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Oxford City (3)3 Bath City (0)3

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Post by Kelston Koppite Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:28 pm

Bath City came back from a three-goal half time deficit to earn a point against Oxford City at their Marsh Lane ground.  A near hopeless position was recovered in an astonishing eight-minute spell midway through the second period which saw strikes by Rex Manning, Alex Fletcher and a Cody Cooke penalty bring the Romans level.

Oxford began the game strongly and pushed the visitors back from the start.  Klaidi Lolos, who caused problems all afternoon with his tricky footwork, fired an angled shot into the outside of Joe Wright’s side-netting in the 2nd minute.  

Josh Parker ran on to a long ball in the 5th minute before lobbing his effort just over the crossbar.  Bath, however, failed to heed the warning, and a similar situation two minutes later resulted in the same player slotting the ball past the advancing Wright and into the bottom corner of the net.

The away side were looking slightly jaded after their extra time exertions in the FA Cup on Tuesday evening and they were struggling to find a foothold in the game.  Tom Smith’s blocked shot in the 12th minute resulted in the loose ball falling to Cooke, but the forward fired just wide of the near post from a tight angle.

The hosts continued to enjoy the upper hand, and their lead was doubled on 20 minutes.  Smith seemed to push an Oxford player in the back inside the area, and the referee, Mr. Jamie O’Connor, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.  Lolos stepped forward, and coolly sent Wright the wrong way.

The Somerset side picked up they game for a period during which Kieran Parselle headed over the bar from a Chris Lines’ freekick that had been invitingly flighted into the box.  At the other end, Parker nodded over from a good position.

Bath were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the area in the 34th minute, but Dan Hayfield’s effort was high and wide.  Oxford then threatened once again with the ball being cleared off Wright’s line after a desperate goalmouth scramble.

Matters were compounded for the Romans when Joe Raynes went down unopposed on the halfway line with a leg injury that forced his withdrawal, and the introduction of Luke Spokes.  

The hosts appeared to have secured the points two minutes before the break when a low cross from the right was tucked home from close range by the unmarked Parker.

Jerry Gill’s men emerged early from the dressing room for the second half looking determined to put the Oxford defence under pressure, but it was the home side that had the better of the opening exchanges.  

Rex Mannings came on for Lines in the 55th minute, but The Hoops remained largely on the front foot. Parker had a shot saved low down by Wright and then Lolos cut inside from the right before shooting well wide of the target.

The game then witnessed a manic eight-minute spell heralded by Mannings’ 62nd minute shot from outside the box that found the corner of the net with the aid of a slight deflection.  The deficit was reduced further on 67 minutes when Spokes’ clever through ball released Fletcher on goal, and the striker slid home unerringly beyond advancing custodian, Ben Dudzinski.

The comeback was completed in the 70th minute when Mannings’ cross from the left struck Canice Carroll on the arm.  Despite the offence being a yard or so outside the area, Mr. O’Connor pointed to the penalty spot, and Cooke took full toll by sending Dudzinski the wrong way from 12 yards.

With the home team’s sense of injustice still fresh, a fracas broke out on the halfway line.  Once calm had finally been restored, Fletcher was issued with a yellow card.

Bath, now buoyed by their scoring frenzy, poured forward in search of a winner, and they had a golden opportunity to take an unlikely lead on 77 minutes.  Parselle sent in a perfect cross from the left that picked out Fletcher, but his firm header from 10 yards out was straight at Dudzinski.

There was further drama six minutes from time when Mr. O’Connor fell to the ground with a calf injury.  After a considerable delay, a qualified assistant referee emerged heroically from the crowd to allow the game to conclude.  The remaining time was punctuated by a flurry of cautions correctly administered by the replacement ‘man-in-the-middle’, and the final action saw Lewis Coyle’s low drive well held by the diving Wright.

This was a truly remarkable match with a final outcome that, given Bath’s struggles in the first half, looked unfeasible at the break.  However, The Romans have demonstrated their resolve and fortitude on numerous occasions this season and they simply refused to be beaten.  The introduction of Mannings undoubtedly had a major impact on proceedings, having key involvement in two of the goals.  For their part, Oxford must wonder what happened in the second half, although they will no doubt feel aggrieved about the penalty awarded against them.


Oxford City:  Ben Dudzinski, Josh Ashby, Lewis Coyle, Reece Fleet, Zac McEachran, Klaidi Lolos, Olly Sanderson, Josh Parker, Tom Harrison, Aaron Williams-Bushell, Canice Carroll.  Subs: Lewis Miccio, Alfie Potter, Jean-Baptiste Fischer, Latrell Humphrey-Ewers, Gerald Muchechetere.

Bath City:  Joe Wright, Joe Raynes (Luke Spokes 39 mins), Jack Batten, Jordan Dyer, Kieran Parselle, Chris Lines (Rex Mannings 55 mins), Tom Smith, James Morton, Dan Hayfield, Alex Fletcher, Cody Cooke.  Subs not used: Ryan Clarke, Elliott Frear, Scott Wilson.

Referee:  Mr. Jamie O’Connor.

Attendance:  613


Last edited by Kelston Koppite on Sun Sep 25, 2022 10:18 am; edited 1 time in total
Kelston Koppite
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Post by BenE Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:00 am

Thanks for the report Kev which confirms the handball was outside the area. The BCIR commentary team said the same. But they also said the Oxford pen was dubious too.
Remarkable comeback inspired by Mannings. It is as though he has been unleashed.
Was Joe Raynes injury a leg or ankle injury? May have to go with a back three Tuesday.
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Post by stillmanjunior Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:13 am

I’ve had a look back at their penalty and in fairness it looks clearer than I thought at the time but something just didn’t look right to me. I’ll watch it back again when I have a chance. My instinct was he was already going to ground.

I think it’s nine pens in our games this season for and against. I’d say seven of them have been debatable. The most nailed on was ours at Eastbourne followed by Braintree. No idea if refs are encouraged to veer towards pointing to the spot or not. I tend to be the opposite, it’s such a massive decision that it needs to be really obvious for me to give it.

But away from that I think the key thing was scoring our second so soon after the first. Clearly had them rattled and even if we didn’t get the penalty I reckon we would have drawn. Vast improvement second half. We were poor first but Oxford were good too, including the second half at their place last season it was 90 minutes of total domination which a lot of teams would have struggled against. Going by Taunton’s low scoring games it might be easier on the heart on Tuesday.
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Post by Kelston Koppite Sun Sep 25, 2022 10:30 am

BenE wrote:Thanks for the report Kev which confirms the handball was outside the area. The BCIR commentary team said the same. But they also said the Oxford pen was dubious too.
Remarkable comeback inspired by Mannings. It is as though he has been unleashed.
Was Joe Raynes injury a leg or ankle injury? May have to go with a back three Tuesday.

I do not think that I have ever seen a penalty given for an offence so far outside the area! The referee was not in close proximity to the incident and his assistant was on the far side, so he must have gone purely on gut instinct.

With regard to their penalty, it is difficult to say as I was behind the goal at the other end at the time. It appeared to me that Tom Smith did shove the Oxford player in the back but, as Stillmanjunior said, he looked to be going down already. Soft decision maybe, but Smith had got on the wrong side and, as they say, 'I have seen them given'.

Anyway, it was a great comeback and once again proves the side's spirit and character. Indeed, they very nearly won it with Alex Fletcher's header and it was a shame when the referee went down injured as it destroyed the momentum they had built up.

Sorry, I am unsure about Joe Raynes' injury as I did not see him actually go down.
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Post by Beau Nash Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:16 pm

Goals - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x-oq6sotpA - clearly not a penalty for Bath City... Wink
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