Bath City (0) 0 Ebbsfleet United (1) 2 – Saturday 12 March 2022 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Bath City’s 500th contest in National League South ended in a disappointing defeat to Ebbsfleet United.
Ben Chapman netted with just over a minute played and Dominic Poleon doubled it up early in the second half to secure back-to-back 2-0 wins for the visitors.
It proved enough for Dennis Kutrieb’s men to consign Bath City to a fifth successive league loss, all against sides in the top seven.
Despite a change of shape at the break, the Romans struggled to make inroads against the Kent outfit who didn’t create a plethora of chances but were happy to absorb what City threw at them.
Ebbsfleet’s first meaningful attack resulted in the opening goal. Jack Paxman found Craig Tanner in space down the left, his dinked cross saw Chapman go down under pressure from Ryan Jones, but despite being virtually horizontal he reacted sharply to Kieran Monlouis’ header back into the six yard box to guide past Ryan Clarke.
There had only been 78 seconds on the clock and it preceded a nervy spell from Jerry Gill’s men, before they dusted themselves down and created three openings in quick succession.
On 11 minutes Eddie Jones’ galloping run concluded with a neat cross which Omar Holness tamely volleyed straight at Louie Moulden from eight yards.
Within sixty seconds a delivery from a near identical position from a quick free-kick was side-footed wide at the near post from Cody Cooke, and captain Chris Solly threw himself in the way of Callum Rowe’s drive after Sefa Kahraman’s wayward pass put his defence under needless pressure.
Monlouis atoned for a skied clearance from Cooke’s effort by blocking Jordan Dyer’s follow-up as United saw out the half unscathed.
Both teams made a change at the break. Tom Smith replaced Zak Delaney for Bath while Ebbsfleet had the luxury of introducing leading scorer Dominic Poleon, who scored the second between the clubs in the reverse fixture in December.
He followed suit on 51 minutes. Monlouis’ curler from 18 yards was superbly palmed away by Clarke but straight to the perfectly placed Poleon who gobbled up his 14th of the season with a simple finish.
An important interception from Jack Batten on Poleon snuffed out a third for the visitors after the forward was played through by Chapman.
Elliott Frear and Dave Sims-Burgess, on his return from injury, were thrown on with 26 minutes remaining and the former made a positive start, sliding the ball behind for Smith who snatched at it allowing Kahraman to comfortably cover his goalkeeper and clear, though his effort was going wide anyway.
Try as they might, the Romans found it difficult to make any inroads against play-off certainties Ebbsfleet, whose only other scare was in stoppage time when Joe Raynes’ glancing header from Ryan Jones cross fell harmlessly wide.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke (c), Raynes, Delaney (Smith HT), Batten, Holness (Sims-Burgess 64), Cooke, E Jones, Ball (Frear 64), Rowe, Dyer, R Jones. Subs not used: Richards, Fuller.
Scorers: City – none; Ebbsfleet – Chapman (2), Poleon (52)
City Bookings: Rowe (61)
Officials: C Scriven, M Underhay, D Campbell