Vanarama Conference South
Tuesday 17 February 2015 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Thompson, Bowman, Diallo, Rollo, Keary, Kington (Hemmings 62), Stearn (c) (Pratt 63), Evans, McCootie (Allen 71), Adelsbury, Perry. subs not used: Sloggett, Mellor.
|man of the match:
||Evans (21), McCootie (28, 38, 42, 52), Adelsbury (45), Hemmings (76)
||A Quelch, R Morris, M Dadds
|league position: 11th
||next match: North Ferriby Utd (FAT) (H)
Report taken from
Nick McCootie scored a first-half hat-trick and Zac Evans marked his debut with a goal as a makeshift Bath City side recorded a remarkable victory over a shambolic Farnborough team on Tuesday.
McCootie staked his claim for a start against North Ferriby United in Saturday’s FA Trophy semi-final first leg with three clinical finishes as City recovered from conceding an early goal to Louie Theophanous.
Youthful midfielder Evans had headed in the equaliser and Ben Adelsbury curled in a peach of a fifth goal as City incredibly reached half-time with a 5-1 advantage.
It was six just after the break as the luckless Adam Brice pulled up with a hamstring strain, allowing McCootie to race through for his fourth on the night.
That made him the first City player to score four goals in a league game since Graham Colbourne in a 5-0 win over Salisbury in January 1998.
Chas Hemmings came off the bench to score City’s seventh before Dan Bennett pulled a couple back late on for the visitors, who were also gifted a fourth when keeper Conor Thompson pushed a looping shot into his own net.
As promised, City chiefs Lee Howells and Adie Britton rang the changes as they sought to keep players fresh for this weekend’s huge game against North Ferriby.
Just captain Ross Stearn, Ashley Kington, McCootie, Adelsbury and Naby Diallo – whose appeal against his red card at Dover last week has been rejected by the FA – kept their place in the starting line-up from Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Gosport Borough.
Young keeper Thompson and midfielder Evans came in for their league debuts and were joined in the team by fellow youth-team product Louis Perry, while Jacob Sloggett was on the bench.
Dan Bowman was fit enough to return in defence alongside Diallo, Pat Keary and Jim Rollo, who was making his first league start since facing Billericay Town in December 2012.
And the City legend had a great chance to mark his return in style as a third-minute corner dropped to him ten yards out but Rollo – who hasn’t scored in eight years – failed to get any power in his half-volley and it was comfortably saved by Dillon Barnes.
Bowman tried his luck with a dipping drive from 25 yards which fizzed just wide of the near post as City’s mix-and-match team made a decent start to the match.
However, they found themselves behind in the 11th minute, just seconds after going close at the other end.
Kington’s header back across the Farnborough box almost fell for McCootie but the visiting defence just managed to intercept the ball and then hoofed it forward.
Keary thought he had time to take the ball down but found himself dispossessed by Theophanous, who then surged through on goal and was brought down by keeper Thompson. However, before referee Adrian Quelch blew for a penalty, the visiting striker picked himself up to fire into an empty net.
That decision meant that Thompson escaped with just a yellow card and was still on the pitch to make a good save from the goalscorer a couple of minutes later.
City had a couple more shaky moments after that but got back on level terms in the 21st minute when Stearn’s free-kick from the right was firmly headed home by Evans.
Rollo was initially credited as the scorer – he was at the centre of the celebrations – but it was later confirmed that the youngster had got the final touch for his first senior goal.
It was just the response City needed and things got better for the hosts seven minutes later when, following a crunching tackle by Bowman, McCootie found himself through on goal and managed to lift the ball past the advancing keeper.
Farnborough looked painfully short of confidence at the back, not surprising given their poor run of just two wins in 2015, and were lucky not to fall further behind when Bowman’s pass was allowed to roll through to Stearn but he fired straight at the keeper.
However, McCootie was far more ruthless in the 38th minute when he again fired over keeper Barnes after the referee had played good advantage to allow Adelsbury, who was being fouled, to slide the pass through.
Farnborough replaced right-back Amedeu Amau with Freddie Grant moments later but they were looking increasingly shambolic in defence and when they failed to clear a Bowman cross in the 42nd minute, McCootie was on hand to complete his hat-trick from close range.
And there was still time for a fifth goal before half-time, with Adelsbury beating Barnes to a pass into the left channel and cleverly shifting the ball onto his right foot before curling a shot around the stranded keeper and into the net.
It was the first time City had scored five goals in the first half of a league game since a 7-0 victory over Crawley in 2000 and Farnborough’s management were clearly unimpressed, sending their players back on the pitch five minutes early.
But things got even worse for them seven minutes after the restart as defender Brice snapped his hamstring as he was chasing back, allowing McCootie to collect the ball and stroll in on goal before nutmegging Barnes for his fourth and City’s sixth.
The sporting thing may have been to put the ball out but there was no requirement for McCootie to stop playing.
Brice needed lengthy treatment before being replaced by Darryl Siaw, while Farnborough’s last change on the hour saw Roman Michael-Percil come on for Reece Beckles.
City’s first substitutions came a couple of minutes later, with Hemmings and Dave Pratt – the goal heroes against Dover Athletic last week – replaced Kington and Stearn.
McCootie, who was one booking away from a ban, was also unsurprisingly replaced – to a standing ovation – by Chris Allen with 19 minutes to go.
And the substitutes got in on the action in the 76th minute as City went 7-1 up – ironically just moments after the visitors’ best chance of the second half.
An under-hit back pass from Evans should have been picked up by captain Phil Page but he showed no desire, allowing keeper Thompson to race out and hoof forward.
The clearance was collected by Pratt, who passed the ball in from the right for Hemmings to control and produce a lob which took a slight deflection as it dropped over Barnes into the net.
Despite that goal, City had clearly eased off and Farnborough took advantage of some dawdling from Diallo to slide in an 80th-minute goal through Bennett.
And he was able to score again, albeit at the fourth attempt after miskicking one shot, having another saved by Thompson and seeing a third effort cleared off the line by Keary.
Theophanous also rolled a shot wide of the far post in injury-time, then keeper Thompson pushed a looping shot into his own net as a crazy game finished in fitting fashion.