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Bath City (1)2 Ebbsfleet United (1)2

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Bath City (1)2  Ebbsfleet United (1)2 Empty Bath City (1)2 Ebbsfleet United (1)2

Post by Kelston Koppite Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:44 pm

A brace of outstanding strikes from Andy Watkins ensured that Bath City took a fully deserved point from an entertaining encounter with high-flying Ebbsfleet United at Mayday Trust Park. The visitors twice came from behind with two equally impressive goals to ensure that they did not endure a fruitless return trip to the north Kent coast.

City began the brighter of the sides and carved out the early chances. Watkins chased a long ball into the box in the 4th minute, but was unable to keep his shot below the crossbar. Dave Pratt then crossed from the right, only for Jake Reid to head over the top.

Watkins broke free down the left in the 10th minute following a long pass from Phil Walsh, but his lobbed effort was again too high.

The home team continued to play some neat football, and Fleet keeper Preston Edwards needed to be alert to palm away Dan Ball’s angled drive from the left. City finally took a deserved lead on 21 minutes when Chris Allen’s raking through ball picked out the lively Watkins. The striker took the ball in his stride, and lifted an exquisite shot into the net over the advancing Edwards.

The lead lasted only nine minutes as Ebbsfleet equalised on the half hour mark, somewhat against the run of play. Alex Osborn crossed from the left, and Billy Bricknell planted a firm shot into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box.

City slowly recovered from this set back and almost restored their advantage seven minutes before the interval. Sekani Simpson’s right wing cross found Watkins unmarked at the far post, but he was denied by a brilliant point blank save low down from Edwards.

The final chance of the half fell to Ben May, whose dipping volley from 20 yards landed on the roof of Jason Mellor’s net.

The second period commenced with Ebbsfleet showing greater composure, and Daryl McMahan ran at the heart of the City defence in the 48th minute, only to scuff his eventual shot well wide of the target from 18 yards.

At the other end, Watkins skipped round Preston but was pushed wide of goal. He did well to turn a low cross into the path of the unmarked Reid, but his fellow forward completely missed his kick and the chance was lost.

The dangerous Anthony Cook cut in from the left wing, only to lift his shot over the crossbar. Bricknell then turned adeptly inside the City box, but his firm drive was straight into the midriff of the grateful Mellor.

The Romans re-took the lead after 61 minutes in spectacular style. An Allen corner kick was partially cleared to the edge of the box, from where Watkins struck a rasping half volley into the net via the underside of the bar.

City continued to press forward in search of a further goal that would secure the points, and Walsh headed narrowly over the crossbar following another Allen corner in the 64th minute.

Thereafter, the visitors began to gain the upper hand in terms of possession without creating any clear-cut openings. They did, however, find a second leveller on 77 minutes when Walsh was penalised for a foul 20 yards from goal. Cook stepped forward to curl the resulting free kick round the defensive wall and into the bottom corner.

Cook, who was proving to be a constant menace, then drove into the box from the right and forced Mellor into a useful save to keep out his rising angled effort.

Adam Connolly and Ross Stearn came on for Joe Burnell and Reid respectively as City went in search of the winner. Despite these substitutions, it was The Fleet who looked the more likely to force a telling breakthrough. The unmarked Bricknell nodded over the crossbar from close range on 82 minutes, but his blushes were spared by an offside flag, and Mellor did well to hold a stinging shot from Michael West.

There were a couple of moments of concern in the Ebbsfleet defence in the final few minutes. Firstly, Anthony Acheampong almost deflected a searching Ball cross into his own net, and then Noah Keats could only direct his shot from 20 yards straight at Preston.

This was another encouraging performance from City, and they more than matched their opponents for long periods of the game. Whilst it could be argued that Ebbsfleet showed only occasional signs of the ability suggested by their lofty league position, credit must be given to the hosts for their overall organisation that restricted them to very few clear goal scoring opportunities. In summary, a draw was probably the fairest outcome for a very keenly contested and enjoyable match.

BATH CITY: Jason Mellor, Sekani Simpson, Dan Ball, Andy Gallinagh, Phil Walsh, Noah Keats, Chris Allen, Joe Burnell (Adam Connolly 79), Dave Pratt, Andy Watkins, Jake Reid (Ross Stearn 81). Subs not used: Josh Low, Dan Bowman, Scott Wilson.
EBBSFLEET UNITED: Preston Edwards, Joe Howe, Aiden Palmer, Daryl McMahon (Michael West 73), Anthony Acheampong, Osei Sankofa, Alex Osborn (Chris Sessegnon 90), Dean Rance, Ben May (Michael Corcoran 53), Billy Bricknell, Anthony Cook. Subs not used: Brandon Hall, Yado Mambo.
REFEREE: Mr. Mark Pottage (Gillingham)
ATT: 483
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Post by comrade powell Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:47 am

Splendid summary with excellent use of adjectives...
Rasping, telling, raking

Keep it up!

(Ebbsfleet must have the best names in the league!)
comrade powell
comrade powell

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Post by BenE Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:30 am

I don't think the substitutions were an effort to search for the winner. Both Burnell and Reid were knackered.

Fair play to Burnell - I think he was the catalist for the improved performance. Both Keats and Allen looked superior and my guess is that he was giving them guidance and organisation.

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