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Bath City (0)2 Braintree Town (0)0

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Bath City (0)2  Braintree Town (0)0 Empty Bath City (0)2 Braintree Town (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:29 pm

Bath City started the new season with a convincing victory over Braintree Town at Twerton Park.  Their success was due largely to a dominant and enterprising second half display that was sparked by the introduction of Ross Stearn ahead of the resumption.

The opening stages saw the sides vying for midfield superiority and the only early attempt on goal came from Braintree’s Femi Akinwande, but his 2nd minute shot was high and wide of the target.

City were gradually beginning to find their passing game and, in the 14th minute, a cross from the left fell to Joe Raynes on the far side of the area, but his firm low drive flew across goal and wide of the post.

Braintree were showing good pace upfront but they almost took the lead on 15 minutes with a highly speculative effort.  Tyler Harvey was penalised for handball inside the centre circle and Joshua McLeod Urquhart immediately tried an audacious lofted shot.  Ryan Clarke was well off his line and did extremely well to push the ball on to the crossbar, only for the rebound to fall invitingly for Tom Richardson.  However, the striker failed to take advantage by shooting straight at the recovering keeper when he really should have scored.

The visitors were now pushing forward with intent, and a surging run by full back Ollie Saunders ended with a wild shot over Clarke’s bar from the point of the box.  At the other end an 18th minute cross from Joe Raynes picked out Harvey, but the forward nodded over the top.

Tom Smith’s shot from 25 yards on the half hour mark was well wide of the framework, and a similar effort from Town’s Sergio Manesio suffered the same fate shortly afterwards.

Clarke was forced into a good blocking save with his legs after Akinwande had made good ground to the byline before trying his luck from an acute angle.  Harry Hamblin then unleashed a fizzing drive that Town gloveman Michael Johnson was relieved to see fly over his crossbar.

The final action of the half resulted in Adeyinka Cole’s angled free kick striking the outside of Clarke’s near post and away for a goal kick, although the home custodian and skipper had the situation firmly under control.

Stearn replaced Hamblin ahead of the commencement of the second half and had an immediate and decisive impact on proceedings. Within two minutes the substitute pulled the ball back into the path of Tom Smith on the edge of the penalty area, and the midfielder struck a sweet shot into the roof of the net with Johnson clutching at thin air.

City’s advantage was driven further home in the 50th minute when the ball ran loose to Stearn 30 yards from goal, and he delivered a sublime curler into the top corner beyond Johnson’s despairing and fruitless dive.

The Iron were clearly shaken by this double setback and were subsequently unable to produce any of their earlier attacking threat, meaning that Clarke was a virtual spectator for the remainder of the match.

The hosts were now totally in control and went in search of further reward.  Stearn crossed from the left in the 56th minute and picked out Harvey.  The striker nodded the ball back into the path of Andy Watkins, who could only hook his shot over the bar.  Alex Hartridge then headed just wide of the far post following a 59th minute corner kick, and Harvey’s long range shot passed harmlessly wide of Johnson’s post.

An optimistic effort by  Town substitute Adam Miles was high and wide of Clarke’s goal.  City’s pressure continued however, and Watkins headed wide of the far post after meeting Stearn’s cross from the left.  It was the latter’s final action before making way for Adam Mann on 76 minutes.

Miles was again well off target with a shot from distance for the visitors but, with 7 minutes left on the clock, Johnson was required to make a comfortable save to keep out Stearn’s low effort.

The game was reaching its conclusion with the home team still searching for a third goal, and Saunders made an excellent blocking challenge to deflect Tom Smith’s goalbound drive for a corner.  Four minutes into stoppage time Mann crashed a stinging shot goalwards, only for Johnson to expertly palm the ball to safety.

This was a highly encouraging start to the campaign by Jerry Gill’s charges and the winning margin could well have been greater.  Braintree looked dangerous for long periods before the break, but City stepped up a couple of gears in the second half, played some entertaining and flowing football,  and were fully deserving of their victory.  They will now look to consolidate this performance when they visit newly promoted Weymouth on Tuesday evening.

Bath City: Ryan Clarke; Harvey Smith, Alex Hartridge, Matt Bower; Joe Raynes, Harry Hamblin (Ross Stearn HT), Tom Smith (Jordan Simpson 90), Tom Richards, Connor Riley-Lowe; Andy Watkins (Adam Mann 76), Tyler Harvey. Subs not used: Harvey Wiles-Richards, Ashley Harper.

Braintree Town: Michael Johnson; Emmanuel Folarin (Adam Miles 62), Ollie Saunders, Joshua McLeod Urquhart, Michael Clark, Jake Hutchings, Sean Bonnett-Johnson (Jason Banton 64), Sergio Manesio, Thomas Richardson (Alfie Ceruli 64), Femi Akinwande, Adeyinka Cole.  Subs not used: Kyran Clements, Robert Harvey.

Referee: Mr. Marc Whaley.

Attendance:  784
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

Posts : 291
Join date : 2014-02-23

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