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Bath City (0)1 Whitehawk (1)1

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Post by Kelston Koppite Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:56 pm

Andy Watkins salvaged a point for Bath City with a goal in second half stoppage against much improved basement outfit Whitehawk at Twerton Park.  The Somerset side had trailed since the 23rd minute and, despite applying increasing pressure as the game wore on, it appeared that their efforts would be unrewarded, which was also compounded by another failure from the penalty spot.

With the stodgy underfoot conditions, a result of the inclement weather throughout the week, City struggled to find their passing game, a factor that was not helped by the physical size and approach of their opponents.  It was not until the 16th minute that either side produced an effort at goal and, even then, Nat Jarvis' strike from 20 yards flew high over Dan Wilks' crossbar and comfortably cleared the Bristol End perimeter wall.

Whitehawk responded four minutes later through Ramone Rose's looping shot from outside the box that was just too high to beat Luke Southwood.  However, the East Sussex side thought that they had taken the lead on 21 minutes following Kodi Lyons-Foster's deep cross from the right.  Elliot Benyon headed the ball back into the goalmouth where Jack Batten cleared off the line, and the visitors' protests that the ball had crossed the goal-line were waved away by the referee, Mr. Ben Cooke.

City's reprieve lasted only two minutes, as The Hawks found the back of the net after Anthony Straker had been harshly penalised for a challenge on the attacking right flank.  The freekick was delivered into the box, and Yannis Ambroisini crashed an impressive volley into the corner of the net from 12 yards out.

Bath were still unable to find any rhythm and, consequently, the midfield play was largely scrappy.  Jarvis found Tom Smith in space on the half hour mark, who made ground into the box but could only shoot straight at Wilks.  Smith then latched on to a long ball downfield and squared his pass to James Morton, who sliced his shot well wide of the target.

The hosts remained largely in the ascendancy in terms of territory and possession, and Straker crossed from the left on 38 minutes, only for Jack Compton's first-time volley to fly over the crossbar.  Two minutes later, City had a golden opportunity to restore parity when Compton was felled inside the area by Caden Genovesi, and Mr Cooke duly pointed to the spot.  Alas, the home side's frailty from 12 yards surfaced again, when Compton's low effort was well saved by Wilks at the foot of his left-hand post.

The second period commenced with Whitehawk looking to drive home their advantage and they came desperately close to achieving this in the 48th minute.  Benyon's cross from the right eluded Miles Welch-Hayes, and the unmarked Nathaniel Pinney crashed his shot against the face of Southwood's bar.  Rose then shot straight at Southwood from a useful position before Jarvis was replaced by Andy Watkins on 54 minutes.

City began to regain the balance of possession, but they were still seeking genuine forward momentum, with goalkeeper Wilks being generally untroubled.  With the visitors remaining a threat on the break, Pinney found space in the home box, but Southwood did well to narrow the angle and block the striker's eventual shot with his feet.

The visitors were now employing delaying tactics at every opportunity, but Ross Stearn's introduction at the expense Sean Rigg on 71 minutes, suddenly saw The Romans looking more menacing, forcing Whitehawk to defend in greater numbers.  Watkins broke forward down the inside right channel in the 75th minute, but fired over the bar from the edge of the box.

The task facing the away side became more demanding with eight minutes left on the clock, when substitute Zach Fagan, having already been cautioned, received a second quick-fire yellow card for a challenge on Straker, and was banished to the dressing room.  Stearn smashed the resulting free kick into the defensive wall, and Compton's shot from the rebound was over the crossbar.

Jerry Gill's final throw of the dice saw Antoine Semenyo brought on for Frankie Artus as his side threw caution the wind.  There was panic at the back for the visitors on 90 minutes when a back-pass bobbled over Wilks' foot, with the keeper recovering just in time to clear off the line, but his team were now under considerable pressure.  The equaliser eventually arrived two minutes into added time when Compton crossed invitingly from the right and Watkins glanced a header into the net via the inside of the far post.

Whitehawk were now on the rack as the hosts stormed forward in search of a winner.  Morton threaded a perfect through ball into the path of Compton in the 95th minute, but the midfielder's low shot was saved by the tumbling Wilks, and City had to settle for a point.

Whilst 'The Hawks' are at the foot of the table, their recent form suggested that this would be a difficult game, and so it proved.  Certainly, they did not perform like a side threatened with relegation and will, no doubt, consider themselves unlucky not to have won the match.  However, they contributed to their own downfall to a large extent through their timewasting and spoiling tactics in the final half hour.  City will feel that this was a point saved given they were in arrears for most of the game and, whilst they were unable to match the free-flowing football in evidence at Braintree last week, their determination and spirit cannot be in question.  

Bath City: Luke Southwood, Miles Welch-Hayes, Jack Batten, Dan Ball, Anthony Straker, Frankie Artus (Antoine Semenyo 85), James Morton, Sean Rigg (Ross Stearn 71), Tom Smith, Jack Compton; Nat Jarvis (Andy Watkins 54). Subs not used: Kevin Amankwaah, Kieran Hodges.

Whitehawk: Dan Wilks; Kodi Lyons-Foster, Caden Genovesi, David Ijaha, Scott Doe, Yannis Ambroisini, Sam Chaney (Simon Mensah 74), Arnaud Mendy, Nathaniel Pinney, Elliot Benyon (Gold Omotayo 71), Ramone Rose (Zach Fagan 66). Subs not used: Nassim L'Ghoul, Osa Obamnonyi.

Referee:  Mr. Ben Cooke

Att:  731
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Post by BenE Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:24 pm

Cracking report.

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Post by Tony73 Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:54 pm

Last 10 minutes today up there with the best for entertainment I've seen all season. Disappointing first half with Whitehark showing much more than a bottom of the table side as their recent form would suggest. Some good passing moves at times though with little to show for it until penalty. From where I was standing hard to comment on the decision but again very poor from the spot. Second half got better as time went on to point where last 10-15 mins was constant pressure. Great finish from Watkins for equaliser and after that there was only going to be one winner. Unfortunately not to be but a great afternoon with 2 new guest beers in Charlie's, decent weather and good game. 11 matches left and everything to play for.


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