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

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

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:02 pm

Bath City and Welling United had to settle for a share of the spoils from an underwhelming encounter at Twerton Park. A goal midway through the second half by substitute Jamie Lucas served to cancel out the visitors’ lead that they had held since the 20th minute.

Welling had the better of the opening exchanges as City struggled to keep possession of the ball. Bradley Goldberg produced the first effort on goal in the 4th minute, but Luke Southwood was able to smother comfortably. Three minutes later Tom Bradbrook directed his flicked header wide of Southwood’s post following a long free kick into the home area.

City were only able to respond with a gentle header from Andy Watkins on 9 minutes that United keeper Dillon Barnes caught without issue under his crossbar. Marvin Morgan then turned inside the Welling box, but his angled shot was straight at Barnes.

The visitors were generally controlling the midfield areas and Bradbrook’s low shot following a corner was parried by Southwood, the young keeper doing well to gather at the second attempt under considerable pressure from two attackers. The home goal was, however, breached in the 20th minute when another corner was only partially cleared, and Tom Phipps’ header looped tamely into the far corner of the net.

The hosts had an escape shortly afterwards when Bradbrook burst through on goal, only to be denied by Southwood who made an excellent blocking save at his feet. There was a repeat performance on 32 minutes, when a mix up in the City defence saw substitute Lloyd Macklin race goalwards before his progress was halted by another excellent save by the advancing Bath custodian.

The Romans began to find some forward momentum as the half moved towards its conclusion, and they should have been level on 38 minutes. Nick McCootie delivered a deep cross into the United box, but the unmarked Watkins could only crash his header against the far post. George Rigg’s half volley from outside the area flew over Barnes’ crossbar and, deep into stoppage time, Watkins’ rasping drive from 15 yards met the same fate.

Gary Owers rang the changes ahead of the restart as he sought more cohesion from his side. Miles Welch-Hayes and Jamie Lucas replaced Dan Ball and Nat Jarvis respectively and this resulted in an improvement, albeit marginal. The first opening of the half fell to McCootie in the 53rd minute, but his scuffed shot from 20 yards was easily collected by Barnes.

Welling continued to pose a threat going forward and Southwood made a smart save low down to keep put Jack Jebb’s curling free kick.

With the final throw of the dice, Jack Compton was introduced to the action on the hour mark at the expense of Watkins, and City began to put the Wings defence under a modicum of pressure. Ryan Case tried his luck from distance on 67 minutes and, whilst his shot was well wide of the target, his side were back on terms within 60 seconds. McCootie’s initial cross from the right was headed back across the face of goal by Compton, and the same player drilled in another low cross that was swept into the net by Lucas from the edge of the 6-yard box.

The hosts were now the slightly better of the two teams, although Welling had their full share of possession and pressed forward whenever the chance arose. Morgan engineered a presentable opening for Case with ten minutes left on the clock, but the midfielder wastefully lifted his effort high over the crossbar. At the other end, Joe Healy volleyed well wide from outside the home box, but City countered with a cross from Compton that resulted in Case’s audacious back-heel being hacked off the goal-line by a United defender.

Compton’s free kick on 90 minutes was deflected over the bar off the Welling defensive wall and, from the resulting corner kick, a goalbound flick was again cleared off the line.

Despite five added minutes and some late pressure, largely due to a flurry of dubious free kick awards in Welling’s favour by the bizarrely erratic referee, Mr. Jason Richardson, City held out resolutely for their point.

This was far from a classic but, on reflection, will probably be regarded as a point gained by The Romans, particularly having trailed for much of the game. Welling could have been out of sight by the interval but for the heroics performed by Southwood, but City did improve as time progressed. It can only be hoped that Gary Owers’ men can find more rhythm and incision for the visit of Oxford City on Tuesday evening as the games continue to come thick and fast.

Bath City: Luke Southwood; Ryan Case, Jack Batten, Darren Jones, Dan Ball (Miles Welch-Hayes 45 mins); Nick McCootie, George Rigg, Anthony Straker, Andy Watkins (Jack Compton 60 mins); Nat Jarvis (Jamie Lucas 45 mins), Marvin Morgan. Subs not used: Billy Murphy, JoJo Wollacott.

Welling United: Dillon Barnes; Connor Dymond, Ben Jefford, Tom Phipps, Jamie Coyle, Jack Parkinson, Jeffrey Monakana (Christie Pattison 78 mins), Joe Healy, Tom Bradbrook (Jack Jebb 36 mins), Bradley Goldberg, (Lloyd Macklin 28 mins) Christian Nanetti. Subs not used: Sean Francis, Archie Johnson.

Ref: Mr. Jason Richardson

Att: 542

Kelston Koppite

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