FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Saturday 26 November 2016 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Ball (c), Batten, Andresson, Murphy, McCootie (Hemmings 78), Artus, Harvey, Morgan (Hunter 27 (Diallo 62)), Watkins. subs not used: Phillips, Marshall.
|man of the match:
||Harvey (pen 32, 48)
||Andresson (55), McCootie (68)
||J Durking, J Ainscow, B Waymark
|league position: n/a
||next match: Wellington AFC (SPC) (H)
Report taken from
Bath City took a step towards putting two hoodoos behind them as they knocked Basingstoke Town out of the FA Trophy.
They started slowly against the Southern League outfit, raising worries of suffering another cup upset to add to their recent wretched record.
But when they went in front through Tyler Harvey - converting from the spot for the first time in three City attempts and only the 13th time in their last 24 tries - they rarely looked back.
Harvey added a second after the interval to put the game beyond doubt and send Gary Owers' men through to the first round proper in two weeks' time.
The Romans looked decidedly second best in the opening exchanges as the young Basingstoke outfit made a lively start, looking confident in possession and knocked the ball around quickly.
When it was the Romans on the ball, the visitors were quick to close down – pressure that resulted in a handful of misplaced passes and hairy moments at the back.
Yet chances on goal remained rare for either side; for the first 20 minutes there was little more than one blocked effort to speak of at each end.
The pacy Nana Owusu caused Romans right-back George Rigg regular problems, forcing a scrambling block from a run to the byline and cross.
New boy Axel Andresson, signed on loan from Reading after Manny Monthe's departure for Forest Green Rovers, twice stepped up to hurl long throws into the Basingstoke box, the second eventually falling for Nick McCootie to swipe wide.
The game changed on 27 minutes when Owers hauled off Marvin Morgan, the striker unimpressed with the decision upon leaving the pitch, and threw Shaquille Hunter into the mix.
It almost proved a masterstroke as the wideman found his way into the box and nodded an Andy Watkins cross onto the far post, the ball rebounding onto keeper Alex Tokarczyk but running away from goal.
Another bursting Owusu run ended in a scything shot across goal before the Romans went in front.
Visiting centre-half Matt Partridge kneed a cross straight up into the air, with Joe Gater climbing all over Harvey underneath the high ball and giving away a penalty.
With half of Twerton Park unable to watch given their side's recent woeful penalty run, Harvey himself stepped up to the spot and coolly sent Tokarczyk the wrong way.
Now in the lead, City were more confident for the closing stages of the first half, although they had a scare when Owusu came inside Rigg and sent a thunderous effort goalwards that O'Leary fumbled behind.
Within three minutes of the second half kicking off the Romans doubled their lead when Billy Murphy whipped a first-time ball over the defence for Harvey to run onto and finish with aplomb.
Tenacious work from McCootie and Harvey almost combined to set up Hunter for another chance, but Basingstoke far from rolled over.
They continued to put together reasonable phases without carving out much in the way of opportunities.
McCootie, who committed countless first-half fouls, was perhaps lucky to stay on the field when he gave away a free-kick, got booked and then fouled another opponent after the resulting set-piece.
City fans also had reason to harangue the referee when Tokarczyk came to the edge of his area and appeared to pick up a long ball outside his penalty area.
Nothing was given and the Dragons immediately went on the attack, Robert Atkinson playing in Aaron Redford to fire across goal.
There was one final opportunity for Basingstoke in the dying seconds as O'Leary kept out Sam Deadfield one-on-one, and Redford fired the follow-up wide before the referee called time on the game.