Bath City (1)4 Farnborough (1)2

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Bath City (1)4  Farnborough (1)2 Empty Bath City (1)4 Farnborough (1)2

Post by Kelston Koppite on Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:08 pm

Bath City completed their home league programme with a comfortable victory over Farnborough this afternoon. They did, however, need to overcome an early setback after falling behind after only three minutes.

City began the match brightly and Ross Stearn tried his luck from distance in the 2nd minute, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Ross Fitzsimmons between the Farnborough sticks. It was the visitors though that took the lead on 3 minutes with their first attack. The City defence failed to clear Harry Lee’s long throw in, and Fraser Colmer’s volley from the edge of the box crept into the bottom corner of Jason Mellor’s net.

Bath struggled to find their rhythm on the hard surface as they sought a foothold in proceedings, and the game became dour for a period as the Hampshire side were content to sit back on their advantage.

Stearn was high and wide of the target on 20 minutes following a turn and shot from outside the box. However, his side were back on equal terms three minutes later. Stearn’s neat pass found Dan Ball in space out wide on the left, and his pinpoint cross was nodded firmly home by Dave Pratt from 6 yards.

City were now in the ascendancy and Pratt had an excellent opportunity to add to his tally on 35 minutes when his beat the offside line for a clear run on goal. The striker tried to take the ball round Fitzsimmons, but was unable to create an opening. He eventually squared the ball to Stearn, whose goalbound shot was blocked by the keeper’s feet.

Dan Bowman, playing in an advanced position, raced down the right wing four minutes before half time, but blazed his shot wildly over the crossbar from 20 yards.

The opening minutes of the second period were largely uneventful, but City were dealt a blow in the 56th minute when Andy Watkins appeared to catch his studs in the turf and had to leave the field with an ankle injury. He was duly replaced by Noah Keats, who would play an integral part in the time remaining.

Phill Page’s underhit shot from the edge of the box was easily gathered by Mellor on 57 minutes, but it was the hosts who forged ahead a minute later. Stearn’s cross from the right found Joe Burnell, and the midfielder’s shot took a wicked deflection that served to loop the ball into the net over the hapless Fitzsimmons.

Pratt’s angled shot was narrowly wide of the far post after a good run down the left flank, but the lead was extended after 71 minutes. Ball advanced towards the Farnborough defence and slipped a neat pass through to Stearn. The midfielder left Fitzsimmons on the deck with an audacious dummy, and calmly rolled the ball into the unguarded net.

Lee Howells then presented Danny Wring with his debut at the expense of Chris Allen, and he proceeded to strike up a good understanding with Keats in the middle of the park. The latter, produced the pass of the match in the 77th minute when he released Pratt with a perfectly threaded through ball. The forward drove into the box and found the far corner with a resounding finish beyond the advancing custodian.

Burnell was replaced by Adam Connolly, leaving the pitch to a rousing reception, and his side continued to dominate proceedings. With six minutes left on the clock, Keats’ firm shot from fully 30 yards was clawed round the post by Fitzsimmons.

The visitors pushed forward in search of some consolation and Mellor did well to repel JJ Hooper’s angled effort. The referee, Mr. Derek Eaton of Tewkesbury, then awarded a penalty kick to Farnborough on 90 minutes when Bowman nudged Colmer in the back. Hooper stepped forward to send Mellor the wrong way with his spot kick to reduce the arrears.

There was still time for Olly Treacher to be shown a yellow card for crudely unending Stearn on the edge of the box, the victim firing just wide of the far post from the resulting free kick.

This was a convincing victory for City and a fitting end to a largely successful home campaign with, of course, a few notable exceptions along the way. There have certainly been signs that the side is steadily gelling together, which augers well for next season. No doubt the Somerset side will be looking to finish their fixtures on a positive note next Saturday when they make the long trip to Concord Rangers in deepest Canvey Island.

BATH CITY: Jason Mellor, Sekani Simpson, Dan Ball, Andy Gallinagh, Phil Walsh, Joe Burnell (Adam Connolly 78), Ross Stearn, Chris Allen (Danny Wring 74), Dave Pratt, Andy Watkins (Noah Keats 56), Dan Bowman. Subs not used: Josh Low, Aaron Brown.
FARNBOROUGH: Ross Fitzsimons, Josh Huggins, Olly Treacher, Harry Lee, Darryl Siaw, Alfred Bosch, Courtney Fearn (Dan Bennett 64), Matt Ball, Phill Page (Tyrone Berry 78), JJ Hooper, Fraser Colmer.
REFEREE: Mr. Derek Eaton.
ATT: 571
Kelston Koppite
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Post by BenE on Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:58 pm

I thought Fraser Colmer was outstanding for Farnborough. Certainly one to look out for in the future.

For us I thought Watkins was strangely subdued but other than that there were excellent performances all round the park. The first goal was the pick for me, super play, super cross, super leap. Right out of the top draw.
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Post by 2weirdtown on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:51 pm

I'm pretty sure Watkins got a tweak/knock or something first half which might explain.
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