Bishops Cleeve (0) 0 Bath City (1) 3 – Wednesday 20 July 2022 – Pre-Season Friendly – Kayte Lane
Match Report by Mark Stillman
Bath City made it four pre-season matches unbeaten with a comfortable success at Bishops Cleeve.
Joe Raynes, Alex Fletcher and Dan Hayfield were on target in Gloucestershire, in a fixture delayed for 24 hours owing to the extreme heat on Tuesday.
Cleeve’s Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis wasted a glorious chance at 0-2, which proved costly as City extended their lead within sixty seconds.
Joe Wright and Kai Storr kept the Romans’ clean sheet intact, with Jerry Gill’s men conceding just twice in their last four friendlies.
Bishops Cleeve netted 108 en route to Hellenic League glory last term with Jack Watts claiming 37 in all competitions. He recorded the first shot on target when he tried to catch out Wright but the City stopper made a straightforward gather.
Luke Spokes’ dangerous free-kick bypassed a crowd of bodies in the six yard box and bounced narrowly wide before City took a 22nd minute lead.
Scott Wilson found Joe Raynes in an advanced position and having played an unintended one-two off Leroy Odiero, Raynes thundered the ball home from 20 yards past Lewis Clayton’s despairing dive to his left.
Lee Llewelyn miscued wide from distance in response for Cleeve with Harrison Reeves also trying his luck from the edge of the box but his strike was too close to Wright.
Fletcher almost doubled City’s lead on 40 minutes when he latched on to Jack Batten’s through ball and held off Shayne Anson but his 3G cutter appeared to be rolling wide with Will Turner clearing regardless.
Instead he waited until 10 minutes after the break to net his third of pre-season. Tom Smith and Raynes were the architectures with Raynes backheeling Smith’s pass back from the byline for Fletcher whose initial shot was well saved by the legs of sub keeper Greg Lannon, but he couldn’t do anything about the volleyed follow-up from the City attacker which flew in via the underside of the bar.
Paul Collicutt changed 10 of his 11 players from half-time onwards and one of his substitutes, Ten-Grotenhuis, missed a golden opportunity to pull one back. Watts slipped it through to the forward who attempted to guide it into the top corner past Kai Storr, with City’s replacement stopper relieved to see it veer off target.
The next Cleeve player to touch the ball was opposite number Lannon to pick it out of the net. From the resulting free-kick, Elliott Frear’s clever touch found Wilson, who set the winger free on the left. His low ball across was met by the onrushing Hayfield, who confidently side-footed home from 10 yards.
The Mitres hunted for a consolation with Blaine Waugh’s defence-splitting pass seeing Darquan spring the offside trap, but his shot flew wide via the slightest touch from Storr.
Wilson should have capped off a fine performance with a goal when Dan Greenslade’s hanging cross saw goalkeeper hesitate but Wilson’s downward header from six yards was cleared off the line by Kieran Alder.
It made no difference to the outcome as Gill’s men patted themselves on the back for a good night’s work.
City’s Line-Up: Wright (Storr 63), Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Batten (Parselle 63), Fletcher, Spokes, Smith (Lines 63), Mannings (Frear 63), Wilson, Hayfield.
Scorers: City – Raynes (22), Fletcher (55), Hayfield (71)
City Bookings: none
Referee: Dale Wootton