Bath City (0) 0 Yeovil Town (0) 1 – Wednesday 6 December 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Morgan Williams diverted home an 80th minute winner to settle the 273rd West Country Derby in Yeovil’s favour.
The centre-back silenced two thirds of the first sell-out crowd at Twerton since January 1964 to consign the Romans to back-to-back defeats.
It was a cruel blow on Jerry Gill’s side, who wasted several first half openings against their rivals in the first league meeting between the two since April 1995.
But Mark Cooper’s men did enough defensively to claim their first away clean sheet since January to end their four-game winless run in all competitions.
City attacked with menace from the off with Dan Greenslade’s strike deflected wide inside 90 seconds.
Dan Hayfield’s driving run to the byline preceded a cut-back which somehow evaded the onrushing Scott Wilson.
Yeovil’s sluggish start was further hampered when Alex Whittle hobbled off and they reverted to a back four to suit the attack-minded replacement Will Dawes.
Hayfield sidefooted Greenslade’s pull-back wide before City’s best opening arrived five minutes before the break.
The outstanding Jordan Thomas unselfishly laid off for Wilson, his effort was ricocheted to Elliott Frear but the recalled winger was thwarted by a combination of goalkeeper Joe Day and Williams.
Yeovil came back out for the second half early and created their first glimmer of an opening when Jordan Young’s corner wasn’t fully connected by the arriving Wannell.
City’s best chance of the game arrived just past the hour. Thomas weaved into room down the right and played across for the onrushing Frear, but from 10 yards he didn’t fully connect and Michael Smith was perfectly positioned to clear from the line.
The Glovers introduced former City loanee Sonny Cox for Frank Nouble and his first involvement was to draw a free-kick down the right, where Cooper’s delivery was scrambled clear.
With 10 minutes remaining, a set-piece from a near identical spot proved decisive. After Wilson was harshly adjudged to have upended Cooper, the midfielder dusted himself down to whip in a terrific delivery which Williams guided in from six yards.
City penned the visitors back in the dying stages but struggled to create any clear openings with Williams and Wannell outstanding. On-loan keeper Slav Huk raced up for a late corner during seven minutes of added time but couldn’t become a hero as Yeovil held on to increase their lead at the top to six points with a game in hand, and leave the deflated Romans to mull over an unfortunate second loss of the week.
City’s Line-Up: Huk, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Frear (Thorn 81), Thomas, Wilson, Russe. Subs not used: Batten, Clark, Smith, Lines.
Scorers: City – none; Yeovil – Williams (80)
City Bookings – Wilson (79), Frear (81)
Officials: O Mackey, J Hooper, C Collins