Bath City (1) 2 Concord Rangers (0) 1 – Saturday 20 November 2021 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Bath City (1) 2 Concord Rangers (0) 1 – Saturday 20 November 2021 – Vanarama National League South – Twerton Park

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Cody Cooke’s 11th goal of the season clinched a much-needed win for Bath City.

The Romans leading marksman sent Twerton Park into delirium with his late strike as the contest looked set to peter out into Bath’s first draw of the campaign.

Jordan Dyer’s second goal in two games had opened the scoring for Bath in a first half they dominated, but Danny Green’s spot-kick levelled it for the Beachboys.

The Essex side looked set to claim a point until Cooke’s 81st minute intervention.

Jerry Gill made two changes to his starting line-up and an alteration in preparations, bringing the players in four hours before kick-off to include working on set-pieces. It quickly paid off.

On 10 minutes, Joe Raynes’ outswinging corner was headed goalwards by Callum Wood, away keeper Myles Roberts could only parry it to Dyer who had time to control and thrash the ball home from six yards for his second goal in a week.

Elliott Frear’s attempted cross came back off the bar with Roberts beaten and the woodwork was tested again when Mo Touray tried to deliberately guide the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards but the slightest touch by Roberts parried it onto the post and into the goalkeeper’s grateful mitts.

Alex Fletcher also wastefully scuffed straight at Roberts after a slip from Joe Payne set him clear. Cooke’s sharp shot on the turn was pushed away by the Beachboys number one and the overworked keeper denied Fletcher again with Touray magnificently blocked from netting the rebound by Ollie Kensdale, the former Bath loanee sliding in the way when a goal looked certain.

Injury and suspension hit Concord offered little in response in the first half with Ryan Clarke easily gathering Sam Blackman’s free-kick from some 35 yards.

Having been under the cosh for the first 45, Rangers responded positively after the break and won a penalty when Lamar Reynolds appeared to go to ground easily from an attempted Jack Batten challenge. Green coolly rolled home the resulting spot-kick to Clarke’s right.

Concord were fortunate to not be reduced to 10 men when Jake Peck petulantly stamped on the grounded Raynes after a tussle in midfield, which resulted in a yellow card when replays showed the act looked deliberate and should have landed harsher punishment.

Roberts was protected better in the second half with Raynes, making his 100th appearance for the club, and Cooke whistling shots over from 18 yards.

Temi Babalola tried to single-handedly give the visitors the lead when he shimmied his way along the byline but was thwarted by a combination of Clarke and his post.

The City stopper then turned provider for the winner. His long clearance saw Cooke fend off Franklin Domi in the air before side-stepping around Roberts and rifling into the roof of the net past bodies on the line to earn a deserved three points much to the delight of a jubilant Community Day crowd.

Att: 1272

City’s Line-Up: Clarke (c), Raynes, Delaney, Batten, Wood, Fletcher, Cooke, Frear, Jones, Dyer, Touray (Smith 90). Subs not used: Fuller, Holness, James, Owers.

Scorers: City – Dyer (10), Cooke (80); Concord – Green (pen 56)

City Bookings: Raynes (66)

Officials: R Martin, C Waller, C Peters