Bath City (0) 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 1 – Tuesday 7 February 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Dan Hayfield’s sublime free-kick wasn’t enough as City claimed a draw with a hard-working Hampton side.
The midfielder claimed his first goal at Twerton Park in style soon after half-time but it was deservedly cancelled out by Connor Kurran-Browne, just four minutes after the livewire substitute had entered the fray.
The Beavers had gnawed away at City once they fell behind with Sam Deadfield hitting the post and Dean Inman having a header cleared off the line by Luke Spokes.
Ultimately a winner didn’t come for the visitors as the Romans made it four points from two games.
Bath started brightly with Hampton’s Luke Jenkins doing enough to thwart Elliott Frear a finish at the far post, before the winger set Scott Wilson through one on one with goalkeeper Alan Julian. The striker stayed on his feet following possible contact from the stopper and his loss of balance prevented a clear chance.
Spokes fired over following a clever corner routine and Tommy Davis threw himself in the way of a Wilson strike as the visitors were forced to defend in numbers.
Inman nearly inadvertently nodded into his own net with Julian forced into tipping his header over as the sides went into the break goalless.
It took just six minutes inside the second half for the opener to arrive.
Cody Cooke was upended by Shane Dunne ten yards outside the penalty area and Hayfield’s resulting free-kick was tremendous, arcing around the wall into the top right corner to give Julian no chance.
Having posed City few problems in the first half, the goal seemed to spur Mel Gwinnett’s side into life as the final 35 minutes largely belonged to the South West Londoners.
Deadfield squeezed a shot onto the post from 12 yards and from the resulting corner Inman, who scored twice against City last season at the Beveree, headed narrowly over.
Dan Wishart was presented with a free-kick at similar range from Hayfield’s but the Boro’ man curled inches over with Max Harris at full-stretch.
Inman’s header was scrambled away off the line by Spokes as City continued to live dangerously, with their task being made harder by the introduction of Kurran-Browne for Dunne.
Inside a minute of his arrival the winger went on a marauding run and shot across goal, missing the far post by a whisker.
A leveller felt inevitable, and it arrived on 78 minutes. Wishart’s ball from right to left was expertly headed back across goal by Inman to Kurran-Browne who touched in his first league goal for the club from almost on the goalline.
Tommy Wood somehow failed to connect with Kurran-Browne’s teasing low cross when the slightest contact would have put the Beavers ahead and Kieran Parselle needed to be alert to deny a tap-in after Harris spilt Jake Gray’s powerful drive.
Hayfield slashed wide on the counter in a rare City opening up the slope as they recorded a second 1-1 draw with Hampton this term.
City’s Line-Up: Harris, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Frear (Rose 67), Lines, Spokes (Smith 83), Wilson (Cox 64), Morton. Subs not used: Clarke, Mannings.
Scorers: City – Hayfield (50); Hampton – Kurran-Browne (78)
City Bookings: Wilson (63)
Officials: R Ablitt, A Dunn, O Whiting