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Bath City (1)3 Billericay Town (0)0

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2weirdtown
Kelston Koppite
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Post by Kelston Koppite Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:21 pm

The sun shone brightly at Twerton Park as spectators returned to the stadium for a competitive match for the first time in almost eighteen long months, and Bath City produced an entertaining performance that ensured the vast majority of the bumper 1,180 crowd went home in buoyant mood. Goals from Momodou Touray, Cody Cooke and Alex Fletcher proved sufficient to give the home side victory over Billericay Town.

Playing towards the Bristol End, City began brightly and created a good opening in the 2nd minute. Touray weaved his way into the left-hand side of the area and played the ball towards Cooke, whose near post effort was well repelled by Town keeper Bailey Vose at the expense of a corner. The visitors responded with a chance of their own a minute later, but Jai Reason hit his shot well over Ryan Clarke’s crossbar from 20 yards.

The hosts were in the ascendancy, playing some neat football in midfield, and Eddie Jones’ 5th minute cross from the right just eluded the onrushing Fletcher, allowing Vose to clutch the ball under his bar.

Injury forced the Essex side into an early substitution as Darren Foxley was replaced by Norman Wabo on 7 minutes, and Billericay then created another opening through Frankie Sutherland’s freekick from the left that was headed wide of Clarke’s far post by Michael Chambers.

Touray turned and twisted on the edge of the visitors’ box in the 20th minute, but he scuffed his eventual shot wide of the target. Although Town were coming more into the match, they were struggling to make any real impression on the home rearguard, and it was City who remained the more dangerous in attack. Tom Smith’s 32nd minute freekick from 20 yards was brilliantly tipped over the top by Vose and, when the resulting corner fell to the same Cityman, he clipped the ball back into the danger area, only for Cooke to nod wide.

City earned another corner on 35 minutes which was partially cleared to Elliott Frear on the edge of the box, but his low shot was comfortably held by Vose. Two minutes later the visitors created their best opportunity of the half when Joe Felix’s cross from the right picked out Rowan Liburd, but his diving header flew well over the crossbar.

Bath finally made their overall superiority pay when they took the lead two minutes before the break. Smith slipped the ball into Touray’s path, and the forward took his time before rifling an angled shot beyond Vose from 15 yards out.

The second period commenced with Billericay taking control of midfield possession, but the City defence again remained resolute with both Ben Gerring and Jack Batten particularly commanding in the aerial battles. Kurtis Cumberbatch came on for Charlie Lee as the away side looked for an equaliser, and City had to endure a hectic goalmouth scramble in the 57th minute before Clarke bravely smothered the loose ball on the goal-line. There was another scare eight minutes later when a Sutherland free kick from the right found the head of Chambers, but the central defender succeeded only in lifting his effort over Clarke’s crossbar from just outside the 6-yard box.

The hosts gradually began to gain more control of possession and finally stretched their lead on 75 minutes. Frear played the ball into the box from the left and it eventually fell to Cooke. The striker turned adeptly, and his low shot found the corner of the net with the aid of a small deflection off a defender.

Batten was forced from the field of play following a heavy collision with Clarke and was replaced by Dan Ball, and Tom Richards then came on for Touray. Between these substitutions Alex Fletcher found himself through on goal, but Vose did well to block the shot with his legs.

To their credit Billericay continued to press forward in search of some reward. Reason’s curling freekick from 25 yards was plucked out of the air by Clarke without undue issue, but the same player came desperately close to reducing the arrears in the 88th minute. The midfielder picked up the ball just inside the City half and, seeing Clarke off his line, clipped a speculative shot goalwards. The Bath custodian slipped as he backpeddled and was relieved to see the ball clatter against his crossbar and then bounce away to safety.

At the other end, Richards fired over the top from just inside the area, but the victory was completed one minute into stoppage time. Luke Warner-Eley failed to deal with a through ball down the inside right channel, and Fletcher took full advantage by racing into the box, before emphatically planting an angled shot into the far corner of the net.

This was a fully deserved victory for Jerry Gill’s men against well organised opponents who probably enjoyed the greater share of possession throughout the 90 minutes. However, City were much more incisive and clinical in attack, and looked dominant and assured in defence. Whilst making a winning start to the season was hugely important for the club, the overriding factor of the day was the sheer pleasure, and perhaps relief, of the spectators to be able to witness their team in live action once again.



Bath City: Ryan Clarke, Eddie Jones, Ben Gerring (Capt), Jack Batten (Dan Ball 77 mins), Callum Wood, Tom Smith, Omar Holness (Lloyd James 90+2), Elliott Frear, Alex Fletcher, Cody Cooke, Momodou Touray (Tom Richards 83 mins). Subs not used: Will Fuller, Ryan Harley.

Billericay Town: Bailey Vose, Lawrie Wilson (Capt), Luke Warner-Eley, Charlie Lee, Marvel Ekpiteta, Michael Chambers, Darren Foxley, Frankie Sutherland, Joe Felix, Jai Reason, Rowan Liburd. Subs: Norman Wabo, Luis Shanshoum, Kurtis Cumberbatch, George Wind, Jake Nickless.

Referee: Mr. Greg Rollason.

Attendance: 1,180
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Join date : 2014-02-23

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Post by 2weirdtown Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:39 am

And a great opening day made even better by the return of your much appreciated match report KK.
2weirdtown
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Post by Colin Voutt Sun Aug 15, 2021 8:44 am

Kev you obviously missed the writing these 18 months. We missed it too.

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Post by LB Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:22 pm

Forgot how much I had missed Kevin's match reports.

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Post by BenE Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:00 pm

I do like your summaries at the end that are always spot on.

Touray was MOM as he caught the eye when on the ball but I felt it must have been a difficult decision as there were good performances all over the park. The back four were rugged with Holness sweeping up in front, while the front two gave us a constant out ball. Tom Smith looked like he was enjoying himself too.
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Post by pete mac Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:16 am

Yes great day all round. Good to be back

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