Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

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Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:18 pm

Bath City signed off their 2016/17 National League South season with a comfortable victory over Welling United. Despite a spectacular goal from the visitors 12 minutes from time, two first half strikes from Nick McCootie and Andy Watkins proved sufficient to send Welling back to Kent without reward.

City began the game brightly and McCootie saw his firm half volley from the edge of the box fly over the crossbar in the 2nd minute. Four minutes later Naby Diallo found Marvin Morgan 20 yards from goal and the striker cleverly made space for himself before firing narrowly over the target.

Welling gradually worked their way into the match with Rhys Murrell-Williamson twice having shots at Max O’Leary’s goal. Firstly, his 12th minute free kick from wide on the right drifted over the bar, and then his low effort from distance bounced awkwardly in front of the City custodian, who gathered at the second attempt.

The Romans took a deserved lead on 18 minutes when Watkins released McCootie with a deft through ball. The forward cut inside from the left and, as United keeper Chris Lewington tried to narrow the angle, drilled his shot into the top corner of the net with aplomb.

The home side continued to hold the upper hand and their lead was doubled after 25 minutes. Diallo did well to find Miles Welch-Hayes on the left-hand side of the box, and the full-back clipped the ball over the advancing Lewington. The unmarked Watkins reacted the quickest to roll the ball into the unguarded net from 6 yards.

Frankie Artus, who was having an influential game in midfield, was fouled on the edge of the Welling box in the 29th minute, and the resulting free kick by Axel Andresson was superbly pushed round the foot of the post by the unsighted Lewington.

The visitors responded with a shot from Tyrone Marsh that was well wide and, four minutes before the break, Alex Cathline’s scuffed effort from 20 yards was easily fielded by O’Leary.

The second period saw City remain largely in the ascendancy, and Watkins almost added to the scoreline on 48 minutes. The ball was allowed to bounce on the edge of the United area and the frontman cleverly lifted it over Lewington with the back of his heel. However, the keeper recovered in the nick of time to pouch the ball on the goalline.

Matt Fish drove a shot wide of O’Leary’s post from the edge of the box following a partially cleared freekick, but the away side were unable to put the City defence under any real pressure.

The game entered a spell of midfield stalemate as City were content to sit on their lead and Welling were struggling to find any forward momentum. Chas Hemmings replaced McCootie in the 59th minute as Gary Owers switched the formation to a three-man defence with two wing backs.

Good work by Morgan presented a shooting opportunity to Billy Murphy on 70 minutes, but he curled the ball wide of the far post from inside the area. Watkins then nipped in to intercept a poor back pass, pushed the ball beyond Lewington, but was foiled by a timely challenge from former Cityman Phil Walsh.

Welling found a lifeline 12 minutes from time following a foul by Artus that cost him a caution. Sam Hatton stepped up to take the freekick fully 30 yards from goal, and unleashed a stunningly spectacular rising shot that ripped into the top corner of the net, giving O’Leary absolutely no chance. It is difficult to believe that there has been a better struck goal at Twerton Park since the days of the legendary and much revered Charlie Fleming.

In the 82nd minute, Josh Hutchinson came on for Morgan, and Diallo was replaced by Club skipper Dan Ball, who was making his first appearance since an injury sustained against the same opposition back in December.

Murrell-Williamson blazed high over O’Leary’s crossbar from the edge of the box with four minutes left on the clock but, as City’s defence stood firm, United were unable to create any clear-cut chances as they pushed forward in search of an unlikely draw.

Indeed, it was the hosts who came the closest to adding to the score, but Murphy shot straight at Lewington when well placed, and then the keeper made a good diving save to keep out Watkins’ shot after Ball had crossed from the left.

This was a fully deserved victory for City, and they received a generous ovation from the home faithful, not only for today’s performance, but also for their efforts this season. Certainly, their final league placing of 9th shows that good progress has been made with a largely youthful and inexperienced squad, and there is no reason why next season cannot be anticipated with optimism. For now, this afternoon’s win can be enjoyed, and there will be very few of those in attendance who will forget Sam Hatton’s truly astonishing strike.

Bath City: Max O'Leary; George Rigg, Jack Batten, Axel Andresson, Miles Welch-Hayes; Nick McCootie (Chas Hemmings 59), Frankie Artus, Billy Murphy, Andy Watkins, Naby Diallo (Dan Ball 82); Marvin Morgan (Josh Hutchinson 82).
Subs not used: Shaquille Hunter, Sekani Simpson.
Welling United: Chris Lewington; Matt Fish, Jordan Brown (Tom Richards 56), Ali Fuseini, Phil Walsh, Dean Leacock, Tyrone Marsh (Dan Walker 33), Sam Hatton, Alex Cathline, Pierre Joseph-Dubois (Rickie Hayles 33), Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
Subs not used: Jamie Slabber, Harry Crawford.
Referee: Mr. Gary Parsons.
Attendance: 710.

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Re: Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

Post by the demon headmaster on Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:49 pm

Aplomb!

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Re: Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

Post by the demon headmaster on Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:05 pm

Reasons for optimism I think. We have scored some cracking goals recently, based on skilful and attractive interplay. The team spirit seems really good and personal performance levels have improved greatly. All this is a backdrop to a drift of supporters back to the fold. Crowds seem to have recovered it seems to me. It was another accomplished performance again today.

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Re: Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

Post by 2weirdtown on Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:44 pm

Encouraging attendance for a 'meaningless' end of season fixture. Looking forward to seeing it on Romans on Demand
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Re: Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

Post by Beau Nash on Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:28 pm

Many thanks to KK for his detailed and entertaining reports this season that are used elsewhere. cheers Hope you get royalty payments. king
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Re: Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

Post by BenE on Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:39 pm

Yes always top notch reports. Professional reporters can only dream of being able to focus on the game so well rather than the personalities and 'stories'.
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Re: Bath City (2)2 Welling United (0)1

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