Saints sink Bath
Blue Square South St Albans City 2 Bath City 1 STRIKERS Simon Martin and Paul Hakim scored to sink Bath City on Saturday as The Saints made it five league wins in succession. City manager Steve Castle selected an unchanged side
Blue Square South
St Albans City 2 Bath City 1
David Brawn at Clarence Park
STRIKERS Simon Martin and Paul Hakim scored to sink Bath City on Saturday as The Saints made it five league wins in succession.
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City manager Steve Castle selected an unchanged side from the impressive midweek win at Welling United, with Hakim remaining on the bench and Gary Cohen starting alongside Martin in attack.
Bath City paired powerful former Luton Town striker Stuart Douglas alongside Dave Gilroy in attack with the talented Lewis Hogg given the role of supporting the frontmen from the left flank.
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Both sides had chances inside the opening three minutes. Simon Martin saw his header easily caught by Bath goalkeeper Paul Evans and at the other end Gilroy fired straight at St Albans number one Paul Bastock from a good position just two minutes later.
Bath took the lead on 13 minutes when Sekani Simpson struck a curling cross from the right which evaded Bastock and nestled in the far corner of the net.
Douglas should have made it two but cracked a shot across the goal and wide after beating centre back Ryan Frater.
Simon Martin was denied again by Evans in the 21st minute and a stunning free kick from Jonathan Hunt somehow flashed right across the goal with Simon Martin, Frater and Ben Martin all failing to get a touch.
Bath again missed a great chance when Douglas beat the City defence for pace and instead of shooting for goal, squared the ball to the offside Gilroy who knocked it wide with the flag raised.
Saints were forced into a change at half time with the injured Lee Clarke replaced by James Quilter. Castle then took off winger Sam Hurrell for Hakim and switched Jonathan Hunt out to the left of midfield with Gary Cohen moved from up front to the right flank.
The hosts equalised on 61 minutes when Quilter broke the defensive line with a powerful forward run. The midfielder checked and found Hunt who nutmegged Gethin Jones and crossed superbly for Simon Martin to plant his downward header into the corner of the net.
Bath mounted pressure as they looked to regain their lead only to find their attacking intent repelled by the insurmountable Ben Martin at the heart of the City defence.
Hakim looked hungry to make an impression for Saints and was rewarded when he found the back of the net with a header to seal victory on 82 minutes after great work from Cohen on the right flank.
St Albans City: P. Bastock, J. Fisher, S. Cousins, L. Thurlbourne, B. Martin, R. Frater, J. Hunt, L. Clarke (J. Quilter 46), G. Cohen, S. Martin (H. Mackie 90), S. Hurrell (P. Hakim 53),. Unused subs: T. Oham-Strachan, C. Mortimer.
Bath City: P. Evans G. Jones, J. Rollo, M. Coupe, C. Holland, A. Connolly, S. Simpson (M. Paul 86), M. Badman, S. Douglas (D. Edwards 67), D. Gilroy, L. Hogg. Subs: S. Rogers, J. Gosling, S. Jones. Attendance: 472.
Referee: Chris Francis (Little Downham).