Vanarama National League South
Saturday 29 April 2017 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
half-time: 2-0 result: W2-1 attendance: 710

team: O@Leary, Rigg, Welch-Hayes, Batten, Andresson (c), Artus, Watkins, Murphy, McCootie (Hemmings 59), Morgan (Hutchinson 82), Diallo (Ball 82). subs not used: Hunter, Marshall.
man of the match: Andy Watkins
scorers: McCootie (18), Watkins (25)
bookings: Morgan (53), Artus (77)
officials: G Parsons, R Hillier-Smith, S Graham

league position: 9th form: LWLWLW next match: Next Season

Report taken from

Bath City ensured a ninth-place finish in National League South by rounding out the campaign with relatively a trouble-free triumph over Welling United. Both goals, from Nick McCootie and Andy Watkins, arrived in the first period as the Romans never came under prolonged pressure from the Londoners. Although Welling made it close with a thunderous 35-yard Sam Hatton free-kick late in the day, City held out for a final three points.

McCootie thrashed a 25-yard effort past the post in either sides' maiden effort of the match, as the hosts edged proceedings early on. Before long they had a true opening when Naby Diallo went on a darting run through the centre of Welling's defence and fed Marvin Morgan to thump an effort over the crossbar. The visitors slowly began to make a mark on proceedings when frontman Rhys Murrell-Williamson bent a free-kick just over the top corner of a scrambling Max O'Leary's goal, before firing another long-range effort straight into the keeper's breadbasket. And soon enough, with those chances come and gone, it was City that went ahead on 18 minutes. Watkins' delightful ball around the corner sent McCootie charging in behind and smashing the ball high and hard past Wings stopper Chris Lewington. From provider, Watkins turned scorer to double that advantage when he sprinted in to knock in from five yards as a lifted effort from Miles Welch-Hayes looked to be heading wide. Welling centre-half Dean Leacock then almost gave up possession in the box to McCootie, but made a stretching recovery tackle kept him away from goal. A sharp save was also required from Lewington to keep out a low, hard Axel Andresson free-kick from the very edge of the penalty area. Meanwhile, Jordan Brown failed to test O'Leary with a late effort from the visitors, who made two changes little past the half-hour mark.

Top scorer Watkins almost threw a late goal-of-the-season contender into the hat just after the restart. As City shouted for a penalty with Morgan's shirt being wrenched from his body just inside the box, the ball bounced on for Watkins, whose audacious, backheeled lob was snatched by Lewington before it could cross the line. The home defence then scrambled to keep out a Sam Hatton effort from the edge of the box, the Wings midfielder receiving a low pass from a training ground free-kick, only to find a black and white shirt with his shot. But threats were sporadic at best from Welling as City had the better of the final runnings of the campaign. Watkins could have finished the day with a hat-trick had he been able to make the most of two more chances. The first saw a defender get a block in as the 32-year-old failed to get the ball out of his feet in good time, and later in the half, Watkins almost rounded Lewington but was denied a shooting chance as a defender nicked the ball away. Murphy shaped a long-range strike inches past the far post and Diallo bent an effort into Lewington's chest as the Romans continued to force the issue. Frontman Morgan was also kept off the scoresheet by a timely challenge as he was about to pull the trigger. Having failed to provide any concerted threat all game long, Welling got themselves a goal out of nothing when a Frankie Artus foul was punished by a long-range free-kick slammed into the top corner by Hatton. Yet the equaliser never looked likely and City, who gave skipper Dan Ball a cameo return from injury, could even have grabbed another as both Murphy and Watkins drilled shots straight at Lewington.