Bath City (0) 1 Cheshunt (0) 0 – Saturday 22 October 2022 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Cody Cooke’s 12th goal of the season earned Bath City a deserved win against struggling Cheshunt.
The leading marksman’s sixth penalty this term was enough to overcome a battling but limited opposition, consigning them to an 11th defeat in 13 matches.
Cooke had missed two good openings in the first half but City struggled to test Joe Rose enough throughout despite largely controlling the contest.
In the end it took a spot-kick to decide matters in front of another four-figure crowd boosted by the club’s annual Student Day.
Cheshunt arrived 40 minutes before kick-off due to various hold-ups on the M4 but showed little intent on warming up swiftly, though it didn’t appear to affect their early play.
Fraser Alexander’s shot from 20 yards was charged down by home debutant Jacob Jones with strong appeals for a penalty turned down inside three minutes.
Joe Re, the only ever-present among 36 players used by the Ambers this season, volleyed wide when Zack Newton’s long throw was only half cleared.
It perked City up with Luke Spokes dragging wide after Cooke’s shot was blocked before the latter missed a glorious opportunity on 13 minutes.
Having held off Lewis Hobbs from Chris Lines’ excellent ball over the top, the forward miscued wide when off balance with just Rose to beat.
He was left one-on-one again soon after when Dan Hayfield’s intelligent dink over the defence left them flat-footed but Rose stood strong to deflect Cooke’s strike away.
Mo Camara wastefully headed Luke Warner-Eley’s corner over on 27 minutes in what proved to be the last real scare for the Romans all afternoon.
With six minutes gone in the second half, Lines volleyed way off target when left unmarked at the back post after Joe Raynes’ pinpoint cross picked out the experienced midfielder.
Hayfield bent a shot over from 25 yards with substitute Elliott Frear volleying wide after Fletcher easily got the better of Warner-Eley in the build-up.
Territorially the hosts were largely on top and finally found a breakthrough with 16 minutes remaining.
Frear’s low ball from the byline was easily intercepted by Taylor McKenzie at the near post, but the centre-back was oblivious to Fletcher sneaking in front on the blind side and consequently kicked at the City forward rather than the ball, resulting in a clear penalty.
With five penalties from six already converted this season, Cooke kept up his high success rate by drilling into the bottom right corner just out of Rose’s reach.
Fletcher nearly ended his October goal drought with six minutes left when goalkeeper Joe Wright’s long free-kick was flicked on by Cooke to the front man but his first time effort looped over Rose.
Jerry Gill’s men saw out the closing stages with ease to make it back-to-back wins and clean sheets ahead of a Wednesday night trip to Havant & Waterlooville.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Batten, Parselle (c), Fletcher, Hayfield, Cooke, Lines, Spokes, Wilson (Frear 63), Jones. Subs not used: Clarke, Smith, Mannings, Morton.
Scorers: City – Cooke (pen 75); Cheshunt – none
City Bookings: Batten (85)
Officials: D Wootton, H Lavender, J Tewson