Bath City (1) 1 Beaconsfield Town (0) 0 – Saturday 18 November 2023 – FA Trophy 2nd Round – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Scott Wilson’s 13th goal of the season proved enough for Bath City to see off lower league Beaconsfield Town.
The lethal front man found room past a packed defence to seal progress to round three of the FA Trophy.
Beaconsfield’s best chance of the match saw Will Buse somehow claw away Joe Morrison’s close range effort from Zidan Akers’ header across goal.
Jordan Thomas, up against former North Leigh teammate James Dobson, squandered two late opportunities to kill off the tie in an otherwise exciting performance from the winger.
Town arrived for their first meeting at Twerton in 16th place in Southern Premier South, and facing a side 37 places higher they opted for a back five to try and nullify the threat of the free-scoring Romans.
Bar Thomas curling over inside the opening minute, it was the visitors who showed promise early with Jacob Gardiner-Smith’s looping header well taken by Buse before the pace of lone forward Zidan Akers led to Dan Bradshaw curling over.
The flurry of early chances continued as some trademark Thomas footwork saw him find room to cross down the right. His delivery was headed downwards by Wilson but clawed away by Matt Rowley.
A stunning save by Buse on 25 minutes kept the tie goalless. Asher Yearwood’s ball to the back post was headed back by Akers to Morrison some six yards out who looked certain to score, but Buse somehow sprawled in the way to foil the defender a second goal in two games.
Cody Cooke failed to fully connect with Jordan Dyer’s teasing cross in a promising chance before City broke the deadlock in first half added time with a finely worked goal.
Dyer slid the ball down the right to Luke Russe who had time to pick Wilson out in the box. The striker took a touch away from Sam Togwell and duly rammed home from 10 yards.
City lost Dan Greenslade to injury at the break with Joe Raynes on in his place, but it failed to disrupt the home backline as though Beaconsfield tried to push more forward, they lacked quality in the attacking third to trouble Buse and his defence. They threw on 44-year-old Jefferson Louis but the player coach couldn’t find an avenue to goal.
The only telling goalmouth excitement arrived in the final quarter hour and all to City. Thomas’ intelligent reverse ball presented Raynes with an opportunity, but he tamely shot against the legs of Rowley.
A storming run down the right from Thomas saw him escape the sliding Sam Granville and Dobson before his final product was surprisingly wayward, a curler which flew harmlessly wide.
Thomas was involved in the final move of the contest when he found Dan Hayfield down the right. The midfielder got the better of Luke Neville and pulled back to Thomas, who tried to catch Rowley out on his near post but the keeper batted behind for a corner.
It meant the scoreline between the sides remained slender until the finish but City did more than enough to progress for a third successive win in all competitions.
City’s Line-Up: Buse, Greenslade (Raynes HT), Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Frear (Clark 60), Thomas, Wilson (Smith 80), Russe. Subs not used: Lines, Morgan.
Scorers: City – Wilson (45+1); Beaconsfield – none
City Bookings: none
Officials: C Peters, G McMahon, W Payne