Clevedon Town (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Pre-Season Friendly – Saturday 22 July 2017 – Hand Stadium
Bath City made it three wins in five days with a comfortable afternoon’s work at Clevedon Town. They dominated the Western League Seasiders for the 90 minutes and earned the win with headers from Andy Watkins and Ryan Case either side of the half-time break. Nat Jarvis also struck the woodwork while Clevedon keepers Sam Burgess and Adam Forster – the City junior borrowed for the second half – were kept busy.
From the first whistle it was the Romans well on top. The first action came from a Frankie Artus effort, saved by home stopper Burgess after the midfielder twisted outside and inside his defence. A wide Straker free-kick then dropped nicely for Burgess before his opposite number was scrambling. Veteran defender Darren Jones allowed a high ball to bounce and was forced to hurriedly hold off Isaac Reid for Matt Cafer to come out and collect. Twice upfield for corners, Straker shots could not trouble Burgess, shanking a volley that looped kindly for the keeper and then drilling wide of the near post having beaten a defender. Watkins also saw a shot deflected behind from a right-wing McCootie cross, but the duo would combine successfully for the opener. That came from the opposite flank as McCootie dug out a deep centre that a soaring Watkins nodded down and in at the far post. The visitors continued to run the show with Artus thumping a 20-yard effort straight at Burgess and a Straker cross, on the back of excellent link-up play with McCootie at a free-kick, flew inches past Jarvis’s head. Watkins came close to netting a second header when Burgess misjudged a deep, floating delivery from Ryan Case and scrambled back to keep the wideman’s effort out, more by good fortune than judgement. A snapshot from Jamie Lucas was also denied moments later, while the post was soon shaking when Jarvis nodded another excellent McCootie cross against the woodwork, all following tidy build-up play by the Romans.
The second goal arrived shortly after the interval as Billy Murphy and Straker combined at a short corner to cross for Case to glance in. Both sides switched to three-at-the-back in the second half, a move which briefly improved Clevedon’s fortunes. Reid fed Danny Wring to the byline, but his cutback was too far in front for the onrushing Kye Mountford to shoot. They then got a first shot in on goal when Alex Russell sent a free-kick in that Ollie Barnes headed straight into Cafer’s chest. Half-time substitute had Clevedon keeper Forster scrambling with a volley his new defence blocked, while a fine curling Will Christopher cross was narrowly missed by Lucas. Cafer’s upright was left rattling when ex-Team Bath defender Barnes hammered a 30-yard free-kick off the post, the closest Clevedon would come all afternoon. Trialist Reece Misso narrowly missed a Fily Diallo centre, which ran on for namesake Naby to thump well over. Christopher was the next to try his luck, shooting low across goal after an inch-perfect deep ball from Murphy. Misso would certainly connect the next time he got the chance, hitting a firm effort past the post as Fily Diallo and Morgan linked up on the break. The dominance continued until the very end as Morgan drew a superb sprawling save from Forster, tipping his header over the bar, and Misso flicked up a header that Forster plucked from the air with ease.
City Line-Up: Cafer, Welch-Hayes, Straker (F Diallo 75), Jones (Ball HT), Case, Rigg, Artus (Christopher 58), McCootie (N Diallo HT), Lucas (Misso 75), Jarvis (Morgan HT), Watkins (Murphy HT). Subs not used: Compton.
Scorers: Watkins (18), Case (49)
Referee: G Wentland