Bath City (1) 1 Tonbridge Angels (1) 1 – Saturday 6 April 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Bath City (1) 1 Tonbridge Angels (1) 1 – Saturday 6 April 2024 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Cody Cooke scored and missed a penalty as Bath City were frustratingly held by mid-table Tonbridge Angels.

Ethan Sutcliffe’s first half header earned a deserved point for the visitors, who fended off any unlikely relegation worries at Twerton Park.

Cooke’s second spot-kick, awarded with four minutes left, was dragged wide and knocked the stuffing out of Jerry Gill’s side.

Other results means City remained seventh with a nerve-wracking few weeks expected.

Gill was serving a touchline ban for his 150th home match in charge, leaving assistant Jim Barron directing his troops from the dugout with the manager in the main stand.

Both would have been purring at the start. City were on the front foot and thought they had a penalty inside seven minutes when Jack Batten’s ball forward saw Cooke sneak inside of Liam Vincent who clipped him just inside the area, but a free-kick was awarded.

It proved academic as Jack Bates’ delivery saw Jordan Dyer try and turn away from Vincent before going to ground, with referee Tommy Breen pointing to the spot.

Following a long delay, Cooke kept his nerve to easily wrong-foot Jon Henly and convert his 20th goal of the campaign in all competitions.

Tonbridge responded strongly. Lewis Gard just failed to connect with Matty MacArthur’s cross and Jernade Meade skipped across the edge of the box before his low strike was tipped away by Will Buse.

They equalised five minutes before the break. Sean Shields’ perfectly floated corner was met by the onrushing Sutcliffe, who powerfully headed home from six yards.

City lost Joe Raynes at the interval having picked up a dead leg, with Tom Smith on in his place and Dan Hayfield pushed into a wing-back role.

Both sides largely cancelled each other out in an uneventful opening to the second period. Scott Wilson set Hayfield away down the right but after cutting inside his tame shot was easily gathered by Henly.

Tariq Hinds’ first-time ball towards the near post just missed former City trialist Mo Dabre as Jay Saunders’ side showed good energy despite having little to play for.

Shields and Dabre both failed to test Buse from distance before the hosts were afforded a huge opportunity to try and snatch victory.

Batten’s floated ball into the box was headed back across by Smith to fellow substitute Ephraim Yeboah. The youngster’s shot was superbly blocked by Jamie Fielding but referee Breen deemed it was with an outstretched arm and pointed to the spot.

Again Cooke was left waiting before taking his penalty and while he sent Henly the wrong way again, his kick went a yard wide of the left post and kept the score at 1-1.

Duncan Idehen nearly put through his own net when Gard’s low cross connected with the centre-back who diverted the ball close enough to Buse.

The keeper was nearly left red faced straight after when he delayed his throw out and Meade snuck in from behind him to try and rob the ball, forcing the keeper to intercept.

It kept a point intact for City with a play-off spot still in their hands.

Att: 1358

City’s Line-Up: Buse, Raynes (Smith HT), Greenslade, Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Idehen, Wilson (Alabi 79), Bates (Yeboah 65). Subs not used: Frear, Vassell.

Scorers: City – Cooke (pen 10); Tonbridge – Sutcliffe (40)

City Bookings: Raynes (39), Greenslade (76)

Officials: T Breen, D Spyer, A Gregory