Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

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Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:50 am

Bath City produced a solid and tenacious performance to earn an excellent point against much fancied Ebbsfleet United at blustery Stonebridge Road. Indeed, in the end, they could have returned to Somerset with all three points, but Andy Watkins was pulled back by Anthony Acheampong when he was clear through on goal with eleven minutes remaining, an action which saw the centre back make an enforced early exit.

The game commenced with the elements in the home side’s favour and City were immediately pushed on to the back foot. Ebbsfleet used the conditions well as they stretched the visitors’ defence with attacks down both flanks. As early as the 5th minute a presentable chance fell to Anthony Cook, but he hooked his far post shot over Jason Mellor’s crossbar following a deep cross into the box.

Matt Johnson found some space to run at the Bath rearguard on 10 minutes, but his well struck angled drive flew straight at Mellor. Ben Adelsbury then conceded a free kick 20 yards out, from which skipper Daryl McMahon’s firm free kick was again directed into the keeper’s midriff.

The hosts continued to enjoy the upper hand, and Dean Rance headed well wide of the target after reaching a long ball into the penalty area in the 16th minute.

Thereafter, City gradually came to terms with the adverse conditions and came more into the game. Chris Allen’s 19th minute free kick from outside the box forced home custodian Brandon Hall into a useful diving save and, when Ebbsfleet failed to clear the resulting corner, Ross Stearn fired wildly over the crossbar from 15 yards.

Frankie Artus was now beginning to pull the strings in midfield, and his free kick on 23 minutes was well held by Hall at his near post. Allen then swung in a corner from the left that was met with a glancing header by Dave Pratt, an effort that was repelled only by a combination of a defender’s knee on the line and the far post.

Ebbsfleet responded by re-establishing their authority on the game and City were again pushed back into their own territory. McMahon volleyed high over Mellor’s goal and deep into the car park beyond, but Charlie Sheringham was narrowly off target with a header on 37 minutes following an inviting cross from the left.

The home crowd thought their side had taken the lead a minute later, when another ball in from the left was met with a powerful downward header by Matt Godden, only for Mellor to make an outstanding diving save low down.

Five minutes before the break Pratt and Hall collided when challenging for a diagonal cross into the home box. Both players were fully committed in their endeavours to attack the ball, but the referee Mr. Andrew Laver saw fit to issue a ludicrously harsh yellow card to the City player.

The half ended with the home side in the ascendancy, and Godden’s vicious rising drive was expertly tipped over the bar by Mellor. The same home player nodded wide of the far post following a stoppage time cross from the left wing.

The second period continued in similar fashion with periods of pressure from both sides. Despite City now having the blustery wind in their favour, it was Ebbsfleet who had the better of the early exchanges. Mellor did well to hold a downward header from Kenny Clark when the defender rose highest to meet a corner kick in the 46th minute.

At the other end Allen turned adeptly 20 yards from goal, but curled his shot narrowly wide of the post and, on the hour mark, Artus’ deep corner found the head of Pat Keary beyond the far post, with Hall doing well to tip his effort over the bar to safety.

Play was becoming largely confined to a midfield battle as time wore on, with Chas Hemmings prominent in providing resolute protection for the City defence against a side who always looked play constructive football. However, the closest United came to breaking the deadlock was on 62 minutes when McMahon’s free kick from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide of the post by Dan Ball’s timely intervention.

Watkins came on for Pratt in the 70th minute, a change that was presumably primarily to prevent further sanction against Pratt, who had received a final warning from Mr. Laver in the presence of captain Andy Gallinagh following a challenge on Aiden Palmer.

Nonetheless, it was the introduction of Watkins that almost led to City finding a winning goal. The substitute latched on to Artus’ 79th minute through ball and, as he raced goalwards, he was hauled back by desperately pursuing Acheampong. With just Hall between Watkins and the goal, producing the red card was the most straightforward decision of the afternoon for the referee, and the central defender’s involvement was duly brought to a premature conclusion.

Stearn’s resulting free kick from 25 yards was well struck, and Hall could only parry it outwards into the path of Artus. The ball came back to the midfielder quickly, and he could only watch in anguish as his follow up shot flew narrowly over the bar.

The Ebbsfleet manager responded to his side’s numerical disadvantage with the hugely unpopular withdrawal of Godden in exchange for defender Shane Huke. However, his side responded in a spirited manner and put the City defence under pressure in the remaining minutes.

Bath had one more opportunity to snatch the points when Stearn was fouled on the edge of the home box inside stoppage time, but Artus’ free kick was driven straight into the defensive wall, and the chance was lost.

This was a very hard fought point for City in a match that was always interesting and entertaining despite the difficult conditions. Both sides played some good football at times with periods of dominance exchanged, and a draw was a fair outcome. This was certainly a determined performance by the visitors, and they must take great credit for standing toe-to-toe with a side that would have risen to the top of the Vanarama Conference South table had they finished victorious.


Ebbsfleet United: Brandon Hall, Joe Howe, Aiden Palmer, Daryl McMahon, Anthony Acheampong, Kenny Clark, Matt Johnson (Brendon Kiernan 70), Dean Rance, Charlie Sheringham, Matt Godden (Shane Huke 81), Anthony Cook. Subs not used: Preston Edwards, Michael Corcoran, Billy Bricknell.

Bath City: Jason Mellor, Sekani Simpson, Dan Ball, Pat Keary, Andy Gallinagh, Ben Adelsbury (Ashley Kington 86), Ross Stearn, Frankie Artus, Dave Pratt (Andy Watkins 70), Chris Allen, Chas Hemmings. Subs not used: Pierce Mitchell, Louis Perry, Jim Rollo.
Referee: Andy Laver.

Attendance: 893.

Kelston Koppite

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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by BenE on Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:12 pm

sounds like an entertaining game in which all the players put in another good shift.

Well done to the lads after that humiliation.
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by comrade powell on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:03 pm

Particularly pleasing that we have kept 2 clean sheets since Thurrock. The feeble St Albans were ideal opponents last week, but I feared that the away form was slipping, following the last 2 away performances. Perhaps the East Thurrock disaster will be followed by a similar unbeaten run to the one which came after a woeful performance at Hornchurch a couple of years ago...
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by Eddie Hitler on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:47 pm

Credit where it's due. Well done to all involved.
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by bonzodog on Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:02 pm

Must be all down to the management

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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by BenE on Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:27 pm

motivational speeches
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by Peteboa on Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:21 pm

Very good point indeed away at Ebbsfleet. Not quite sure how we kept 2 clean sheets after east thurrock. I am looking forward to seeing Artus in action, sounds like he could be the key man this season?
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by 2weirdtown on Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:01 pm

Reading this and the Chronicle report I note we still have this habit of starting slowly. It seems we could easily have gone behind early on.
I'd be interested to hear what people thought of Hemmings, who was named star man by the Chronicle.
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:50 pm

From the radio, he was actually the man covering the back four and breaking up the opposition's play, which is different from what he has done before in midfield.
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by Kelston Koppite on Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:45 pm

Artus had a very good first half but faded a bit after the break, and Hemmings was excellent in the second half playing just in front of the back four. It would be difficult to pick out a man of the match but I thought Pat Keary was outstanding at the heart of the defence throughout the game.

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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:02 pm

I opted for Artus but was difficult to choose really. As Adie Britton said, it was a good team performance.
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Re: Ebbsfleet United (0)0 Bath City (0)0

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