Vanarama National League South
Tuesday 11 August 2015 - Camrose Stadium - kick off 7.45pm
||Phillips, Gallinagh (c), Nicholson, Coupe, Ball, Hemmings, Williams, Kington, Pratt, Davies (Perry 88), McCootie (Bowman 84). subs not used: Monelle, Bole, Sloggett.
|man of the match:
||Nicholson (24), Kington (45)
||A Dagnarain, J Connolly, D Simpson
|league position: 4th
||next match: Whitehawk (A)
Report taken from
Bath City made it two wins out of two in Vanarama National League South with a deserved 2-1 victory at the home of promotion hopefuls Basingstoke Town.
The visitors could even afford two penalty misses from Ashley Kington – one of which led to the winning goal – as they mostly nullified the threat of their big-spending opponents.
City failed to take a single point from the Hampshire side last term but started brightly this time.
Dan Ball tested new Town goalkeeper Aaron Howe with a looping header from Kington's in-swinging corner on seven minutes before John Davies called Howe into action again, jinking through the home defence before unleashing a palm-stinging drive.
Basingstoke hit back as James Harper sauntered through the City defence and found Manny Williams on the edge of the area. He cleverly teed up the dangerous Liam Enver-Marum but, though the ball sat up nicely for him, he could only fire his half-volley narrowly over the angle of post and bar.
Despite conceding a lot of possession early on, City, led by Davies, posed a real threat and it was his trickery which forged the opening goal.
Scythed down by Jamie Brown 30 yards out, he stepped aside for fellow newcomer Kevin Nicholson to guide a delicious curling free-kick just inside Howe's right hand post – giving him a goal and an assist in his first two games.
Dave Pratt, usually so decisive in both boxes, was partially at fault for the equaliser on 32 minutes.
Enver-Marum put in a searching cross to the back post which the striker should have dealt with. Instead he could only head his clearance straight to Nathan Smart. Unmarked six yards out, even the defender could not miss.
The hosts were now on top. Williams slid a measured pass through to Enver-Marum, who forced a good low save from Steve Phillips, and from the subsequent corner Chris Flood failed to get his header on target.
However, with the game in the balance the deadlock was broken just before half-time. An errant pass allowed Nick McCootie to approach the penalty area.
David Ray, the last line of defence, lunged in desperately as the ex-Paulton man nudged the ball past him for a definite penalty and a yellow card for Ray.
Kington stepped up and, although his initial spot-kick was saved, he showed enough initiative to dink the ball over the advancing Howe from the rebound to regain City's lead.
In to the second half, the home side struggled to carve out any clear opportunities and the three points appeared there for the taking.
When Davies robbed Smart and rounded the keeper, only to be upended for City's second penalty of the match, a third goal seemed inevitable.
This time, however, Kington's penalty was weak, enabling Howe to make an easy save down to his left.
Basingstoke pushed forward in search of an equaliser but in truth City were comfortable for much of the second half.
There was still time for late drama in the dying seconds, though, as a clipped cross by Tom Bird was met firmly by Enver-Marum and he seemed certain to score but somehow his downward header was kept out by Phillips, who then showed brilliant reactions to stop Smart's follow-up and preserve City's perfect start.
Next up for City is a tricky trip to Whitehawk on Saturday.