Bath City (0) 2 Weston Super Mare (2) 6 – Tuesday 15 August 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Bath City were hit for six in an extraordinary Somerset Derby defeat to Weston-super-Mare.
The visitors tore the hosts apart at Twerton Park in stunning fashion with four of their goals arriving in a remarkable second half.
Dayle Grubb and an own goal by goalkeeper Ollie Wright put Scott Bartlett’s men in the ascendency before half-time, who they found themselves 5-0 up with 24 minutes remaining.
Dan Hayfield and Cody Cooke netted the merest of consolations either side of Keiran Thomas converting the Seagulls’ sixth, the first time City had conceded half a dozen at home since December 1984.
All this was after Jerry Gill’s side dominated the early stages. Scott Wilson, formerly of Weston, saw his low drive turned away by Harry Lee after dispossessing Jordan Bastin and flicked over when Jordan Thomas’ corner was glanced on by Joe Raynes.
A goal for the away side on 14 minutes completely changed the course of the game. Dayle Grubb and James Dodd worked a one-two inside the penalty area before Grubb cut inside and clinically slammed past Wright from 12 yards.
It totally transformed Weston. Their passing and movement pulled City around as they found their Somerset neighbours difficult to contain.
Grubb’s 30-yard free-kick flew narrowly wide and the instrumental captain saw his curler batted behind by Wright having been teed up by Marlon Jackson.
The resulting corner led to a controversial second. Bastin’s teasing inswinger saw Wright appeared to be fouled by Thomas, with the ball flicking back off the goalkeeper’s hand and over the line despite Jordan Thomas’ desperate attempt to clear.
The City winger, part of the North Leigh side who inflicted Weston’s last defeat back in March, was cautioned six minutes later for simulation having gone down in the box past Lloyd Humphries’ outstretched leg.
Ewan Clark’s dugged shot from 16 yards was gathered by Lee at full-stretch in the final opening of the half.
Cooke was introduced at the break for Luke Russe in a tactical switch as like the first half, the Romans started positively. Clark collected Raynes’ through ball, rapidly cut inside but his thunderous strike rattled the crossbar.
But any hopes of a comeback were all but gone in the 52nd minute.
A patient 18 pass move concluded when Rex Mannings squared for Bastin, who quickly turned inside of Tom Smith and planted a low left-footed strike which Wright could only help into the net.
Grubb’s low free-kick flew a yard wide before Raynes left-footed inches over at the other end.
A fourth arrived for Weston just shy of the hour. Bastin’s superb reverse ball saw Jackson sneak behind Ben Morgan, round Wright and roll home with the back-tracking Raynes unable to keep it out.
Morgan and Jackson were both forced off after a collision two minutes later which saw the centre-back damage an ankle and Weston forward land awkwardly on his shoulder, with Jack Batten on in City’s third change.
His first involvement was one to forget, miscontrolling a Mannings flick on allowing the former Bath man to dispossess and emphatically rifle in a fifth and send the travelling support into further delirium.
A goal back from the hosts did little to silence them. After Humphries and Sam Avery effortlessly knocked the ball around at the back, Wilson showed tenacity to win it back before Clark’s determination concluded with a ball to the back-post and tidy first-time finish from Hayfield, the first goal Weston have conceded all season.
There was still time for last year’s Southern Premier South champions to prove how their momentum has continued a level up.
It was all too easy as Grubb was afforded time in midfield to pick City’s defence apart with a clever pass through to Bastin, whose first-time low centre was side-footed home by the onrushing Keiran Thomas.
Cooke nodded in his first of the season from Jordan Thomas’ dinked cross to reduce the margin of defeat in an otherwise chastening evening for Gill’s side.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Greenslade, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Smith (Lines 61), Clark, Thomas, Wilson, Russe (Cooke HT), Morgan (Batten 64). Subs not used: Dyer, Frear.
Scorers: City – Hayfield (74), Cooke (90); Weston – Grubb (15), OG (38), Bastin (52), Jackson (60), Mannings (67), Thomas (86)
City Bookings: Morgan (4), Thomas (43), Parselle (54)
Officials: N Pratt, I Khan, J Pike