Ebbsfleet United (1)1 Bath City (0)0

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Ebbsfleet United (1)1 Bath City (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:21 pm

Bath City fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of big spending Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road, failing to find an equaliser despite their second half dominance, and eventually paying the price for Marvin Morgan’s missed penalty kick.

The much-fancied hosts came out of the traps quickly and put the Somerset side under considerable pressure in the early minutes. Dean Rance scuffed wide from the edge of the box when well positioned in the 2nd minute, and skipper Danny Kedwell headed narrowly wide of the far post following a cross from the left.

Ebbsfleet thought that they had taken the lead on 9 minutes when a free kick from the right was met with a firm header from Jack Powell, but the ball struck the underside of the bar and dropped down on the goal line before being hurriedly hacked away to safety.

Bath posed their first threat on goal in the 11th minute when George Rigg’s quickly taken free kick found Naby Diallo in space on the left. His cross picked out the head of Morgan, but the forward could only direct his effort straight at Nathan Ashmore between the home sticks. The visitors were now gaining some confidence, and Andy Watkins’ diagonal ball into the box two minutes later just eluded the outstretched leg of the onrushing Ryan Broom.

Chas Hemmings gained possession inside the centre circle after 18 minutes and unleashed an audacious lob towards the United goal, only to see it drop narrowly wide of the post with Ashmore back-peddling uneasily.

The hosts began to regain their grip on proceedings and opened the scoring on 26 minutes in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. A cross into the City area resulted in a prolonged goalmouth scramble with the ball eventually falling to Sam Deering, whose deflected shot looped into the net with Max O’Leary hopelessly wrong footed.

Bath were clearly reeling at this point and, when a cross from the left was met with a powerful header from Darren McQueen, O’Leary pulled off a stunning reflex save to turn the ball round the post.

With eight minutes left on the clock before the break, Rigg’s volleyed effort from 20 yards was just wide of Ashmore’s near post. Three minutes later, Rigg’s accurate free kick into the box from the right found Manny Monthe, but the centre half’s header lacked both power and direction.

The final chance of the half fell to Kedwell, but his shot from distance was wide of the target.

City began the second period brightly and had a golden opportunity to restore parity within three minutes of the restart, when Watkins was clumsily bundled over in the area by Anthony Cook. The referee, Mr Chris Pollard, awarded a penalty, but Morgan’s weak spot kick was far too close to Ashmore, and the keeper duly palmed the ball over the bar.

To their credit, the visitors were undeterred by this setback and continued to enjoy the majority of possession, with Ebbsfleet restricted largely to attacks on the break. Watkins’ clever clipped effort on 65 minutes was held under the crossbar by Ashmore, but the hosts twice came close in increasing their lead shortly afterwards. Firstly, Deering’s curling free kick from the left flew across the face of O’Leary’s goal without anyone finding a touch, although the offside flag was raised, and then Sean Shields low angled drive was well held by O’Leary at the foot of his near post.

Broom was becoming increasingly influential on the right flank and he squared the ball to Diallo on the edge of the box in the 73rd minute, but the midfielder’s shot was sliced horribly high and wide. At the other end, a corner from the right was nodded narrowly wide of the far post by Dave Winfield.

Gary Owers brought on Nick McCootie for the tiring Watkins on 75 minutes and, a minute later Diallo’s firm shot from outside the box was turned round the far post by Ashmore, who was at full stretch. The resulting corner brought about a frantic goalmouth melee, but the ball would not fall to a City player to find the final touch, and the concluding defensive clearance was met with the loudest cheer of the afternoon by the hugely relieved home crowd.

Broom tried his luck from distance in the 83rd minute and his shot was spilled by Ashmore, the keeper recovering in the nick of time to prevent McCootie from profiting. Dan Ball made way for Shaquille Hunter with two minutes left on the clock as caution was thrown to the wind, and Ashmore pulled off another outstanding save to keep at Monthe’s fierce drive. The same player saw his header loop onto the roof of the net from the ensuing corner.

As the game entered the third minute of stoppage time, the hosts had the opportunity to double their lead as they broke away from their defensive shackles. McQueen found himself through on goal, only to be pushed wide by Max O’Leary, and the chance was eventually lost.

Whilst they struggled to find any forward momentum before the interval, this was a spirited second half performance by City against strong opponents, and they held the upper hand for long periods without finding a real cutting edge. Certainly, they were not outplayed by their hosts, and Ebbsfleet were indebted to their goalkeeper for several excellent saves which, tellingly, earned him the ‘man of the match’ award from the match sponsors. The bottom line, however, is that you cannot afford to miss penalties at any level of the game.

EBBSFLEET UNITED; Nathan Ashmore, Anthony Cook, Sean Shields, Mark Phillips, Dave Winfield, Kenny Clark, Dean Rance, Sam Deering, Dean Kedwell, Darren McQueen, Jack Powell, Subs; Charlie Sheringham, Michael Jordan, Jack Connors, John Paul Kissock, Bradley Bubb.

BATH CITY: Max O’Leary, Jack Batten, Dan Ball (Shaquille Hunter 88), Chas Hemmings, Manny Monthe, Frankie Artus, George Rigg, Naby Diallo, Andy Watkins (Nick McCootie 75), Marvin Morgan, Ryan Broom. Subs not used, Billy Murphy, Lee Marshall, Josh Hutchinson.

REFEREE; Mr. Chris Pollard

ATTENDANCE; 1,101

Kelston Koppite

Posts : 148
Join date : 2014-02-23

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