Chippenham Town (2)2 Bath City (1)2

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Chippenham Town (2)2  Bath City (1)2 Empty Chippenham Town (2)2 Bath City (1)2

Post by Kelston Koppite on Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:07 pm

Ten-man Bath City showed great spirit and determination to earn a share of the spoils from a pulsating A4 derby against Chippenham Town at Hardenhuish Park.  They fought back from adversity in the form of a two-goal deficit and the dismissal of their skipper Anthony Straker to draw level with 13 minutes left on the clock and, in the end, could have secured the victory that their overall supremacy deserved.

City began proceedings playing up the considerable slope on an uneven surface, and immediately took the game to their hosts.  Ross Stearn crossed from the left in the 2nd minute and found Tom Smith in space, but the attacking midfielder was unable to apply sufficient pace on his low effort to unduly trouble Brad House in the Town goal.  

The visitors continued to push the home side back into their own territory, but the Bluebirds broke forward on 15 minutes when Tariq Ossai crossed from the right, only for Nick McCootie to fire high over Ryan Clarke’s crossbar from a useful position.  Two minutes later, Chippenham took the lead as the broke kindly to McCootie, and the former Cityman drove a low shot into the corner of the net despite beyond Clarke’s dive.

Bath continued to press forward, and House was forced into an awkward tip over his bar following a long throw by Joe Raynes that was allowed to bounce in the area.  However, Town increased their advantage on 21 minutes when McCootie broke down the right, raced into the box before shooting a goal.  Clarke partially blocked his effort, but the ball dribbled goalwards before James Guthrie beat two defenders to bundle over the line.

The Somerset side were clearly rocked back on their heels by these setbacks but, to their credit they reduced the arrears on the half hour mark. Ryan Brunt cleverly released Michee Efete into the home box with a deft back-heel, and the full back laid the ball invitingly into the path of Stearn.  The wideman took full toll by planting a ferocious shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the box, giving House no chance.

Stearn then tried his luck from 30 yards with an effort that forced House into a good diving save.  At the other end, Nat Jarvis shot from outside the box but Clarke collected comfortably.

Smith burst clear down the inside right channel on 37 minutes, only to lose control on the bumpy pitch as he entered the area, thus allowing House the opportunity to make a brave smothering save at his feet.  Adam Mann also delivered a firm low corner kick into the danger zone that was met with a volley by Frankie Artus.  The ball almost squirmed through House’s clutches, but the gloveman recovered quickly to avoid any embarrassment.

Chippenham came out of the blocks quickly after the resumption, but they were unable to create any clear cut openings.  A 55th minute freekick from Rhys Davies from wide on the right was met with a header by Will Richards that looped on the roof of Clarke’s net.

A cross from Straker was directed wide of the far post by Mann in the 57th minute as City gradually reasserted their superiority in terms of possession.  A Mann corner from the right was flicked on by Jack Batten, but Artus was narrowly wide with his effort.

The hosts remained a threat on the break, and substitute Karnel Chambers swung over a 69th minute cross from the right that flew across the face of Clarke’s goal and away to safety.

Stearn’s free kick from the left hand point of the box was just over the crossbar and rippled the top of the net as the away side sought an equaliser.  However, they were dealt a blow in the 76rd minute when the referee, Mr. Mark Howes, showed Straker a second yellow card for a seemingly innocuous challenge on Chambers.  Rather than licking their wounds, Jerry Gill’s men were visibly spurred on by a sense of injustice and they drew level two minutes later.  Mann forced his way to the by-line and pulled the ball back for the onrushing Brunt to force home from inside the 6-yard box.

City were now the most likely winners as they swarmed forward in search of a killer goal.  Smith turned adeptly 20 yards out, but his shot was straight at House.

James Ollis came on for the injured Brunt without any disruption to his side’s momentum and Mann’s free kick from the edge of the box on 87 minutes was only just over the target.  Stearn was then put through by the industrious Smith and, although House did brilliantly to push his shot on the outside of the post, the offside flag had already been raised.

With two minutes left on the clock Raynes raced to the right hand by-line, but Stearn narrowly failed to apply a telling touch to his cross at the near post.  City, however, had one more golden chance to take the points as the game entered stoppage time.  The ball was laid back to Efete, whose low shot was parried by House and then span away from Smith who was lurking at the far post.

The final two chances fell to the home side, but Chambers failed to control a deep cross from the right at the far post, and then Jack Compton was too high with a curler from the edge of the box.

This was an entertaining encounter despite the underfoot conditions.  All the constructive passing football was played by City, with Chippenham employing a far more direct style, and it was difficult to rationalise how the visitors were behind at the break.  Certainly, the outcome gives rise to mixed emotions, where great satisfaction can be taken that The Romans fought back from being two goals in arrears and a one man disadvantage, but there is also a feeling of frustration that they did not win the game given their overall dominance.

Chippenham Town: Brad House; Rhys Davies (Jack Compton 80), Will Richards, Tariq Ossai, Callum Gunner, Nat Jarvis, James Guthrie (Dean Evans 90), Kieran Parselle, Curtis McDonald, Nick McCootie (Karnel Chambers 64), Josh Smile. Subs not used: Michael Jones, Will Puddy.

Bath City: Ryan Clarke; Michee Efete, Robbie Cundy, Jack Batten, Anthony Straker; Frankie Artus, Joe Raynes; Adam Mann, Tom Smith, Ross Stearn; Ryan Brunt (James Ollis 86). Subs not used: Kevin Amankwaah, Matt Richards, Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Referee: Mr. Mark Howes.
Attendance: 1,455.

Kelston Koppite

Posts : 212
Join date : 2014-02-23

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