Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

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Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

Post by Kelston Koppite on Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:17 pm

Bath City rescued a point with a late equaliser in a drab Boxing Day encounter with Hungerford Town at Twerton Park. The game, which was largely a war of midfield attrition and rarely rose above mediocre status, finally burst into life in its latter stages but, perhaps fittingly, neither side was able to find a decisive strike.

The first half was almost a non-event, with City unable to find their passing game, and Hungerford’s long ball tactics proving fruitless. Andy Watkins twice tried his luck from outside the area inside the first ten minutes but, on each occasion, his efforts suffered the same fate as they passed harmlessly wide of the near post.

The hosts did, however, come close to opening the scoring on 14 minutes following George Rigg’s cross in from the right. Marvin Morgan laid the ball into Frankie Artus’ path, and the midfielder’s volley from the edge of the box flew just over George Legg’s crossbar.

The Crusaders gradually came more into proceedings and harried the home side whenever they were in possession, but it took until the half hour mark before they mustered their first goal scoring attempt when Harry Goodger headed well over the bar following a corner from the right. They came closest to finding an opening goal in the 35th minute when Nat Jarvis helped on a free kick which had been played into the City box, forcing Max O’Leary into a useful diving save. Three minutes later, the lunging Goodger just failed to reach a cross into the danger area by Luke Williams.

Town began the second half still in the ascendancy, albeit marginally, and Goodger’s cross from the left in the 46th minute struck the outside of the post, the referee Mr. Savvas Yianni, awarding a corner kick much to the astonishment and chagrin of the home side. Fortunately, this eventually came to nothing as the official spotted an infringement by an attacker.

A free kick into the City box in the 57th minute found its way to Jon Boardman, whose close range shot was blocked by O’Leary and, at the other end, Nick McCootie found some space 25 yards from goal, but his wayward shot disappeared into the murky depths of Twerton beyond the Bristol End terracing.

Shaquille Hunter replaced Billy Murphy in the 59th minute as Gary Owers sought an improvement in his side’s attacking ability, but it was Hungerford who continued to pose the greater threat. James Clark’s curling free kick was narrowly wide of the far post as it found its way through a crowded goalmouth and, on 69 minutes, the visitors took the lead in scruffy circumstances that befitted the game. A free kick into the area was nodded on to the back of Boardman’s head by Chas Hemmings, with the ball then looping over O’Leary and into the corner of the net.

The setback seemed to finally stir City into action and, within seven minutes, they found an equaliser. McCootie showed commendable persistence out wide on the right as he powered towards the by-line, where he pulled the ball into Watkins’ path, and the striker expertly side footed his shot into the far corner of the net for his third goal in two outings.

The game now suddenly sparked into life with both sides seeking a winning goal. Rhys Tyler’s cross from the right was met with substitute Stefan Brown’s near post header, which found the outside of the side netting. In the 82nd minute, McCootie again created an opening for Watkins but, this time, Legg pulled off an excellent diving save at his near post to turn the rising shot behind for a corner. The resulting corner flew across the face of the goal with Morgan unable to direct his flicked header on target.

Artus clipped a free kick towards goal on 83 minutes, but Hemmings could only divert the ball over Legg’s crossbar, and the game’s major flashpoint arrived three minutes later. Watkins was racing down the inside right channel towards the penalty area when he was unceremoniously upended by a reckless and badly mistimed challenge by Chippenham Town ‘old boy’ Ian Herring. This heralded a melee of substantial proportions which saw Morgan cautioned, Artus lucky not to be sanctioned for pushing an opponent to the ground, and Herring somehow escaping with only a yellow card.

City had one more opportunity to take all three points as the game entered stoppage time, but Morgan headed over the bar from Watkins’ right wing cross, and the final chance fell to Manny Williams whose low shot was comfortably gathered by O’Leary.

For the most part, this match failed to provide any measure of entertainment for the 798 in attendance, with both sides cancelling each other out for long spells. The final quarter of an hour saw the game open up and, in the end, City probably had the better chances. However, it is difficult to argue that either side deserved to win on the day, and a draw was therefore probably about the right outcome. The teams will do battle again on New Year’s Day at Bulpit Lane and another closely contested 90 minutes can be expected.

Bath City: Max O'Leary; George Rigg, Jack Batten, Axel Andresson, Miles Welch-Hayes; Chas Hemmings, Billy Murphy (Shaquille Hunter 59), Frankie Artus, Nick McCootie, Marvin Morgan, Andy Watkins. Subs not used: Naby Diallo, Sekani Simpson, Josh Hutchinson, Lee Marshall.

Hungerford Town: George Legg; Rhys Tyler, Mike Jones, Jon Boardman, Matt Day, Luke Williams, James Clark, Ian Herring, Nat Jarvis (Manny Williams 63), Harry Goodger (Stefan Brown 63), Louie Soares (Alan O'Brien 63). Subs not used: Nicholas Bignall, Scott Rees.

Referee: Mr. Savvas Yianni.

Attendance: 798.

Kelston Koppite

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Re: Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

Post by BenE on Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:29 am

Yes your last sentence sounds ominous.
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Re: Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

Post by Kelston Koppite on Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:42 am

BenE wrote:Yes your last sentence sounds ominous.

Sorry BenE!

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Re: Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

Post by comrade powell on Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:55 am

There are still some seats left on the coach, Benny. Shall I tell Bas to put you down for one?!
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Re: Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:26 am

These reports just get better and better. "Nick McCootie found some space 25 yards from goal, but his wayward shot disappeared into the murky depths of Twerton beyond the Bristol End terracing."  Koppite should go for poetry now! I'm disappointed that he didn't mention the dog under the Bristol end terracing.

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Re: Bath City (0)1 Hungerford Town (0)1

Post by BenE on Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:42 am

Kelston Koppite wrote:
BenE wrote:Yes your last sentence sounds ominous.

Sorry BenE!

but apt. we don't perform very well against these physical sides and playing Marvin and Nick up front to match them just plays into their hands. we would be better off with some trickery up front for the next game -say Hunter and Hutchinson. Get them turning those big lumbering centre halves.

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