Vanarama National League South
Saturday 12 November 2016 - York Road - kick off ?pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Ball (c), Hemmings (Marshall 64), Monthe, Batten, Murphy, Artus, Watkins (Diallo 75), Morgan, Hunter (Hutchinson 60). subs not used: Phillips.
|man of the match:
||C Lymer, J Connolly, Z Ellis
|league position: 13th
||next match: Wealdstone (A)
Report taken from
Maidenhead United were given more than one helping hand en route to victory over Bath City.
The Romans had dug themselves into a hole at 2-0 down – their penalty profligacy striking again when Shaquille Hunter stepped up and saw Carl Pentney push out his spot kick early on.
The hosts went into the interval in front as Harry Pritchard hit a wondergoal, and dallying defence from Manny Monthe then allowed them in for a second goal after the restart.
The hulking centre-half went some way to making amends for that error by thwacking in his fourth of the season to drag City back to within a goal.
But as they chased an equaliser against the National League South leaders, referee Colin Lymer flashed Frankie Artus a harsh second yellow card after he lost out in what appeared an innoculous 50-50 challenge at first glance.
More often than not it was Maidenhead that boasted possession in dangerous areas and made most of the chances in the first half.
However, City did not appear overawed by the league leaders and stuck to their task well, their age old problem of creating chances in the box coming to the fore again.
They almost had a nightmare start when a cross skewed off Dan Ball's knee and forced Max O'Leary to get down and save.
The visiting keeper also comfortably held a free-kick from dangerman Dave Tarpey before City were handed their penalty.
Andy Watkins was the man fouled, holding up the ball on the right-hand side of the box with no support close, which made Rene Steer's clumsy foul all the more needless.
It made little matter, however, as Hunter sauntered up to the spot and hit a low, meek shot that Pentney barely had to stretch to his right for.
With Chas Hemmings employed in the defensive midfield role, Artus was given more freedom further up the pitch and found some dangerous positions.
He almost carved out an equaliser, Cruyff turning away from a defender in the corner and whipping in a cross that was inches away from a diving Watkins header.
The opening goal came absolutely out of nowhere as Pritchard curled a millimetre-perfect 35-yard shot over O'Leary and into the top corner.
United carved the Romans open, dodging no end of challenges to set Tarpey in behind, but a strong arm from O'Leary kept him out.
There was more panic in the City box when James Mulley got a lucky break, cut inside and struck the defensive bodies, who eventually hacked the ball clear.
James Comley drove over and Watkins had a high shot held by Pentney to kick-off the second-half action before the visitors shot themselves in the foot.
A long ball over the top should have been dealt with by Monthe, but indecision on whether to clear or pass back to O'Leary let Tarpey nip the ball away.
In a bid to stop the forward, Monthe tugged at his shirt and slid in to challenge, only to knock it past O'Leary and leave Tarpey to run round the floored keeper and smash in emphatically from a yard out.
Once again open-play opportunities were few and far between for City, so that their goal came as a result of a dead-ball came as little surprise.
They had initially come close when a Billy Murphy corner found Watkins at the near post, his header cleared off the line to Marvin Morgan, denied by a desperate block himself from six yards.
There was better luck from the flag-kick that followed, as the ball eventually fell for Monthe to turn and crash a low shot into the bottom corner.
Yet just when City fans might have caught the faint whiff of a draw, Artus was dismissed.
The midfielder, who had received a first yellow card early in the game, was deemed to have committed a second bookable offence in what appeared a fairly standard challenge near the halfway line.
An apoplectic Artus made his feelings known to the referee before leaving the pitch.
With that, Maidenhead made the most of their extra man to see out the game, holding onto possession well against a City side that gave up a handful of frustrated free-kicks.
They had further chances when Pritchard fired over and Tarpey drilled wide from a training ground free-kick sequence with Comley, but there would be no addition to the scoreline.
After the final whistle, a visibly annoyed Gary Owers was guided away from the referee by opposite number Alan Devonshire.