Bath City (0) 0 Exeter City (0) 0 – Saturday 15 July 2023 – Pre-Season Friendly – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Bath City claimed a third clean sheet in four pre-season matches as they matched League One Exeter City well at Twerton Park.
Home keeper Ollie Wright was superbly protected by his defence in a well-fought contest.
Headers from Ben Morgan and Joe Raynes were the closest City came to breaking the deadlock, while former Premier League midfielder Tom Carroll wasted Exeter’s best opening.
The visitors also included former City loanees Alex Hartridge, Vince Harper and Sonny Cox and kept up their record of not conceding yet this pre-season.
That statistic should have ended in the 12th minute. Some suspect zonal marking from Elliott Frear’s corner left Morgan unmarked, his header inadvertently blocked off the line by teammate Dan Hayfield with Tom Smith’s half-volley on the rebound deflected over by Joe O’Connor.
Exeter offered little in an uneventful first half. Reece Cole’s ambitious strike from 35 yards flew over Wright’s goal.
Visiting boss Gary Caldwell replaced Jake Caprice with Dion Rankine the break. The winger on loan from Chelsea made an instant impression.
Receiving the ball from debutant Ryan Trevitt, Rankine cut inside of Dan Greenslade but his drive was bravely blocked by the head of Kieran Parselle, who was left floored by the ferocity of the shot.
Reece Cole’s free-kick was well tipped over by Wright and James Scott’s shot from 20 yards was deflected behind by the well-placed Morgan.
Former Tottenham man Carroll, one of seven substitutions just past the hour, wasted a glorious opening for the Grecians on 73 minutes. Sam Nombe’s pull-back from the byline was ideal for the onrushing midfielder but he ballooned off target from 10 yards.
Harry Kite curled wide 10 minutes later with Wright at full stretch. Well-organised defending largely restricted the Devonians to attempts from distance, a far cry from previous friendlies between the clubs with Exeter having won the last five scoring 12 goals.
Nombe’s fizzing try from a narrow angle was palmed out by Wright with a combination of Jordan Dyer and Luke Russe on hand to deal with the follow-up.
While away stopper Gary Woods was a virtual spectator in the second half, he was given a scare in added time.
Chris Lines’ corner located Raynes but his powerful header arced over the crossbar.
The shutout meant a second goalless draw in four pre-season games for Bath, a fully merited one against a side three divisions above.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Greenslade, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield (Trialist B 68), Cooke, Smith, Frear (Lines 65), Russe, Morgan (Dyer 65). Subs not used: Trialist A, Trialist C.
Scorers: City – none; Exeter – none
City’s Bookings: none
Officials: S Pearson, D Flynn, S Ouchene