Vanarama National League South
Friday 25 March 2016 - York Road - kick off 3.00pm
||Phillips (c), Gallinagh, Greenslade, Batten, Ball, Hemmings, Murphy (Bowman 63), Kelly (McCootie 70), Harvey, Pratt (Hutchinson 80), Kington. subs not used: Williams.
|man of the match:
||Kington (43), Hemmings (56)
||R Hulme, A Fricker, J Vallance
|league position: 18th
||next match: Weston Super Mare (H)
Report taken from
Bath City's perilous predicament in the lower reaches of National League South grew all the more difficult as they were comfortably seen off by Maidenhead United.
Al though Plymouth Argyle loanee Tyler Harvey levelled James Mulley's goal just after the break, they were always kept at arm's length by the hosts, who would take the points with further goals from Harry Pritchard and Mulley.
To make matters worse, drop rivals Weston-super-Mare inflicted a shock first away defeat of the season on league leaders Ebbsfleet United to draw within a point of the Romans.
With Havant & Waterlooville facing Hayes & Yeading in a late kick-off, City could yet find themselves one place off the bottom four come the end of Good Friday.
For much of the first ten minutes City looked decent. They knocked the ball around well on the ground within the Maidenhead half, while Steve Phillips made a number of short throws out to his full-backs.
Once again they struggled to create in the final third, with Carl Pentney rarely tested in the hosts' goal.
Maidenhead looked resolute and difficult to break down throughout the first period and were quick to break.
One such forward foray saw Ben Wright run onto a long pass in behind and meet the ball at the same time as Phillips.
The City keeper proved the stronger boot of the pair, with the ball eventually cleared as calls for a foul against Phillips were waved away.
Home skipper Mulley also snatched an effort wide from the edge of the box, though he would make the breakthrough two minutes later.
Wideman Pritchard found himself in yards of space in the left-hand corner, nipped along the byline and put in a low cross that Mulley bundled in at the near post.
The first effort of any note from the Romans came after 22 minutes when Billy Murphy sliced a shot into the ceiling of the stand.
With the lead in their hands, Maidenhead were all the more happy to sit back and let City play themselves out of possession.
They remained dangerous on the break, with Wright running free down the left and squaring for strike partner Dave Tarpey to shoot into a defender.
At the other end, Harvey had his first dig when he fired wide after Pentney had parried a 25-yard Ashley Kington shot into his path.
Still, it was the hosts that carried the greater threat.
Wright outmuscled Dan Ball and forced Steve Phillips to turn behind from a tight angle, while Wright and Tarpey combined with a one-two to draw another sharp save from the City stopper.
Harvey chipped a free-kick straight into the wall, Dave Pratt headed meekly to the keeper and Murphy had a shot deflected behind, but none were clear-cut chances for the Romans.
Less than two minutes into the second half, however, they drew level. Liam Kelly floated a free-kick all the way to an unmarked Harvey at the back-post.
His first effort was saved at point-blank range by Pentney, but the Plymouth Argyle loanee reacted fastest and bundled the ball over the line.
Far from stunned, the hosts came back with a concerted spell of pressure, which eventually led to a frustrating goal for the Romans to concede.
Chas Hemmings gave away a foul 40 yards out and Pritchard's free-kick to the far post beat everyone to nestle in the corner.
Mulley then glanced a header wide and Pritchard hit the top of Phillips' bar with a cross as Maidenhead continued to run the game.
The hosts would notch a spectacular third when a corner was poorly dealt with and cleared to Mulley, who launched a half-volley into the top corner from the D.
Kington set Kelly in behind with a precise diagonal ball, but a strong bounce meant the Reading loanee could not get a clean enough connection to beat Pentney.
City were also unable to find the net from a goalmouth scramble, as dangerman Pritchard continued to tease them at the back.
He drew another save from Phillips before drilling in a cross that Ball awkwardly skewed over his own crossbar.
Maidenhead had a further opportunity to make it 4-1 when Pritchard teed up substitute Kieron Forbes.
Phillips parried his shot back out to Jake Reid, but the former Roman blazed well over.
A few final chance came and went for the away side as another goalmouth scramble was turned away and Hemmings scooped the ball out of the stadium.
Greenslade was thwarted by Pentney in stoppage-time, with the keeper also blocking Nick McCootie's follow-up.