Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 31 January 2015 - Priory Lane - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Gallinagh, Walsh, Ball, Hemmings (Watkins 46), Allen, Kington, Pratt (Stearn 73), Diallo (Adelsbury 82), Artus. subs not used: Keary, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||Hemmings (39), Allen (50), Pratt (69)
|league position: 10th
||next match: Whitehawk (A)
Report taken from
Ashley Kington’s early strike proved decisive as Bath City continued their excellent run of form with victory at Eastbourne Borough to climb to tenth spot in Vanarama Conference South.
The fixture saw City make the first of three 320-mile plus round trips to the South East in the space of a week. They return to Sussex to face Whitehawk on Tuesday before tackling Dover Athletic in the FA Trophy quarter-finals on Saturday.
With Dan Bowman and Nick McCootie nursing injuries, City started with a rearranged formation as new boy Naby Diallo was handed a place up front and Andy Watkins dropped to the bench.
Despite the long coach journey to the south coast, a heavy pitch and persistent wintery showers City started the brighter of the two sides and were rewarded with a goal as early as the seventh minute.
An inch perfect pass from Chas Hemmings found Andy Gallinagh in yard or two of space down the left. The skipper took the ball well before knocking it back to Frankie Artus. His cross came into the box and through a melee of players was half cleared before falling to Kington who, on the half volley, drilled home from about eight yards.
From then on the first half was a contrast of styles, with Borough all haste and urgency in attack but City with the control and skill needed on a difficult playing surface.
Twice the home side nearly broke through but for fine last-minute tackles from first Sekani Simpson and then Phil Walsh, who raced from box to box before sliding in to take the ball off Nathaniel Pinney.
City were not short of chances of their own. Twice Kington spurned good opportunities, one from a free-kick on 18 minutes and then just slipping as he lined up a shot after good work from Diallo and Artus.
However, the best chances for both teams came as the clock ran down on the first half. A great run from Borough’s Matt Aldred saw the midfielder exchange a one-two with Sam Beale before firing narrowly wide.
But back came City. A nice ball from Diallo to Chris Allen saw the midfielder flick it over the defence for Dave Pratt, who was inches away from putting it in the net before Lewis Carey collected.
The second half was something of a different story. City lost Hemmings to a hip injury, to be replaced by Watkins, and then began to come under increasing pressure.
Just five minutes after the restart Darren Lok arrived late from a free-kick and got in behind the defence only to fire wide. Ten minutes later and another set piece, Jack Evans’ dipping 30-yard shot was collected by Jason Mellor at the second attempt.
Mellor was again under pressure ten minutes later, this time nearly dropping a ball into his own net after a good cross from Chris Sessegnon. Almost instantly, the City keeper was called into action again when he saved at the feet of substitute Gavin McCallum.
City by now were reduced to attempting to score on the break, with Watkins twice going clear on goal. He put his first effort wide before firing the second straight into the hands of Carey
Although the City defence was never quite under siege, Eastbourne saved their best until last.
With the indicator board showing four minutes of additional time City’s frequent nemesis, substitute Richard Pacquette, found himself only ten yards from goal but put his shot over the bar. With only seconds remaining the visitors lost the ball in midfield, only for Pinney to fire over, again from a good position.
If the test of a good side is to win matches when not necessary playing at their best then City passed this examination with flying colours.