Bath City (0) 0 Worthing (1) 2 – Saturday 28 October 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Bath City failed to net in the league for the first time this season as clinical Worthing claimed a second 2-0 win against the Romans in three weeks.
Ricky Aguiar’s finish right on half-time and Joe Raynes’ own goal left the Rebels singing in the rain.
Dan Greenslade twice forced Roco Rees into fine stops as City created enough openings against a well-organised defence.
However a rare killer touch in front of goal eluded them and Worthing benefitted, ending five league games without a victory.
While City were unchanged from Tuesday’s win over Taunton, visiting boss Adam Hinshelwood made six switches to help tighten up a recent deluge of goals against, but their defence became under pressure inside three minutes.
Luke Russe’s half-volley was deflected onto the bar by captain Joel Colbran and the midfielder produced a similar effort from Jordan Thomas’ resulting corner which just missed the target.
The next half hour saw the visitors enjoy a lot of the ball with City forced to stand off and pick their moments to press.
Aguiar’s 35-yarder on 31 minutes skidded wide and Kane Wills’ half volley was gobbled up by Will Buse at the second attempt.
City regained some authority for the conclusion of the half. Jordan Thomas’ strike was fumbled by Rees, who made amends by thwarting Scott Wilson on the follow-up with an outstretched leg.
Soon after, Rees gloved Dan Greenslade’s missile from way outside the box wide but Jerry Gill’s side were hit by a sucker punch in first half added time.
Colbran’s pinpoint diagonal ball from centre-back was chested by Aguiar, who stole in front of Raynes and calmly slotted away from 16 yards.
The second half began with City in the ascendency.
Ewan Clark’s free-kick sailed over and on 67 minutes Thomas left two defenders for dead before firing inches too high.
The newly introduced Bailey Smith helped carve out a second for the visitors against the run of play.
A former UK 200m record holding sprinter, Smith accelerated down the right and past Greenslade before his low delivery bypassed Jake Robinson and was inadvertently turned in by the chest of Raynes for an own goal.
Cody Cooke replaced Dan Hayfield on 77 minutes and his tenacity helped pick out Clark, but the subsequent effort was well held by Rees despite the torrential downpour through the second half.
Greenslade’s blistering try on the angle of the box was finger-tipped over by Rees as Worthing sat back and managed the closing stages well to prevent many more threats. Having conceded four in their last three away league games, the addition of Glen Rea, a Championship regular with Luton as recently as 2021, made a huge difference to their previously generous backline.
Having knocked the Romans out of the cup a fortnight ago, Bath will probably be pleased to see the back of the West Sussex outfit for a while.
City’s Line-Up: Buse, Raynes, Greenslade, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield (Cooke 77), Smith, Clark, Thomas, Wilson, Russe. Subs not used: Dyer, Frear, Lines, Morgan.
Scorers: City – none; Worthing – Agular (45+3), Own Goal (71)
City Bookings – none
Officials: D McCarrick, J Welsh, G Pearce