Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 0 Bath City (0) 1 – Saturday 11 August 2018 – Vanarama National League South – Beveree Stadium
Sean Rigg produced a moment of exquisite quality to get Bath City on the board in National League South on the road at Hampton & Richmond Borough. His goal just after the hour was a beauty, the former Bristol Rovers man moving in from the right flank and nailing a perfect strike beyond the helpless home stopper. The Romans had been somewhat fortunate to enter the dressing rooms level at half-time as profligate Hampton striker Chris Dickson wasted a string of opportunities. But they returned for the second period with more impetus, grabbed the lead via Rigg and then saw off the Beavers’ concerted attempts to find the equaliser.
City started on the front in the first half too, home keeper Tom Lovelock having to slide out to block Andy Watkins’ effort point blank following a slick move. The hosts, however, were the team that looked more likely to net throughout the first period. There was a warning shot as to their plans fired early on when Dickson chased a Zak Joseph ball in behind, but it skipped away from the striker for Ryan Clarke to grab. Dickson did get a shot in at Hampton’s next attempt, this time Ricky Wellard lifting the long ball forward, and rifled a half-volley inches over the crossbar. The former Chelmsford man then looked to capitalise on defensive confusion between Clarke and Jack Batten as he shot across an open goal from an acute angle on the left flank. John Mills sniffed a shooting chance and teased past three players before shooting into Michael Corcoran’s body for City. Immediately at the other end Dickson broke in behind again, but a fantastic recovery tackle from Joe Raynes helped City repel the danger. Hampton were back to block a Rigg effort after the City attacker left full-back Cameron Sprague tangled like a pretzel on the floor. Rigg then swung in the resulting corner from the right, Andy Watkins hooking wide from ahead of the near post. Lovelock was then called into action but not tested when Ross Stearn jagged in from the left and shot for the bottom corner from 20 yards. Joseph was presented with the opportunity to chip Clarke, his effort dropping wide, and then had Clarke sprawling low having picked up on a loose pass across the defensive line from James Morton. There was also a lobbed chance for Dickson, who got the wrong side of Robbie Cundy on a high ball and lifted over the top. The Beavers hitman then passed up the best chance of the half when he was played clear in behind, only to fire straight at Clarke. Rhys Murrell-Williamson picked up on the rebound, but was closed down and dispossessed trying to create shooting space.
The Romans, who brought on Ryan brunt for Mills at the interval, immediately upped the tempo returning from half-time. That wasn’t to say Hampton weren’t still creating chances, though. Adam Mann found himself having to put a block in in his own penalty to keep out Wellard, before then dragging wide at the far end. Brunt tried a quick touch, turn and shot from Rigg’s pass on, only finding the advertising hoardings. A trickier chance than his earlier hatful came and went for Dickson when he ran on to a Joseph cross and volleyed high, Joseph himself then shrugging off Morton and tamely hitting across goal. An attractive in-swinging cross from Stearn just evaded Watkins’ stretching header but ran on for Brunt to draw a save, firing first-time from an acute angle. Amid frenetic action, a kind ricochet gave Craig Dundas a shooting chance ruined by Cundy’s sliding block, before a burst from City brought the opening goal. They were initially denied when Watkins’ looping header was tipped over by Lovelock. And although the resulting corner from Rigg was half-cleared, the ball found its way back to his spot in the top-right corner. From there, the 29-year-old proceeded to jink inside and fire a pearler across the helpless Lovelock. Back came Hampton in search of an equaliser, with Dickson again the main threat with a header over the bar from Wellard’s straight, left-wing cross. Clarke was then forced to make a stunning full-stretch save when Joseph aimed a header for his bottom-left corner. That chance came from a cross by substitute Taurean Roberts, who then showed his trickery, trying to twist and turn away from the City defence, though his ballooned finish was found wanting. Dickson produced another awkward attempt at a lob, swinging with his right boot as the ball ran across his body to skew wide. After that barrage of sorts, the final ten minutes were dealt with professionally by the Romans. Clarke made three important grabs, they killed time in the corner and, in the final minutes of stoppage time, kept desperate Hampton out of possession.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke, Straker (c), Batten, Watkins, Rigg, Mills (Brunt HT), Stearn, Mann, Cundy, Raynes, Morton. Subs not used: Ball, Artus, Richards, Hodges.
Scorers: City – Rigg (61); Hampton – none
City Bookings: none
Officials: W Cartmel, J Crofts, B O’Sullivan