Bath City (0)1 Dorking Wanderers (0)0

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:52 pm

A solitary goal by Adam Mann early in the second half was sufficient for Bath City to edge past the challenge of Dorking Wanderers at a wet and breezy Twerton Park.  The soggy underfoot surface made attractive football difficult, but the contest was always highly competitive.

The opening stages were largely uneventful with neither side able to pose a real threat up front, although referee Mr. Matthew Buonassisi must take credit for allowing the game to flow as much as possible in the conditions.  With the elements largely in their favour, Dorking carved out the first chance in the 17th minute when Jack Barham was put through by Matthew Briggs, only for home keeper Ryan Clarke to produce an excellent blocking save to repel the former’s shot.   A minute later Isaac Philpot’s cross from the right was met by Jason Prior, but his glancing header was pushed away by the diving Clarke.  

City were struggling to find any cohesion in their play, but Wanderers goalkeeper Slavomir Huk was called into action to save a low shot from Noah Chilvers on 23 minutes. However, it was the visitors who continued to hold the upper hand and should have taken the lead after 27 minutes.  A cross into the City box was squared back across goal by Prior into the path of Jake Gallagher, who looked destined to score but was denied at point blank range by another outstanding save from Clarke.

As Dorking continued to push forward James McShane sliced an angled shot well wide of the far post and, on 36 minutes, Edward Harris headed narrowly over Clarke’s crossbar following a corner kick.

The hosts responded with a 38th minute attack down the right flank which concluded with an inviting cross from Sam Pearson, but it just eluded the sliding lunge of Connor Riley-Lowe at the far post.

As half time approached another effort from Barham just cleared Clarke’s crossbar and, at the other end, Pearson’s half volley from 20 yards was well wide of the target.

With the keen breeze now behind their backs, Bath gained a greater share of possession at the beginning of the second period and they took the lead on 54 minutes following the best move of the match.  Andy Watkins’ neat ball eventually released Mann through on goal, and he calmly found the corner of the net beyond the advancing Huk.

Wanderers continued to go forward in search of reward but the home defence was holding strong, and City looked the more likely to add to the scoreline.  Tom Smith fired high and wide from inside the area in the 68th minute before Tom Richards replaced Watkins.  Coincidently, Dorking brought on a substitute also named Tom Richards in the same minute.

The home side came desperately close to extending their lead in the 72nd minute when a free kick into the box was headed on, and Dan Bowry was unlucky to see his flicked effort strike the crossbar.  Five minutes later Pearson was released down the left, cut inside the box, but his shot drifted wide of the far post.

Ross Stearn came on from Pearson before Mann turned neatly on the edge of the Dorking area, only to shoot over the bar.  

Ryan Brunt was introduced at the expense of Tom Smith as the game entered 5 minutes of stoppage time during which Stearn fired over the crossbar from outside the area.  However, their was one more scare for the hosts which arrived in the 93rd minute.  Prior struck a sweet low shot from 18 yards that drew a fine smothering save from Clarke who did particularly well to hold on to the ball under pressure with a cluster of Wanderer’s players waiting to pounce.

The final whistle sparked a generous ovation from the terraces in appreciation for a battling performance by the hosts against a strong and physical side.  There was no doubt that Dorking had the better of the first half but, other than Clarke’s late save, they failed to unduly trouble the home defence after the interval.  Certainly, the confidence levels of Jerry Gill’s men will be increasing following two hard fought victories, and they will look to build on this when they travel to Dulwich Hamlet next Saturday.  

Bath City;  Ryan Clarke, Joe Raynes, Connor Riley-Lowe, Dan Bowry, Alex Hartridge, Andy Watkins (Tom Richards 68), Frankie Artus, Tom Smith (Ryan Brunt 90), Noah Chilvers, Sam Pearson (Ross Stearn 82), Adam Mann.  Subs not used; Harvey Wiles-Richards, Jordan Simpson.

Dorking Wanderers;  Slavomir Huk, Isaac Philpot, Samuel Beard, Edward Harris, David Ray, Daniel Gallagher, Jason Prior, Jack Barham, James McShane, Matthew Briggs, Jake Gallagher.  Subs; Guiseppe Sole, Jerome Beckles, Luke Moore, Tom Richards.

Referee;  Mr. Matthew Buonassisi

Attendance;  760


Last edited by Kelston Koppite on Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by tovid on Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:59 pm

That is a generous interpretation of the referee's performance. At times it made you wonder what he might consider a foul to be.
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Post by LB on Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:38 am

tovid wrote:That is a generous interpretation of the referee's performance. At times it made you wonder what he might consider a foul to be.

Having seen this referee before he is one that tries to let let play continue, and although there has to be some allowance for the conditions there were two or three bad tackles by Dorking that went unpunished. Ironically the yellow card was for one of the more innocuous ones, while the foul on Bowry in front of the Popular Side in the second half was certainly worthy although he might have been put off by the half dozen Dorking players who surrounded him.

The assistant on the Popular side did nothing about Dorking stealing about 20 yards at most throw ins apart from following the thrower until he had released the ball!

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:09 am

tovid wrote:That is a generous interpretation of the referee's performance. At times it made you wonder what he might consider a foul to be.

In some ways I agree with you tovid, with many of Mr. Buonassisi's decisions/non-decisions being difficult to understand and he was far from perfect.  However, at least he tried to let the game flow and made allowance for the conditions, where so many of the referees that we see would have been penalising every challenge, and the game would consequently have become stop/start and disjointed.  His manner of officiating at least, in my opinion, made the game much more open and entertaining.  If he had taken the 'fussy' alternative this would undoubtedly have resulted in a frustrating afternoon for everyone.  Whilst the flaws in his performance are acknowledged, I know which style of refereeing I would rather see.
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:10 am

Quite agree, KK. He's probably reffed us more than anyone else in the past ten years and I think he's one of the best at this level.

A really enjoyable match yesterday with Dorking pushing us all the way. Not difficult to see why they've made a good start to the season and they could have been two up by half time.

For the second week running our defence was excellent and Clarke made the comment at his presentation in the bar that at last we're starting to look like the strong unit of last season.

Good to see that, along with Chipp and Weymouth, we've conceded the fewest goals. Considering the departures and injuries that's remarkable and a huge compliment to those who have come in.
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Post by tovid on Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:28 am

Kelston Koppite wrote:Whilst the flaws in his performance are acknowledged, I know which style of refereeing I would rather see.

I used to think the same but now I worry about injuries to players. I must be going soft.
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Post by LB on Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:38 pm

comrade powell wrote:Quite agree, KK. He's probably reffed us more than anyone else in the past ten years and I think he's one of the best at this level.


I agree with Martin, and we were saying exactly that before the game, although being one of the better referees at this level isn't a particularly high bar... I think he probably made a bit too much allowance for the conditions because as well as the foul on Bowry the clattering that Riley-Lowe got would probably have been a yellow on most other days.

As well as the defence coming together more I thought yesterday that Frankie showed what a difference he makes to the midfield and how much we missed him in those earlier games.

Apart from Wealdstone running away at the top the table is pretty close, and with all the upheavals and injuries I think we shouldn't be too disappointed to be sitting where we are at the moment as there are still a lot of points to play for.

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Post by Colin Voutt on Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:38 am

tovid wrote:That is a generous interpretation of the referee's performance. At times it made you wonder what he might consider a foul to be.

Agreed!!!!!

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Post by Luton Roman on Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:31 am

Comparison with first 15 games last year:

This year W 6 D 5 L 4 F 21 A 14 Pts 23 Pos 7th
Last year W 8 D 1 L 6 F 21 A 13 Pts 25 Pos 4th

Remarkably similar in the defence though this season feels as though we are less secure at times, possibly more reliant on Clarke.

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Post by the demon headmaster on Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:04 pm

Excellent spot Luton. It just shows how differently you can feel about something even when the 'data' suggests little difference. I hope this battling run can continue and that crucially we find more goals from somewhere. It is indeed remarkable that our losses in defence are not reflected in many more goals conceded, although Clarke seems to have been in outstanding form, and the last two wins are largely down to him.

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