Bath City 0-1 Bristol City
By Mark Tanner
Picture by Simon Howe
It took a penalty for the League One champions to come away from Twerton Park with a win on Friday night in front of 1133 fans. Well travelled striker Aaron Wilbraham scored from the spot past former City favourite Steve Phillips after a hand ball in the 12th minute.
Bath had a chance to equalise on the 23rd minute after the referee awarded the second penalty of the night for another handball. However last season’s top goal scorer Dave Pratt saw his spot kick saved by Frank Fielding. The second half saw both teams attacking more with Bristol City having the better of the possession. Fielding had to be alert to tip Dan Ball’s header over the cross bar and Phillips then pulled off a diving one handed save to deny Bristol adding to their lead from a well hit shot.
Adie Britton came out in the press saying he was pleased with defensive display from his Bath side and the lads are looking forward to the next game. Newport are the visitors to Twerton Park on Tuesday 14th with Britton looking to take a look at his attacking options in a more closely contested game.
Former Torquay defender Kevin Nicholson started at left back and received MOTM for his performance. The 34 year old showed great composer on the ball and played the simple ball. Against Bristol City he was unable to get forward as much as he would like so it will be interesting to see how he fairs against Newport. The crosses he did get in looked decent but the management will need to assess him carefully over the next week or two before offering him a contract.
There was only one other starting player who was new to the City faithful and that was Joe McClennon. McClennon was signed from Weston-Super-Mare back in June as one of the first signings made by the management. Described as a winger he played just behind the strikers against Bristol City and showed glimpses of his skill on the ball. However in a more open game with a more traditional 4-4-2 he should feature on the wing and show the City fans why he was a priority signing.
On the bench for Bath there were 4 young players hopeful for a contract. Tall full back Luke Matthews (from Swindon Supermarine) was the first to come on. He had the most time off all the trialists and looked solid enough in his 21 minutes. Former Bristol City youngster Liam Monelle was given 12 minutes to try and get one over on his former employers. He had a chance in the last few minutes but his shot went over.
Kelvin Douglas, also recently released by Bristol City, had a few minutes game time to try and show them what they’re missing. The last player to come on was Jacob Sloggett who would be vaguely recognisable to City fans as he has appeared on the bench for City twice in the last two seasons in Somerset Cup games as an unused substitute both times. All 4 young players will be hoping to get more time to impress in the coming weeks.
The most impressive player to come on for Bath was Andy Watkins, currently without a contract whilst recovering from an operation in the summer. He took the game to Bristol in the second half along with the direct running of Dan Bowman (also coming on off the bench in the second half) on the left hand side. Tricks, running and his crossing gave the Twerton faithful something to cheer about in Bath’s rare attacking moves.
Make sure you get down to Twerton Park on Tuesday night to make up your own mind on the trialists, KO is at 7.45 vs Newport County.