Vanarama National League South
Tuesday 15 September 2015 - Privett Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Phillips, Gallinagh (c), Nicholson, Baldwin, Ball, Williams (Adelsbury 62), Artus, Kington (Hemmings 86), Pratt, Watkins (McCootie 67), Davies. subs not used: Bowman, Coupe.
|man of the match:
|league position: 3rd
||next match: Maidstone Utd (A)
Report taken from
Bath City have finally tasted defeat in the Vanarama National League South this season after losing 3-1 against a powerful Gosport Borough side on Tuesday.
Borough are now just two points behind City and were well worth the three points after putting in a commanding performance against the previously unbeaten visitors.
Lee Howells' side lost a large number of the aerial battles at both ends of the field, which in the end cost them dearly as they struggled to take hold of the match until the final ten minutes.
Justin Bennett was the hero for Gosport, scoring a hat-trick, leaving City keeper Steve Phillips helpless on all three occasions.
Ashley Kington got a goal back in the 80th minute after his deflected effort wrong-footed Nathan Ashmore to make it 2-1, and City then had what would have been an equaliser disallowed after Dave Pratt was flagged offside with four minutes left on the clock, before Bennett added a third for Gosport to complete his hat-trick.
The first half was void of quality compared to what was to come after the break, with most of the early chances falling to the home side.
It was City who had the first major opportunity, though, when Dave Pratt had his header tipped over the bar by Ashmore in the Gosport goal.
Dan Gooden and Bennett should have done better with chances for the home side midway through the half, with Gooden first to fluff his lines when he skied his finish on the left-hand side of the area after a smart pull-back from Lee Wort.
It was then Bennett's chance to waste an opportunity, heading over the bar from eight yards out after a pin-point delivery from Wooden.
After building up a constant stream of pressure as the half wore on, Gosport finally took the lead thanks to a composed finish from Bennett.
The ball fell to the striker on the right side of the penalty area from a Wort flick-on and he brought the ball down well, pulled it back onto his right foot and slotted past Phillips.
Borough nearly doubled their lead a couple of minutes later when Wooden half-volleyed expertly from the edge of the area, only to see his powerful shot narrowly deflected over the bar.
City started the second half well and nearly found their way back into the game when an excellent run and shot from Jon Davies forced Ashmore into a smart stop. After picking up the ball on the halfway line, Davies drove at the defence before firing a strong shot from the edge of the box but Ashmore got down and parried the ball to safety.
Phillips then pulled off a now-trademark point-blank save ten minutes into the second period when he dived at the feet of Wort to push the ball away after the ball ricocheted to the striker five yards out.
City were living on the edge and were inches from going 2-0 down when Bennett's cross was deflected just wide of Phillips' right post, and moments later Aden Baldwin stopped Wort from getting a shot away with an excellent last-ditch tackle..
The second goal was richly deserved and finally came in the 71st minute after another defensive mishap saw the ball fall at the feet of Bennett, who took plenty of touches in the box before slotting the ball into the corner of the net.
City got back into the game via Kington's deflected effort, after he was teed up by Davies on the edge of the box, which gave the visitors added impetus in the final ten minutes, as they brought on Nick McCootie and Chas Hemmings to try and grab the equaliser.
Pratt had a goal ruled out four minutes from time after the ball fell to City's number nine following a fine save from Kington's stinging effort, only for the linesman to raise his flag instantly as Pratt fired home. At full speed it looked like a 50-50 call, an unlucky one for the City marksman.
As full-time approached, Bennett completed his hat-trick, despite an apparent foul on Baldwin in the build-up, to condemn City to their first defeat of the season, bringing to an end a mightily impressive unbeaten run which has given the team a great platform for the remainder of the season.