Dartford (1)2 Bath City (0)0

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Dartford (1)2 Bath City (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:19 am

Bath City suffered defeat at the hands of high flying Dartford at sunny Princes Park.  A match that had started promisingly for the visitors hinged on a highly debatable penalty decision midway through the first half.  This served to hand an advantage to the Kent outfit that ultimately proved too great a setback for Gary Owers’ men to overcome.

The opening exchanges saw the Somerset side pin their hosts back inside their own half and home keeper Deren Ibraham was required to perform some acrobatics to turn Andy Watkins’ dipping cross from the left over his crossbar in the 10th minute.  Billy Murphy’s resulting corner kick was headed agonisingly over the angle of post and bar by Chas Hemmings with Ibrahim routed.

City continued with their lively start and had a presentable opportunity on 19 minutes when Rigg crossed from the right picking out the unmarked Shawn McCoulsky, but the striker failed to make good contact from inside the box, and the chance was lost.

The whole momentum of the game changed in the 21st minute when the Dartford right winger, Ryan Hayes, cut inside from the right flank and, after pushing the ball past Miles Welch-Hayes, ran into the defender.  Unfortunately for the visitors, the referee adjudged that an offence had been committed by the full-back and pointed to the spot, with what can only be described as a desperately poor decision.

Elliot Bradbrook took full toll by thrashing the ball into the top corner of the net, giving Max O’Leary no chance to extend his recent run of heroics from penalty kicks.

City were rocked back on their heels by this cruel setback and Dartford began to take control of possession.  O’Leary needed to be alert to keep out Ronnie Vint’s long range volley and his defence remained resolute in repelling a number of home attacks as the pressure began to increase.

The visitors remained dangerous on the break, however, and Vint was penalised for a push on Marvin Morgan in the 42nd minute, conceding a free kick in a dangerous central position 25 yards from goal. Hemmings’ effort, whilst beating the defensive wall, flew straight in the grateful arms of Ibrahim.

Dartford had a golden chance to increase their lead on the stroke of half time when Duane Ofori-Acheampong burst through on goal, but O’Leary did exceptionally well to close the angle and produce a blocking save at the forward’s feet.

The second period began with Ofori-Acheampong winning possession deep in the City half and then feeding Hayes, whose stinging effort was beaten away by O’Leary.  Alex Brown then fired wide of the target from outside the box after a cross from Hayes had been only partially cleared.

Bath continued to push forward in search on an equaliser and Murphy’s 52nd minute corner was met by Frankie Artus, but his header lacked the power to trouble Ibrahim.  A minute later Murphy slipped the ball through to McCoulsky, but Ibrahim came of his line quickly to make a smart save at the striker’s feet.  The goalkeeper then made a comfortable catch in response to McCoulsky’s looping header.

Thereafter, the home side began to dominate territorially, and Shaquille Hunter was introduced at the expense of Watkins on 63 minutes as City looked for a way back into the game.

Hayes was again causing trouble down the right and, when he drove in a low cross to substitute Andy Pugh, O’Leary made an outstanding save to repel his near post effort.  The visitors responded with a cross from the left by Welch-Hayes in the 70th minute, but Hunter’s header was wide of the near post.

Fervent appeals for another penalty were waved away when Ofori-Acheampong went down in the box, and Tom Wynter then fired a shot wide from 20 yards out.  The game was effectively wrapped up on 76 minutes when Hayes delivered a cross from the right, and Ofori-Acheampong scored with a stooping header from close range despite O’Leary getting a hand to the ball.

With seven minutes left on the clock, Hayes saw his a goalbound shot blocked by a defender, allowing O’Leary to grab the loose ball, but the hosts were now content to sit on their lead. Consequently, City found some forward momentum in the latter stages, and Hunter had a shot blocked by Vint after the ball had run loose inside the home box. The final chance fell to McCoulsky, who headed wide from a Murphy corner in the closing minute.

In the end, City were well beaten by a strong Dartford side who deserved their win, playing some decent football at times, and posing a particular treat down the right through Hayes.  Despite this, the visitors were always in the game until the second goal arrived, and they caused the home side some problems with their pacey forward breaks, alas without ever seriously threatening to score.  Certainly, the pivotal point of the match was the penalty award and, on another day, the outcome may well have been different.


Dartford:  Deren Ibrahim, Keaton Wood, Tom Wynter, Tom Bonner, Ronnie Vint, Alex Brown, Ryan Hayes, Elliot Bradbrook, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Lee Noble, Luke Wanadio.  Subs; Andy Pugh, Tom Murphy, Ben Francis, Danny Harris, Temi Eweka.

Bath City:  Max O’Leary, George Rigg, Miles Hayes-Welch, Jack Batten, Chas Hemmings, Frankie Artus, Andy Watkins (Shaquille Hunter 63), Billy Murphy, Nick McCootie, Marvin Morgan (Josh Hutchinson 79), Shawn McCoulsky.  Subs not used, Naby Diallo, Sekani Simpson, Lee Marshall

Attendance:  944

Kelston Koppite

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