Bath City 2-0 Newport County
Pre Season Friendly
By Liam Shaw & Sam Feierabend
Video from Newport County FC
Bath City picked up their first pre-season victory in a 2-0 win over League 2 side, Newport County, at Twerton Park on Tuesday night (14/07/15). Andy Watkins and Nick McCootie were the goal scorers either side of half time.
The game got off to a lively start with Chas Hemmings having the first shot on target just after 3 minutes but unfortunately the shot was straight at Newport keeper Rhys Taylor. Despite this very sharp City start, Newport were quick to reply when, on 4 minutes, a free kick from the right that Steve Phillips struggled to clear fell at the feet of Lenell John- Lewis who skied his first time effort over the bar. The early action continued when, a few minutes later, a ball cleared as far as Hemmings was chipped into Andy Watkins who was stood deep in Taylor’s box; he squared for Dave Pratt who was failed to covert the rolling ball with the goal at his mercy.
Jon Davies – making his first start for City after signing from Paulton Rovers – impressed the Bath faithful with a classy first half display, creating opportunities for both himself and his new teammates. His best opportunity to get his name on the score sheet came in the 16th minute when he shrugged off a Newport defender and unleashed a vicious shot that whizzed past the left-hand upright.
Following a quiet 15 minute spell, Bath burst back into the game with yet another fantastic passing move where Kevin Nicholson – playing his second trial game for City – played a neat one two with Watkins which resulted in him being in a great scoring position in front of goal where he unselfishly laid the ball across for Pratt who’s tame shot hit Taylor. Pratt’s second clear cut opportunity wasted. This wasn’t Nicholson’s only attack the game, his 25 yard free kick was well saved.
City found the breakthrough on 44 minutes when Davies held the ball up on the edge of the box before passing off to the oncoming Watkins who expertly cut onto his left foot and slotting the ball through defender Regan Poole’s legs and found the bottom right hand corner.
Newport showed intent to get back into the game straight from the whistle that got the second half underway. They immediately got the ball down the left and a cross from Kieron Parcel found the head of Aaron Collins whose header was straight at new City keeper, Steve Phillips.
The home side managed to double their lead 13 minutes into the second half when substitute Nick McCootie’s shot from the edge of the area took a deflection off Newport’s Poole leaving Taylor only able to watch as the ball landed in the back of his net.
Goal keeper Phillips was making his second appearance for the Romans after his debut last Friday against his previous employers, Bristol City. He only conceded once on Friday but on Tuesday he picked up his first clean sheet for his new club with a mixture of good stops and poor finishing from the Newport strikers. One of his most impressive moments of the game came in the 62nd minute when a corner ball, ricocheting about the box, fell to the feet of Newport’s number 9, Elliot Scotcher, and his half volley brought Phillip’s reflexes into play as he pushed the ball away. A deserved clean sheet indeed.
City remained in control for the rest of the game with a couple more chances squandered before the final whistle where the City boys left the field with a well-earned victory over Terry Butcher’s League 2 side.
The only trialist to play the Bristol City game but not the Newport one is ex- Bristol City youngster, Liam Monelle. The pacey striker looks unlikely to appear for the Romans again but with plenty of forwards already in the team and a lack of players in other position, the move would’ve been questioned.
Swindon Super-Marine centre back, Luke Matthews, started the game alongside solid City defender Dan Ball. Matthews played 59 minutes before being replaced by Sekani Simpson. Adie Britton later said in an interview with the Bath Chronicle that “for his age he’s fantastic” and after watching the 18 year old he said “I pleased what I was looking at”.
Kevin Nicholson once again had a good game being strong at the back and also looking promising going forward. The experienced left back is looking more and more likely to be a roman come start of the season but only time will tell.
19 year old, Kelvin Douglas – recently released from Stoke City’s youth team – once again only got 10 minutes on the field and despite looking skilful during his time on the pitch, his lack of minutes makes him an unlikely signing.
Bath City are next in action on Saturday 18th July against Western Premier Division side, Hallen FC before returning to Twerton Park the following Tuesday (21st July) to face League 2 side Plymouth Argyle. Don’t miss it!
A great report from two young teenage writers, many thanks Liam and Sam. Today (15/07/15) it has been announced that the Big Bath City Bid have broken the 100k mark and are looking towards the 200K target. Many thanks to those who have committed already and the message is to keep spreading the word about the Community Share issue!
We can make Bath City sustainable for years to come by investing in this scheme! #keepactive