National League South
Monday 14 November 2016 - Grosvenor Vale - kick off 7.45pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Ball (c), Batten, Monthe, Artus, Broom (Hutchinson 29 (Marshall 79)), Murphy, Harvey, Morgan (Diallo 75), Watkins. subs not used: Hunter, Phillips.
|man of the match:
|league position: 11th
||next match: Chelmsford City (H)
Report taken from
Bath City snapped an eight-game winless streak on the road at Wealdstone.
Tyler Harvey was back in the team following his return on loan, eliciting a change in shape to play up top alongside Marvin Morgan, with four in midfield behind them.
It proved a breath of fresh air as a Romans outfit that has struggled to dissect defences from open play in the past couple of months dominated the first half.
Although they created a host of chances, it was once again a set-piece that saw them find the net as a free-kick was turned in by Andy Watkins, via a header from Manny Monthe.
Chasing the game, Wealdstone came out with more of a threat after the interval and looked more dangerous as the half went on.
However, the City goal defenced was rarely stretched and their goal unbreached – bar a goal ruled out for offside in the 94th minute - to provide a welcome win.
Max O'Leary had to make the first save of the evening from Matt Whichelow, doing so with no trouble, before City began to take a foothold on the game.
They had an early effort cleared off the line when Watkins nodded a Ryan Broom cross back for Billy Murphy, who was forced to control a bouncing ball before looking for the bottom corner where a defender was waiting.
Watkins, Murphy and Harvey had further shots for a Romans outfit playing with a heightened confidence, but none tested home stopper Jonathan North.
Wealdstone threatened occasionally, but only ever from outside the box as a lack of quality in the final third stymied their attacks.
It was still City that were the more impressive, however. Their next opportunity came from a missed clearance by Liam Goulding, which allowed Harvey to win possession.
The ball was eventually worked out wide for Broom to swing over a cross that Morgan headed over.
The same duo combined again within minutes, Morgan this time hitting the target but not stretching North.
Eventually the breakthrough they deserved came on 35 minutes when Murphy swung the ball in from a free-kick on the byline and ten yards in from the right flank.
His drilled cross was headed into the ground but back across goal by Monthe, with Watkins following up at the post to nudge the ball over the line.
Although Wealdstone began to get concerted time in the Romans' half, it was the visitors that looked most likely to get the next goal.
Josh Hutchinson – brought on to replace Broom following a collision on halfway – chased down a clearance on the left touchline and blazed into the box.
He selflessly squared for Morgan, but the Wealdstone defence were back to block his effort.
However, they could only half clear, allowing City to recycle the ball and set up Watkins to thump an effort narrowly wide of the post.
For the opening quarter-hour of the second half Wealdstone looked the more likely to net next, although O'Leary was rarely troubled.
The on-loan keeper had one stop to make when Elliott Godfrey swept in a shot from range that bounced nicely into his midriff.
Spells of City possession at the other end of the pitch were few and far between.
Their first opportunity to get forward came when a lucky bounced gave Harvey the opportunity to run at the defence and strike a blue shirt with his shot.
As the half wore on Wealdstone began to carve out more efforts on goal without luck; Danny Green the first, heading way over the top when well-placed.
Diminutive sub Sahr Kabba was only just dispossessed when he threatened to break in behind, while an over-hit Godfrey free-kick struck the woodwork with O'Leary scrambling back.
Gary Owers eventually subbed off Morgan and employed a five-man midfield to try and close out the game.
They did so with only one heart-stopping scare in stoppage-time.
A poor defensive header from Dan Ball gave Wealdstone the chance to push the ball through the City defence where Elliot Benyon swept home, only to be called offside.