Shot-shy City sink to defeat

PUBLISHED: 11:02 26 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

Bath City 1 (Adam Everitt O.G. 1) St Albans City 0 James Ronayne at Twerton Park AN OWN goal after 23 seconds condemned St Albans City to their third defeat in seven days as their play-off hopes begin to evaporate. City are without a league win since th

Bath City 1 (Adam Everitt O.G. 1)

St Albans City 0

James Ronayne at Twerton Park

AN OWN goal after 23 seconds condemned St Albans City to their third defeat in seven days as their play-off hopes begin to evaporate.

City are without a league win since they beat Fisher Athletic on November 8 and with just one shot on target they were always going to struggle to get anything from the game.

City were ineffective in attack with Paul Hakim and Simon Martin unable to shake off the attentions of the Bath defence, while James Quilter and Adam Everitt, both recalled to the starting line-up, were over-run by the Romans midfield during the first period.

Disaster struck within the first minute. The Saints kicked off but lost the ball with Dave Gilroy skipping past Ben Martin in the left hand channel. Gilroy fired in a cross that Paul Bastock could only parry to Sekani Simpson who drove the ball goalwards and despite Ryan Frater clearing off the line, the ball crashed into the unfortunate Everitt and into the net.

The closest the Saints came to testing the Romans goalkeeper, Steve Perrin, in the first half was when James Fisher headed over the bar from Jonathan Hunt's free kick.

Ben Martin was booked for kicking the ball away and was walking a tight rope for the rest of the game as referee Andy Davies continually awarded free kicks against the giant centre half whose cause was not helped by Gilroy and Darren Edwards who had trouble staying on their feet.

Adam Connolly fired a terrific shot that took a deflection and Bastock did well to hold onto the ball at the second attempt.

Another fine Bastock double save stopped Bath from extending their lead. Edwards met Jim Rollo's far post free kick with a firm header that Bastock pushed out and then the veteran keeper clawed Chris Holland's header onto the post.

The Romans nearly extended their lead four minutes after the interval when Edwards broke into the box and hit a shot that deflected off Martin and forced Bastock into an acrobatic save.

Edwards missed a glorious chance to extend the hosts lead when he headed Richard Evans' far post cross over from just six yards out.

Bath did have the ball in the net just after the hour when Edwards volleyed past Bastock, but St Albans were saved by an offside flag.

A 20 yard shot from Evans was repelled by Bastock before City introduced youngsters Danny Charge and Craig Mortimer.

City began to exert pressure on the Bath defence but the home side dealt with the threat, with Steve Castle later saying his sides attacking play was 'predictable'.

The Saints finally registered their first shot on target in the 94th minute when Sam Hurrell whipped in a precise cross for Charge but the young loanee headed straight at Perrin.

Paul Hakim's last minute free kick flew harmlessly over the bar and summed up a frustrating day for City and their travelling fans.

Bath City: Perrin, G.Jones, Holland, Coupe, Rollo, Simpson, Connolly, Hogg, Evans (Slocombe 89), Edwards (Douglas 76), Gilroy (S.Jones 90+2). Subs not used: Gibb.

St Albans City: Bastock, Fisher, B.Martin, Frater, Cousins, Sulaiman (Mortimer 68), Quilter (Hurrel 74), Everitt, Hunt, S.Martin (Charge 68), Hakim. Subs not used: Seeby, Mackie.

Ref: Andy Davies (Southampton)

Att: 676

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