Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

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Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Kelston Koppite on Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:44 am

Bath City’s remarkable start to the season continued when they recorded their fourth straight victory by overcoming the stern challenge of Maidenhead United at Twerton Park this evening. Goals from Frankie Artus and Matt Coupe eventually turned the tables on the visitors, who had taken the lead midway through the first period.

The game began in largely uninspiring fashion, with neither side able to consistently maintain possession. United created the first opening in the 2nd minute which saw Ryan Upward’s shot comfortably gathered by Steve Phillips between the City sticks.

The hosts produced momentary flashes of neat approach work, and former City loan keeper Carl Pentney had to clutch a looping header from Artus under his crossbar on 7 minutes.

It was the Berkshire side that were posing the greater threat going forward, and it was no surprise when they forged in front in the 23rd minute. Andy Gallinagh was penalised for a foul on the point of the penalty area, and the home defence was caught napping by a quickly taken free kick. Harry Pritchard played the ball into the danger area, and Ben Wright’s shot from 8 yards was deflected into the corner of the net beyond the wrong-footed Phillips.

The Magpies looked to drive home their advantage and, two minutes later, Pritchard’s well-struck shot from 25 yards was well saved by Phillips.

City were clearly rocked by their setback, and took a while to find any rhythm. They did, however, gradually find their way back into the game and began to put the United defence under pressure.

Nick McCootie turned cleverly 20 yards from goal but was well wide with his effort and, after 28 minutes, Jon Davies low drive was blocked by Pentney’s legs. On the half hour mark, the Maidenhead custodian held Ashley Kington’s rising shot under his bar, and then Davies’ goal-bound attempt was deflected behind for a corner.

Pentney made a wonderful diving save to repel Kington’s rasping shot on 38 minutes when a goal looked certain, but he could do nothing to prevent an equaliser three minutes before the break. The ball was bobbling around inside the away box, and Davies was upended as he tried to work some space for himself. The referee, Mr. Justin Amey from Dorset, took his time to consider his decision, but eventually pointed to the penalty spot. Artus stepped forward to crash the ball into the roof of the net via the underside of the crossbar, in the process ending City’s woeful run of misses from 12 yards.

City were suddenly in the ascendancy, and United were grateful to hear the half time whistle, but not before Chas Hemmings had headed wide of the far post from Kevin Nicholson’s inswinging corner.

The home side commenced the second period on the front foot, and Kington half-volleyed straight at Pentney from 18 yards after a neat knock down from Dave Pratt. Artus scuffed a shot from outside the box that was easily held by Pentney, as City’s early domination continued.

Thereafter followed a flurry of chances that saw Pratt’s shot clear the crossbar from the edge of the area after muscling his way through a challenge, and this was sandwiched by two efforts at the other end. Firstly, Dave Tarpey contrived to miss the target from 8 yards out after some close interplay with Wright, and then the latter was narrowly wide with a fierce free kick from distance, although Phillips appeared to have the situation calmly under control.

The balance of play was now fairly even with Artus firing wide from 20 yards following a partially cleared corner and, on the hour mark, Wright again went close for Maidenhead with a dipping free kick that just cleared Phillips’ bar.

The visitors gradually began to gain the upper hand in terms of possession and, for a prolonged spell, looked the more likely to add to the scoreline as City appeared to tire. Dean Inman nodded narrowly wide of the far post after a free kick from the right, and Lee Howells introduced Brad Williams at the expense of Artus on 70 minutes in an attempt to stem the flow.

Phillips produced a good save low down to keep out Upward’s firm shot from 18 yards. In an increasingly rare home attack, McCootie shot wide of Pentney’s post after turning adeptly, but it was the City goal that remained under pressure. James Mulley shot straight at Phillips from a useful position, and Josh Huggins dragged his effort across goal following a strong run into the home box.

The best opening for the visitors fell to Jake Reid with 11 minutes left on the clock when a pinpoint cross from the right picked him out unmarked in front of goal, but the ex-Cityman lifted his header tamely over the crossbar.

Andy Watkins came on for Davies after 80 minutes, and the substitute immediately injected some pace into game. He caused the United defence untold problems down the left flank and, once again, the balance and thrust of the game changed. The hosts were now swarming around the Maidenhead box in search of a winner, and the pressure finally told with three minutes of normal time remaining. Nicholson delivered a delicious cross into the box from the right, and Coupe was on hand to force the ball into the net from close range, sending the home faithful into raptures.

Despite nearly five minutes of added time, the closest United came to a response was a Huggins header that dropped over the bar following a corner from the right, and the final whistle heralded vociferous acclamation for the home side from the majority of the 648 present on the Twerton terraces.

This was certainly a hard fought three points for City, and they needed to display considerable resilience to keep a very useful and well-organised Maidenhead side at bay, particularly during the middle stages of the second half. The introduction of Watkins was pivotal as he re-energized the home side and provided much needed forward momentum in the final minutes against wearying defenders. United will, no doubt, feel that they deserved something from the game but missed their chances and, once again, City found a way to secure victory.

Bath City: Steve Phillips, Andy Gallinagh, Dan Ball, Matt Coupe, Kevin Nicholson, Chas Hemmings, Ashley Kington, Frankie Artus (Brad Williams 70), Jon Davies (Andy Watkins 79), Nick McCootie (Dan Bowman 89), Dave Pratt.
Subs not used: Chris Allen, Louis Perry.

Maidenhead United: Carl Pentney; Ryan Peters (Mark Nisbet 27), Harry Pritchard, Ryan Upward, Alan Massey, Dean Inman (Sam Barratt 86), Dave Tarpey, James Mulley, Jake Reid, Ben Wright (Rene Steer 72), Josh Huggins.
Subs not used: Gavin James, Kai Walters.

Referee: Justin Amey (Dorset).

Attendance: 648.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by the demon headmaster on Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:43 am

Excellent summary. I hope I didn't put you off; I've calmed down now. It was a tense affair and I agree that Watkins introduction was a game changer. On reflection he should have come on earlier, but it's always easy to be wise after the event.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Luton Roman on Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:29 am

Ah the ref from our play off win. Always welcome.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Mark Tanner on Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:26 am

Great to read, I was checking the score at work. No one knew why the guy stacking the shelves was jumping up and down twice in one night!

http://www.mtannersports.com/bath-city-maintain-100-winning-streak-aug-15/

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by BenE on Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:00 am

Good report as usual. Although Maidenhead were strong we created the better chances throughout and Pentney made a couple of crucial saves. You cannot say that about Phillips who was hardly tested.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by pete mac on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 am

Could Coupey be persuaded to delay going til Saturday evening. I am sure Georgia won't mind!

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:59 am

St Albans is a nice place for a holiday

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Steve Whites Missus on Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:54 pm

pete mac wrote:Could Coupey be persuaded to delay going til Saturday evening. I am sure Georgia won't mind!

Isn't that a war zone?

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by 2weirdtown on Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:09 pm

BenE wrote:Good report as usual. Although Maidenhead were strong we created the better chances throughout and Pentney made a couple of crucial saves. You cannot say that about Phillips who was hardly tested.

Can't agree with that. They missed an excellent chance in the second half, shooting wide when well placed. Also Reid's header over the bar really should have been the equaliser.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by SteveBradley on Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:24 pm

I thought their goal came against the run of play personally, and took the wind out of our sails for a good 10mins or more.

Great resilience by the team to fight their way back against a decent side. Two excellent reaction saves from their keeper in the first half as well.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by BenE on Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:50 pm

2weirdtown wrote:
BenE wrote:Good report as usual. Although Maidenhead were strong we created the better chances throughout and Pentney made a couple of crucial saves. You cannot say that about Phillips who was hardly tested.

Can't agree with that.  They missed an excellent chance in the second half, shooting wide when well placed.  Also Reid's header over the bar really should have been the equaliser.

ergo Phillips wasn't tested. Incidentally I was convinced Pentney got a hand to Dave Pratt's shot in the second half.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by the demon headmaster on Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:32 pm

Jake Reid's finishing never was his strength, and for a striker that's a bit of a problem. It was a very poor header too which was comfortably high and feeble. They really should have scored when 1 on 1 with Phillips, but Pratt's chance was almost as clear. I agree that overall we created the better openings.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:03 pm

On reviewing the video, I think that all attackers from both sides were fairly profligate in front of goal. McCootie seemed unusually diffident and always seemed to want an extra touch and/or got his feet twisted up. He started knocking them in from longer range later on, however.

Also, the elephant in the room is that the penalty was fairly soft - I certainly wouldn't have been happy to have had it given against us - and the foul on Nicholson that eventually to the second goal was, let's say, made the most of.

Along with the run of play, my Maidenhead United supporting mate was fairly within his rights to complain of "grand larceny". Never mind though, eh? ;-)
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by the demon headmaster on Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:00 pm

In tight games you always need the crucial calls to go your way. They did for us on Tuesday night so I understand opposition fans frustration, but I'm not complaining.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by LB on Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:35 pm

I think in the second half both teams had chances to win it, and perhaps a draw would have been a fairer reflection, but nice to see that we had the resolve to win a game that we might well have lost in previous seasons.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by yuffie on Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:50 pm

I think you could also argue the foul that led to their goal was soft.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Luton Roman on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:09 pm

St.Albans forum unhappy as you can imagine. Undertain of their defensive set up, got a good 17 year old who should play more often in attacking role. Frendo who was their regular top scorer and scored the early winner last season has gone to Hemel. They have got Theophanous who was scoring feeely at Staines I think. Guess we fickle fans agree that after 4 out of 4 this is a ruddy great banana skin waiting for us, but lets enjoy our time at the top anyway.

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by stillmanjunior on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:53 pm

Theophanous' fourth club in a year. Think he scored against us for Farnborough last season.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by kermit on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:53 pm

I should have gone to Specsavers.....I didn't notice until viewing the highlights that at half time Pentney changed kit from vivid dayglo orange and green (which Palms thought was a delightful little number!!) to an all green strip. I assume it clashed with Phillips in his all orange.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Palms on Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:03 pm

If you go to 2:18 in the highlights you'll be able to see what actually happened, Pentney swapped tops with the kid on the Bristol End, clearly.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by kermit on Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:33 pm

Palms wrote:If you go to 2:18 in the highlights you'll be able to see what actually happened, Pentney swapped tops with the kid on the Bristol End, clearly.
Very good!!
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by BenE on Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:47 pm

Marc Monitor wrote: and the foul on Nicholson that eventually to the second goal was, let's say, made the most of.

When my uncles used to discuss games I would often hear the expression - you were watching a different game. In this instance I would say you are watching a different video. The second goal comes from a long throw in. When was the foul?

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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:06 pm

The throw in came from the free kick being cleared but, to be fair, I did make it sound like I had seen the 'foul' on the video. In fact, I saw that 10 feet in front of us when we were laughing heartily at it.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

Post by BenE on Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:23 pm

To be fair I also laughed at the two very soft free kicks which gave their number 10 the chance to have a direct dig at goal.
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Re: Bath City (1)2 Maidenhead United (1)1

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