Chelmsford City (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Saturday 4 February 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Melbourne Stadium

Chelmsford City (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Saturday 4 February 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Melbourne Stadium

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Scott Wilson and Tom Smith strikes sealed Bath City’s first away league win of 2023.

Wilson marked his recall with a 7th minute opener before Smith wrapped up the success just seventy-one seconds after coming on.

Chelmsford’s Kai Yearn spurned a glorious opening in the second half as the Clarets suffered a third successive home loss.

City defended brilliantly to deny many opportunities for Robbie Simpson’s men, as debutants Ernaldo Krasniqi and Ody Alfa couldn’t help arrest their recent slide.

The Romans opened the scoring with their first meaningful attack. James Morton’s crossfield ball found Dan Hayfield in room down the right, his low centre saw Wilson take a touch before drilling low inside Jacob Marsden’s right post from 15 yards.

Cody Cooke nearly doubled the lead two minutes later. Receiving the ball from Elliott Frear, the leading marksman’s lofted shot from 18 yards was expertly tipped over by Marsden.

The legs of the recalled goalkeeper frustrated Cooke after he brushed aside Dave Winfield but shot too close to the stopper from a tight angle.

Chelmsford offered precious little with Cameron James blazing well over after Krasniqi teed him up following Yearn’s corner.

After the break, Morton was prevented a Goal of the Season contender as his superbly executed volley from 30 yards was magnificently fingertipped over by Marsden.

Alfa and Tom Blackwell were brought on for Reece Grant and Henry Ochieng as the hosts pushed for a leveller, and a combination of fantastic defending and wasteful finishing denied them one on 73 minutes.

Blackwell’s trickery on the byline preceded a pull-back for Simeon Jackson but his goalbound shot was blocked by the immense presence of Jordan Dyer. The ball rebounded back to Yearn who placed wide from 10 yards when he should have tested Max Harris.

The City keeper was at full-stretch to flick away Krasniqi’s try from the edge of the box as Chelmsford’s most threatening spell faded, which Bath took full advantage of.

A tired, looped clearance from Winfield was collected by substitute Sonny Cox, who turned inside of two and teed up fellow replacement Smith to precisely roll the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.

It capped off an excellent afternoon in Essex as City moved back to the top half of the table ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Hampton & Richmond Borough to Twerton Park.

Att: 678

City’s Line-Up: Harris, Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Cooke, Frear, Lines, Spokes (Smith 86), Wilson (Cox 72), Morton. Subs not used: Clarke, Mannings, Rose.

Scorers: City – Wilson (7), Smith (87); Chelmsford – none

City Bookings: Cooke (50)

Officials: S Hughes, S Parberry, C Poole