FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Saturday 26 September 2015 - Priory Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Phillips, Gallinagh (c), Nicholson, Coupe, Ball, Adelsbury (Allen 63), Kington, Artus, Pratt, Watkins (McCootie 58), Davies (Bowman 81). subs not used: Barrington, Hemmings, Simpson, Barrow.
|man of the match:
||Artus (41, 84)
||Coupe (55), Artus (90)
|league position: n/a
||next match: Basingstoke Town (H)
Report taken from
Bath City squeezed through to the third qualifying round of the Emirates-sponsored FA Cup as a Frankie Artus double proved enough to beat South West Peninsula League outfit Bodmin Town.
City started on the front foot on a slightly uneven pitch at Priory Park, forcing a series of early corners with some indecision in the Bodmin defence. Home custodian Kevin Miller, a 46-year-old veteran with 600+ Football League appearances behind him, was called upon to pluck Dan Ball's header out of the air on nine minutes in City's first effort on target.
The hosts' gameplan appeared to mainly involve defending in numbers and catching City on the counter attack. This nearly came to fruition on 20 minutes when a breakaway saw Andy Gallinagh left exposed, but Sam Matthews's effort was eventually blocked. Ben Joyce also tried his luck from distance, with an arrowing drive from 30 yards flying just shy of Phillips's right hand post.
Kevin Nicholson was called upon for a quick succession of free-kicks on the edge of the box, with the second foul by Lee Bevan on Jon Davies resulting in the first booking of the contest. Nicholson's effort was parried by Miller, with Dave Pratt beaten to the rebound by Tom Chambers.
Lee Howells' charges found a breakthrough on 41 minutes. Gallinagh sent in a hanging cross, which Miller failed to gather when under pressure by Artus, lurking dangerously at the far post. The City man was able to scramble the ball just over the line with two defenders unable to clear, a perfectly placed assistant on hand to flag for a goal.
While the first half saw Town defend in depth to nullify opposing threat, they attacked with menace at the start of the second as the match became more open.
Miller's raking drop-kick forward found Steve Bowker on the left, with the attacking midfielder's rasping first-time shot juggled around the post by Phillips.
It was brief respite as the Cornish minnows equalised on 54 minutes. A period of sustained pressure saw Matthews' shot blocked, but it fell kindly to towering leading marksman Adam Carter, who turned inside and side-footed low into the bottom corner past the outstretched Phillips.
The hosts were in the ascendancy and a series of one-touch passes around the City defence saw Carter tee up the unmarked Bowker, but he blazed over from 15 yards when he should have hit the target.
Howells reacted immediately by replacing Andy Watkins with Nick McCootie, and he made an immediate impact, forcing Miller to save with his legs after the talismanic forward held off defender Sam Hillson. The centre-back also put his body on the line soon afterwards to block Davies' powerful strike.
Then came a real moment to forget for City striker Pratt. The number nine won't get many easier opportunities to end his recent barren spell, as he contrived to shoot wide from little over a yard following Ashley Kington's precise driven delivery.
While that was a moment to forget, City's second goal on 83 minutes was one to remember. McCootie, impressing after coming on, collected the ball from fellow substitute Dan Bowman, and laid it off for Artus. Steadying himself from 25 yards, the midfielder side-stepped and rifled the ball into Miller's top right hand corner before the keeper could move.
It deflated the otherwise spirited home side, who failed to create another opportunity as City saw out the final stages to seal a place in the next round.