Bath City (0) 0 Farnborough (0) 1 – Saturday 28 January 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Bath City (0) 0 Farnborough (0) 1 – Saturday 28 January 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Mason Bloomfield’s second half strike consigned Bath City to a third successive defeat.

The forward had time to control in the box and easily dispatch following a rare lapse in the Romans defence.

Marley Rose made a late debut as a substitute but despite their efforts, City couldn’t find a way past a Boro’ side who made it 12 unbeaten in National League South.

The result ended their seven game losing streak against the Stripes, who suffered the 2000th outright defeat in their history.

Jerry Gill recalled Chris Lines and Elliott Frear for Rex Mannings and the suspended Dan Greenslade.

It was Farnborough’s first outing for three weeks following a spate of postponements, but they didn’t look rusty as both sides cancelled each other out in a turgid opening half hour.

City’s first chance fell to Frear. Sonny Cox led a counter and at the second attempt played in the left wing-back, but his shot from just inside the box was comfortably turned around the post by Jack Turner.

The visitors had ambitious appeals for a penalty waved away when the diminutive Selim Saied went down cheaply under pressure from Dan Hayfield as he shepherded the ball back to Max Harris.

At half-time Farnborough replaced the booked CJ Fearn, a member of the side who lost 7-4 at Twerton Park in February 2015, with debutant Bradley Keetch. The Maidenhead loanee added more guile in the midfield with fellow newbie Chike Kandi’s introduction for Saied eight minutes after the break proving an inspired switch.

After Cody Cooke and James Morton had efforts from distance fail to trouble Turner, Boro’ broke the deadlock from closer range on 66 minutes.

Turner’s goal kick saw Bloomfield beat Jack Batten in the air just shy of halfway, leaving the defender horizontal.

Reggie Young picked up a loose pass in midfield and nipped it through to Kandi, whose centre saw Bloomfield exploit the gap vacated by Batten, taking a touch before easily side-footing past the advancing Harris to open the scoring.

It was sweet revenge for the forward who was part of the Bromley side that lost at Twerton Park a month earlier in the FA Trophy.

Jordan Dyer was close to levelling 10 minutes later. Luke Spokes’ low corner was met first time by the centre-back but his attempt zoomed just over.

Harris was called into action in the closing stages, palming away Ricky Holmes’ curler from 25 yards as Boro’ rarely threatened but comfortably soaked up what Bath threw at them.

Rose teed up Spokes who tried to catch Turner out at his near post, but the experienced glovesman batted it away for a corner in the closest City came to levelling.

Scott Wilson was cautioned in added time for a cynical foul on John Oyenuga as he broke away with the forward perhaps fortunate to not see red.

The fact he didn’t was little consolation for Gill’s side who dropped below Farnborough with this result as they’ll look to start February more positively at Chelmsford City on Saturday.

Att: 1006

City’s Line-Up: Harris, Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield (Rose 81), Cooke, Frear, Lines (Wilson 73), Spokes, Morton, Cox (Smith 87). Subs not used: Clarke, Mannings.

Scorers: City – none; Farnborough – Bloomfield (70)

City Bookings: Wilson (90+2)

Officials: R Watkins, J Hooper, M Underhay