Bath City (1)1 Hampton & Richmond Borough (0)0

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:58 pm

Bath City carved out an important victory against battling Hampton & Richmond Borough at a windy and soggy Twerton Park in front of 576 hardy souls. A solitary disputed goal by Jack Batten midway through the first half was just enough to send the visitors back to the capital empty handed.

The opening minutes were largely uneventful with neither side being able to adapt to the tricky conditions. The first effort on goal came from the boot of Hampton’s Zak Joseph in the 10th minute from outside the box, but Ryan Clarke was able to gather confidently between the City sticks.

James Morton sent in a free kick from the right on 15 minutes which found Batten beyond the far post, but the centre-half was unable to direct his header on target. Borough responded almost immediately through Ricky Wellard, but his shot from 25 yards was comfortably wide of Clarke’s goal.

Serge Manesio struck a firm drive from distance in the 17th minute that deflected high into the evening sky off Morton, and Clarke had to be alert to push the dangerously swirling ball over his crossbar.

City took the lead in the 24th minute following a shot from Ross Stearn that was deflected wide. The resulting corner from the left was taken by the wideman, and was met with a firm glancing header by Batten at the near post. The ball was hacked clear by a defender, only for the assistant referee to rule that it had already crossed the goalline. The referee, Mr. Matthew Russell, upheld the decision despite protests from a number of the Hampton players.

The hosts were now on top and began to apply some pressure to the Borough defence, but the general scrappy nature of the game continued. There was also a tetchy undercurrent with a number of niggly challenges, and the game threatened to boil over six minutes before the break when Stearn was pushed to the floor by Rian Bray. This heralded a fracas in the middle of the park involving a number of players and, once order was restored by the referee, a yellow card was issued to the Hampton man.

Frankie Artus had the ball in the net in the 41st minute, but his effort was ruled out as a result of an infringement by the midfielder in the immediate build up. The final action of the half saw Freddie Hinds cut inside from the left, and then shoot just over the bar from 25 yards out.

Playing towards the Bath End with the elements behind them in the second period, City pushed forward in search of further reward. Indeed, they came very close to increasing their lead on 50 minutes when Robbie Cundy nodded a deep corner back across the 6 yard box. Artus rose the highest to head goalwards, only for keeper Tom Lovelock to produce an excellent save at full stretch.

Three minutes later, Wellard took a shot from the edge of the City box that took a deflection, and drew a fine low save from Clarke. It was the home side, however, that remained the more dangerous going forward and following Anthony Straker’s run and cross from the left, the unmarked Joe Raynes was unable to make good contact with his attempted volley at the far post. The loose ball eventually ran to Morton whose long range shot was straight at Lovelock. Hinds then fired high and wide of the target from 25 yards when a pass to one of his teammates may have proved a better option.

On the hour mark, Raynes’ cross was flicked on by Hinds to Ryan Brunt, but the forward lifted the ball high over Lovelock’s crossbar.

Thereafter, Hampton took control of possession with City sitting deeper and deeper into their own territory as time wore on. Joe Romanski was replaced by Tom Smith on 71 minutes as Jerry Gill reverted to a 4-4-2 formation in an attempt to regain midfield superiority, but The Beavers continued to dominate.

Chris Dickson sent a firm shot straight at Clarke in the 76th minute before Dan Ball was introduced at the expense of Hinds. Despite most of the play being in the home half, Hampton were unable to create any clear cut openings until, deep into stoppage time, Oliver Sprague burst through on goal only to be thwarted by a brave smothering save by Clarke at the marauding defender’s feet.

The final whistle was greeted more in relief than joy by the home faithful, but City once again showed their resilience and determination and, importantly, this result consolidated last Saturday’s win on the road at Hemel Hempstead. Hampton will probably feel that they deserved some reward for their endeavours but in the final reckoning they were unable to puncture, what is becoming, a formidable defensive unit.

Bath City: Ryan Clarke, Jack Batten, Robbie Cundy, Joe Romanski (Tom Smith 71), Anthony Straker, Joe Raynes, Frankie Artus, James Morton, Ross Stearn, Ryan Brunt, Freddie Hinds (Dan Ball 82). Subs not used: Kevin Amankwaah, Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Hampton & Richmond Borough: Tom Lovelock, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Jack Connors, Oliver Sprague, Rian Bray, Serge Manesio, Michael Corcoran, Ricky Wellard, Zak Joseph, Chris Dickson, Marcel Barrington. Subs: Craig Dundas, Harrison Crawford, Ryan Hill, Luke Ruddick, Matthew Whichelow.

Referee: Mr. Matthew Russell.

Attendance: 576

Kelston Koppite

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Post by the demon headmaster on Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:28 pm

‘Swirling’ for the second match running. Hopefully the weather will be calmer on Saturday.

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Post by Ashley on Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:43 pm

It doesn't look as though it will be!

Fortunately Sunday looks OK for a nice little jog around Bath.
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Post by RUDI GULITS on Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:07 am

enjoy your jog on sunday wish I could join you
RUDI GULITS
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:27 pm

Well done, Ashley, you looked strong as you went past me at the Royal Oak and I hope you heard my shout out to you over the PA.
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Post by Ashley on Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:13 am

Thanks both, and yes thanks for the shout Marc, nice little boost at the getting tired bit!
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Post by comrade powell on Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:01 pm

When Marc says you went past him at the Royal Oak did he mean that you overtook him there or that he was watching the race with a pint in his hand?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:28 pm

I was playing popular music to the masses, your honour!
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Post by Ashley on Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:29 pm

Wot Marc said....
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