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Dulwich Hamlet (0)0 Bath City (0)2

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Post by Kelston Koppite Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:42 am

Bath City overcame a dogged Dulwich Hamlet side at Champion Hill to take all three points with two goals in the latter stages of the second half.  Whilst playing the better football throughout, the Somerset side were made to fight all the way for the points against a home team that defended manfully and attacked with pace, albeit without the incision to pose a serious threat to the City defence.

Playing in front of a record home attendance of 3,104, The Romans began the game brightly, with Adam Mann shooting wide of the target from 20 yards in the 4th minute.  Michee Efete was then issued with a yellow card by the referee Mr. Jack Packman for simulation on the edge of the Hamlet box.

Mann headed wide of the near post from a left wing cross in the 14th minute and, two minutes later, Ross Stearn’s header met the same fate following an inviting cross by Joe Raynes from a similar position.

The hosts’ attempts to apply pressure on the City rearguard were continually being disrupted by the offside flag, but they came close on 17 minutes when Dan Thompson cut in  from the left, only for his angled effort to be well saved by Ryan Clarke at the foot of the near post.

The game continued for a period in midfield stalemate with both sides giving away possession too easily at times.  However, the visitors had an excellent chance to take the lead after 34 minutes when Tom Smith was released by Mann’s through ball and advanced goalwards.  The midfielder delayed his shot a little too long, which allowed Dulwich skipper Michael Chambers to make a well-timed blocking challenge. The ball dribbled on towards the goal, but keeper Preston Edwards was able to scramble back in time to prevent it from crossing the line.

Frankie Artus then put Mann through on goal in the 37th minute but, although Cheick Toure wrestled the frontman to the floor on the edge of the area, the referee waved away City appeals for a freekick.  It was a decision that understandably incensed the away bench, and Jerry Gill was consequently lectured by Mr. Packman.

Dulwich created perhaps their best opening of the game four minutes before the break when Anthony Cook’s cross from the right found Nathan Green at the far post, but his header was straight at Clarke.

Nathan Ferguson was cautioned for an ugly looking lunge on Efete on 42 minutes, and the final action of the half saw Stearn produce some trickery down the right before crossing to Mann, whose first time volley was parried by Edwards.  The offside flag was then raised as Raynes bore down on the loose ball.

Following the resumption Smith tried his luck from outside the box, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Edwards.  The visitors continued to push forward and Edwards needed to make a smart save to repel Raynes’ 50th minute curling ball into the box, but the offside flag was subsequently raised against the lurking Stearn.  Raynes then played a neat ball into the path of Mann, but the forward was unable to exert sufficient force on his shot to beat the goalkeeper.

The game then became scrappy for an extended period with the sides vying for midfield supremacy, the only effort on goal coming from Stearn on 72 minutes, but he was off target with his shot from 25 yards.  However, his side took the lead a minute later when James Morton’s freekick into the area was flicked on by Robbie Cundy, and Smith was quickest to react by lashing the loose ball high into the net from 10 yards out.

The hosts were now on the back foot and they were further punished with ten minutes left on the clock following a calamitous defensive misunderstranding.  A bouncing ball was nodded over his own keeper by ‘Virgil van Dijk look-a-like’ Chambers, and Stearn raced through to apply the final touch on the goal-line.

Matt Richard replaced the injured Efete, and Andy Watkins made a welcome return in place of Smith, as City ran down the clock without any undue alarm. Indeed, the only home shot in anger came from the boot of Jason Banton deep into stoppage time, and this was well wide of Clarke’s goalposts.  

The noisy band of travelling supporters greeted the final whistle with glee, and they afforded their team a well-deserved round of applause.  Whilst not a classic game, with goal scoring chances at a premium, City were certainly well worth their victory on the overall balance of play.  Dulwich made life difficult for their opponents and were very competitive defensively and in midfield, but they lacked genuine punch upfront and any threat they could muster was competently snuffed out by the commanding Bath backline.  The main priority will now be a quick recovery as Gill’s men face another tough assignment on the road on Tuesday evening against Slough Town.  

Dulwich Hamlet:  Preston Edwards, Quade Taylor, Nathan Green, Nathan Ferguson, Cheick Toure (Dominic Vose 79), Michael Chambers, Anthony Cook, Ashley Carew, Dan Thompson (Nyren Clunis 66), Jacob Erskine (Dipo Akinyemi 66), Jason Banton.  Subs not used: Jay Rich-Baghuelou, Sanchez Ming.

Bath City:  Ryan Clarke, Michee Efete (Matt Richards 84), Kevin Amankwaah, Jack Batten, Robbie Cundy, Joe Raynes; Frankie Artus, James Morton, Tom Smith (Andy Watkins 88); Adam Mann, Ross Stearn;  Subs not used; Harvey Wiles-Richards, Dan Ball.

Referee:  Mr. Jack Packman

Attendance: 3,104

Last edited by Kelston Koppite on Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:24 am; edited 1 time in total
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Post by Colin Voutt Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:24 pm

Thank you Kev.

Working at your usual high standard.

Colin Voutt

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Post by Luton Roman Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:24 pm

Ooh looked at the highlights on the site, did Stearn get any touch on that goal?

Luton Roman

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Post by stillmanjunior Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:48 pm

I was on the Twitter feed and mentioned it'll be one for Dubious Goals Panel. I think the NL site has put it as an own goal, but I don't often take their information as gospel. We watched it in slo-motion on the way back and it was very tricky to tell. I think he has got a touch, but it's whether the ball was already in or not. Simon took a photo around the time it happened. I doubt even Stearn knows if it was already over the line, but he'd happily claim it.

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