Bath City (0) 0 Dover Athletic (1) 1 – Saturday 29 October 2022 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Luke Wanadio’s 40th minute strike saw Dover return to winning ways and end Bath City’s recent revival.
The winger curled home expertly from 18 yards after a slip in the Bath backline.
Cody Cooke hit the post in the first half and was denied by Stuart Nelson in the second as City struggled to break down a well organised defence.
Despite making three attacking changes within the hour, City failed to score for the first time in the league since the opening day.
Ryan Clarke made his first start of the season in goal in place of Joe Wright, who dislocated a shoulder in the draw at Havant. Remarkably the 40-year-old wasn’t the eldest player competing with opposite number Nelson having turned 41 last month.
Dover were rocked by Tyrone Sterling picking up a knock inside two minutes which forced his early withdrawal with Will Moses on in his place soon after.
City grew into the game midway through the half as the visitors rode their luck on 25 minutes. Chris Lines’ corner saw Alex Fletcher’s header blocked by a standstill Nelson with Cooke’s scuffed rebound bouncing against the upright and back to the keeper’s grasp.
Another corner gave Andy Hessenthaler’s men issues with Lines’ inswinger nodded wide by Fletcher.
Having weathered the storm, former Manchester United youth Lee Martin curled wide on 36 minutes before the Kent outfit took the lead five minutes before the break.
Jordan Higgs’ ball from the right preceded a slip from Kieran Parselle and after Jack Batten couldn’t clear, it eventually found Wanadio who cut inside and neatly bent home from the corner of the penalty area past Clarke and Parselle’s desperate efforts off the line.
The Romans continued to threaten from set-pieces with Parselle given a free header from Lines’ corner but he couldn’t find the target as Dover went into the break the happier.
Despite a combined age of 81, both goalkeepers showed their reflexes are still intact in the second half. Nelson gathered Cooke’s stab from close range after good work by Scott Wilson and Clarke threw himself to his left to palm away the dangerous Wanadio’s precise drive which threatened to creep into the bottom corner.
Elliott Frear hammered high and wide as the hard-working hosts enjoyed enough possession but found the away side determined to make up for Tuesday’s shock loss to Concord. Dover defended superbly in numbers to nullify any more scares from open play to seal their fifth successive league win over City.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke, Raynes, Batten, Parselle (c), Fletcher (Frear 56), Hayfield (Mannings 60), Cooke, Lines (Morton 56), Spokes, Wilson, Jones. Subs not used: Dyer, Greenslade.
Scorers: City – none; Dover – Wanadio (40)
City Bookings: none
Officials: C Scriven, J Gould, M King