Vanarama National League South
Tuesday 18 August 2015 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Phillips, Gallinagh (c), Nicholson, Ball, Coupe, Hemmings, Kington, Artus (Williams 70), Pratt, McCootie (Bowman 89), Davies (Watkins 79). subs not used: Allen, Perry.
|man of the match:
||Artus (pen 42), Coupe (87)
||Artus (66), Hemmings (76)
||J Amey, M Underhay, J Durkin
|league position: 1st
||next match: St Albans City (A)
Report taken from
Matt Coupe scored a dramatic last-gasp header on his 300th Bath City start to maintain their 100 per cent start through four games and hit the top of the National League South.
The Romans fell behind for the first time this season when Ben Wright's deflected shot squirmed into the net, but Frankie Artus's penalty three minutes before the break had them level.
And with the game seemingly heading for the draw, Coupe soared in at the far post to turn home Kevin Nicholson's cross, giving City their best start to a season since 1976.
The opening 15 minutes were hardly an insight into what was to come, and rarely saw the excitement level rise above pedestrian.
Ryan Upward aimed a tame 20-yard shot straight at Steve Phillips and Artus saw a looping header collected by Carl Pentney.
The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute after Andy Gallinagh clattered a Maidenhead player on the corner of the City box.
The free-kick was quickly knocked out to Harry Pritchard, who turned a low ball in for Wright to convert, albeit with the help of a deflection.
City appeared unsettled over the next five minutes, although the visitors were unable to take advantage.
A forward burst from Jon Davies renewed the buzz around Twerton Park, even though Nick McCootie ended the move by blazing wide, having found five yards of space.
Nevertheless, it sparked a spell of City pressure. After Ashley Kington saw an initial effort blocked, he picked up the pieces and fed Davies, only to see the wideman's stinging drive turned away by Pentney's feet.
Kington himself half-volleyed straight at the United keeper before Davies was denied again when his low shot – seemingly destined for the bottom corner – was deflected behind.
The United keeper looked almost unbeatable, next turning away a rasping drive from Kington, but he finally saw his goal breached from the penalty spot.
McCootie, Pratt and Davies struggled to get the ball under control in the box, but the latter was tripped to give the Romans a golden opportunity to level.
Following two missed penalties by Kington in the win at Baskingstoke Town a week ago, Artus stepped up and slammed his spot-kick in via the crossbar.
The hosts came out for the second period in the same vain. Within the first 90 seconds Pratt chested a Nicholson cross into the path of Kington, who controlled well and volleyed at Pentney.
Maidenhead came back a minute later, but wasted their opportunity as Dave Tarpey placed his shot well wide of the right-hand post after a one-two with Wright that saw him in acres of space.
In a breakneck five minutes, Pratt also squirmed away from a challenge, but fired high into the netting behind the Bath End.
Chances began to slow for both teams, with the visitors seeing a couple of half-chances from long-range Wright free-kicks come and go, while skipper Alan Massey headed wide from a corner.
The effects of Saturday's trip to Whitehawk – City's longest excursion of the season – became evident as they visibly tired.
Maidenhead were unable to capitalise though, despite finding space, particularly in the wide areas.
The lively James Mulley had two efforts forced away and Josh Huggins fired wide after a driving run.
The best chance fell to former Roman Jake Reid, who cleared the crossbar with a free header from a pinpoint Mulley centre.
But it was City who closed out the evening on top, and they found the winner in the 87th minute as Coupe bundled in Nicholson's far-post cross at the Bath End, sending the home supporters into raptures.