Vanarama National League South
Saturday 19 September 2015 - Gallagher Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||Phillips, Gallinagh (c), Nicholson, Baldwin, Ball, Hemmings (Davies 66), Kington, Adelsbury (McCootie 57), Pratt, Watkins (Barrow 78), Artus. subs not used: Coupe, Bowman.
|man of the match:
||Adelsbury (48), Pratt (67), Kington (90)
|league position: 4th
||next match: Bodmin Town (FAC) (A)
Report taken from
Bath City succumbed to their second straight away defeat, going down 1-0 at The Gallagher stadium despite missing a hatful of second-half chances.
The home side seemed far more comfortable in the early going, hardly surprising considering they are used to playing on their 3G artificial pitch, which, up close, looks more like the texture of an artificial Christmas Tree than grass.
In fact only, six minutes had elapsed when Jay May accepted a gift more akin to the festive season than an early Autumn afternoon. An excellent team move resulted in the graceful Matthew Bodkin jinking down the right wing and sweeping an inviting cross into the penalty area.
May had all the time in the world to control the ball on his chest and volley into the corner of the net from 12 yards.
It should have been two 20 minutes later. Bobby Joe Taylor's corner into the heart of the area was met firmly by an unmarked Joe Healy, but he could only head straight at Steve Phillips, who pushed the ball away. With the vociferous backing of a crowd of more than 2,000, the hosts began to preen.
However, despite the partisan atmosphere, City eventually got themselves a foothold in the game. Andy Watkins rocketed a 30-yard effort towards the top corner, which looked to be flying into the net. However, Maidstone 'keeper Lee Worgan had other ideas, flinging himself to his right and pushing the ball onto the crossbar – the start of unsuccessful afternoon flirtation between Watkins and the woodwork.
As the first half drew to a close, Dave Pratt saw his second goal this week ruled out for offside, Artus then swung an effort wide from the edge of the area with his right foot and Chas Hemmings drove a long-ranger over the bar as City tried to force the equaliser before half time, to no avail.
In the second half it was all Bath. Great work from Pratt inside the area saw him tee up Watkins acrobatically, but the forward saw his brave header smothered by Worgan.
Watkins came even closer on 65 minutes. One of Kevin Nicholson's dangerous long throws was hurled into the penalty area. Stones centre-back Manny Parry could only help the ball right into the path of Watkins six yards out, but somehow he rattled the bar with a flying header when he really should have scored.
Even after this, City still created a plethora of chances. Any one of Nicholson, Pratt, Jon Davies and Nick McCootie could have scored, either denied by poor finishing or magnificent defending. In particular, Maidstone captain Jamie Coyle led by example throwing himself in the way of a number of shots to protect the three points like a priceless crown jewel.
As the game became stretched Maidstone could have added to their lead on the counter attack through either the excellent Bodkin, who stung Phillips' palms, or substitute Alex Akrofi, who first sent a diving header wide and then could only summon the energy to muster a tame shot at the end of a lung-busting run.
City couldn't make a succession of desperate late corners count, even aided by the added presence of Phillips up from his goal as time ran out.
The full-time whistle signalled a second straight defeat and sees the Romans without a win in five after such a promising start. Next week's FA Cup trip to Bodmin could prove to be the welcome distraction they need to try to get back to winning ways.