Welling United (1)2 Bath City (0)1

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:09 am

Bath City were desperately unlucky to taste defeat at Park View Road, home of Welling United, following this hard fought encounter between two Vanarama National League South play-off contenders. A late goal from City nemesis Danny Mills secured all three points for the hosts to leave Jerry Gill’s men wondering how they were heading back to Somerset empty handed.

Welling began the game with intent and it took only three minute to open the scoring. Gavin McCallum swung a free kick into the area from the left which was headed back across goal by Anthony Acheampong, where the waiting Thierry Audel volleyed past Ryan Clarke from close range.

The visitors were stunned into action and they began to find their passing game. Tom Smith tried his luck from 25 yards in the 8th minute, but was high and wide of Dan Wilks’ goal. Acheampong then nodded wide of Clarke’s far post from a Welling corner, as the game moved from end to end.

Joe Raynes’ 19th minute effort from outside the box was straight at Wilks but, whilst City were now having the greater share of possession, it was The Wings who were posing the greater threat up front. The lively Brendan Kiernan picked up a misplaced City pass and weaved his way goalwards before firing wastefully over the crossbar.

Clarke produced a useful save in the 23rd minute to keep out a shot from McCallum, but Freddie Hinds’ well struck effort four minutes later stung the palms of Wilks, who was necessarily at full stretch.

On 37 minutes, Mills made a surging run down the left flank before cutting into the City box, only for Clarke to make a good blocking save at his near post and, at the other end, Wilks made a similar save to repel Hinds’ angled shot.

The final opening of the first half fell to Smith but, as earlier, his shot from outside the box was high over the bar.

The second period saw Bath attacking down the slope, but the tricky breeze seemed to favour neither side. Andy Watkins’ 47th minute effort was gathered by Wilks and, two minutes later, Clarke needed to make a smart save low down to deny McCallum. The City stopper was also required to keep out Bradley Goldberg’s shot from inside the area.

The visitors were continuing to enjoy the greater share of possession and they were rewarded with an equaliser on 59 minutes. Kevin Amankwaah delivered an inviting cross from the right, and Sean Rigg timed his run perfectly to nod past Wilks at the far post.

Rigg was then replaced by Adam Mann, and Hinds made way for Ross Stearn as the away side went in search of victory. However, it was Welling who created the next opportunity, Mills lifting his 74th minute shot over Clarke’s crossbar from inside the box.

Mann curled a shot from the edge of the area narrowly over the angle of post and bar, but City had an escape in the 83rd minute when Kiernan played in Mo Bettamer, only for the substitute to fire wide from a good position.

Sol Pryce came on for Watkins with six minutes remaining, and Wilks then produced an excellent save to keep out Smith’s angled drive that appeared destined for the bottom corner of the net. With City now pressing forward and looking the more likely of the sides to find a winning goal, they were hit by a sucker punch four minutes from time. A ball over the defence released Mills, and the striker took the ball in his stride before calmly tucking past the advancing Clarke.

With the game deep into stoppage time, City were within a whisker of restoring parity. Stearn’s cross from the left was spilled by Wilks with the loose ball falling to Smith, whose toe poke from 8 yards clattered against the underside of the bar and back into the arms of the extremely fortunate goalkeeper.

Whilst there was a great sense of disappointment amongst the travelling support, the City players were rightly given generous applause for their efforts at the final whistle. They more than matched their strong opponents in terms of possession and, certainly, they played the better football for long periods of the game. Defeat was harsh and hard to take but, ultimately, Welling posed the greater goal treat throughout and were more clinical when their chances came. The Romans will now need to dust themselves down and look to return to winning ways when St. Albans City are the visitors to Twerton Park next Saturday.

Welling United; Dan Wilks, Arnaud Mendy, Craig Braham-Barrett, Sanchez Ming, Thierry Audel, Anthony Acheampong, Brendan Kiernan, David Ijaha, Danny Mills (Luke Rooney 90), Bradley Goldberg (Julien Anau 60), Gavin McCallum (Mo Bettamer 60). Subs not used; Richard Orlu, Caden Genovesi.

Bath City; Ryan Clarke, Kevin Amankwaah, Antony Straker, Jack Batten, Robbie Cundy, Joe Raynes, James Morton, Sean Rigg (Adam Mann 60), Andy Watkins (Sol Pryce 84), Tom Smith, Freddie Hinds (Ross Stearn 60). Subs not used; Harvey Wiles-Richards, Joe Romanski.

Referee; Mr. Scott Jackson.

Attendance; 711
Kelston Koppite
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:05 pm

Thanks, KK, a very fair assessment of what was always going to be a very tough match. In our six matches against the top three, Welling have looked to me to be the best by some distance and yet the result could easily have gone in our favour yesterday.
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Post by daven on Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:18 pm

Other results certainly went our way! Chelmsford, Dartford & Billericay all losing by the score line of 3-1. Is the pressure getting to the top play off teams?

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Post by tovid on Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:41 pm

Thanks Kevin great report as usual. I missed the last ten minutes of the excellent commentary when it sounded like we were very much on top. Maybe we are just not strong enough mentally for these encounters. We really need a Coupe type to drive the entire team on. They have the talent.
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Post by the demon headmaster on Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:28 pm

The word of the week: 'nemesis'. He certainly has been a thorn in our side for many seasons: I wonder how many clubs he has on his CV now? I thought we played really well, but Welling are a good team and we were never going to find it easy to pass our way through them.

We really miss a big Brunt type character to get on the end of crosses and give us a different option. Rigg was outstanding: he covered every blade of grass and showed such class. Smith was also excellent. Given his stature he out muscled all of his much bigger opponents and it would only have done him justice to get a late equaliser: how on earth did it hit the bar from there? Surely it was easier to score?

We were obviously told to go out and match them physically after their totally dominating performance against us at home and to our credit we made life very difficult for them. A draw would not have disgraced either side.

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