Aveley (1) 2 Bath City (0) 0 – Saturday 20 April 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Parkside

Aveley (1) 2 Bath City (0) 0 – Saturday 20 April 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Parkside

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Goals from Kenny Aileru and Siju Odelusi consigned Bath City to a first defeat in seven and saw Aveley clinch the final play-off spot.

Hampton’s heavy defeat at Maidstone United meant the outcome for City was irrelevant, as they remained sixth with Aveley behind them on goal difference.

It was the Romans’ first final day defeat since 2013 and they seldom troubled Jonathan North in the home goal.

Events elsewhere set up big celebrations for the Essex side, who remain with a chance of a third successive promotion.

The hosts got off to a dream start with a fluke goal inside seven minutes.

Eduino Vaz’s throw down the left saw Aileru fend off Ephraim Yeboah and whip in a cross from near the corner quadrant. A slight nick off the City sent the delivery looping over Will Buse as it nestled into the far corner of his net.

Garrett Kelly dragged wide and Vaz missed the target from distance as Aveley showed a lot of attacking intent, knowing a three-goal success would seal a play-off spot if Hampton failed to win at Maidstone.

They thought their good work had become undone on 37 minutes when Elliott Frear’s teasing delivery was glanced in by the head of Cody Cooke, but an offside flag cut short any celebrations.

North did well to deny Yeboah from a tight angle in City’s first shot on target in the loanee’s last involvement, he was replaced at the break by Joe Raynes as Jerry Gill pushed three up top.

One of his reliable front men this term, Scott Wilson, capitalised on hesitation from Frankie Terry but with the ball running out of play he could only shoot at the legs of North.

With Ewan Clark adding extra ammunition down the right, City’s chances of forcing a draw looked favourable, but they were undone on 76 minutes when the hosts won a penalty.

Manny Ogurinde skipped down the left and towards the byline before Jordan Dyer appeared to get a toe on the ball and play it behind. Referee Oliver Mackey thought differently and pointed to the spot.

Having scored his last nine penalties, Odelusi was coolness personified again to drill into the right corner and send Parkside into delirium with the hosts aware of Hampton’s capitulation at Maidstone.

Buse kept out Ogunrinde’s stinging drive towards his near post as Aveley looked the likelier to add a third, rather than City pulling one back.

The win rounded off a marvellous season for the Millers, landing them an Eliminator at Maidstone and three wins from a possible spot in the National League.

Such a situation is the same for Bath City, who ended their otherwise excellent 46-game campaign on a low note, but know that they’ll be feared in the upcoming play-offs, starting at Braintree Town.

Att: 1321

City’s Line-Up: Buse, Greenslade, Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Smith (Alabi 71), Frear (Clark 59), Wilson, Yeboah (Raynes HT). Subs not used: Idehen, Bates.

Scorers: City – none; Aveley – Aileru (7), Odelusi (pen 74)

City Bookings: Yeboah (29), Smith (39)

Officials: O Mackey, J Karrem, S Olhausen