Tuesday 12 July 2016 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
||Phillips, Rigg, Ball (c) (Huth HT), Batten, Hemmings, Monthe (Williams 66), Marshall (Bowman 60), Artus (Last 79), Fleetwood (Watkins HT), McCootie (Hutchinson 70), Murphy (Hunter HT). subs not used: Gordan, Elcock.
|man of the match:
||S Yianni, S Fearnley, C Scrivens
|league position: n/a
||next match: Cheltenham Town (H)
Report taken from
Chances were in short supply as Bath City were edged out by Bristol Rovers in their return to pre-season action at Twerton Park.
James Clarke's second-half header settled the contest, which saw the Romans unable to take advantage of a handful of good positions before the break.
Nick McCootie had the best chance of the game for City when he found his way into the box, only to be kept out by a defender at the first attempt and plinking over the rebound.
They were quieter after the break, but the defence looked solid against a decent array of Rovers first-teamers.
Lee Marshall, who has also been on trial at League 2 Cheltenham Town, was back in the starting line-up, with Manny Monthe retaining his place for the third consecutive friendly.
More intriguingly were the sights of two internationals on the bench. Paraguayan defender Ronald Huth – who has one substitute appearance for his country against Argentina in 2011 – was one of those, having been on trial at Swindon Town this summer.
There was also Jordan Williams, who has been part of the Southampton satellite academy run by the City of Bath College and has previously been called up to the Malta under-19 side.
One-time Rovers man Shaquille Hunter was once again on the bench, joined by Eilan Gordon, Andrew Ellington and Ben Last.
For large parts of the first-half there was little action to speak of.
Former City loanee Will Puddy, who had a torrid four-game spell at the club in 2009, scuffed a backpass straight to McCootie after coming under pressure from Stuart Fleetwood.
The frontman looked up and drove comfortably over the bar that a scrambling Puddy had no need to worry.
It was McCootie that looked the most potent threat for the Romans, at one point rolling off Clarke and dinking in a cross that Puddy cut out, while Fleetwood also ballooned a speculative, dipping volley from an ambitious angle into the Bristol End.
Monthe flicked a Billy Murphy free-kick well wide of the goal, but for the most part it was Rovers who boasted the possession and play, with Jake Gosling and Ellis Harrison regularly probing.
Yet another shanked Puddy kick resulted in a City chance as the ball rebounded off Fleetwood and sat up for Marshall to scythe narrowly over the crossbar.
And they should have gone ahead when Fleetwood flicked a long ball onto McCootie, who dallied taking a shot, instead cutting inside two defenders. His first effort was blocked, with the rebound spooned over the top.
From there, Rovers began to create more opportunities, firstly with Billy Bodin shanking a volley into the legs of a defender.
A left-wing Lee Brown cross then found Harrison on the edge of the six-yard box, but Chas Hemmings was alert to the danger and closed down his header at close range.
An incisive Chris Lines through ball found Harrison to cut inside Jack Batten and scoop over from the edge of the box as the City defence held him off.
The second period was similarly slow to heat up, although Hunter looked sharp the moment he entered the fray at the interval but cooled down as the half wore on.
An unnamed Rovers trialist found himself in a position to impress when he received a long ball at the right-hand corner of the box, jagging back in and sending his shot wide via a deflection.
While City were somewhat more composed on the ball than before, chances were still hard to come by.
Indeed, the second biggest cheer of the night came when Artus latched onto a loose ball and skilfully spun away from Jay Malpas.
But on 70 minutes, there was louder from the Rovers fans among the 1,127 crowd.
Danny Greenslade slung in a cross that was nicked behind for a corner before Byron Moore could touch it in.
The resulting corner was swung over from the right-wing to the back post by the Rovers trialist for James Clarke to head back across Steve Phillips and into the net.
A good move for the Romans involving Watkins and a watchful Hunter broke down in the Rovers box when Hutchinson was closed out by the defensive unit.
And at the other end the visitors almost made it two in identical circumstances to the first when a header from a corner was blocked on the line and grabbed by Phillips.