Bath City (0) 1 Slough Town (1) 2 – Tuesday 9 January 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Scott Davies’ magnificent free-kick saw Slough Town record their first win at Twerton Park since August 1992.
The player-manager curled in from 30 yards, soon after Jordan Thomas had deservedly got City back on level terms.
Slavi Spasov pinched his fourth goal in four games to put the Rebels ahead in an attritional first half.
Thomas’ 10th league goal of the season proved not enough as City suffered back-to-back losses.
Luke Russe was cautioned inside a minute in a disjointed opening where neither side could maintain possession.
Thomas was played through by Dan Hayfield but having been forced wide he shot too close to Dan Lincoln.
Elliott Frear’s cross from the byline saw Oscar Thron inadvertently flick away from Hayfield, with the loose ball falling to Cody Cooke whose effort from the edge of the box was easily gathered.
Slough were gifted an opener on 38 minutes. Munashe Sundire capitalised on Russe’s dalliance, roared towards goal and his shot appeared to be heading in before Spasov applied the finishing touch, maintaining the Rebels’ record of netting in every away league game this term.
Russe was replaced before the break by Chris Lines and his corner was flicked on by Jordan Dyer to Cooke, who headed over by a tight angle.
City looked far improved at the start of the second half with a burst of energy and zip about their play. Lines’ super reverse ball found Thomas one on one but Lincoln advanced and charged him down.
A glorious crossfield ball from Lines picked out Thorn whose centre just bypassed Cooke and Thomas.
The equaliser was a thing of beauty from a Bath perspective. Thorn played inside to Thomas whose deft footwork saw him fool Dan Bayliss and Sundire before he blasted central from eight yards to beat Lincoln.
It took just four minutes for Slough to retake the lead. Parselle brought down the tricky Sundire and Davies stepped up to dip home a trademark free-kick, with Will Buse at full-stretch to his right unable to keep it out.
Scott Wilson was introduced for Frear and his usual strike partner Cooke nearly manufactured a second leveller from nothing, pulling wide from the corner of the penalty box after Lincoln was caught in nomansland.
Slough substitute Nathan Minhas ballooned well over from six yards when Sundire’s pull-back appeared to gift the leading marksman a tap-in.
Wilson headed Thorn’s digged delivery off target from eight yards and Cooke nodded towards goal after Lincoln made a mess of a hanging ball, with Temi Eweka sparing his blushes by clearing off the line.
It proved pivotal as Slough’s improvement continued – their fourth win in six moves them to a season high position of 13th with City remaining in the play-off mix despite the frustrating loss.
City’s Line-Up: Buse, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Frear (Wilson 69), Thomas, Thorn, Russe (Lines 42). Subs not used: Batten, Clark, Smith.
Scorers: City – Thomas (54); Slough – Spasov (38), Davies (59)
City Bookings: Russe (1)
Officials: A Clarke, A Glanville, A Madden