Bath City (0) 1 Welling United (0) 1 – Friday 2 December 2022 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Callum Ebanks’ home debut goal wasn’t enough as City were held by Welling United in a Friday night fixture.
The on-loan forward stretched to volley home on the hour after the Romans had dominated the start of the second half.
They were stung by Taylor Maloney’s late leveller to earn a point for the Wings, their third draw in four games.
The match was City’s first at Twerton Park since the abandonment against Dulwich Hamlet on 8 November following Alex Fletcher’s accident.
A seventh minute applause was held for the forward, who has now returned home to continue his rehabilitation.
This took place during a break in play after Dan Greenslade’s raking drive was well held by Kai McKenzie-Lyle, a rare highlight in a tepid first half which was disrupted for the visitors losing top scorer Ade Azeez to injury.
Medy Elito blazed well over from the edge of the box in a half chance for United as both teams cancelled each other out.
Jerry Gill re-jigged his front line at the break with a 4-2-3-1 formation and it paid dividends as the Romans showed more dynamism and found it easier to open up the visiting defence.
On 49 minutes Luke Spokes’ through ball was intelligently left by Ebanks for Dan Hayfield, who was left one-on-one with McKenzie-Lyle but the big goalkeeper spread himself and deflected his effort wide with an outstretched foot.
Elliott Frear’s dipping curler from 15 yards clipped off the top of the bar as City turned the screw and were eventually rewarded with an opener.
Joe Raynes set Frear away on the right leaving Welling stretched. He pulled back to Spokes whose intended ball took two deflections which set it up nicely for Ebanks, who lunged in to prod home from six yards. Welling were left furious arguing that Chris Lines had fouled Maloney in the build-up, Stefan Payne’s protests earning him a caution, but the goal stood to give the hosts a deserved lead.
Hayfield’s clever flick into space in the box concluded with a volley over after Welling put themselves in trouble, but they dusted themselves down and levelled with their first shot in anger.
Warren Feeney’s side countered menacingly through Elito and his pull-back found Maloney in room on the edge of the box. The midfielder cut inside and his powerful drive took a nick off Jordan Dyer before flying past Gould, who got a hand on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
Maloney was fortunate to escape with a booking for unnecessarily chopping down Raynes from behind in the closing stages which forced the right back to hobble off with Tom Smith on as a stoppage time replacement.
Yaser Kasim nearly snatched a cruel winner for the away side when he and Payne linked up well in the box but Gould smartly tipped the Iraq international’s shot away for a corner in the final action of the contest.
City’s Line-Up: Gould, Raynes (Smith 90), Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Frear, Lines, Spokes (Morton 69), Wilson, Ebanks. Subs not used: Clarke, Mannings, Batten.
Scorers: City – Ebanks (60); Welling – Maloney (81)
City Bookings: Lines (4), Greenslade (37), Hayfield (63), Wilson (82)
Officials: D Wootton, M Underhay, G Dunn