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Bodmin Town (0)1 Bath City (1)2

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Bodmin Town (0)1  Bath City (1)2 Empty Bodmin Town (0)1 Bath City (1)2

Post by Kelston Koppite Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:27 am

Bath City progressed to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, but not before enduring a stern test at the hands of South West Peninsula League side Bodmin Town. A spectacular goal late in the game from Frankie Artus proved to be ultimate difference between the teams and effectively extinguished the challenge of the Cornishmen.

The game was played in warm September sunshine at the pleasant surroundings of Priory Park, a well-maintained ground offering spacious grass banks behind both goals, a practice football pitch down one side and, opposite, a small stand housing the dressing rooms.

City enjoyed the better of the opening period, and the home defense was put under pressure in the very first minute, when Andy Watkins’ cross from the right was headed narrowly wide of his own far post by Tom Chambers. Four minutes later Dave Pratt flicked the ball on to Watkins, who raced into the box only for his shot to be deflected behind for a corner.

City continued to press forward and Kevin Nicholson’s 10th minute corner was met with a firm header by Dan Ball, but veteran goalkeeper Kevin Miller held on securely beneath his crossbar.

The hosts were restricted to occasional forays into City territory and, after 19 minutes, they broke away following the clearance of a Bath corner. In the event, Sam Matthews’ shot was partially blocked with ball deflecting wide of the target, the award of a goal kick causing an element of consternation amongst the home ranks.

Bodmin were beginning to grow in confidence, and Ben Joyce sliced a shot wide of Steve Phillips’ goal from the edge of the box following another raid. The same player’s free kick on 27 minutes was deflected wide, as City were being forced back into their own territory for the first time in the match.

The National League South side upped their game again, and Jon Davies was upended 20 yards from goal as he broke towards the Town box, earning Lee Bevan a yellow card in the process. Nicholson delivered a firm low free kick that Miller could only parry but, with the assistance of Chambers, the keeper recovered quickly enough to force Pratt’s follow up effort round the post for a corner.

City earned a number of corners, and finally made their superiority tell on 36 minutes, when Andy Gallinagh sent over a steepling cross to the far post, where Artus rose the highest to head against the underside of the bar. The ball appeared to cross the goal-line as it dropped, but a frantic scramble concluded with a defender bundling the ball over his own line, and the assistant’s flag was eventually raised to signal a goal. It was unclear who should be credited with the score, but Artus will undoubtedly stake a strong claim. It is, however, accurate to describe the whole episode as messy.

The remainder of the half passed without notable incident with City maintaining their upper hand, and the interval was reached with the visitors feeling that their lead should have been more comfortable. Indeed, the hosts emerged after the break playing the best football of the game, as they pushed City deep into their own half, and seriously stretched their defence.

However, it was Bath who continued to create the better chances on the break. Davies tried his luck from outside the box with a curling effort that was easily held by Miller. Pratt then broke away down the right and picked out Watkins with his low pass, but the striker could only sweep his shot straight at Miller.

Bodmin continued to zip the ball about and, following another flowing move, a firm drive by Luke Rundle forced Phillips to push the ball awkwardly round his post at the expense of a corner.

There was a certain air of inevitability when the equaliser arrived in the 53rd minute. With the City defence again under pressure, a Matthews shot was blocked into the path of Adam Carter, and the Chas Hemmings look-a-like drove a crisp shot into the corner of the net beyond Phillips’ despairing dive.

Town now sensed that an upset was on the cards as they continued to dominate possession. Another excellent move ended with the ball reaching Steve Bowker in a good position, but he fired wastefully over the crossbar.

Watkins was replaced by Nick McCootie on 58 minutes and, suddenly, the momentum of the game changed. Within two minutes of his introduction, the substitute used his pace and strength to burst through towards goal, but his low shot was blocked by Miller’s legs.

Chris Allen came on for Ben Adelsbury as Lee Howells sought to regain control of the midfield areas and, slowly, City began to reassert their earlier dominance. Pratt drove a rising shot over the crossbar from a tight angle, but the forward proceeded to spurn two glorious opportunities to restore his side’s lead. Firstly, after 74 minutes, he somehow contrived to slide the ball wide of the far post from almost point blank range following Ashley Kington’s inviting low cross from the right and then, three minutes later, he headed wide of the other post after meeting Nicholson’s searching cross from the left.

Dan Bowman replaced Davies on 81 minutes, and was involved in the move that created the winning goal with seven minutes left on the clock. Bowman’s ball found McCootie, who subsequently played a square pass to Artus 25 yards from goal. The midfielder took the ball in his stride, and unleashed an unstoppable dipping shot into the top corner of the net beyond the static Miller.

Despite Bodmin desperately trying to respond in the minutes remaining, the Somerset side held out without any further alarm. The final chance fell to Bowman on 87 minute when a cross into the home box was only partially cleared. The substitute lifted his effort high over the bar from 12 yards, but his blushes were spared as the referee awarded a free kick for a foul on the goalkeeper.

There is no doubt that this was a tough encounter for City. Whilst their hosts ply their trade at a much lower level, this was certainly belied by their general play, and their spirited assault in the opening stages of the second half caused more than a little worry for the visitors. However, Bath’s greater strength and, at times, quality proved just about sufficient to see them through safely to the next round. What is not in question is that Frankie’s Artus’ strike for the second goal was worthy of winning any game.

Bodmin Town: Kevin Miller, Jordan Dingle, Lee Bevan, Tom Chambers, Sam Hillson, Ben Joyce, Sam Matthews, Shane Krac, Adam Carter, Steve Bowker (Ryan Richards, 69), Luke Rundle. Subs not used: Darren Hicks, Nick Hurst, Shane Jewell, Darren Gilbert.

Bath City: Steve Phillips, Andy Gallinagh, Kevin Nicholson, Matt Coupe, Dan Ball, Ben Adelsbury (Chris Allen, 63), Ashley Kington, Frankie Artus, Dave Pratt, Andy Watkins (Nick McCootie, 58), Jon Davies (Dan Bowman, 81). Subs not used: Josh Barrington, Chas Hemmings, Sekani Simpson, Danny Barrow.

Referee: Marc Whaley

Attendance: 302
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

Posts : 254
Join date : 2014-02-23

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