Bath City (0) 3 Taunton Town (0) 0 – Tuesday 24 October 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
A devastating second half display from Bath City earned them bragging rights in the Somerset Derby against Taunton.
Dan Greenslade’s bullet of a strike from 25 yards capped off the success at a wet Twerton Park, with Jordan Thomas and Scott Wilson also on target after the break.
Will Buse marked his debut with a clean sheet against the side he won a Southern League championship medal with in 2022.
The win saw City leapfrog Taunton into second, who suffered their first away defeat in over two months.
Buse had only signed in the afternoon on loan from Yeovil Town and made an instant hero of himself, showing incredible reactions to beat away Ross Stearn’s strike after fellow ex-Romans Zac Smith and Nat Jarvis combined.
Wilson just failed to connect with Luke Russe’s first time ball from Dan Hayfield’s quick throw in an entertaining opening.
Stearn nearly found a way past his former employers on 34 minutes when his shot on the turn came back off the post. Jay Foulston’s drive from the rebound was parried by Buse and cleared.
Peacocks goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe had difficulty with the wet conditions, fumbling Thomas’ long-ranger with Wilson diverting the rebound wide under pressure in the final chance of the half.
Lavercombe was also at fault for the opener on 57 minutes. His poor clearance led to Russe’s crossfield ball picking out Thomas, who cut inside and unleashed a beautiful curling effort which flew past the visiting custodian.
Taunton introduced Nick McCootie and Dave Sims-Burgess for Stearn and Jarvis on 70 minutes, and the two brought on became central figures to a chalked off goal which left the visiting bench riled soon after.
Foulston’s teasing delivery from the left appeared to bypass the two substitutes in the box and bounced past Buse, but assistant referee Sean Jenkins flagged for offside with referee Phillip Eddie agreeing that the duo were interfering with play, causing the goal to be chalked off.
It proved crucial as City doubled their lead five minutes later. Thomas’ free-kick slipped through Lavercombe’s grasp and he could only watch on as Wilson headed in the loose ball – his 10th league goal of the season.
The third goal will live long in the memory for City players and supporters. Hayfield’s pass into the path of Greenslade saw him race on and wallop the ball first time into the top right corner from 25 yards, a stunning finish with a hint of swerve to finish Taunton off.
Wilson and Ewan Clark had further openings to make the margin even sweeter for Jerry Gill’s side, who enjoyed a happy return to Twerton Park after a month without a home fixture.
City’s Line-Up: Buse, Raynes, Greenslade, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Smith (Lines 87), Clark (Frear 84), Thomas, Wilson (Cooke 86), Russe. Subs not used: Fletcher, Morgan.
Scorers: City – Thomas (57), Wilson (78), Greenslade (80); Taunton – none
City Bookings: Russe (52)
Officials: P Eddie, J Pike, S Jenkins