Vanarama Conference South
Tuesday 14 April 2015 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
|| Mellor, Simpson, Gallinagh (c), Walsh, Ball, Hemmings, Kington, Diallo, Pratt, McCootie (Watkins 84), Artus. subs not used: Stearn, Bowman, Allen.
|man of the match:
||Pratt (pen 16, 72)
||M Amphlett, S Allison, M Greenwood
|league position: 12th
||next match: Sutton United (H)
Report taken from
A Dave Pratt goal in either half was enough for Bath City to overcome Ebbsfleet United at Twerton Park.
City had large spells of dominance, especially in the first half, as they picked up their first win in five matches, whilst ending Ebbsfleet's outside hopes of a play-off spot.
Pratt tucked home a penalty in the first half, before sliding home a second after the break to cap a man-of-the-match performance.
The first half was an open affair for the most part, with City creating the bulk of the opportunities.
After a cagey opening, the game shot to life just after the quarter hour mark, with City's constant good work down the left-hand side leading to the award of a penalty.
It wasn't the first time Artus had got in behind Ebbsfleet's right-back Kenny Clark, and on the 16th minute mark he had his shirt tugged by Clark with referee Marvyn Amphlett making no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Pratt duly stepped up and smashed the penalty straight down the middle and into the back of the net, with Ebbsfleet goalkeeper Preston Edwards diving away to his right to see the ball fly past him.
City though couldn't hold onto their lead for longer than a minute, with Ebbsfleet equalising through skipper Stuart Lewis after the defence switched off.
From the kick-off, the ball was swung over to the right where Matt Gooden volleyed towards goal, drawing a great save from Jason Mellor. Mellor though could only parry the ball to Lewis, who slotted the ball into the left corner after meeting the rebound unopposed to draw the sides level.
Ebbsfleet nearly took the lead in the 19th minute when Luke Rooney struck the post after beating Mellor at his near post. The ball had run to Rooney after strong work from Tyrone Marsh, and he powered the ball towards goal from the left-hand side of the City penalty area, only to see the ball cannon back off the post an away from danger.
City then had a spell of dominance, with Pratt and Artus involved in a lot of the attacks. Having stolen the ball from Clark, Pratt found himself one-on-one with Edwards, only to see his tame shot put behind for a corner.
It was then City's turn to strike the upright through Pratt, who proved to be a constant menace throughout the first 90 minutes. Having intercepted a pass from Theo Lewis, Pratt took a touch before sending a piledriver towards the Ebbsfleet goal, beating Edwards but not the post as it bounced back out.
Stuart Lewis was booked just before the break by referee Amphlett for persistent fouling, as the first-half fizzled out with the sides going in level.
Ebbsfleet came out strongly in the second half, forcing a string of corners as they got a strong foothold on the game, with Rooney at the heart of many of the away team's forward forays.
Just as it looked as though Ebbsfleet's pressure was going to lead to a goal, captain Lewis had his path blocked by a brilliant last ditched tackle by Artus, which was timed to perfection with it being in his own box.
Despite all the pressure, it was City who grabbed the lead back, with Pratt scoring his second against the run of play. The goal came in the 72nd minute as the two City strikers linked-up perfectly.
Nick McCootie wrestled the ball from Anthony Acheampong on the edge of the box before taking a touch and rolling the ball towards goal, where Pratt was lurking at the far post and slid home with McCootie's shot looking to be going wide. The visitors made a change straight after the goal, as Michael West replaced Adam Cunnington.
City began to take control of the midfield and completely nullified the Ebbsfleet attacks which had been so persistent before Pratt's second.
Lee Howells made his first substitution in the 84th minute, with Andy Watkins taking over from McCootie to partner star man Pratt for the final few minutes.
Ebbsfleet then made a couple of late changes with Alex Osborn and Sean Shields entering the fray, but they failed to influence the game at all, with City seeing out the game thanks to a strong defensive effort from all 11 players.
City move up to 12th in the Conference South table with the win, with just two games remaining in the league season.