury again collected a corner and tried his luck from 25 yards, with his strike just clearing the angle of post and bar.
Shortwood chances were few and far between, with Adam Price putting a stooping header wide from eight yards and a low cross from the right being allowed to skid across the City penalty box before Mellor eventually cleared his lines well under pressure.
At the other end, McCootie and Watkins missed the target after working hard to force the Shortwood defence into the kind of errors they did not make on Saturday.
With the game won, City replaced Pratt and Watkins – the latter having taken a slight knock – with Patten and Ross Stearn for the closing stages.
McCootie continued to lead the line well in their absence and had another chance to add to his tally, only to drag his shot wide when through on goal.
He did pick up a bizarre booking for handball, though, when a defensive clearance was smashed at him from a couple of yards.
McCootie was replaced in the 86th minute – to a great reception from the travelling supporters – by University of Bath student Beau Taylor for his City debut.
Patten and Shortwood midfielders Ashley Thomas and Nick Hancock were booked for handbags in injury-time before the clean sheet was ruined as Matt Bennett headed in from a corner.
But that failed to take the gloss off a thoroughly deserved win for City, which added a much-needed £7,500 of prize money to the club kitty.