Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

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Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:56 am

Bath City produced a commanding performance to earn three valuable points against fellow play-off hopefuls Braintree Town at a wet and windy Ironmongery Direct Stadium (Cressing Road). Two goals in the opening half from Nat Jarvis and Jack Compton were the least the Somerset side deserved for their overall domination, and these strikes proved to be the eventual difference between the teams.

The first opening of the game fell to the hosts in the 2nd minute when Luke Allen flicked the ball into the path of Reece Grant, whose angled shot was wide of Luke Southwood's far post. Thereafter, City took control of proceedings and produced some neat passing movement that belied the difficult underfoot conditions. Ross Stearn found space out on the left on 5 minutes, but his cross was just too high for the unmarked Jarvis.

With the elements behind them Bath were coming forward in waves, with the home defence being pushed deeper into their own territory. Consequently, Braintree were unable to retain possession of the ball and were coming under increasing pressure as the minutes elapsed. On 13 minutes, Compton played a ball over the Town rearguard which was latched on to by Tom Smith, but his shot was saved by the legs of home custodian Nathan McDonald.

The Romans continued to drive forward, and Miles Welch-Hayes' cross from the right somehow eluded both Smith and Jarvis at the far post. However, the visitors were in front after 23 minutes following a partially cleared cross into the box. The ball fell to Anthony Straker 20 yards from goal and his low drive was only parried by McDonald. Jarvis reacted the quickest to the rebound, and slotted the ball into the net from 6 yards beyond the prone goalkeeper.

Jerry Gill's men carried on their momentum and their lead was doubled on 32 minutes in truly spectacular fashion. The ball was played out to Compton on the right-hand point of the Town area, and the midfielder struck a first-time curling shot that dipped into the top corner of the net, rendering McDonald motionless. It was a breath-taking effort that had the travelling supporters in raptures, and stunned those of local persuasion into silence.

McDonald was required to pull off a useful diving save to repel Compton's freekick from 25 yards on 35 minutes. From the resulting corner, Compton picked out the run of Stearn, whose shot from the edge of the area sailed high over the goal, the terracing, the clubhouse, and disappeared into the dark murkiness of the Essex sky.

Straker was correctly cautioned by the referee, Mr. Lee Brennan, for chipping the ball over the perimeter fencing to prevent a home throw-in from being taken quickly but, shortly afterwards, Grant blazed the ball high over the stand after being caught 10 yards offside and, bizarrely, escaped any sanction from the official.

The final action of the half saw Pat Webber deliver a cross into the City box, but Grant was unable to direct his shot on target from a very tight angle.

Bath began the second period looking for a third goal, and came desperately close to scoring in the 47th minute when Frankie Artus' low shot from 20 yards was narrowly wide of the target.

With the wind now in their favour it was inevitable that Braintree would look to push forward in search of a foothold in the game. A short corner was taken out on the left and a low cross was driven into the box which appeared to strike a City defender's arm at point blank range, but the vociferous home appeals for a penalty were dismissed by Mr. Brennan.

The visitors kept the Town attack at bay, gradually weathered the storm, and were looking menacing on the break. Stearn's shot from distance on 65 minutes was high and wide but signalled his side's intent. Indeed, the same player cleverly weaved his way into the home box two minutes later and, when his shot was blocked, the ball ran to Artus whose rasping effort passed narrowly over the angle of post and crossbar.

Debutant Sean Rigg came on for Compton on 72 minutes, Antoine Semenyo replaced Nat Jarvis, and Stearn was substituted by Andy Watkins, sandwiched between all of which Luke Allen's shot was deflected over Southwood's bar for a corner.

With the home attacking threat now almost completely nullified by the resolute City defence, the final attempt at goal came from the away side as the match entered stoppage time. Rigg cut inside from the right, but his low shot was straight at McDonald.

This was a richly deserved and impressive victory for City, who dominated proceedings for long periods and, when required, displayed well organised defensive qualities that resulted in Southwood not having to make one serious save throughout. Today's performance was such that it would be wrong to single out individuals for praise, but Compton's strike for the second goal was simply magnificent.

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Patrick Webber, Josh Hill, Mark Okoye, Christian Frimpong, Luke Allen, Ben Wyatt, Phil Roberts, Reece, Grant, Roman Michael-Percil. Subs, Marcel Barrington, Matt Baxter, Mahrez Bettache, Conor McKendry, Jack Curtis.

Bath City: Luke Southwood, Miles Welch-Hayes, Jack Batten, Dan Ball, Anthony Straker, Frankie Artus, James Morton, Jack Compton (Sean Rigg 72), Ross Stearn (Andy Watkins 87), Tom Smith, Nat Jarvis (Antoine Semenyo 83). Subs not used; Kevin Amankwaah, Kieran Hodges.

Referee: Mr. Lee Brennan

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Re: Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

Post by BenE on Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:51 am

Great report as usual enriched by the little insights. But it also highlights how good the Bath City Internet Radio commentary is. I got most of the action during the game as well as the bits of banter. So well done to that team too.
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Re: Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

Post by BenE on Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:56 am

And those were three very strong substitutions with Kevin H still on the bench. It has taken time for JG to get the squad to the right balance to play the type of football he wants but it is slowly coming good.
The master stroke was swapping Stearn and Compton around. We have changed from a side that offered no goal threat to one that is very dangerous.
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Re: Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

Post by the demon headmaster on Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:12 am

‘Breathtaking’ - the master strikes again. A beautiful report KK.

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Re: Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:16 am

the demon headmaster wrote:‘Breathtaking’ - the master strikes again. A beautiful report KK.

High praise indeed! Yes, as you know, I did struggle to find the right words to describe Jack Compton's goal. Suffice to say that I think that I will have to wait a long time to see a better one. A thoroughly enjoyable day out in Essex.

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Re: Braintree Town (0)0 Bath City (2)2

Post by Ad da on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:54 am

Excellent commentry and a great result .

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