Vanarama National League South
Saturday 27 August 2016 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Bowman, Ball (c), Hemmings, Monthe, Rigg, Diallo (Marshall 74), Murphy, McCootie (Fleetwood 60), Morgan, Hunter (Hutchinson 60). subs not used: Batten, Elcock.
|man of the match:
||Diallo (3), Morgan (39)
||S Yianni, L Sandoe, D Wootton
|league position: 5th
||next match: Poole Town (A)
Report taken from
Bath City extended their winning streak to four games as two first-half goals were enough to see off East Thurrock United.
Naby Diallo put them ahead within three minutes - of his second goal in as many games - before Marvin Morgan added the second shortly before the break.
The Romans saw out the majority of the second-half pressure comfortably, but were left with a tense stoppage-time period when Reece Harris cut the deficit on 90 minutes.
There were three changes to the City line-up that won at Bishop's Stortford last weekend.
The most notable absentee was Steve Phillips, a knee injury ending his 52-game streak in competitive matches and paving the way for Bath-born Bristol City keeper Max O'Leary to make a debut.
Andy Watkins missed his first start of the season with Stuart Fleetwood also dropped – Nick McCootie and Shaquille Hunter coming in to flank Morgan up top.
Just a week after notching his first Romans goal at Stortford, Diallo swiftly bagged a second.
It came from tenacious play by Hunter, who ran onto a loose ball, kept it clear of three players and tapped across for Diallo to unleash a 24-yard pearler into the top corner.
The visitors' main threat came from set-plays, but other than a six-yard Harry Honesty header at a free-kick, they were unable to make much of them.
Morgan then got his first sight of goal following excellent work by McCootie. With his back to goal, the veteran spun quickly and drew a low save from Lukas Lidakevicius.
Thurrock came up with another half-chance at a free-kick when Michael Freiter's dead ball was nodded down by Joe Ellul and City had to scramble clear.
The Rocks were soon on the back foot again when McCootie won the ball from Harris and went on the attack, possession eventually falling for Rigg, whose shot was deflected behind.
Billy Murphy swung the resulting corner to the far post, where Morgan leapt highest and headed across goal, before another slick move ended with Rigg scything just off target.
Eventually the pressure told when Manny Monthe showed strength and awareness up against three Thurrock opponents, the ball running away for Diallo to slip Morgan in behind to finish.
Almost immediately the Essex side went on the attack and O'Leary was forced into his first City save when Honesty got in behind and sent him sprawling.
By the time the second half got under way City's confidence was visibly flowing.
A silky series of passes got the ball to Bowman, who drove goalwards and had a shot blocked.
That would not be the end of it, as the right-back tried to win back possession from the floor, the ball squirming for McCootie to force a low stop from Lidakevicius.
Thurrock began to put more concerted pressure on the Romans following that chance and the hosts were grateful for Dan Ball putting in a goal-saving tackle after Honesty had rounded O'Leary.
They soon had another opportunity when Harris raced to the byline, cut inside Monthe and crossed low into the box, where Honesty scooped over trying to reach back for the pass.
Substitutes Josh Hutchinson and Fleetwood combined when the former whipped a cross-field ball for Fleetwood to edge into the box and blaze over.
Desperate Thurrock attempted to get back into the game, forcing City to deal with a series of crosses.
The ball eventually fell for centre-back Michael Clark, whose thumping drive hit Hemmings, already prostrate from the melee attempting to clear.
There should have been a third for City when Ball burst out from left-back and found himself in behind thanks to a neat one-two with Morgan, only for the visiting keeper to save.
Harris made the finale interesting when he shot past O'Leary to pull one back and the Romans had to fend off a late, late corner that their new keeper punched away under mountains of pressure, including his opposite number.