Vanarama National League South
Saturday 14 January 2017 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 1-0 result: W2-0 attendance: 543

team: O'Leary, Rigg, Welch-Hayes, Batten, Andresson, Diallo (Hemmings 73), Murphy (Lemonheigh- Evans 73), Artus (c), McCootie, Morgan, Watkins. subs not used: Hunter, Hutchinson, Marshall.
man of the match: Nick McCootie
scorers: McCootie (41), Batten (49)
bookings: none
officials: S Purkiss, M Heavey, C Hubbard

league position: 9th form: LWDDDW next match: Oxford City (A)

Report taken from

Bath City secured their first home league win in 123 days as relegation-battling Bishop's Stortford were pushed aside. They had to fend off a strong start from the visitors, but wrestled back control of the game and went into the break ahead as Nick McCootie got the final touch at a goalmouth scramble. Jack Batten's stooping header from a corner doubled that advantage just three minutes into the second period, and from there the Romans rarely looked back, notching a first three points at Twerton Park since the 4-0 thumping of Gosport Borough in mid-September.

City started brightly and twice got forward down the left with Andy Watkins and Miles Welch-Hayes, the latter whipping in a dangerous cross that ran around the post. Before long, however, the visitors slowly began to get a foothold on the game. Alex Stephenson then sent over a cross of his own for targetman Shomari Barnwell to volley kindly to Max O'Leary, when a cleaner strike could have earned him the opener. Left-back Stephenson then found himself clear on the end of long ball hoiked into the box, but chose to head back across goal with none of the Stortford attackers able to get a clean shot on the follow-up. Frankie Artus also had to hack clear on the end of free-kick and Zach Fagan steered an awkward volley inches past the post as the away side continued to force the issue. Another opportunity came and went when Barnwell just missed the right-hand upright on a three-man burst. Eventually the Romans got a foothold on the contest, starting with McCootie swivelling to fire wide when the ball was recycled from a corner. There was another half-chance when Marvin Morgan took a touch and acrobatically volleyed well off target, before City finally put a slick move together. Morgan was heavily involved again, nudging on for Andy Watkins, whose shot was blocked, the deflected ball just out of McCootie's reach as it ran away. The frontman was able to connect the next time they came forward, showing great strength to leap above his defender and head a looping Miles Welch-Hayes delivery off the woodwork. The goal would arrive just before the break. Billy Murphy took a short corner for Watkins, who backheeled the ball on for Murphy to drill in a low cross. Morgan was unable to get the required touch on the ball, which ran on for Andresson to prod towards the near post. From there it ran along the line, an unfortunate Stortford defender's clearance rebounding off McCootie and over the line.

The second period began with Barnwell chesting down and volleying off target, but City soon took the pressure off with a second goal. Visiting keeper Sam Voss was forced drop down and turn away a Morgan shot, the rebound turned behind by a defender. And the resulting Murphy corner was flicked in by the on-rushing Jack Batten as the Stortford defence stood statuesque. The Romans' momentum continued as Watkins got free from his marker and headed over the bar, but from there the pace of their game dropped. Neither side was able to take control as the ball spent most of its time in the air. Scrambling City defence spared O'Leary's blushes as he was unable to get much purchase on a punch, with Fagan firing a shot into the defence. Back at the other end, a tasty Watkins turn took him away from a sliding defender, his cross floating just over the head of diminutive Diallo. Whatever Stortford threw at the hosts over the closing stages was comfortably fended off. Substitute Connor Lemonheigh-Evans had a trio of late opportunities to make it three for City. He dragged his first effort wide after the ball had squirmed his way when Morgan ran at the defence, before jagging in from the left flank and curling just past the far corner. The third chance was a staggering miss. McCootie darted away from his defender and teed up the youngster, who stepped over the ball from a yard out with the goal gaping.