Vanarama National League South
Saturday 17 October 2015 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 1-2 result: L1-3 attendance: 587

team: Phillips, Bowman, Gallinagh (c), Coupe (Barrow 85), Ball, Williams (McCootie 56), Kington, Adelsbury, Pratt, Watkins, Artus (Hemmings 11). subs not used: Perry, Barrington.
man of the match: Andy Watkins
scorers: Artus (pen 8)
bookings: Williams (28), Ball (81)
officials: A Ricketts, P Staynings, D Lamport

league position: 6th form: LWdDLL next match: Chelmsford City (H)

Report taken from

Bath City dropped out of the Vanarama National League South play-off places for the first time this season as Sutton United ran out 3-1 victors at Twerton Park. They fell behind when former winger Ross Stearn scored a stunning effort five minutes in, but soon equalised when Frankie Artus won and converted a penalty. However, Craig Eastmond sent Sutton - who also saw Dan Wishart sent off late on - in ahead at half-time and Craig McAllister rounded off the scoring.

One of the day's underlying stories was the return of Stearn for the first time since his summer exit and, somewhat predictably, he opened the scoring with a fabulous goal. Moving inside from the left, the wideman curled a scintillating effort inside the far post from the corner of the penalty area. City could have been stunned by the goal, but instead came back and equalised within three minutes. Artus was clumsily tripped by Sutton centre-half Dean Beckwith in the box and stepped up to slam home the leveller himself. He would be forced out of the game with injury soon after, as Sutton set about restoring their advantage. With some visible nerves in the City defence, the visitors carved out two quick chances when Tom Bolarinwa and Stearn saw half-volleys blocked point-blank. Andy Watkins had a volley of his owned deflected behind from a Brad Williams cross, but it was Sutton who continued to run the game. Stearn forced a sharp low save from Steve Phillips when the ball fell his way in the box before his side went back in front. It was a goal eerily reminiscent of Harlow Town's midweek opener in the FA Cup, as Dan Fitchett played the onrushing Eastmond in behind a static defence to finish with ease. The situation could have become dire within 60 seconds when Matt Coupe's pocket was pinched by McAllister, who burst towards goal, only for Andy Gallinagh to recover and clear for a corner. The only clear chance the Romans created from that point came through Watkins' guile. After he was initially robbed of the ball on a burst forward, the frontman won it back and sent in a shot that Worner held with ease. Phillips kept City in the game as the half drew to a close with a fabulous save from Bolawinra, who had charged forward following an air kick from Dan Bowman.

The hosts returned with Chas Hemmings leading the line flanked by Pratt and Watkins, and almost equalised. Ashley Kington swung in a low cross from the right that Watkins met with a stinging strike that Worner palmed away at full stretch. Hemmings' height and presence told when the band of bodies around him diverted a Kington free-kick into the path of Pratt, who was squeezed out before he could get a shot away. The next City attack would end with Sutton extending their advantage. Kington saw a curling effort turned away by Beckwith three yards from the line, with the following clearance setting McAllister in behind Coupe to score, despite the best efforts of Phillips. Numerous black and white shirts surrounded the referee while Sutton celebrated, complaining about what they deemed a foul on Dan Ball in the build-up, but their protests fell on deaf ears. Ben Adelsbury then sent a speculative shot in from 25 yards that bounced nicely into Worner, before Stearn grazed the crossbar with a dipping long-range drive. With time running out the hosts were handed some impetus when substitute Wishart was perhaps harshly red-carded for dragging down Watkins as the last man. Sutton assistant manager Micky Stephens soon followed him down the tunnel for chucking the football away as Ball came across to take a throw-in. City continued to scrap, with Pratt having a goal disallowed for offside, and put a handful of dangerous crosses into the box, but were unable force a even a tense finale.