Bath City (0)1 Maidstone United (0)1

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:50 pm

Bath City rescued a point with a late Ryan Brunt penalty against Maidstone United at Twerton Park this afternoon.  The visitors from Kent seemed to have wrapped up the three points by virtue of Ryan Johnson’s looping header 14 minutes from time, but a game of few goalscoring chances ended in dramatic fashion with Brunt’s emphatic strike from 12 yards.

Maidstone enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but we unable to turn their superiority into clear cut openings.  A ball in from the left in the 4th minute picked out Matt McClure inside the box, but he completely missed his kick.  The move finally concluded with Ross Marshall heading wide from the edge of the box.

The home side were struggling to generate any forward motion and it was United who remained in the ascendancy.  Ryan Clarke made a comfortable diving save to keep out George Elokobi’s header following a corner kick from the left in the 24th minute but, thereafter, City began to take a grip of the midfield areas.

Connor Riley-Lowe crossed from the left on 28 minutes and found Brunt beyond the far post, but his firm volley was diverted behind for a corner.  The Romans came even closer to opening the scoring six minutes later when a corner from the left fell to Tom Smith, who drove his effort goalwards.  The shot took a wicked deflection and forced wrong-footed United custodian Chris Lewington into an excellent blocking save with his legs before the ball was scrambled to safety.

The final action of the half saw Joe Raynes’ rasping drive from distance fly straight into Lewington’s grateful arms.

The second period commenced quietly with neither side posing a serious threat up front.  Adam Mann’s 53rd minute shot from 25 yards lacked the power or direction to trouble Lewington.  At the other end, Ibby Akanbi’s header from Iffy Allen’s cross was well wide of Clarke’s framework.

There was a scare for the visitors in the 66th minute when a ball into their box was allowed to bounce and Lewington, under pressure from Brunt, was forced to palm round his post.  However, the referee, Mr. Sunny Gill, awarded a goal kick, being one of his somewhat erratic and baffling decisions during the afternoon.

Harry Hamblin was introduced in place of the injured Mann on 69 minutes, and City were desperately unlucky not to score a minute later.  Ross Stearn’s free-kick from 25 yards beat the defensive wall, but clattered against the face of Lewington’s post with the keeper clutching at thin air.

The Stones took full advantage of their good fortune as they took the lead after 76 minutes.  Noah Chesmain’s corner found Johnson, and his accurate header looped into the far corner of the net giving Clarke no chance.

The hosts tried to find a way back into the game but were unable to unduly pressurise the Maidstone defence.  As the game entered stoppage time, Tom Richards saw his low shot from inside the box deflected wide of the target, and it appeared that City’s last chance had gone.  However, as the game went into its 95th minute, a long ball was played into the United box which was contested by both Brunt and Lewington.  The keeper succeeded only in hauling the striker down, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.  With time now almost expired, Brunt showed admirable composure as he crashed his spot kick into the roof of the net, sending the majority of those in attendance into raptures.

The final whistle sounded immediately after the restart, which heralded a rousing ovation from the terraces that would normally be reserved for victories.  A draw was probably the fairest outcome for this encounter given that neither side truly deserved to win, and where goalscoring opportunities were at a premium throughout.  City will now look to build on this result, and progress back up the table, when they travel to St. Albans next Saturday.


Bath City: Ryan Clarke, Joe Raynes, Connor Riley-Lowe, Alex Hartridge, Oliver Kensdale, Frankie Artus, Tom Smith, Tom Richards, Adam Mann (Harry Hamblin 69), Ross Stearn, Ryan Brunt. Subs not used: Matt Bower, Dan Ball, Harvey Wiles-Richards, Jordan Simpson.

Maidstone United: Chris Lewington, Gavin Hoyte, Ryan Johnson, George Elokobi, Noah Chesmain, Saidou Khan, Ross Marshall, Dan Wishart (Justin Amaluzor 71), Matt McClure, Ibby Akanbi (Jonny Edwards 84), Iffy Allen (Nana Kyei 77).  Subs not used: Jake Embery, Clovis Kandjo.

Referee:  Mr. Sunny Gill

Attendance:  1,387

Kelston Koppite

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Post by tovid on Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:04 am

Yes I am sure the Maidstone fans were equally frustrated by Mr Gill. He gave a goalkick for that deflected Tom Richards effort. I thought Stearn was going to get booked for his protestations.
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Post by 2weirdtown on Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks for your report. Draw was a fair result. I thought Maidstone moved the ball pretty well without overworking the keeper. Same could be said for City.
A couple of posts on their website implying they were fortunate to get a result, one saying it would have been 'daylight robbery' if they'd got all 3 points. Not sure I'd agree with that!
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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:55 pm

2weirdtown wrote:Draw was a fair result.  I thought Maidstone moved the ball pretty well without overworking the keeper.  Same could be said for City.
A couple of posts on their website implying they were fortunate to get a result, one saying it would have been 'daylight robbery' if they'd got all 3 points.  Not sure I'd agree with that!

Agree with you completely 2weirdtown.

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