Vanarama Conference South
Tuesday 3 March 2015- Soccer AM Stadium - kick off 7.45pm
||Mellor, Simpson (McCootie 81), Bowman, Gallinagh (c), Walsh, Ball, Stearn, Adelsbury, Pratt (Waktins 72), Kington, Artus. subs not used: Hemmings, Keary, Allen.
|man of the match:
||Pratt (55), Watkins (90+3)
||Pratt (69), Adelsbury (85)
|league position: 12th
||next match: Hemel Hempstead (A)
Report taken from
Bath City were not able to shake their FA Trophy hangover as they suffered defeat to high-flying Basingstoke Town at the SoccerAM on Tuesday.
The visiting players had been challenged in the wake of Saturday's semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat at North Ferriby United to refocus their efforts on pushing for the Vanarama South play-offs.
However, City are now 14 points adrift of fifth-placed Gosport Borough after this defeat, although they did again put up a good fight considering the circumstances.
A scrappy first half ended with the visitors 2-0 down following goals from Rob Dickie on his 19th birthday and a Liam Enver-Marum free-kick that Jason Mellor should have done better with.
Dan Bowman had forced home keeper Stuart Moore into two saves by the time Dave Pratt pulled a 53rd-minute goal back against his old club after Frankie Artus's shot deflected into his path.
However, Lloyd Macklin surged through to quickly restore Basingstoke's two-goal advantage and despite applying good pressure, City had to wait until the fourth minute of injury-time before scoring again when Nick McCootie brilliantly set up fellow substitute Andy Watkins for a tap-in.
City started the brighter of the two teams, despite the exertions of 72 hours earlier, with Bowman, Ben Adelsbury and Ross Stearn all having early chances but each time firing over the Basingstoke cross bar.
Despite the home side gradually coming back into the game it was still City who had the best chances and they should have gone ahead on the 23rd minute.
Andy Gallinagh played the ball down the right to Stearn, who put in a good cross for Bowman. However, the wing back delayed his shot and as he moved in on goal was crowded out by defenders until Basingstoke keeper Stuart Moore smothered the ball..
From then on Stoke woke up and just five minutes later were in front. A corner won on the left was played to the far post. Dickie outjumped Phil Walsh and, through a crowd of players, saw his header come off Mellor, bounce against the post and into the net.
City still continued to play good passing football but again could not find the net when another Stearn pass found Adelsbury who again fired over the bar.
The visitors were then unfortunate to go two down as the home side showed how to make the best of fewer shots on goal. Artus played a pass far too short for Gallinagh, who fouled Macklin as he stretched for the ball.
The referee awarded a free-kick and, despite a five-man wall, Enver-Marumís shot fired past the its left-hand side to leave Mellor stranded in the City goal.
The visitors again started brightly after the break with Bowman and Artus bringing out good saves from Moore early on.
The visitors were eventually rewarded ten minutes into the half when Artus flicked on a ball for Dave Pratt to fire home from no more than six yards..
If City thought that was the signal for them to get back into the game they were sadly disappointed. Within a minute they let Macklin run through, virtually unchallenged from the centre circle to blast the ball past Mellor from just inside the 18-yard box.
City brought on Watkins for a tiring Pratt and then McCootie for Sekani Simpsonn in an effort to claw back the two-goal deficit but it was Stoke who could have gone further ahead in the 90th minute when Enver-Marum's shot came back off the bar.
In the end it was the visitors who had the last word through Watkins but it was a case of too little, too late.