Vanarama National League South
Saturday 16 January 2016 - Princes Park - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 0-2 result: L1-4 attendance: 923

team: Phillips, Bowman, Greenslade (Watkins HT), Simpson (Smith 18), Batten, Gallinagh (c), Hemmings, Artus, Pratt, Richards (McCootie 62), Adelsbury. subs not used: Williams, Kington.
man of the match: Andy Watkins
scorers: Pratt (82)
bookings: Pratt (52), Hemmings (55)
officials: P Kelly, I Corner, D Knox

league position: 13th form: LLWLLL next match: Concord Rangers (H)

Report taken from

Bath City slipped into the bottom half of the National League South table as their dire run continued with a three-goal defeat at Dartford. In truth City were soundly beaten. They began steadily enough, but once the hosts went ahead through Andy Pugh, they cruised to the finish line. They were 2-0 ahead before the break when Pugh grabbed a second, and added two more in the second half when Ryan Hayes and Callum McNaughton netted. Dave Pratt had pulled a consolation goal back for the Romans with a quality finish - his first since November. But it could not prevent City from avoiding their third defeat on the spin, nor a group of fans calling for the end of Lee Howells' reign from the terraces after the final whistle.

Dartford looked controlled in possession for the early minutes, but it was City who created the first few opportunities. Home keeper Deren Ibrahim scuffed a backpass low into the centre where Ben Adelsbury was waiting. His touch fell for Richards, who rushed his shot and sliced ball well wide from 45 yards with the goal open. Steve Phillips was forced to tip a shot from Elliot Bradbrook over the crossbar after Chas Hemmings failed to control a throw-in, before Frankie Artus ended some good City build-up by slicing an effort wide of the post. However, it the Darts that went in front on 17 minutes as City shot themselves in the foot. A poor backpass from Dan Bowman was poached by Pugh, and the frontman confidently raced in behind the defence to finish off the inside of the far post. While there was a lull in goalmouth action - ended when Ebrima Adams sent a weak volley into Phillips' waiting hands - Dartford began to exert control over the contest. And they went two-up when a free-kick into the box from Tom Wynter dropped for Pugh to fire into the top corner. The first period came to a close with a trio of free-kicks from City that found either Ibrahim or the head of a defender.

The game was slow to warm up after the interval and finally saw a shot on goal in the 53rd minute, when a whipped cross was headed out for Mark Onyemah to strike over the bar on the half-volley. Centre-back McNaughton also had a meek effort held by Phillips when up for a corner, but the hosts made it 3-0 on the hour. Onyemah found himself high on the left and worked a yard of space from Pratt to cross towards the penalty spot, where Hayes was on hand to slot home. And as the Dartford players wheeled away in celebration, Phillips raced out of his goal to chastise the defensive effort that allowed the cross to come in. The Darts remained the better side through the dying minutes, although City did create a smattering of chances. Pratt combined with substitute Nick McCootie to send over a cross from the right. Watkins could not jump high enough for anything more than a flick, which fell for Andy Gallinagh, who skied his volley under challenge. McCootie had a goal ruled out for offside having made his move a half-second too early, while Phillips was forced to save from Hayes after Hemmings was dispossessed and an incisive pass set the Dartford man away. City pulled a goal back when Pratt produced an exquisite turn and finish when the ball found his feet following a tackle on Watkins. But Dartford had the last word when a corner from the right was turned past Phillips from among a host of bodies by McNaughton.