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Bath City (1)1 Wealdstone (1)2

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:36 pm

Bath City suffered a disappointing defeat to fellow play–off longshots Wealdstone at a sunny, but blustery, Twerton Park.  With the scores all square at half time, it took a highly debatable penalty decision in the visitors’ favour to produce a winning goal.

The game commenced with the prevailing wind behind Wealdstone’s backs, but it was the hosts who enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.  A 6th minute cross into the box eventually fell to Shawn McCoulsky in front of goal, but his effort was somehow blocked on the goal-line.  Four minutes later, a dangerous Billy Murphy free kick into the Stone’s penalty area was headed over the bar by Chas Hemmings from a good position, but an offside flag had already been raised.

With the difficult conditions neither side were able to put together any prolonged periods of possession, but the away side gradually came more into the game.  They had a presentable opportunity to open the scoring on 28 minutes when Dan Fitchett found space in the City box, only to be denied by an excellent blocking save from Max O’Leary.  However, Wealdstone did break the deadlock in the 33rd minute when Daniel Green’s corner from the right was cleared directly back to his feet.  The midfielder was given far too much time and space as he was allowed to advance goalwards, but there was no denying that his angled shot was sweetly struck, and it entered the net via the underside of the bar.  

City were now stung into action and Murphy’s cross on 37 minutes picked out Andy Watkins, but his header was just too high.  At the other end, Aryan Tajbakhsh curled an effort narrowly wide of O’Leary’s far post.

Watkins played a deft back-heeled pass into Nick McCootie’s path inside the Wealdstone box, only for the forward to lift his hurried drive over the crossbar from 10 yards out.

Disaster almost struck two minutes before the break when Hemmings allowed a through ball to pass him by, which served only to gift Joe White a free run towards goal.  Luckily for the centre half, the striker dragged his shot wide of the far post with only O’Leary to beat.

Claims for a penalty were turned aside by the referee, Mr. Ian Rathbone, as Naby Diallo’s progress in the box was halted when the ball was diverted by a defender’s outstretched arm.  However, parity was restored two minutes into stoppage time when Murphy’s free kick from the right resulted in a frantic goalmouth scramble, with Hemmings claiming the final touch as the ball was forced over the line from close range.

With the elements now in their favour, the home faithful expected their team to put the Wealdstone defence under pressure, but this failed to materialise.  The match continued in midfield stalemate until the 68th minute, when O’Leary was called upon to make a good diving save to repel Matthew Whichelow’s firm angled shot from inside the box.

The decisive and, indeed, most controversial moment of the afternoon arrived in the 71st minute when White burst into the home area and went down under the slightest of touches from Sekani Simpson.  The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot much to the chagrin of the home supporters.  White dusted himself down, and confidently sent O’Leary the wrong way with his penalty kick.

Miles Welch-Hayes fired a long-range effort well wide of the target before Shaquille Hunter and Marvin Morgan replaced Murphy and McCoulsky respectively.
Despite their endeavours, the home side were struggling to create any clear-cut chances, and they were nearly caught on the break on 82 minutes.  Whichelow produced a surging run towards goal and slipped the ball to Green, only for the earlier goalscorer to shoot wide from a presentable position.  The final action saw McCootie’s acrobatic overhead kick loop straight at keeper Jonathan North who, otherwise, had precious little to do all afternoon, and the vociferous away following celebrated wildly as the final whistle sounded.

Wealdstone deserved their victory on the overall balance of play and, at times, they showed greater control in the midfield areas.  City will reflect, however, that they did not take advantage of the conditions in the second half and, consequently, were unable to exert any real pressure on the visitors’ rearguard, with North a virtual spectator.  Wealdstone’s only failure of the afternoon was that their insipid pale yellow kit was not the worst seen at Twerton this season.  That ‘honour’ remains with Hemel Hempstead Town but, in fairness, it must be said that their truly grotesque green effort will seriously take some beating.

Bath City: Max O'Leary; Sekani Simpson, Chas Hemmings, Jack Batten, Miles Welch-Hayes; Andy Watkins, Billy Murphy (Shaquille Hunter 76), Frankie Artus, Naby Diallo; Nick McCootie (Josh Hutchinson 85), Shawn McCoulsky (Marvin Morgan 76). Sub not used: Lee Marshall.

Wealdstone: Jonathan North; Edward Oshodi, Ryan Sellers, Wes Parker, Ciaron Brown, Aryan Tajbakhsh (Matthew Whichelow 66), Daniel Green, Sam Cox, Joe White (Elliott Godfrey 90+3), Ricky Wellard, Dan Fitchett (Elliot Benyon 87). Subs not used: Liam Goulding, Scott McGleish.

Referee: Ian Rathbone.

Attendance: 1,006.
Kelston Koppite
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Post by BenE on Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:04 am

It looked a definite pen to me.

I didn't mind the kit actually. A stones fan called it ecru.

We did not create enough chances. Our build up play was ponderous and wasn't helped by only playing a lone striker at home. McCoulsky offers very little if he doesn't score.

We have a squad of midfielders. There needs to be a better balance.


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Post by sned on Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:20 am

Does anyone know what the issue the Wealdstone fan in the light blue shirt had with Marv was?

Seemed like he was pretty close to hopping the advertising boards!

One of the flattest performances from City in a while, especially considering Wealdstone are just above us and we could've put a real stamp on pushing for a play off place with a win. Still, there's always next season(!)


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Post by SteveS on Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:04 am

To be honest I am just pleased we have enough points already to keep us out of trouble. Some were saying recently that we are only one or two players short of challenging at the top but not sure where they are coming from with this. Take out the loan players and there are big gaps, we need 6 or 7 better quality players that are not loans to make a genuine challenge.
Gary Owers has made better use of the loan market than the previous incumbents but long term you cannot build a team on loan players.


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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:24 pm

sned wrote:Does anyone know what the issue the Wealdstone fan in the light blue shirt had with Marv was?

I think he had an issue with a sniff of the barmaid's apron sending him over the top into intoxication.
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:57 pm

Remember that Morgan played a few games on loan for Wealdstone last season - I don't believe he is fondly remembered...
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Post by pete mac on Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:19 pm

They were hugging him on the bar

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