Woking (1)1 Bath City (3)3

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Woking (1)1 Bath City (3)3

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:25 am

Bath City consigned last Saturday’s FA Cup disappointment to the history books with an outstanding victory against high flying Woking at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. This was achieved wit a performance brimming with pace, slick passing, energetic closing down in midfield and, latterly, tenacious defending.

The first action of the match saw Jack Batten cautioned for an enthusiastic challenge on Paul Hodges, but City were soon into their stride. With the Woking defence being turned on numerous occasions it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 6th minute. Joe Raynes, restored to the side on the right flank, unleashed a thumping shot from 30 years that clattered against the face of the crossbar. The rebound bounced awkwardly, but Adam Mann adjusted his position adeptly and volleyed into the unguarded net from the edge of the box.

The home side were struggling to make any impression on the game due to City’s dominance, and it was not until the 17th minute that they could muster any threat upfront. In the event, Ben Gerring headed a freekick from the right well wide of the far post. At the other end, Tom Smith displayed good technique to unfurl a stinging volley from outside the box that was well dealt with by keeper Craig Ross.

Donovan Makoma blazed high and wide for the hosts on 22 minutes, but City had doubled their lead less than a minute later. Raynes produced some good work to reach the right hand byline before slipping a pass to Frankie Artus, who crossed to Mann beyond the far post. Mann’s header looped against the bar, and Robbie Cundy was on hand to nod the rebound into the net from inside the 6 yard box.

The Cards came more into proceedings thereafter, and the arrears were reduced on 31 minutes when Hodges raced into acres of space down the right flank. As he entered the area his ankles were clipped by the pursuing Ross Stearn, and the referee, Mr. Robert Whitton, pointed to the spot. There were no arguments from the City players, and Max Kretzchmar confidently planted his effort into the right hand corner of the net, just beyond Ryan Clarke’s outstretched fingertips.

Undeterred by this set back, The Romans continued to press forward and got their reward in the 38th minute when Stearn burst through on goal. With only the keeper to beat, the wideman was bundled to the floor by Makoma, who amazingly escaped completely unpunished by the erratic Mr. Whitton. Skipper Anthony Straker took charge, and calmly sent Ross the wrong way with his spot-kick to restore his side’s two-goal advantage.

The visitors remained on top for the final minutes of the half, putting pressure on the Woking defence. James Morton delivered a long free kick into the area that Cundy headed narrowly wide of the target withy Ross desperately scrambling across his goal-line, and Smith then saw his shot find the outside of the side netting.

Woking emerged after the break with increased urgency and began to enjoy the territorial advantage, but City still looked the more dangerous going forward. Mann raced down the left in the 49th minute, forced his way into the box, before Ross diverted his angled shot behind for a corner. The same player then released Stearn, who had a clear sight of goal, but dragged his shot wide of the near post.

Despite having the greater share of possession, The Cards were unable to create any clear cut openings with the Bath backline defending solidly, with Cundy and Batten particularly dominant in the aerial battles, and Clarke dealing expertly with any high balls into his box.

Toby Edser tried his luck with a 71st minute freekick from 25 yards but was too high to trouble the City stopper. Kretzschmar then cut inside from the left, only for his shot to strike the outside of the near post, and away for a goal-kick. This would prove to be the closest the hosts would come to finding a second goal.

Ryan Brunt replaced Stearn after 73 minutes, before another Smith shot was saved low down by Ross. Hodges found space inside the City box, but fired high and wide, before Mann made way for debutant speedster Ricardo Rees with 5 minutes remaining.

Kretzschmar’s curling free kick from the left was straight at Clarke, and the visitors responded with a Raynes effort from 20 yards that was comfortably gathered by Ross. The final chance of the game fell to Kretzschmar, but he lifted his shot over the bar and into the lofty stand behind Clarke’s goal.

This was an excellent and dominant win by Jerry Gill’s men and there is no doubt that is was fully deserved. Indeed, if you were looking for an example of a perfect away performance, then you need look no further. The Somerset side caused problems every time they went forward, they continually harried their opponents in midfield, and their defending was solid and determined, and backed up by Clarke’s sound handling. They will now look to cement this victory with a similar outcome against Truro City when they travel to Torquay on Tuesday evening.

Woking: Craig Ross; Ian Gayle, Josh Casey, Jack Cook, Ben Gerring, Donovan Makoma (Charles Hester-Cook 61), Paul Hodges, Toby Edser, Jake Hyde (Gregory Luer 61), Max Kretzschmar, Nicholas Wheeler (Duane Ofori-Acheampong HT).
Subs not used: Nathan Collier, Herbert Schotterl.

Bath City: Ryan Clarke; Michee Efete, Robbie Cundy, Jack Batten, Anthony Straker; Frankie Artus, James Morton, Joe Raynes, Tom Smith, Adam Mann (Ricardo Rees 85), Ross Stearn (Ryan Brunt 73). Subs not used: Kevin Amankwaah, Dan Ball, Kieran Hodges.

Referee: Mr. Robert Whitton.

Att: 1,562.

Kelston Koppite

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Re: Woking (1)1 Bath City (3)3

Post by the demon headmaster on Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:22 pm

Excellent stuff (bowing emoji). I don't mind defensive resilience under pressure, once we are a few goals to the good, of course. I also wonder if Joe Raynes' reintroduction is significant in our improved display?

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Re: Woking (1)1 Bath City (3)3

Post by Corstonian on Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:44 pm

Kelston Koppite wrote:
Undeterred by this set back, The Romans continued to press forward and got their reward in the 38th minute when Stearn burst through on goal.  With only the keeper to beat, the wideman was bundled to the floor by Makoma, who amazingly escaped completely unpunished by the erratic Mr. Whitton.  Skipper Anthony Straker took charge, and calmly sent Ross the wrong way with his spot-kick to restore his side’s two-goal advantage.

Having watched the highlights, I noticed that Woking immediately set up a huge protest about Stearn being offside - which he clearly wasn't - and even got the referee over to speak to the linesman for some reason. The protest was led by their keeper who could have had no meaningful view but didn't let that stop him berating both officials. Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but was this possibly a calculated diversion to distract the referee from the real issue - the defender who had deliberately committed the foul was the last man and should have been looking at a red card. If it was a calculated ploy then you have to say it worked rather well!

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