Vanarama National League South
Monday 28 March 2016 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Phillips (c), Bowman, Greenslade, Batten, Ball, Hemmings, Artus, Kington, Harvey, Pratt, McCootie (Hutchinson 75). subs not used: Williams, Gallinagh.
|man of the match:
||Harvey (pen 90+3, 90+4)
||McCootie (51), Artus (79), Hemmings (83)
||A Quelch, J Durkin, S Jackson
|league position: 18th
||next match: Chelmsford City (A)
Report taken from
The most remarkable of finales at Twerton Park saw Bath City collect three priceless points against a crestfallen Weston-super-Mare side.
The visitors looked to have snatched a much-needed victory through Scott Wilson's 90th-minute strike, before Tyler Harvey's stoppage-time brace, the latter effort unlikely to be bettered this season, turned the match on its head and gave Gary Owers' men a three-point cushion over the bottom three.
There was little hint of the dramatic ending as although City enjoyed a territorial advantage over their hosts, neither side could muster many shots on goal in a frustrating 90 minutes.
City had been forced into a few changes going into the clash, with Billy Murphy (dead leg) and Liam Kelly (illness) ruled out, leaving only three substitutes, including Andy Gallinagh, who had until now played every minute of every league game thus far this season.
Chas Hemmings was surprisingly switched to centre-back as the Romans lined up with a 3-5-2 formation.
After a cagey opening, Nick McCootie had City's first opportunity on ten minutes when he stole the ball from Clayton Fortune 25 yards out.
The Weston centre-back made a brilliant recovery challenge, but in an ensuing mix-up with goalkeeper Luke Purnell, the Weston stopper had to bravely dive ahead of Dave Pratt to desperately cling on before City's top scorer could capitalise.
Weston went straight up the other end with their first real sign of attacking intent. Former City forward Scott Wilson tidily exchanged passes with Dayle Grubb, and as the former tried to latch onto the returned ball, he appeared to be clipped by Jack Batten.
After a moment's pause, referee Adrian Quelch pointed for a goal-kick, much to City's relief.
Ben Withey had Weston's next chance, heading Jason Pope's cross over the bar following hesitation at the back from messrs Dan Ball and Frankie Artus.
McCootie, who netted against Weston in the corresponding fixture last season with an overhead kick, tried to repeat the trick when he readjusted his body to connect with Dan Bowman's cross, but his effort was easily gathered by Purnell.
Grubb, lively in attack for the Seagulls, nearly created an opening goal as half-time approached. Phillips' sliced clearance, caught in the wind, seemed to distract City as the Weston number ten reacted quickest before rolling the ball into the centre for the onrushing Wilson, who missed connecting by a whisker.
The start of the second half saw momentum hampered following a string of bookings for each side. It wasn't until the 64th minute when either team could register a shot on target; Artus' scuffed attempt from 25 yards easily gathered by Purnell.
A minute later, the visitors were again grateful for a late Fortune intervention, but in denying Pratt he appeared to pick up an injury, forcing him to be replaced by Joe McClennan as boss Ryan Northmore re-jigged their formation.
Pratt spurned a great opportunity to give City the lead on 71 minutes. Dan Ball's perfectly weighted ball over the top was picked up by the forward, who homed in on goal, but Purnell raced off his line to parry and avert the danger.
Pratt's striker partner McCootie was withdrawn soon after with youngster Josh Hutchinson taking his place.
Artus and Hemmings entered the referee's notebook for fouls, the former picking up his tenth caution of the season. From one of the resulting free-kicks, Ollie Barnes placed his effort narrowly over Phillips' bar.
It looked as if both sides would be forced into settling for a point, before five minutes of bedlam created practically all the talking points of the entire game.
As the clock ticked 90 minutes, patient attacking play from Weston resulted in what appeared to be the winning goal. Eventually Wilson picked up the ball on the edge of the box and after turning Batten, smartly placed the ball into the bottom-left corner away from Phillips' outstretched arm.
With some of the bumper 827 attendance slumping for the exits, their attentions were diverted back to the pitch as the most astonishing comeback was about to take place.
On 93 minutes, City won a corner. Ashley Kington swung it towards Harvey, whose goalbound header had Purnell beaten, but Kane Ingram, on the goalline, elected to punch the ball over the bar.
Referee Quelch had no option but to send off the former City man for his Luis Suarez-like actions for Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup.
On that occasion, Ghana missed the resulting spot kick.
On this, with Ingram still in the tunnel, Harvey's driven penalty just had enough to beat Purnell to seemingly snatch a share of the spoils.
It still wasn't over. From the restart, Hemmings dispossessed Wilson and played it infield to Harvey.
Positioned in the Weston half, but still in the centre circle, the Plymouth Argyle loanee beautifully lofted the ball over the stranded Purnell and into the net.
Another Suarez-esque moment, this time of genius.
Cue pandemonium inside Twerton Park.
There was barely enough time to restart. Should City beat the drop this season, they ill be toasting a certain 20 year-old from Devon for a double which won't be forgotten in a hurry.