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Bishop's Stortford (2)3 Bath City (2)2

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Post by Kelston Koppite Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:38 am

Bath City suffered defeat at the hands of a lively Bishop’s Stortford side in a highly entertaining encounter at The ProKit UK Stadium. The game played in tricky underfoot conditions could have gone either way, but a goal 12 minutes from time proved decisive in the hosts’ favour.

The match began during a colossal storm that made the already sodden pitch extremely treacherous with City players, in particular, struggling to keep their feet at times. Indeed, it was an initial slip by goalkeeper Steve Phillips that indirectly led to an opening goal for the home team inside the first 3 minutes. Kieron Bywater played the loose ball to Morgan Ferrier on the left side of the box, and the forward neatly slipped the ball into the far corner beyond the advancing shot-stopper.

It could have been worse for the visitors four minutes later, but Phillips pulled off a brilliant flying save to tip Bywater’s curling shot over the crossbar, and Ferrier fired wastefully wide from the resulting corner.

It was all Stortford at this stage, and City were desperately clinging on to minimise the arrears, with Anthony Church nodding just wide of the far post following a 7th minute cross from the left.

Suddenly, on the quarter hour mark, the rain relented and the sun appeared, and this resulted in an upturn in Bath’s fortunes. In the 17th minute, Nick McCootie flicked a high ball through to Dave Pratt who had a clear run at goal, and the striker confidently found the target from the edge of the box despite the efforts of goalkeeper Tom Lovelock, whose boot only served to clip the ball into the roof of the net.

Four minutes later and City were in front following good work by Kaid Mohamed on the left. He played the ball inside to Ben Adelsbury, whose under hit shot was cleverly diverted past the wrong-footed Lovelock by Pratt.

The visitors were now playing some excellent football and looking dangerous every time that they attacked, but they were unable to force home their advantage with more goals. The nearest they came was on 28 minutes when Ashley Kington, with great determination, won the ball on the edge of the Stortford area and found Andy Gallinagh in space, but the skipper drilled his angled shot into the outside of the side netting.

As the half wore on, the hosts came more into the game again, and began to threaten an equaliser. After 34 minutes, Ferrier found himself though on goal but dragged his shot wide of the far post, and strong home penalty appeals were waved away by the referee, Mr. Andrew Laver, when Johnny Herd claimed to have been pushed to the ground inside a crowded box.

City were now being put under considerable pressure, and Elliott Buchanan shot straight at Phillips from 20 yards in the 40th minute. There was a certain air of inevitability when parity was restored right on the stroke of half time, albeit that this involved a huge stroke of luck. Alli Abdullahi tried his luck from distance but his miscued shot was going nowhere, until a huge deflection off Buchanan took the ball high into the opposite corner of the net with Phillips helpless to intervene.

Going in with the scores level was possibly slightly harsh on City, although both sides had played some free flowing attacking football at various stages. The second period continued much in the same manner, but Bath could not quite rediscover their earlier momentum, and it was The Blues who threatened first. Buchanan’s cross from the right found Bywater, only for midfielder to head just over the bar.

Mohamed put Pratt through on goal on 56 minutes, but the forward’s shot was blocked behind by Ian Gayle’s timely tackle. It was the home side, however, who looked the more likely to add to the scoreline, as they attacked the City goal with some slick passing movement. Abdullahi saw his goal bound shot deflected wide for a corner after he met Church’s cross from the right on the hour mark, as the away goal came under increasing pressure.

Lee Howells responded by bringing on Andy Watkins for the struggling McCootie and, suddenly, Bath began to threaten. Gallinagh’s curling effort from 25 yards dipped narrowly over Lovelock’s crossbar, and Kington was even closer in the 65th minute when his rasping rising drive from the edge of the area was just too high.

Despite Stortford’s continued forward probing, the visitors were desperately unlucky not to take the lead on 76 minutes. Dan Bowman produced an excellent run down the right and found Pratt in space out on the wing. The striker’s cross picked out the onrushing Mohamed, whose powerful header from 6 yards out was somehow deflected wide by a defender.

Two minutes later, the decisive blow was struck and, again there was an element of good fortune for the hosts. Phillips produced an outstanding save to keep out the initial shot from Matt Johnson following De’Reece Vanderhyde’s cross from the right, but the ball fell kindly to Ferrier who stabbed home his second of the afternoon from close range.

Thereafter, the game petered out as the heavy underfoot conditions finally took their toll, and Stortford were allowed to indulge in frustrating, but understandable, time-wasting tactics as they successfully ran down the clock.

This was a disappointing defeat for City, but was certainly a game that either side could have won. The Somerset outfit paid the price for not fully pressing home their advantage during the middle period of the first half, but can take heart from the attacking promise they showed throughout. Both defences looked a little uncertain at times, which is understandable given the conditions, but this ensured an open enjoyable game, the end result excepted.

Bishop's Stortford: Tom Lovelock, De’Reece Vanderhyde, Johnny Herd, Alli Abdullah, Christian Smith, Ian Gayle, Kieran Bywater, Anthony Church, Elliott Buchanan, Matt Johnson, Morgan Ferrier (Rowe 79) Subs not used: Frankie Merrifield, Josh Ekim, Chris M'Boungou, David Hutton.

Bath City: Steve Phillips, Dan Bowman, Andy Gallinagh, Matt Coupe, Dan Ball, Chas Hemmings (Ashley Yeoman 79), Ashley Kington, Ben Adelsbury, Dave Pratt, Nick McCootie (Andy Watkins 62) Kaid Mohamed. Subs not used: Sekani Simpson, Brad Williams, Miles John.

Referee: Mr. Andrew Laver.

Attendance: 322.
Kelston Koppite
Kelston Koppite

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Post by BenE Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:57 am

Thanks for that Kelston. Another fine report.

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Post by pete mac Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:38 pm

Sounds like a good match and signs that we can pick up points in coming weeks.

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Post by the demon headmaster Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:17 pm

"Four minutes later"?????? I thought we'd agreed it was 3? Otherwise another exemplary report, which certainly captures the end to end nature of the match.

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