Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 20 December 2014 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Bowman, Gallinagh (c), Walsh, Ball, Hemmings, Watkins (McCootie 77), Allen (Stearn 71), Pratt, Kington, Artus. subs not used: Keary, Adelsbury, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Walsh (65), Artus (90)
||J O'Brien, G Read, D Sheldrake
|league position: 13th
||next match: Weston SM (A)
Report taken from
It was a classic case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show as Bath City followed their great display in beating Bristol Rovers by letting three league points slip away at home to Wealdstone.
The only goal arrived deep into stoppage time after Wealdstone – whose 150-strong travelling army included Wealdstone Raider Gordon Hill – broke down the right. A poor defensive header left Jason Mellor with a point-blank save to make and in his urgency to get the ball forward and launch one final City attack it spilled from the keeper’s hands, allowing Joe Turner to step in and fire the Stones to victory.
Lee Howells and Adie Britton were unable to name a full-strength squad as the ever-dependable Sekani Simpson was at home with flu while Frankie Artus played, albeit with a virus that saw him miss training in midweek.
Yet despite these setbacks the home started as they finished at the Memorial Stadium, with near total domination of the opening 15 minutes. Yet despite an abundance of possession, Chris Allen, Andy Watkins and Ashley Kington all failed to score from good positions.
With only one goal in their last three league matches, it is an unexpected drought that is beginning to look like a problem.
Inevitably, the visitors came back into the game and after Shaun Lucien and Turner switched flanks to give much travelled striker Jefferson Louis more support, they managed to force two corners in quick succession.
From then on the game was much more evenly balanced with Louis giving Phil Walsh a battering in defence while Watkins kept the visitors’ backline busy with a series of darting runs down the right.
However, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the opening period was by the Stones. On 33 minutes, the otherwise impressive Chas Hemmings lost possession midway inside the City half.
A quick interchange of passes between Turner and Brown then saw the former put in a powerful shot that Mellor did well to save with his feet.
If the second half began slowly it was City who gradually began to build pressure, silencing the large contingent of travelling supporters among City’s biggest league gate to date this season.
Just after the hour mark a great clearance by Mellor to Watkins saw the diminutive forward take the ball to the right before putting in a shot back across goal that went no more than a few feet wide.
City then made their final throw of the dice in an attempt to grab all three points. With 20 minutes to go, on came Ross Stearn for Chris Allen followed in quick succession by Nick McCootie for Andy Watkins.
If nothing else it was a move that lifted the home crowd although within minutes Stearn displayed his Jekyll and Hyde character with a great cross followed by giving the ball away, as he attempted yet another piece of intricate footwork.
By now City were virtually camped out in their opponents’ half with Artus orchestrating the attacks through defence-splitting passes from central midfield as the side moved to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation.
With four minutes to go substitute Ross Stearn saw a shot well saved by keeper Jonathan North. It was followed just one minute later by Dave Pratt putting in powerful effort after good work by Hemmings which again saw North save at full stretch. As the clock ticked down there was only one side in it.
Yet against the run of play and deep in stoppage-time came disaster.
With the final whistle imminent City had no time to come back and it was the visiting fans who were left to celebrate their early Christmas present.