Bath City (0)1 Braintree Town (0)1

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Bath City (0)1 Braintree Town (0)1

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:20 pm

Bath City and National League South leaders Braintree Town shared the points at a wet and blustery Twerton Park. Whilst there was not an overabundance of goalmouth action, both sides produced some neat football in midfield during a highly competitive encounter played in challenging conditions.

The hosts began brightly and, in the second minute, Billy Murphy’s free kick from the right found Frankie Artus, but his header was straight at visiting keeper Nathan McDonald. A flowing move down the right four minutes later resulted in Tom Smith squaring the ball inviting into Marvin Morgan’s path, but the returning striker struck his shot wide of the target from a good position.

Andy Watkins made progress down the same flank on 8 minutes, but his eventual cross just eluded the reach of the onrushing Morgan at the far post.

Thereafter, the game became locked in a midfield stalemate as both sides closed down space quickly, but City still managed to engineer the most promising opportunities. Murphy’s clipped ball into the Town area in the 23rd minute fell to Watkins, who was unable to keep his difficult first-time volley down, and then Ryan Case headed over McDonald’s crossbar following Murphy’s free kick.

George Rigg, who was destined for an eventful afternoon, was introduced on 27 minutes due to an injury suffered by Kevin Amankwaah, and Braintree gradually began to gain the upper hand. Karl Oliyide found some space inside the City box and his angled shot was parried by the diving Luke Southwood, who recovered well to gather at the second attempt.

Murphy delivered another free kick into the Town area in the 39th minute, but Artus’ header lacked the power to beat the gaggle of defenders inside the 6-yard box.

As half time approached the home defence was coming under increasing pressure, and Phil Roberts’ cross from the right resulted in Samir Bihmoutine’s header coming back off the face of Southwood’s far upright. Oliyide then broke through clear on goal but was forced wide by Southwood, and his chipped shot from a tight angle went across the face of goal.

The second period saw little early spark from either side with no notable action until the 58th minute, when the home side were awarded a debatable penalty by the referee, Mr. Ben Cooke. Rigg crossed into the box from the left and Nat Jarvis appeared to be pushed in the back as he attempted to reach the ball. Jarvis dusted himself down, only for his firm spot kick to strike McDonald’s legs and then clatter on to the underside of the crossbar.

City continued to press forward and Watkins’ angled drive on the hour mark skidded wide of the far post. Murphy’s free kick in the 66th minute was cleared only as far as Tom Smith on the edge of the box, whose powerful deflected shot was brilliantly saved low down by the momentarily wrong-footed McDonald.

Further home penalty appeals were turned aside by the increasingly erratic and inconsistent official when Anthony Straker’s low cross was seemingly handled by a sliding defender, before the tiring Murphy was replaced by Nick McCootie.
The home side’s enterprise was rewarded on 79 minutes, albeit in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Rigg picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, his shot taking a wicked deflection off Billy Crook, and looping into the net over the desperately back-peddling McDonald.

This setback stirred the visitors into action and they suddenly pushed forward with more urgency. Indeed, parity was restored just six minutes later when Bihmoutine reached the by-line and picked out Oliyide, who made no mistake from 8 yards.

Rigg’s involvement was brought to a premature end as the game entered stoppage time, when he was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Roberts by the corner flag. Braintree now sensed that they could snatch victory, and Southwood was required to make an excellent save at the foot of his post to keep out Marc Okoye’s downward header.

City received warm applause from the home faithful at the final whistle in appreciation for their hard-working performance. Jerry Gill’s men stood toe to toe with their high-flying opponents, and both sides deserve great credit for trying to play controlled passing football in adverse circumstances. Bath will no doubt feel that their persistent failure to convert from 12 yards has again cost them dear but, when viewing the game as a whole, a draw was probably the rightful outcome.

Bath City: Luke Southwood, Kevin Amankwaah (George Rigg 27), Ryan Case, Dan Ball, Anthony Straker, Andy Watkins, Tom Smith, Billy Murphy (Nick McCootie 75), Frankie Artus, Marvin Morgan, Nat Jarvis. Subs not used: Jamie Lucas, Kaid Mohamed, JoJo Wollacott.

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald; Mahrez Bettache, Ricky Gabriel (Ben Wyatt), Christian Frimpong, Marc Okoye, Samir Bihmoutine (Tyler Campbell), Luke Allen, Billy Crook, Phil Roberts, Karl Oliyide, Roman Michael-Percil (Marcel Barrington 71). Subs not used: Dernell Wynter, Osa Obanwonyi.

Referee: Mr. Ben Cooke

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Kelston Koppite

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Re: Bath City (0)1 Braintree Town (0)1

Post by BenE on Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:18 pm

Yes we struggled to understand some of the refs decisions too.
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