Vanarama National League South
Saturday 15 August 2015 - The Enclosed Ground - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 0-0 result: W1-0 attendance: 219

team: Phillips, Gallinagh (c), Nicholson, Coupe, Ball, Hemmings, Kington, Williams (Bowman 84), Pratt, McCootie (Artus 77), Davies. subs not used: Bole, Rollo, Sloggett.
man of the match: Matt Coupe
scorers: McCootie (56)
bookings: Davies (39), Kington (74)
officials: P Kelly, S Finnigan, C Myatt

league position: 3rd form: ---WWW next match: Maidenhead United (H)

Report taken from

Bath City ended a superb week on a high with a gritty and determined win over much-fancied Whitehawk in a contest which probably should have seen more than just the solitary goal. The home side wasted countless opportunities during a frantic 90 minutes but, despite the late siege on the visitors' goal, they rarely managed to test City keeper Steve Phillips, while also having centre-back Jordan Rose sent off for two bookable offences late on. Even though the steep gradient of the pitch at the Enclosed Ground usually favours the side shooting down the hill, the reality proved quite the opposite in this match as the team kicking up the slope in each half carved out the better opportunities.

The first period was mostly controlled by Whitehawk, led by their midfield quartet of Sergio Torres, David Ijaha, Scott Neilson and in particular the effervescent Sam Deering, whose cute passing ability and fleeting movement caused real problems in midfield. However, shots on goal were mostly restricted to long-range efforts by City's well-organised defence. Mills flashed an early effort over, Neilson curled one just past the far post and then volleyed wide from the right edge of the box before Deering narrowly missed the target after Matt Coupe's clearance fell to him just outside the area. Half-chances were all that the visitors could muster in response. Brad Williams had the best of these, going close twice. Firstly he fizzed an effort straight into the arms of Craig Ross and then he drilled a 20-yard effort towards goal which was well blocked by Jordan Brown.

Ten minutes into the second half the game changed. Rose was perhaps lucky not to see red sooner than he did with a reckless challenge on Pratt which left the front man hobbling. Just a yellow for the offender but justice was soon to be done. Kevin Nicholson's free-kick was well saved by Ross but, from Ashley Kington's following corner, the keeper could only punch the ball straight at McCootie for the ball to rebound off his back and into the net. 1-0 City, even if the forward knew nothing about it. The away side were now markedly the better of the two teams and McCootie was the focal point. When he sprinted away from the home defence and bore down on Ross, the second goal seemed inevitable. Rose cynically brought him down from behind and the home side were forced to play out the last 18 minutes with ten men. The sending-off appeared to galvanise Whitehawk as they desperately went in search of an equaliser. Robinson's shot was well blocked by Hemmings and then Torres escaped a couple of challenges but could only hit his early shot over the bar. As on Tuesday, the three points were not safe until the very end when, after a succession of corners, Deering clipped one straight onto the head of Mills. He must have thought he had scored but Nicholson had other ideas perfectly positioned he headed off the line. If ever a marker of City's new found resolve was put down, this was surely it. Fans and management breathed a big sigh of relief as City held on to all three points to round off their best start since 2005.