Late penalty separates the Romans and the Swans
Premiership side Swansea were the visitors to Twerton Park on Tuesday 15th July, hoping to fair better than their near rivals Cardiff City who could only manage a 1-1 with a first team side. Swansea opted to play a mixed XI with most of their first team in the US and managed to snatch a 2-1 victory via a late penalty; coming back from 1-0 down from a Andy Watkins lob in the first half.
Bath City 1-2 Swansea City
15th July 2014
Former captain Alan Tate, returning from an lengthily injury lay off, lead a young Swansea side out at Twerton Park with Chairman Huw Jenkins watching over his future Swansea stars from the stands. The game started well for the Swans with the lively Alex Samuel testing the young City keeper Sam Butler twice in the opening 10 minutes, after getting in good positions. It could be a big season for Samuel this year with the former Aberystwyth Town youngster looking to break into Garry Monk’s first team plans.
However it was Andy Watkins who stole the show in the first half with a goal even the top strikers in the Premier League would be proud of. On 24 minutes he was played through after outpacing the Swans defence with the keeper advancing, he let the ball bounce once and then lifted it over the hapless Gregor Zabret. Swansea still looked threatening though and early substitute Henry Jones had a great chance to equalise just ten minutes later but a combination of Ben Adlesbury and Butler kept it out by throwing their bodies at the strike and the ball was cleared. So City went into the break 1-0 up with both sides playing some good passing football but neither creating many clear cut chances.
The second half started with a number of changes for both sides, with City taking another look at young striker Jordan Ricketts who replaced Elliot Gibbons. It wasn’t long before a good chance fell to City to double their lead just five minutes after the restart. Dan Bowman cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful shot but it just went wide of the left hand post to the relief of the Swans bench. Regular City keep Jason Mellor, on at half time, was soon tested on 58 minutes with a well hit shot from Ryan Hedges. Mellor could only parry but thankfully young wing back Ryan Mitchell was on hand to clear the danger.
Swansea were enjoying more of the ball as the game went on and soon equalised on 61 minutes. Substitute Stephan Fallon got beyond the City back line, shaking off the challenge of Phil Walsh, to get on the end of a through ball and calmly finished with a left foot strike. Then with just 8 minutes left on the clock Hedges converted a penalty after City trialist Pat Keary was alleged to have fouled in the area to claim the victory for the South Wales side.
Bath can be proud of their performance in these last two games which gave the whole squad a good work out. They entertain near non league rivals Bristol Rovers next on Saturday 19th in a 3pm ko at Twerton Park. This game will be more of a test for the younger players and trialists hoping to impress enough to earn a contract. It will also be a chance for the management to test their first XI against higher opposition to see how competitive they can be this season.
Photos of the game can be found here