Bath City 0-4 Basingstoke Town
Can only apologise to the fans for that performance tonight!! We were simply not good enough!! Need to put it right Saturday. – Andy Watkins 12/08/14
Bath slumped to a second defeat in a row against a rampant Basingstoke team who managed 4 goals in just 29 minutes to silence the home crowd. Everyone involved with Bath are shell shocked with what happened in the last two game and are determined to put it right in their next game. Basingstoke can now look up the league after getting their first 3 points on board and finding their goal scoring touch.
It wasn’t going to be Bath’s night when after just 6 seconds, new signing, Chas Hemmings fouled a Basingstoke player to earn himself a yellow card on his home debut. Then the first goal followed after just five minutes after with a dangerous cross from the right evaded everyone but Bath captain, Andrew Gallinagh, who had to try and clear the fast moving ball with Chris Flood looking to poke the ball home. However due to the speed of the ball it ended up in the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Basingstoke.
Bath looked for an immediate response with Chris Allen and Andy Watkins providing decent crosses from the left but these half chances couldn’t be converted. Some static defending made Bath pay again on 18 minutes when Shaun McAuley was allowed to drift infield from the right but his shot was sliced wide with Jason Mellor diving at full stretch, but it stayed in play at the far post with Manny Williams keeping it in to step inside unopposed and finish via the inside of the post. Again Bath pushed at 2-0 down with Ashley Kington and Watkins putting their efforts wide but they were undone again 9 minutes later.
After a cross from deep the ball bounced around in the area before Flood managed to bring it down and finish well on the turn easily holding off the challenge to put Basingstoke 3-0 on 27 minutes. Bath’s performance had really dropped now and they were 4-0 on 29 minutes. Liam Enver-Marum was played in, beating the off side trap and slotted the ball past an on rushing Mellor. The bench reacted with replacing Martin Slocombe with Sekani Simpson; with Slocombe visibly annoyed. It could have easily been 5-0 if Tom Bird’s free-kick had been a fraction lower on 43 minutes after a needless foul given away just outside the box. Watkins did have a half chance at the end of the half but it was a half to forgot for most of the 459 crowd, let alone the Bath players.
Watkins and former Hereford midfielder Frankie Artus were Bath’s best attacking options but even their combined efforts on 52 minutes couldn’t yield a goal with Artus going wide on the turn. Two minutes later Watkins again provided a chance for David Pratt, after getting to the byline, but his header went just over. The front 3 of Basingstoke still looked threatening with Manager Jason Bristow opting to still play an attacking game. Enver-Marum was played through with a great ball with the striker in time and space on the right. He advanced forward but Mellor narrowed his angle and the shot zipped just wide of the far post on 61 minutes.
Basingstoke did score again but it was offside on 66 minutes, Flood powered a free header beyond Mellor by the linesman came to City’s rescue. The counter attacked proved Basingstoke’s best outlet with each City attack to try and get themselves a goal left gaps in the midfield and defence with Flood going close again a few moments later. City had a good sell around the 80 minute mark but the final balls weren’t sticking. Simon Dunn then fired a long range effort just over on the left with just four minutes left. Watkins had the last chance of the game on 90 minutes, Pratt’s endless running and sheer determination to keep hold of the ball set up Watkins in the box; but he couldn’t quite connect cleanly and it went wide.
Bath will now face a strong Chelmsford side on Saturday at Twerton Park with both teams in need of goals and points to get their season started. Basingstoke travel to big spenders Bromley in a tough game on Saturday full of confidence after a commanding display.