Vanarama National League South
Saturday 30 April 2016 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Phillips (c), Bowman, Gallinagh, Murphy (Kington 81), Ball, Hemmings, Artus, Kelly, Pratt (Hutchinson 71), McCootie, Watkins (Perry 84). subs not used: Williams, Bole.
|man of the match:
||McCootie (45), Watkins (81)
||G Parsons, M Bloor, L Rutter
|league position: 14th
||next match: Next Season
Report taken from
Bath City secured a final-day triumph over Margate to bookend their season with another strong run of form.
With that, their campaign finished on a fine stretch of five wins in seven games that fended off the threat of relegation, which looked unthinkable six matches and six victories in.
On the back foot for much of the first period against a side trying desperately to avoid the drop themselves, City went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Nick McCootie turned home from close range.
Andy Watkins bagged a second shortly before a bizarre end that saw Margate, needing to keep out a City goal that would have sent them down, holding the ball in the corner at 2-0 down.
The visitors were stronger from the get-go and saw left-back Nathan Green skip past a challenge and fire a swerving shot over the crossbar within the first 30 seconds.
The long throws of David Hunt were a continual nuisance for City, with Dan Ball jabbing one wide of his own goal and Luke Moore shooting another past the post as the Romans struggled to clear.
Chances were sporadic for the hosts, the first coming when Watkins ran onto a Dave Pratt flick-on down the left and crossed for McCootie to head over.
Hunt then drilled a free-kick into the knees of the wall as Margate continued to waste the openings that came their way.
Lewis Taylor was next in line to drive wide of the upright, while Chas Hemmings was forced to cut out a threatening cross from Christian Jolley, who had teased his way past Andy Gallinagh.
The clearest opening for Margate fell to Glenn Wilson as he stooped to make space from his marker and headed a Hunt free-kick narrowly wide.
City's resistance was rewarded with the opener from McCootie.
Before the goal, Pratt had latched onto a Frankie Artus ball down the right, shrugged off Charlie Wassmer and crossed into a defender, with handball calls turned away.
But from the next phase of play he would get into a similar area and knock the ball back for McCootie to control and sweep in from six yards.
Steve Phillips was called on to make a fine save from Wassmer in the embryonic stages of the second period, darting away to his right to turn away a volley.
After Kelly had struck wide, Wilson was presented with another headed chance from a corner, but aimed it straight into Phillips' waiting arms.
At the other end, Artus touched a Kelly free-kick, delivered flat and hard from the left-hand side, narrowly off target.
McCootie could only nudge a slide-rule finish from a Kelly through ball, allowing a defender to get back and clear.
Margate began to throw men forward in search of a goal as scorelines at St Albans and Havant continued to go against them, and saw Matthew Johnson spin, shoot and ripple the side netting.
Eventually, however, the Romans got their second goal when Kelly found space down the right to send in a cross for Watkins to flick across the keeper and in.
But by then, Havant had conceded an equaliser at home to Weston-super-Mare to put Margate back in the safe spots – just as long as they did not concede a third.
They desperately held the ball up in City's corners to run the game along to full-time, but still had an agonising, minute-long wait after the final whistle for news to filter through that they would join City for another National League South campaign next season.