City, playing towards the Bath End in the first half, attempted to make early use of the favourable conditions when Jordan Dyer tried his luck straight from the kick-off. His effort was on target but was comfortably collected by Dan Wilks between the Dartford sticks.
Joe Raynes’ corner from the right on 9 minutes was flicked on to Mo Touray, whose header was beaten away by Wilks. Whilst both sides were struggling to master the strong swirling gusts City were generally on top, but the visitors had a decent opening in the 22nd minute. Ade Azeez broke forward into the City box and forced Ryan Clarke into a save low down.
Bath broke quickly into the Dartford half on 23 minutes, but Elliott Frear’s eventual shot was saved by Wilks. Two minutes later Touray laid the ball invitingly into Frear’s path, and the latter’s angled drive from the edge of the box flew wide of the far post.
The Kent side won a 32nd minute corner that found Connor Essam, but his header was straight at Clarke. Another Frear effort from distance was wide of the target, before City came desperately close to taking the lead in the 38th minute. Cody Cooke made good ground to the by-line before crossing to the unmarked Alex Fletcher, who could only clatter his shot against the far post with the goal at his mercy. Five minutes later, Dartford had another escape when Raynes’ powerful strike from fully 30 yards clipped the top of the bar with Wilks seemingly beaten.
The away side emerged after the break looking to make use the conditions with the wind now at their backs. Three minutes after the restart a corner was cleared by the City defence only as far as Kieran Murtagh and his firm volley thumped into Clarke’s midriff. However, it was the hosts who continued to look more threatening going forward. Cooke beat Wilks to a 50th minute through ball into the Dartford area, but the forward could only curl his shot over the angle of post and crossbar.
A cross from the left by Jernade Mead just eluded his teammates in the six-yard box and the ball bounced way to the safety of a City goalkick. At the other end, The Romans responded with a wicked cross from Fletcher that drifted over the back-peddling Wilks, but nobody was able to apply a telling touch.
Tom Smith replaced Touray in the 68th minute as jerry Gill’s men sought a winning goal, but Dartford gradually came more into the game and began to put the home defence under increasing pressure. With 8 minutes left on the clock Azeez crossed from the right and picked out Tyrique Hyde whose effort hit the post before being cleared. Substitute Luke Wanadio then produced a ferocious rising shot from outside the box that was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Clarke.
Jerry Gill’s men thought that they had won the game in the 86th minute when Cooke crossed to Smith, only for the midfielder to rattle the crossbar with his shot with the ball bouncing back down on to the goal-line and into Wilks’ grateful hands. The City players appealed that the ball had crossed the line but the referee, Mr. Andrew Humphries, who had given a number of bewildering decisions during the match, and his assistant thought otherwise.
The final action of the 90 minutes was a Dartford freekick from 25 yards that was repelled by City’s defensive wall three times before Mr. Humphries blew his final whistle that signalled a penalty shootout.
Cooke, Eddie Jones and Frear all converted with ease but, with Dartford convincingly scoring all five of their spot kicks, the decisive moment was City’s second penalty which saw Fletcher’s effort well saved low down by Wilks. The final reckoning was therefore a 5-3 defeat for the hosts.
Whilst the eventual manner of the loss was disappointing, City will take great heart from a committed and determined performance against a strong Dartford side in difficult conditions. The overall balance of possession was fairly even, but the home side created the better chances and struck the woodwork on no less than three occasions and can rightly consider themselves unfortunate. Thoughts will now revert to improving their league position starting with a trip to Havant & Waterlooville next Saturday.
Bath City: Ryan Clarke, Eddie Jones, Jack Batten, Callum Wood, Zak Delaney, Jordan Dyer, Joe Raynes, Elliott Frear, Mo Touray (Tom Smith 68), Alex Fletcher, Cody Cooke. Subs not used: Omar Holness, Will Fuller, Tom Mehew, Lloyd James.
Dartford: Dan Wilks, Josh Clarke, Jernade Meade, Noor Husin, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner, Ronnie Vint, Kieran Murtagh, Jake Robinson, Tyrique Hyde, Ade Azeez. Subs: George Porter, Dan Roberts, Danny Leonard, D’Sean Theobalds, Luke Wanadio.
Referee: Mr. Andrew Humphries
Penalties: (Dartford First)
Dartford. Azeez (1-0) scored, Murtagh (2-1) scored, Roberts (3-1) scored, Husin (4-2) scored, Hyde (5-3) scored.
Bath City. Cooke (1-1) scored, Fletcher (2-1) missed, Jones (3-2) scored, Frear (4-3) scored.
Last edited by Kelston Koppite on Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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South London Road City
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Our record with shootouts on the other hand… I think it matches England’s.
Shame because I thought we played well. Was really impressed by Batten, pick of the defenders for me. I think having those couple of games off has helped him get back to his best.
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