Bath City (1) 2 Gloucester City (0) 0 – Tuesday 25 July 2023 – Pre-Season Friendly – Twerton Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Impressive Bath City saw off Gloucester City with ease in their final home friendly of the summer.
Goals from Tom Smith and Dan Hayfield clinched victory in a promising display against the National League North outfit.
Tim Flowers’ side had no answer to the attacking threat of the Romans, who should have won by more.
Ollie Wright claimed a fourth clean sheet in seven friendlies in a fine evening’s work by the hosts.
Having started on the front foot, City made their dominance count with a 13th minute breakthrough.
Dan Greenslade’s cross from the left saw Scott Wilson’s persistence prevent the away defence from clearing fully which allowed Smith to smartly dispatch from 10 yards, firing into the bottom left corner.
Two eye-catching efforts from Joe Raynes nearly produced further daylight between the sides.
After Luke Russe’s effort was blocked, the ball ricocheted in the air where Raynes attempted an over-head kick, requiring a smart tip-over from Zach Jeacock.
On 21 minutes the full-back came steaming into the box and volleyed against the bar from Wilson’s cross from the left.
Jordan Thomas headed Ewan Clark’s hanging delivery wide in an example of the two causing issues for Gloucester, who switched to a back four to try and stifle the flowing Romans with Clark proving a real handful.
The formation change have the desired effect. Hayfield skipped to the byline before his pull-back was flashed over by Wilson at the near post, before Jeacock denied Clark and did well to snuff out Thomas on the rebound as the attacker attempted to round the grounded keeper.
The visitors improved defensively after the break and had an opening on 65 minutes when Joe Parker tried to escape the clutches of Ben Morgan on the edge of the box, but a sliding interception from the former Gloucester captain prevented further route forward.
Instead City doubled their lead with a fine goal on 76 minutes.
Thomas’ persistence saw him rob Kyrese Morrison near the byline, but when Hayfield’s shot was blocked from the delivery, it appeared the chance was gone.
Within seconds Russe kept the attack alive by dispossessing Louis McGrory and finding Clark out wide. The winger’s teasing ball was perfect for Hayfield who expertly nodded into the corner from 12 yards, his third goal of an excellent pre-season.
He nearly had another 10 minutes later when a superb reverse ball by the eye-catching Clark saw Hayfield nick the ball past the onrushing Jeacock, but Morrison was well placed to clear from the line.
The Tigers recorded the final chance of the game when Chris Lines’ slack ball in midfield was pounced upon, leading to an opening for Brandon Smalley. His strike across goal was thwarted by the sliding Jordan Dyer and Wright was alert to deny Harry Williams close range on the follow-up.
It kept his deserved clean sheet intact in a performance which left Romans boss Jerry Gill thrilled.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Greenslade, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Smith (Lines 67), Clark, Thomas, Wilson (Cooke 60), Russe, Morgan (Dyer 71). Sub not used: Robinson.
Scorers: City – Smith (13), Hayfield (76); Gloucester – none
City Bookings: none
Officials: O Taylor, J Bromham, K Slade