Bath City (0) 0 Taunton Town (0) 2 – Friday 7 April 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Late goals from Cameron Evans and Dylan Morgan sealed success for Taunton at Twerton Park.
Evans’ close range finish and Morgan’s curler, just a minute after coming on as a substitute, earned the Somerset side bragging rights against an off-colour Bath City.
Scott Wilson was the only player to test visiting goalkeeper Jack Bycroft as the Romans struggled against a well-organised outfit.
Joe Raynes made his first start since Boxing Day but was forced off just past the hour mark due to fatigue.
The returning defender went on a few forays forward in the first half as Taunton largely sat off with a back five and allowed City to dictate play.
With former Roman Dan Ball at the heart of their defence, their stubbornness proved a tough nut to crack in a tedious spectacle with no significant chances in a forgettable 45 minutes.
The second half saw the pace upped as Town came out of their shells, which gave City a first real chance to break three minutes after the restart.
Tom Smith’s cleverly threaded pass saw Wilson evade the backline but his shot after cutting inside was smartly beaten away by Bycroft and cleared.
Max Harris showed excellent reflexes to palm Ollie Chamberlain’s deflected strike behind for a corner before the game settled back into a lull as midfields cancelled each other out.
Nick McCootie replaced Ross Stearn for Taunton, a swapping of one former City player for another, and his shot ricocheted uncomfortably in front of Harris who held.
He was powerless to prevent a 76th minute opener.
Luke Spokes dallied in his own box which resulted in Zac Smith’s cross being controlled by Dave Sims-Burgess at the back post. His shot was repelled by Harris but Evans reacted quickest to fire home his first goal in Taunton colours from 10 yards.
Sims-Burgess had a close range finish disallowed as the ex-City man, one of six in Taunton’s squad, was replaced by Morgan just afterwards.
The substitute made an instant impact as he cut inside of Dan Hayfield and bent a shot towards the corner which somehow crept under Harris’ body and nestled into the corner.
Kieran Parselle headed just over and Elliott Frear’s whipped effort flew off target as the Romans failed to create a grandstand finale as they were consigned to a 10th home league defeat of the season.
City’s Line-Up: Harris, Raynes (Spokes 62), Greenslade, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Smith (Frear 68), Lines, Wilson, Morton. Subs not used: Clarke, Minzamba, Edwards.
Scorers: City – none; Taunton – Evans (76), Morgan (82)
City Bookings: Greenslade (62)
Officials: N Pratt, A Smith, C Collins