Bath City (0) 1 Newport County (1) 1 – Pre-Season Friendly – Friday 19 July 2019 – Twerton Park
Bath City grabbed a deserved pre-season draw with League 2 outfit Newport County on the back of a strong second-half display. The lead was Newport’s late in the first period courtesy of a trialist as the hosts were found on their heels at a ball in behind. But the County threat was stymied for the vast majority of the second period with Ross Stearn taking one of numerous City chances for his side’s first goal of pre-season.
The game was slow to rouse initially with a pre-season pace, although the Romans still knocked the ball around well at times. Also notable for the hosts was centre-half Matt Bower, part of a back three, pushing forward down the left flank on more than one occasion. It was Newport who had the first openings of the game, Mo Touray twice drawing diving saves from Ryan Clarke, either side of a shanked volley. Meanwhile, Tyler Harvey lifted one well over for City from a good 25 yards out. They had a better effort when trialist Tom Richards ran on to a half-cleared long ball and forced County stopper Tom King to save low to his right. But the Newport goal arrived three minutes before the interval as two trialists linked up, one sliding a through ball in behind the City defence’s high line before the next ran on and chipped Clarke.
Adam Mann had a chance to equalise for the hosts and had a handful of the crowd fooled when his powerful strike rebounded off the advertising hoardings and rustled the rear of the net. City began the second period in positive mood seeking a route back into the game. Substitute Andy Watkins was almost immediately handed an opportunity with a dreadful attempted defensive pass across the back of the Newport rearguard. He picked the ball up on the edge of the D and shot low and wide, while Mann spooned one off target with his weaker right foot soon after. The Romans then had two more chances in quick succession as Harvey rasped a firm strike over the bar, before the driving Watkins had a shot deflected wide. The leveller would arrive, however, via Stearn, whose cracking finish found the bottom corner from range. A powerful strike from Joe Raynes then ended up in the Bath End after eye-catching build-up involved a Connor Riley-Lowe cross, Ryan Brunt’s chest and a Watkins lay-off before the contest petered out.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke (c) (Wiles-Richards 66), Hartridge, Riley-Lowe, Bower, Batten, Smith (Watkins HT), Raynes, Hamblin (Simpson HT), Harvey (Stearn 66), Richards, Mann (Brunt 60). Subs not used: Harper, Ollis, Hillman.
Scorers: City – Stearn (73); Newport – Trialist (42)
City Bookings: none
Referee: Savvas Yianni