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Bath City (0)2 Hemel Hempstead Town (1)1

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Bath City (0)2  Hemel Hempstead Town (1)1 Empty Bath City (0)2 Hemel Hempstead Town (1)1

Post by Kelston Koppite Sun Mar 20, 2022 11:00 am

Bath City produced a second half fight back to secure a valuable three-point haul from their encounter with Hemel Hempstead Town at Twerton Park. Trailing at half time to an early strike from Sam Manton, City turned the tables through an Alex Fletcher spot kick and Tom Smith’s first league goal of the season.

The early exchanges were fairly even but the first shot at goal came in the 7th minute from Smith, who was narrowly wide with his low effort from the edge of the box. However, it was the visitors who took the lead a minute later when Mantom picked up the ball in midfield and was allowed too much room to bear down on City’s area. He took full advantage by beating Ryan Clarke’s dive with a well struck shot from 20 yards.

The Tudors, buoyed by their success, enjoyed the upper hand for much of the remainder of the first half with Bath struggling to find any momentum in their play. Cole Kpekawa headed wide of the far post from a 12th minute corner and, shortly afterwards, Josh Castiglione fired a low cross into the danger zone that just eluded Pierre Fonkeu’s lunge at the far post. Craig Fasanmade then had the ball in City’s net on 19 minutes, but his effort was ruled out by an early offside flag.

The hosts were slowing coming back into the game and came close to finding an equaliser on the half hour mark. Dave Sims-Burgess did well to gain possession of a long ball into the Hemel box but, when he deftly lobbed keeper Craig King, the ball bounced on the top of the crossbar and away for a goal kick.

The away side came close to doubling their lead after 33 minutes when a long throw into the box fell to Dominic Morgan-Griffiths whose shot clattered against the post after Clarke appeared to have touched the ball with his fingertips. Fasanmade then shot from the point of the area but Clarke was able to gather low down, and Kpekawa’s effort five minutes before the break met the same fate.

City threatened the Hemel goal again in stoppage time when Ryan Jones slipped the ball through to Fletcher, the forward drawing a good blocking save from King with his angled shot.

The early stages of the second period saw the visitors continue to dominate possession and, consequently, City were unable to exert any pressure on the Town defence. Fasanmade caused problems for the home side in the 59th minute when he bustled his way towards goal, but could only find the side netting with his hurried shot.

Omar Holness replaced Eddie Jones on the hour mark and, thereafter, Bath began to make more impression going forward. Indeed, within four minutes they were back on level terms when Fletcher was felled on the very edge of the area and the referee, Mr. Jason Richardson, pointed to the spot. It was highly debatable if the foul was actually inside the box, but there was little protest from the men in red. Fletcher dusted himself down and beat King with an emphatic drive into the corner of the net.

The Tudors were sparked back into action by this setback and Fasanmade sent a looping header goalwards that was held under the cross bar by Clarke and, at the other end, Sims-Burgess just failed to make contact with Ryan Jones’s inviting ball into the box.

Hemel again threatened in the 69th minute when Mantom’s goalbound toe poke was cleared off the line by Smith with Clarke beaten. Smith made another crucial and decisive contribution on 73 minutes after Fletcher had done brilliantly to weave his way towards goal through a crowded area. His eventual shot was deflected and span against the far post, and Smith reacted the quickest to fire home from close range.

Hemel responded with a freekick from 25 yards from Scott Morriss that flew well over Clarke’s crossbar and, with five minutes left on the clock, Fletcher battled for possession on the edge of the Hemel box and, when the ball came loose, Joe Raynes drove a shot narrowly wide of the target.

There was one final scare for the hosts as full time approached when Dan Wishart went down the City area, but penalty appeals were waved away by the referee.

At the final whistle, the City team were afforded a rousing ovation by the home faithful who were appreciative of the spirit and determination displayed by their side. It was certainly not the best performance of the season, but they showed considerable grit and fight having suffered such an early setback. Matters were certainly helped by a questionable penalty award but, given the quantum of outrageously poor decisions given against the team over the course of this season, nobody of black and white persuasion will see fit to complain.

Bath City: Ryan Clarke, Eddie Jones (Omar Holness 60 mins), Jack Batten, Jordan Dyer, Zak Delaney, Tom Smith, Joe Raynes, Elliott Frear, Ryan Jones, Dave Sims-Burgess, Alex Fletcher. Subs not used: Will Fuller, Dan Ball, Callum Rowe, Tom Richards.

Hemel Hempstead Town: Craig King, Scott Morriss, Joash Nembhard, Dominic Morgan-Griffiths, Jake Westbrook, Cole Kpekawa, Samir Carruthers, Sam Mantom, Craig Fasanmade, Pierre Fonkeu, Josh Castiglione. Subs: Sam Wishart, Chris Paul, Jacob Gardiner-Smith, Alfie Cerulli, David Saunders.

Referee: Mr. Jason Richardson

Attendance: 1,021
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

Posts : 279
Join date : 2014-02-23

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