Vanarama National League South
Saturday 10 September 2016 - Beveree Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Ball (c), Hemmings (Fleetwood 82), Monthe, Batten, Diallo, Murphy (Hutchinson 67), McCootie, Hunter, Artus. subs not used: Hickford, Bowman, Marshall.
|man of the match:
||Artus (58), Monthe (90)
|league position: 9th
||next match: Gosport Borough (H)
Report taken from
Once again Bath City failed to break down 10 men as they fell to a second successive loss, this time against high-flying Hampton & Richmond Borough at a drizzly Beveree Stadium.
The hosts lost Christian Jolley to a straight red card for a foul on Dan Ball just after the hour mark, but City failed to seriously test the home defence afterwards in a frustrating afternoon in South West London.
Gary Owers has hinted at changes before the game, but in the end he made just one, bringing Jack Batten into the fold after six matches on the bench, at the expense of Harry Hickford. This saw George Rigg shunted back to defence with Chas Hemmings protecting the back four.
The sides cancelled each other out in the early exchanges. Batten thought he'd marked his return to the starting XI with a goal as he looped a header past Aaron Howe, but assistant Michael Smith cut short his celebrations with an offside flag.
Hampton went into the game with 24 goals in nine matches, but were largely kept at bay by a resolute City defence. However, on 26 minutes, they broke the deadlock.
An enterprising run down the right by Brendan Kiernan saw him play the ball back across to Jolley. He took a heavy touch before being upended by Frankie Artus, which saw referee Elliott Kaye point to the spot. Michael Kamara stepped up and confidently drilled the ball down the centre of the goal to make it 1-0.
City found their way back on level terms seven minutes later. Billy Murphy's precise free-kick evaded a crowd of players in the penalty area, with Nick McCootie getting the telling touch from six yards, diverting the ball back across a standstill Aaron Howe.
The Romans had their tails up and missed a golden opportunity to take the lead 10 minutes before the interval. A neat move involving Hemmings, Rigg and Diallo saw the latter glide the ball into McCootie's path.
The forward was sent tumbling to the floor by Casey, and referee Kaye once again awarded a penalty. It looked a touch harsh on the full-back, but stopper Howe, who saved two penalties against City last season for Basingstoke, once again guessed right, this time diving to his left and parrying Murphy's effort, with Artus heading the follow-up wide.
It didn't deter City who continued to probe forward, with McCootie's shot on the turn parried by Howe.
On the stroke of half-time Manny Monthe's header from Murphy's corner was hacked off the line by Casey, who bravely prevented McCootie heading in the rebound.
If anything the half-time whistle was a major hindrance for Owers' troops, who after the interval were a shadow of the side that caused such problems for fellow Geordie Alan Dowson's men in the first 45.
There was a sign of things to come five minutes after the interval when Ball's desperately short back-pass saw Nicke Kabamba through on goal, but Max O'Leary saved the captain's blushes by saving with his legs.
Kabamba, already with half a dozen goals to his name going into the match, wasn't to be denied a second time. He had the ever-lively Jamal Lowe to thank, the number 10 tied Artus and Rigg in knots before clipping a cross straight onto the forward's head, who could barely miss from little over a yard out.
Lowe warmed O'Leary's gloves with a low free-kick, the incident leading to a booking for Artus, before McCootie created City's first opening of the second half, his driving run saw his eventual pull-back beaten away by Howe.
Then came the red card incident which, if anything, surprisingly hindered City more than the hosts. Jolley, in trying to intercept Hemmings' pass, caught Ball as he cleared, sending the full-back into the air.
Referee Kaye immediately produced a red card, much to the amazement of the former Margate man, whose challenge didn't appear malicious enough to warrant such a punishment.
This saw the hosts change their game plan, opting for a more defensive set-up, and it was one City were unable to break down. It took until 77 minutes for the visitors' first shot on target of the second half, Diallo's tame effort easily gathered.
It could have been a repeat of Tuesday's scoreline when Lowe and Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick exchanged passes, the former playing a delicious back-hell for the onrushing substitute, but he fired into the side netting.
The hosts were rarely threatened, despite attackers Josh Hutchinson and Stuart Fleetwood entering the fray, and for the second game running Owers was left cursing his side's inability to see off opponents a man light for a significant amount of time.