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Bristol Rovers (0)0 Bath City (0)2

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Bristol Rovers (0)0  Bath City (0)2 Empty Bristol Rovers (0)0 Bath City (0)2

Post by Kelston Koppite Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:03 pm

Bath City produced an outstanding performance to earn one of the most memorable victories in their long history by beating former tenants Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.  Two goals in three second half minutes proved decisive as The Romans deservedly took the spoils at the expense of The Pirates.

City began the game brightly, and a neat move ended with Chris Allen shooting over the crossbar from 18 yards in the 2nd minute.  A Frankie Artus corner two minutes later found its way into the home net, but the effort was ruled out for a push by Chas Hemmings.

The visitors continued to enjoy the upper hand and, on 9 minutes, Andy Watkins produced a dangerous cross from the left that was glanced wide of the far post by Dave Pratt, with earnest appeals for a corner kick being turned away by the referee Mr. Adam Hopkins.

Rovers gradually began to find a foothold in midfield and Bath were required to defend manfully for a spell.  A low ball in from the left by Angelo Balanta was met by the sliding Nathan Blissett, but Jason Mellor was able to gather at the foot of his near post.  Blissett had another sight of goal in the 17th minute, but fired wide of the post after controlling a cross from the right.

The hosts continued to press forward but were finding it difficult to penetrate the City defence.  Matty Taylor nodded over the crossbar from Lee Brown’s left wing cross and, on the half hour mark, Blissett’s firm goalbound header was deflected over the top.  Tom Parkes was again too high with his header from the resulting corner.

Ten minutes before the interval, Balanta’s headed effort flew over Mellor’s bar and, as the half time whistle approached, Taylor’s back-header following a corner, looped harmlessly over the target.

Despite Rovers having more attempts at goal during the first 45 minutes, City held their own in terms of overall possession and, at times, played some neat football in the midfield areas.

Alex Wall replaced Blissett ahead of the restart as Darrell Clarke tried to find a cutting edge in his side.  Indeed, they had an excellent opportunity to take the lead on 48 minutes when a cross from the left found Balanta unmarked at the far post, but he was unable to make good contact and the chance was lost.

Bath were beginning to look more menacing moving forward, and an exquisite through ball from Ashley Kington in the 53rd minute allowed Andy Gallinagh to reach the byline.  The skipper pulled the ball back into the path of Watkins, but the striker’s momentary hesitation gave home custodian Fabian Spiess the chance to block his shot.

Hemmings picked up the ball in midfield and advanced forward before sending a firm shot narrowly wide of the post, with Spiess scrambling uncomfortably across his goal.
Rovers responded with an hour on the clock, when a long ball put Dave Martin through on goal, but a heavy touch allowed Mellor to make a brave save at his feet, an action that resulted in the keeper requiring lengthy treatment.  Balanta then shot horribly wide from 20 yards after having a presentable sight of goal, and the same player saw his flicked header drift wide of the far post.

City had strong appeals for a penalty waved away by the referee after 64 minutes when Watkins was caught from behind deep in the Rovers area, but they had to wait only another four minutes before taking the lead.  Sekani Simpson won a corner on the right that was taken by Artus, and the in-swinging cross somehow found its way into the net at the near post, with the hapless Spiess appearing to get the final touch.

The advantage was doubled in the 71st minute when Pratt latched on to an under-hit back pass from Daniel Leadbitter.  The forward beat the keeper to the ball and clipped a clever cross towards Artus, who headed into the net from 8 yards.  The scorer took a heavy blow to the head in the process but was able to resume following skillful application of the ‘magic sponge’.

During the ensuing minutes Watkins, Pratt and Kington were replaced by Nick McCootie, Ross Stearn and Ben Adelsbury respectively, as Lee Howells injected some fresh legs to protect his team’s lead.  

Predictably, the hosts now threw men forward in search of salvation, but they were unable to break down the resolute and well organized Bath rearguard.  Mellor saved from Stuart Sinclair after a scramble in the City box, and Wall’s shot from distance lacked the power to trouble the goalkeeper.  Despite five minutes of stoppage time, the hosts had only Ollie Clarke’s rising drive to show for their efforts, and this landed high on the terraces behind the goal amongst the increasingly disenchanted and frustrated Rovers fans.

The final whistle was greeted with much joy by the 404 travelling City supporters, and the players fully deserved their acclaim.  Whilst the disappointment and derision of the home faithful can be understood, they could not justifiably claim that the Conference South side did not deserve their victory.  Bath were never outplayed by their more illustrious opponents and, for long periods, produced the more controlled football.  They looked dangerous on the break and the whole defence deserve great credit for their performance, including Mellor, who commanded his box admirably.  The draw for the 2nd Round is now eagerly awaited.

BRISTOL ROVERS: Fabian Spiess, Daniel Leadbitter, Lee Brown, Tom Parkes, Ollie Clarke, Matty Taylor (Bradley Goldberg 72), Neal Trotman, Dave Martin (Jake Gosling 62), Stuart Sinclair, Nathan Blissett (Alex Wall 46), Angelo Balanta. Subs not used: Mark McChrystal, Ellis Harrison.

BATH CITY: Jason Mellor, Sekani Simpson, Andy Gallinagh, Dan Ball, Phil Walsh, Chas Hemmings, Andy Watkins (Nick McCootie 79), Chris Allen, Dave Pratt (Ross Stearn 82), Ashley Kington (Ben Adelsbury 86), Frankie Artus. Subs not used: Dan Bowman, Pat Keary.

Referee: Adam Hopkins.

Attendance: 3,505 (404 away fans).
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Bristol Rovers (0)0  Bath City (0)2 Empty Re: Bristol Rovers (0)0 Bath City (0)2

Post by BenE Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:09 pm

good stuff.

the rovers fans were incredibly quiet during the game and we had to sing goodnight irene for them

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