FA Trophy 2nd Round
Saturday 10 January 2015 - Grosvenor Vale - kick off ??pm
||Mellor, Bowman, Gallinagh (c), Simpson, Walsh, Ball, Watkins (McCootie 77), Adelsbury, Pratt (Stern 85), Kington, Artus. subs not used: Keary, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Watkins (2), Kington (21), Artus (37)
||L Betts, D Cook, J Whittaker
|league position: n/a
||next match: Staines Town (H)
Report taken from
Bath City progressed to the last 16 of the FA Trophy thanks to three first-half goals at Grosvenor Vale.
Andy Watkins, Ashley Kington and Frankie Artus were on target for the visitors as they avenged a 1-0 defeat to the Stones at Twerton Park three weeks earlier and banked £6,000 in prize money.
City will enter the draw for the third round on Monday and are just three steps away from a dream appearance at Wembley.
Their planned Vanarama Conference South clash with Farnborough on Tuesday has been postponed, however, as the visitors must now play Maidenhead in a Trophy replay.
City produced their most successful, attacking 45 minutes of football to date this season, followed by an equally accomplished defensive display to secure a comfortable victory over an 11-game unbeaten Wealdstone side.
In a swirling wind and on a heavy pitch, from the first whistle City looked the more determined of the two sides to gain victory. Charging down the slope after just two minutes Dave Pratt laid the ball off for Watkins, who, despite taking two touches, got round the home defence to fire into the net.
For City, the perennial slow starters, it was a dream opening. However, it was a dream that then turned into a nightmare just three minutes later. A cross into the box by Richard Jolly saw Elliot Godfrey arriving unmarked from deep to draw the Stones level.
With the game now being played at a frenetic pace it was the Stones who had the next opportunity with almost a carbon-copy of their goal. Luke O’Nien played a ball into the box and again Godfrey arrived having not been picked up by the defence, only for his shot to be easily taken by Jason Mellor in the City goal.
But any pretence that this was going to be an even contest was quickly disabused by the City forwards and midfield as they shifted smoothly into top gear.
Watkins, who the home side seemed unable to contain regardless of which flank he charged down, put in a cross which saw a powerful Ben Adelsbury shot blocked. The home side cleared the ball up to the halfway line only for Dan Bowman to intercept and again set Watkins free down the City right.
Another cross came into the box and before it could reach Pratt on the far post, Carl Martin in the home defence managed to spoon it over the crossbar and to safety from no more than a couple of yards out.
Watkins then played Kington in but the midfielder was quickly dispossessed as he turned to shoot 12 yards out.
However, he was soon to make amends as he restored City’s advantage on 12 minutes. The ball was played to Pratt, who touched it back for Kington to drill home from the same distance as his earlier opportunity.
Although a goal behind, the home side showed they could still be a threat on the counter-attack. Jolly raced into the 18-yard box before setting up veteran Scott McGleish. He fired towards goal and although Mellor could only parry his shot away, Sekani Simpson was alert to the threat and cleared the danger.
Just before the half-hour mark City should have made it 3-0 as again Kington played a slide-rule pass to release Watkins. The diminutive forward beat the keeper but in trying to place his shot he allowed sufficient time for Stones captain Wes Parker to clear off the line.
However, the large and vocal contingent of City fans did not have long to wait for more to cheer. With the visitors again pressing forward they won a corner which Artus took on the right. As the ball came into the box Phil Walsh rose highest only for his header to again be cleared off the line. Yet the home defence failed to get the ball forward and Artus stepped up to fire City into a two-goal lead from the edge of the penalty area.
There was still time before the interval for Adelsbury to have another shot blocked on the line and for Parker to have a goalbound effort collected by Mellor but it was undoubtedly a half that belonged to the visitors.
The second half was different story. With the Stones playing down the slope they took the attack to City but somehow never looked as convincing or as versatile going forward as their opponents had.
Shaun Lucien on the left had failed against Bowman going up the slope, but found an extra yard of pace going down it and twice he skinned the youthful defender. Yet at the heart of the defence Simpson twice blocked shots and City were then saved when an unmarked McGleish put what looked a certain goal wide with a diving header.
Although there was still 30 minutes to go it seemed to be the end of any realistic chance the home side had of drawing level. McGleish was substituted with a minor display of petulance and City steadied the ship.
Appeals for a penalty against the excellent Simpson were waved away by referee Betts, and City again began to have chances. Adelsbury shot wide just after the hour mark, as did Pratt just ten minutes before the end.
There was final despairing flourish from the Stones when a Lucien cross was forced wide by Jolly but by then the game was all but over as the home fans drifted away and the visitors were left to salute their happy travelling support.