National League South
Saturday 8 October 2016 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Monthe, Artus (c), Batten, Hemmings, Diallo, Murphy, McCootie, Marshall (Morgan 59), Broom (Hutchinson 76). subs not used: Bowman, Fleetwood.
|man of the match:
||Artus (35), Rigg (71)
||A Laver, M Russell, C Hubbard
|league position: 9th
||next match: Dartford (H)
Report taken from
A debut goal from Ryan Broom was only good enough for a point as Bath City could not capitalise on an early strike against Eastbourne Borough.
After 210 scoreless minutes of FA Cup football against Potters Bar Town in the last week, it took only 105 seconds for Broom, brought in on loan from Bristol Rovers, to head home the opening goal.
However, a mix-up between Jack Batten and keeper Max O'Leary – often found on different wavelengths throughout – allowed Borough to level through Elliott Romain within five minutes.
After that electrifying opening, the game simmered and slowly opened up for the final quarter, but the sides remained deadlocked come the final whistle.
Gary Owers made two changes to the starting line-up that were eliminated from the FA Cup on penalties in midweek.
He was forced to swap out the injured Andy Watkins, with Marvin Morgan also dropping to the bench.
In their place, Broom came in to play on the right with Lee Marshall taking up a central midfield spot, pushing Naby Diallo out onto the left flank.
City and Broom made the perfect start as the front three combined for the opening goal.
Nick McCootie played a tidy through ball for Diallo to reach on the left, cut back in and cross to the near post for the stooping Broom to divert past Borough keeper Lewis Carey.
But son enough the visitors were back level. A diagonal ball was lifted over the top that should have been easily dealt with.
However, neither Batten nor O'Leary took control of the situation, as Batten let the pass through to land for Romain to finish off.
After that drama, the bumper Community Day crowd of 1,108 – the highest for a league game at Twerton Park since March 2014 - had little to get excited about.
Neither side was able to spend much time on the ball or string any series of passes together, with clean strikes on goal non-existent.
McCootie was by and large left as a lonely figure up front as the visitors pressed City high up, leaving the isolated frontman surround by three members of their back five.
City were able to get more of a foothold on the second period, although it was far from domination.
Yet they still had chances, starting with Chas Hemmings driving a 35-yard, dead central free-kick narrowly over the Bath End crossbar.
Morgan joined the fray just before the hour and almost immediately his presence told as he took a Manny Monthe throw on his chest, nutmegged his way inside a defender and prodded an effort into the side netting.
They then found a way in behind when Diallo worked hard to get on the ball in midfield and jabbed forward for McCootie.
The City striker turned his defender delightfully but could only lift his effort over the bar under pressure.
There was little threat from Eastbourne during the second period until substitute Jamie Taylor forced two saves from O'Leary.
The first came when Batten was unable to control an awkward ball and gave up possession to Taylor, who scuffed his shot to the Romans' stopper.
And O'Leary had to make a more difficult save when Taylor sent an acrobatic, if awkward, attempt across goal.
However, it was City that ended the stronger and perhaps should have won it in a late scramble.
Monthe found Morgan with a neat pass and the striker tricked his way into space for a deflected shot that ran to the edge of the six-yard box.
From there, the ball bobbled around and ran back out for Morgan to take a second bite of the cherry that he dragged wide of the far post.
They kept up the pressure with a couple of corners in stoppage-time, but the only presentable opening came when Diallo sent a diving header past the post.