Bath City (0) 2 Dulwich Hamlet (1) 1 – Tuesday 14 March 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Two goals in the last 10 minutes saw City collect three priceless points at home to a battling Dulwich side. Jordan Dyer’s tremendous header and Scott Wilson’s tidy finish clinched a second recovery from behind in four days. This was after the luckless Jack Batten conceded a first half penalty which Sanchez Ming dispatched, and the stand-in skipper was later dismissed in this fixture for a second year running as a he collected a second yellow late on. Despite a late onslaught from the visitors which saw Max Harris somehow deny Michael Phillips, City held on to move within two points of the play-off spots.
Jerry Gill’s side opted to shoot down the slope in the first half in torrential rain. Their two best chances arrived around the half hour to Cody Cooke, who headed Elliott Frear’s cross over and slashed wide after brilliantly finding space from Dan Greenslade’s crossfield ball. The visitors took the lead in controversial circumstances. Bath overplayed at the back and after Quade Taylor dispossessed Greenslade, he was floored by a firm Batten challenge which appeared fair, but referee Oliver Mackey pointed to the spot and cautioned the defender for dangerous play. After a three minute delay Ming calmly sent Harris the wrong way from the spot.
City looked determined after the break as Cooke tried to lob the stranded Charlie Grainger after a mix-up at the Hamlet backline but it sailed over. To prevent further mishaps, Hakan Hayrettin reorganised his side into an unconventional 6-2-2 formation which meant the Romans enjoyed plenty of territory but unsurprisingly struggled to find room in behind the side with the worst defensive record in Step 2. Dan Hayfield latched on to Cooke’s pass but shot too close to Grainger who fisted away. With little joy from open play, it took a set-piece to create a leveller. Chris Lines’ corner was met by Dyer at the near post and his superb header looped over the helpless Grainger into the far corner. Cooke volleyed a difficult opening over from Hayfield’s cross but the latter claimed an assist with his next telling delivery. Set away from Cooke down the right, Hayfield’s first time delivery was right into the path of the onrushing substitute Wilson who slid home his 16th goal of the campaign.
The eventful finale continued as Batten hauled down Josh Fawole as he threatened in behind leading to an inevitable second yellow and Dulwich sensed a chance to rescue a point. Phillips’ glancing header landed inches wide before stand-in centre-back Lines headed Joe Felix’ attempt over his own bar after Harris hesitated in blocking the midfielder. The keeper made up for this rare lapse with a magnificent save in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Kristian Campbell’s cross was headed by Taylor to Phillips who tried to nudge home from five yards, but somehow the keeper reacted in time to glove it around the post and preserve three points for Gill’s men.
City’s Line-Up: Harris, Greenslade, Dyer, Batten (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Smith (Wilson 65), Frear, Lines, Morton, Cox (Spokes 90+5). Subs not used: Clarke, Ford.
Scorers: City – Dyer (81), Wilson (87); Dulwich – Ming (pen 38)
City Bookings: Batten (37), Greenslade (45+4)
City Dismissal: Batten (89)
Officials: Oliver Mackey, Adam Wilson, Jake Woolley