Bath City (0) 0 Farnborough (1) 2 – Saturday 9 March 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Bath City (0) 0 Farnborough (1) 2 – Saturday 9 March 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Goals from Edon Prudi and Millar Matthews-Lewis consigned Bath City to a second successive home defeat.

The loanees netted their first Farnborough goals in either half in a match which kicked off an hour late after a fatality on the M4 saw half of Boro’s team fail to arrive on time.

To compound City’s miseries, they lost Joe Raynes to an eye injury and Luke Russe was stretchered off in added time.

Having used all three substitutes, it meant they finished the match with nine men.

The early threat from Farnborough was from centre-back Guy Hollis, whose missile long throws proved troublesome in the first half.

Predictably, one of them led to the opener. His initial delivery was headed clear, but only back to the defender, propped on the left wing. The return loopy delivery saw Pruti rise well to superbly head into the top corner from eight yards, giving Josey Casa-Grande no chance.

It was the least Farnborough deserved as an off-colour City struggled for momentum, offering little in the final third.

A Hollis long throw from the right concluded with a stunning overhead kick from Aaron Kuhl from 18 yards, requiring Casa-Grande to tip over from just under his crossbar.

Olly Pendlebury’s resulting corner saw Hollis’ header flicked around by Casa-Grande.

Unsurprisingly Jerry Gill rang the changes at the break, withdrawing Tom Smith, on his 250th appearance, and Elliott Frear. Ephraim Yeboah and James Alabi replaced them. Farnborough also swapped striker Hisham Kasimu for another front man in Matthews-Lewis, a youngster on loan from Luton.

The first 10 minutes of the second half saw City improve, shooting up the slope and urged by another bumper crowd as part of the Her Game Too weekend at Twerton Park.

Ewan Clark’s teasing free-kick to the far post found Alabi unmarked but he headed into the side-netting.

A second goal for the visitors on 55 minutes left the Romans deflated. Kuhl’s terrific crossfield ball from the halfway line set Ricky Holmes free on the left. The experienced midfielder delivered a perfect centre for Matthews-Lewis, who was initially denied by Casa-Grande but while grounded he managed to bundle home.

Isaac Vassell replaced Scott Wilson, still searching for his first goal of 2024, but it failed to spur City on in a turgid half of football devoid of any significant action. Farnborough’s back three were near faultless and the Romans looked surprisingly off-colour, clearly missing leading scorer Cody Cooke who was absent with a calf injury.

With Chris Lines also on the sidelines, Gill had his head in his hands at two more knocks in the closing stages.

Raynes came off worse in an aerial collision and after being checked by physio Sarah Carr he was withdrawn.

City reverted to a 3-4-2 formation and were forced to reshuffle again during seven minutes added on when Russe lost a 50-50 with Pruti which left him floored and he eventually left the ground on crutches with an ankle injury.

The match eventually concluded just shy of 6pm with many spectators likely to write the contest off as ‘one of those days’.

Att: 1284

City’s Line-Up: Casa-Grande, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle (c), Clark, Hayfield, Smith (Alabi HT), Frear (Yeboah HT), Wilson (Vassell 63), Russe. Subs not used: Batten, Buse.

Scorers: City – none; Farnborough – Pruti (22), Matthews-Lewis (55)

City Bookings: Russe (67)

Officials: J Allsopp, M Underhay, N Wormleighton