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Farnborough (1)2 Bath City (5)7

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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:06 pm

For the second time this season Bath City breached the Farnborough defence on seven occasions, and returned from Cherrywood Road with the most comfortable of victories.  Two goals each from Ross Stearn, Nick McCootie and Andy Watkins, alongside a single strike from Frankie Artus, proved more than sufficient to see off the challenge of their lowly opponents.

On a bright and sunny, yet chilly, spring afternoon, City started energetically and produced some flowing football that belied the bumpy underfoot conditions.  As early as the 2nd minute Naby Diallo’s right wing cross was touched on by Stearn into the path of Watkins, but the striker’s shot lacked the power to beat the diving Dillon Barnes.

The visitors looked dangerous every time that they broke forward, as the Borough defence struggled to cope with their pace.  It was no surprise, therefore, when City took the lead after 9 minutes.  Stearn received the ball out on the left hand side of the home area, cut inside, and his eventual angled shot beat Barnes at the near post.

Bath increased their advantage on 14 minutes when McCootie burst clear down the right, drove into the box, and neatly slid the ball past the advancing custodian.

Farnborough were struggling to make any impression on the game, but found an unexpected lifeline two minutes later.  A free kick from midfield was lofted into the City area and bobbled around in front of goal, before Dan Bennett stabbed home from close range.

The Somerset side continued to swarm forward, and the two-goal cushion was restored in the 22nd minute.  McCootie released Watkins from the half way line, and the striker bore down on the penalty area before slotting his shot into the corner of the net with aplomb.

Whilst Farnborough pushed forward whenever the opportunity arose, it was City who remained the more potent force as they continued to terrorise the home defence.  McCootie made ground down the right before squaring the ball to Stearn, but Barnes made an excellent blocking save with his legs to repel the latter’s shot.

Dan Bowman saw his drive from 20 yards clear the home crossbar and, on the half hour mark, Barnes had an extremely lucky escape.  The keeper was guilty of dithering in possession following back pass, allowing Watkins to charge down his belated attempted clearance, and was hugely relieved to see the ball fly narrowly over the bar.

Stearn raced to the byline on 32 minutes and rolled an inviting pass to McCootie, but Barnes again did well to block his effort with his legs.

City suffered a rare scare in the 35th minute when Jason Mellor failed to collect a right wing cross, and the dropping ball appeared to strike Andy Gallinagh’s hand.  The home faithful behind the goal were screaming for a penalty, but the referee, Mr. Tim Wood, showed no interest whatsoever.

The visitors’ assault on the Borough goal continued unabated, and Stearn was again at the heart of matters.  The wide-man created some space for himself inside the box, and his rising shot forced an excellent diving save from Barnes at the near post.  Watkins then delivered a cross from the left that picked out Keary beyond the far post, and his looping header was cleared off the goal-line.

City’s lead was further stretched on 43 minutes when the home defence failed to clear an Ashley Kington corner, and Watkins profited by drilling his low shot from 8 yards into the net through a crowd of legs.

Lee Howells’ men were not finished for the half, and registered a fifth goal in the 45th minute.  A neat short corner routine saw the ball reach Artus on the edge of the box, and he passed his first time shot into the corner of the net beyond the static Barnes.

Understandably, City struggled to regain their momentum after the break, as Farnborough sought to restore some respectability to their afternoon.  Jamie Hand tried his luck with a speculative effort from the halfway line that bounced wide of Mellor’s post, but it was the away side that still looked the more likely to add to the scoreline.  Bowman was narrowly wide with a shot from the edge of the box on 52 minutes, and Stearn fired straight at Barnes after the ball had fallen to him in a useful position.

Farnborough found themselves further behind on 54 minutes when Diallo released McCootie on goal, who cleverly dinked the ball over the outrushing Barnes and into the net.

City were now content to sit deeper as some of the urgency went from the game, and Chris Allen was introduced at the expense of Watkins on 67 minutes.  Three minutes later the hosts reduced the deficit when the impressive Bennett was put through, and duly found the corner of the net with an assured finish from 18 yards.

The visitors responded almost immediately, as Diallo made good ground down the left before pulling the ball back to Stearn, who side stepped one challenge before smashing home his shot from 10 yards out.

Dan Ball & Chas Hemmings came on for Phil Walsh and Artus respectively, and City were able to see out the rest of the game against the demoralised home team without undue alarm.  The only action of note in the time that remained was Bennett’s rasping drive from distance in the 88th minute which narrowly cleared the crossbar.

This was a lively and enterprising performance by City, and they held the upper hand for the vast majority of the match.  Their passing game and pace upfront was too much for the home defence, who could not have complained if they had conceded double figures.  For The Romans, this was a welcome return to form and a resounding victory, but this was helped in no small part by the defensive frailties of their hosts.


Farnborough: Dillon Barnes, Freddie Grant (Stephane Ngamvoulou 58), Ollie Treacher, Courtney Fearn, Adam Brice (Louie Theophanous 22), Darryl Siaw, Dan Bennett, Jamie Hand, Jordan Robertson (Josh Shama 80), Michael Richens, Harry Grant.  Subs not used; Nathan Chambers, Ghassimu Sow
Bath City: Jason Mellor, Dan Bowman, Andy Gallinagh, Pat Keary, Phil Walsh (Dan Ball 76), Ashley Kington, Ross Stearn, Naby Diallo, Nick McCootie, Andy Watkins (Chris Allen 68), Frankie Artus (Chas Hemmings 81).  Sub not used; Jim Rollo.
Referee: Tim Wood (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 351.
Kelston Koppite
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Post by Eddie Hitler on Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:03 pm

Kelston Koppite wrote:......and the striker bore down on the penalty area before slotting his shot into the corner of the net with aplomb....
Can't beat a good aplomb KK.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:07 am

He put in his thumb and pulled out aplomb.
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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:59 am

Marc Monitor wrote:He put in his thumb and pulled out aplomb.

Very good. If that is the way it is going to be, then how about........

Little Jack Horner found the top corner
When putting the first goal away
We put up his thumb as he scored with aplomb
And said 'what a wonderful day'.

(Sorry)
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Post by Ashley on Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:33 am

I'm glad to see 'dinked' made it!
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:22 am

We were discussing this and came up with a load of words you only read in football reports - rue (as in "early chances"), jinked, mercurial
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Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:35 am

Video Highlights

Highlights of the game can be found using the following link and clicking on Boro TV at the bottom left hand corner.

http://www.farnboroughfc.co.uk/
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