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Bath City (1)3 Hemel Hempstead Town (0)0

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Post by Kelston Koppite Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:18 pm

Bath City progressed into the final qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup with victory over fellow National League South outfit Hemel Hempstead Town. It took two goals in second half stoppage time to confirm their passage after Frankie Artus had given the hosts the lead just before the break, and this ensured a somewhat flattering final scoreline.

The first half hour of the match rarely rose beyond mundane as the sides battled for midfield supremacy, and goalmouth action was at a distinct premium.

Jack Compton’s 10th minute corner from the right was met with a firm volley by Nick McCootie that was blocked by a defender. Two minutes later, City keeper Luke Southwood was called into action in making a smart diving save to keep out James Kaloczi’s header following a Jordan Parkes free kick that had been delivered into the home box. The home custodian was clattered a couple of times in the ensuing minutes, with Ogo Obi being cautioned by referee Mr. Ryan Atkin for a late lunge.

It was not until the 27th minute that the game began to spring into life, when Andy Watkins ran at the Hemel defence but succeeded only in slicing his eventual shot well wide. McCootie then released Watkins down the inside right channel, but his angled cross flew across the six-yard box and out for a goal kick.

The Romans were now beginning to gain the ascendancy, and Jack Batten found Compton out wide on the left with a raking ball in the 33rd minute, and the midfielder’s searching cross was deflected narrowly over the crossbar for a corner, with keeper Laurie Walker back peddling with uncomfortable uncertainly.

The breakthrough finally arrived one minute into added time, when Anthony Straker’s cross from the left was met with a flicked header at the near post by skipper Artus that nestled neatly in the far corner of the net.

The home side opened the second half in enterprising fashion, but ‘The Tudors’ soon began to control possession, putting the City defence under steadily increasing pressure. After 51 minutes, Rowan Lyburd turned cleverly on the edge of City’s area, and his rising shot drew a brilliant diving save from Southwood as he clawed the ball away from the top corner. Justin Amaluzor also crossed from the right, and Southwood was relieved to see Lyburd’s looping header drop just over the crossbar.

There was another presentable chance for the Hertfordshire side on the hour mark, when Parkes’ deep corner from the right found the unmarked Obi beyond the far post, but the forward fired wastefully over the target.

Bath remained dangerous on the occasions that they were able to break free of the shackles. Nat Jarvis charged down a Hemel defensive clearance, only to see his scuffed shot comfortably collected by Walker. At the other end, Obi’s 63rd minute effort from distance was straight at Southwood.

Compton produced a run and cross from the left that was just too high for the onrushing Jarvis, who was unable to direct his glancing header on target and, shortly afterwards, Parkes’ free kick from 20 yards out was safely clutched by Southwood as Town continued their search for parity.

Jamie Lucas replaced the tiring Jarvis on 84 minutes, but Hemel remained largely on top and ex-Cityman Phil Walsh was narrowly wide of the far post following a corner from the left. Substitute Ben Greenhalgh’s 87th minute volley from 30 yards was well wide of Southwood’s goal but, thereafter, the hosts finished the game with renewed energy.

McCootie bustled his way to the byline and pulled the ball back invitingly to Lucas, who somehow side footed wide from well inside the box. As the game entered stoppage time, the outcome was finally sealed. Compton produced some outstanding trickery on the left-hand side of the box and, when his shot was parried by Walker, Watkins pounced on the loose ball to volley home off the underside of the crossbar.

Further gloss was applied to the scoreline in the 93rd minute, when McCootie did well out wide on the right and passed inside to Lucas and, this time, the substitute made no mistake as his drilled his low shot into the corner of the net beyond Walker’s despairing dive.

Despite long periods of Hemel Hempstead possession and general second half dominance, this was a deserved win for Jim Rollo’s hardworking and committed team. The hosts were indebted to some brave and agile keeping by Southwood, who stood up manfully to some robust challenges throughout, but the ultimate deciding factor was that City took their chances, whereas the visitors were profligate in front of goal. The draw for the next round is now eagerly awaited.

Bath City: Luke Southwood; Kevin Amankwaah, Jack Batten, Dan Ball, Anthony Straker; Andy Watkins, Ryan Case, Frankie Artus, Jack Compton; Nat Jarvis (Jamie Lucas 84), Nick McCootie. Subs not used: Miles Welch-Hayes, George Rigg, Joe McNulty, JoJo Wollacott, Shea Bennington-Mannings.

Hemel Hempstead Town: Laurie Walker; Sam Hatton, Tom Day, Jordan Parkes, Phil Walsh, Callum Driver, James Kaloczi, Ogo Obi (Alex Osborn 68), Rowan Lyburd (Matt Spring 69), Charlie Sheringham, Justin Amaluzor (Ben Greenhalgh 73). Subs not used: Ismail Yakubu, Danny Boness, Lewis Collins, Zacarias Jose.

Referee: Mr. Ryan T. Atkin

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Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Join date : 2014-02-23

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Post by BenE Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:09 pm

Great stuff. I thought overall we made better chances. They didn't really open us up at the back except for that tip over the bar from Southwood that was an absolutely top draw save.

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