Bath City (0) 2 Weston Super Mare (0) 0 – Vanarama National League South – Monday 27 August 2018 – Twerton Park
Goals from Sean Rigg and Joe Raynes saw Bath City end their Bank Holiday hoodoo with a deserved success over local rivals Weston-super-Mare, and concluded August in fifth place. It was the Romans’ first success in an August Bank Holiday fixture in ten years, and despite the setback of squandering a penalty, they brushed this aside to win with ease.
City, unchanged from Saturday’s defeat to Chelmsford, looked positive from the outset. Early on Joe Raynes found space on the right and his pull-back found Ryan Brunt, but he skied over from 14 yards. Brunt was denied by Luke Purnell soon after and struck the rebound against the side-netting. Sean Rigg’s slalom run ended with a shot rebounded behind by the head of Matt Bower with Purnell beaten. City’s dominance deserved a goal, but they were almost hit with a sucker punch on 24 minutes. Ben Swallow’s cross wasn’t fully cleared and Alex Byrne’s effort bounced against the post in near slow motion, with former Roman Jamie Lucas contriving to head the rebound wide with Clarke grounded. It gave the visitors some belief as they forced a few set-pieces to leave City on the back foot. One scramble from a Byrne corner saw Bower head wide as Clarke protested he’d been fouled.
Soon after the interval, Brunt was adjudged to have been pushed following a Raynes long throw in a crowded penalty box. Rigg took responsibility but saw his penalty firmly palmed behind by Purnell. Andy Watkins was cautioned for simulation in attempting to win a second spot-kick, before Rigg made amends for his miss on 56 minutes. Adam Mann was afforded too much room on the left and his precision centre was headed in by the midfielder, who sneaked in at the back post. His relief was evident, in two cases as his former Bristol Rovers team-mate Ben Swallow wildly shot wide soon after the restart, denying an instant riposte. Bath’s second goal included a touch of fortune. Rigg’s shot from 25 yards looked saveable for Purnell, but Raynes’ ghosting run saw the ball flick off him and leave the Seagulls stopper helpless. Having had a goal unfairly ruled out on Saturday, it was just desserts for the Bathonian. Brunt should have made it three. Played through by Frankie Artus and left onside, he rolled the ball against the outside of the post. Weston threw bodies forward in desperation, but City coped comfortably and instead the gaps at the other end invited Jerry Gill’s men to threaten further. Mann’s stinging shot was well held by Purnell, and Mills was denied a first goal for the club after he inadvertently got in Anthony Straker’s way following the full-back’s jinking run into the box, before the Weston stopper bravely blocked him from close range. Naby Diallo flashed a header wide from a superb first-time George Nurse cross, which would have been scant consolation for the winless Seagulls, whereas City find themselves handily placed at the opposite end of the table.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke, Straker (c), Batten, Artus, Watkins (Richards 75), Rigg, Brunt (Mills 79), Mann, Cundy, Raynes, Morton. Subs not used: Ball, Amankwaah, Hodges.
Scorers: City – Rigg (56), Raynes (62); Weston – none
City Bookings: Watkins (51), Straker (88), Artus (89)
Officials: S Jackson, D Flynn, M Peters