Vanarama National League South
Saturday 8 April 2017 - The Aspect Arena - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Welch-Hayes, Batten, Andresson (c), Hemmings, Watkins (Hutchinson 76), Murphy, McCootie, Diallo (Morgan 70), McCoulsky (Simpson 88). subs not used: Marshall.
|man of the match:
||Watkins (14), Hemmings (24), Andresson (pen 40), McCoulsky (44, 87)
||A Ajbola, A Lee, R Claussen
|league position: 9th
||next match: East Thurrock Utd (A)
Report taken from
On a day that saw One for Arthur charge to victory in the Grand National, the return of Bath City's champion thoroughbred helped end a three-match losing run and spur them to their biggest away win of the season.
In 14 league starts for the club, Axel Andresson remains unbeaten; just seven conceded with him on the pitch. When he's been absent, it's six defeats from seven, conceding 15.
The Icelander, back after missing the last three, was made captain in place of hamstring injury victim Frankie Artus. Naby Diallo also replaced Marvin Morgan following last week's mauling by Maidenhead.
The opening 10 minutes showed few signs of what was to follow in a one-sided opening half at the Aspect Arena - a curious venue in Essex - basked in April sunshine.
Nick McCootie had a goal chalked off for offside when Andy Watkins' header was initially parried by Bailey Vose, but within two minutes City weren't to be denied.
Max O'Leary's long clearance saw the Concord defence allow the ball to bounce, and carelessly give up the chase of Watkins. With Vose dashing off his line, Watkins calmly chested the ball away from the stopper, before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Ironically, it was this corresponding weekend last year when the Cornishman, who turned 32 last Monday, was gifted a goal at the same end, and the Beachboys' defence were nearly undone by another pump forward soon after.
George Rigg's clearance saw Taylor McKenzie nearly inadvertently lob his own keeper, with Vose back-peddling before batting the ball over.
The hosts threatened little, but the persistence of Rob Girdlestone was almost rewarded. The full-back charged down two clearances, which allowed the ball to run loose to Lyle Della-Verde. With just O'Leary to beat, he dragged his shot wide.
Instead, Chas Hemmings showed the former Fulham man how it's done. Following an exchange of passing with Billy Murphy, Hemmings unleashed a tremendous, venomous shot from fully 30 yards.
Vose's fingertips could only help the ball onto the underside of the bar, with the ball bouncing back into play. A well-placed assistant flagged immediately for a goal much to the Romans' relief.
McCootie should have added to the tally against an over-generous defence, skewing wide from Watkins' lay-off, but he did play a part in Bath's third on 39 minutes.
The forward collected Murphy's pass in the penalty area before a tangling of legs with Della-Verde saw the City man felled. Referee Aji Ajibola pointed to the spot - the eighth penalty awarded in the last games involving Gary Owers' outfit.
The returning Andresson stepped up and comprehensively sent Vose the wrong way to make it 3-0.
There was still time for a fourth before the half was out. Once again, the hosts' defensive fragility was evident as McCoulsky easily turned McKenzie, who couldn't keep up with the lightning forward, who coolly slotted home from ten yards.
Jordan Chiedozie tried to catch out O'Leary from the restart; his strike from the halfway line sailing just off target as City cruised into the interval four goals to the good, a stark contrast to the horror show seven days' previous.
Concord boss Adam Flanagan wouldn't have been blamed for telling a few home truths at the interval as his side started the second half brighter with Dion Sembie-Ferris shooting wide.
Andresson had to be alert to halt Girdlestone's ascent forward down the right; foiling the former Chelmsford man with a superb challenge, immediately followed by a telling pass to Watkins down the left. He played it on to McCoulsky, whose show was parried behind by Vose, denying a superb counter-attacking goal.
James White headed Della-Verde's free-kick over in another venture forward for the home side. Audrius Laucys and Amos Nasha also failed to test O'Leary when well placed.
It took until the 64th minute for Rangers to register a shot on target. Chiedozie managed to find the way behind an otherwise faultless City defence, but his tame strike failed to test O'Leary.
With victory all-but-assured, Morgan and Josh Hutchinson were brought on for Diallo and Watkins. Morgan looped a shot over soon after his arrival; searching for only his second goal in 19 outings.
In contrast, McCoulsky has had little problems in front of goal of late, as the loanee forward made it seven since his arrival in February on 86 minutes.
He had Hutchinson and Miles Welch-Hayes to thank, with the two linking down the left before the latter's pull-back was met by McCoulsky almost on the goal-line to tap in City's fifth.
Although the top five has evaded Owers' men this term, results like this prove that there is plenty to be positive about, with the Romans bypassing their points tally of the past two seasons.
Although the return of Andresson notably made a difference, a professional team performance helped City cruise past the finish line in the first of their three successive Saturdays in Essex.