Weston-super-Mare (1)1 Bath City (0)0

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Weston-super-Mare (1)1 Bath City (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:50 pm

Bath City slumped to a massively disappointing defeat against Somerset rivals Weston-super-Mare at the Woodspring Stadium and, in the process, lost a golden opportunity to advance into the draw for the First Round Proper of the Emirates FA Cup. A large and vociferous away following gathered hoping for their side to progress, but were left deflated by the final outcome.

Weston, a side struggling at the foot of the National League South came out of the traps quickly, so much so that City were pinned inside their own half for much of the opening 25 minutes. The hosts were quicker to the ball and starved their opponents of possession as they swarmed around the away penalty area. As early as the 2nd minute Jarrad Welch curled a dangerous cross from the left into the danger zone, the ball just evading the onrushing Gethyn Hill at the far post.

George Nurse found acres of space down the left flank on 5 minutes, cut inside into the box, but fired into the outside of the side netting. The Seagulls’ dominance finally paid off after 13 minutes when an Adam Mann freekick was cleared by the home defence resulting in a break down the left wing. Michee Efete was unable to make an effective clearance which allowed Welch to progress towards goal. The midfielder struck a low angled shot that was parried by Ryan Clarke, only for the loose ball to run to Hill who made no mistake from close range.

Weston continued to enjoy the bulk of possession, but City slowly began to push forward. Their first sight of goal came on 25 minutes when Anthony Straker made his way to the left by-line before crossing into the box. The ball fell to Adam Mann, but his first-time shot was brilliantly saved by the diving Luke Purnell.

The home side almost increased their lead in the 39th minute when Louis McGrory crossed from the right and Clarke was forced into an excellent flying save to tip Jamie Lucas’s flicked effort over the crossbar.

Bath suddenly found some forward momentum and perhaps were slightly unfortunate not to find an equaliser before half time. Purnell failed to deal effectively with a Mann corner allowing Frankie Artus a free header that was cleared off the goal line by Alex Byrne. James Morton tried his luck from 20 yards, but his shot was too high, and then a firm low drive by Artus was expertly pushed round the post by Purnell at full stretch.

The second period began quietly but burst into life on 53 minutes. Welch’s free kick from outside the box was narrowly over Clarke’s bar and, at the other end, a fierce shot from Mann stung Purnell’s palms, with the rebound dropping just behind the lurking Tom Smith. Two minutes later, a dipping overhead kick from Ross Stearn that appeared destined for the back of the net was tipped over the crossbar by the leaping and twisting home custodian. The resulting corner was met with a firm header by Rob Cundy that was again repelled by Purnell.

The hosts were now slowing down the game at every opportunity, a ploy that was not addressed by the somewhat erratic referee, Mr. Elliott Swallow of Derby. Consequently, an element of frustration entered proceedings, with a number of baffling yellow cards being brandished by the official.

Clarke was required to make a smart save at the foot of his post on 65 minutes to keep out a low free kick by Jake Lee and, on 72 minutes, Purnell made a less demanding save to gather Ryan Brunt’s header from Straker’s left wing cross.

Joe Raynes was introduced at the expense of Smith, but Weston had an outstanding chance to put the match beyond the visitors in the 74th minute. Hill crossed from the right into the path of Welch, who sliced his shot well wide from a central position in front of goal.

Raynes injected some much needed energy down the right hand side and produced a strong run down that flank on 76 minutes. He eventually found Mann with his pass inside, but the midfielder lifted his shot over the target from the edge of the box.

A long free kick into the City box two minutes later resulted in a goalmouth scramble with Matt Bower’s close range toe-poke being well save by the diving Clarke.

There were strong appeals for a penalty on 80 minutes when Jack Batten was bundled to the ground in trying to reach Mann’s lofted free kick into the Weston box, but Mr. Swallow showed no interest whatsoever.

The remaining minutes were played out mostly in the City half as the hosts ran down the clock with a mixture of ‘clever’ play and blatant timewasting which continued to be tolerated by the man from Derby, to the extent that the four minutes of stoppage time signalled was simply derisory.

Weston were fully deserving of their victory having dominated possession for long periods and were consistently first to any loose ball in the first half. City improved after the break, but were foiled by a determined home side and, in particular, an outstanding display by their goalkeeper. It needs to be said that Jerry Gill’s side was not helped by the inept performance of Mr. Swallow but, ultimately, the damage was done in the first 20 minutes during which City were well off the pace.

Weston-super-Mare: Luke Purnell; Louis McGrory, Matt Bower, Jake Lee, George Nurse, Jason Pope, Alex Byrne, Naby Diallo, Gethyn Hill, Jarrad Welch, Eji Phipps (Jamie Lucas 16). Subs not used: George Morris-Edwards, Ben Swallow, Tom Llewellyn, Thaos Barker-Cory, Jacob Cane.

Bath City: Ryan Clarke; Michee Efete, Robbie Cundy, Jack Batten, Anthony Straker; Frankie Artus, James Morton, Tom Smith (Joe Raynes 73); Adam Mann, Ryan Brunt, Ross Stearn. Subs not used: Kevin Amankwaah, Andy Watkins, Sean Rigg, Dan Ball, Kieran Hodges, Ricardo Rees.

Referee: Mr. Elliott Swallow (Derby).

Attendance: 1,053.

Kelston Koppite

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Re: Weston-super-Mare (1)1 Bath City (0)0

Post by tovid on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:21 am

Interestingly the BCIR commentary team felt the referee had a good game. WSM were time wasting from the very first minute of the second half and he did nothing about it so I was expecting a decent amount of added time.
Even so we could have played all night and not found a way past Purnell.
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Re: Weston-super-Mare (1)1 Bath City (0)0

Post by Corstonian on Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:30 pm

Sorry, but while the referee may not have been the finest we've ever had he had little or nothing to do with the outcome. Weston had a straightforward strategy - move the ball quickly up to their front two or out wide where they gave us problems from the very start - and it worked a treat. By contrast, our strategy was hard to fathom at times. It always looked like a game where an individual error could settle the game one way or the other and, with all due respect to Ryan Clarke who's been in excellent form recently, it was his failure to deal properly with a very routine shot which was the key moment. As for the time-wasting - every team does it, especially one without a home win this season, and the trick is not to fall behind in the first place.

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Re: Weston-super-Mare (1)1 Bath City (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:49 pm

Corstonian wrote:Sorry, but while the referee may not have been the finest we've ever had he had little or nothing to do with the outcome. Weston had a straightforward strategy - move the ball quickly up to their front two or out wide where they gave us problems from the very start - and it worked a treat. By contrast, our strategy was hard to fathom at times. It always looked like a game where an individual error could settle the game one way or the other and, with all due respect to Ryan Clarke who's been in excellent form recently, it was his failure to deal properly with a very routine shot which was the key moment. As for the time-wasting - every team does it, especially one without a home win this season, and the trick is not to fall behind in the first place.

I agree with your comments Corstonian. I did not say that the referee was the primary reason for City's defeat, but his failure to deal effectively with blatant time wasting (which, with respect, commenced midway through the first half) did not help City's cause.  As I said in my comments, Weston were fully deserving of their victory, and City paid the price for a slow start which meant that they were always chasing the game.

On reflection, despite the poor overall performance, City still had more than enough good chances to force a replay, or even win the game, and we would all then have felt a lot happier. The fact that Purnell was their 'Man of the Match' perhaps tells a story.

However, I still stand by my opinion that the referee was not strong enough although, admittedly, I have seen a lot worse!

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