Chippenham Town (0) 0 Bath City (0) 0 – Sunday 1 January 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Hardenhuish Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
The width of the post denied Bath City a winning start to 2023 as they claimed a New Year’s Day point at Chippenham Town.
Will Henry’s brilliance parried Dan Hayfield’s deflected strike onto the upright as a late rally from the Romans saw them nearly sneak success.
Town talisman Jordan Young, who had scored in their last four contests, was forced off injured before the break.
Without his presence the Bluebirds lacked fluidity in attack as the sides played out a goalless draw – the first in an A4 derby since November 1901.
Young had the first chance inside four minutes as his dipping free-kick was neatly turned behind the post by Josh Gould, who flung himself to his right.
Callum Ebanks’ half volley from Dan Greenslade’s superb crossfield ball flashed just wide of Henry’s post.
Chippenham leading marksman Young hobbled off on 39 minutes and substitute Joe Hanks made his mark within 120 seconds, collecting a caution for needlessly getting involved with Hayfield after Luke Spokes had caught Luke Russe. Spokes and Hayfield also saw yellow for their involvement.
The final kick of the half saw Harry Parsons’ free-kick brush the side-netting in an opening period which the hosts edged in a contest low on quality.
City had the advantage of shooting down the noticeable Hardenhuish Park slope in the second half, but it was the home side with two early openings as Russe fired over from 25 yards and Parsons’ effort was charged down after he delayed pulling the trigger following tidy footwork.
Scott Wilson was brought on for Elliott Frear midway through the second half as part of a front three for the Romans. It nearly paid off immediately as his lay-off for Ebanks saw the forward’s well-placed low curler tipped away by Henry as it threatened to creep inside the post.
From James Morton’s resulting corner, the ball was cleared to Hayfield whose rocketed drive clipped Will Tizzard on the way through. It required super reflexes from former City keeper Henry, who tipped it onto the inside of the post before Leighton Tuodolo hammered the loose ball behind.
Hanks did enough to deny Kieran Parselle heading home against his ex-employers and even better defending from Tizzard kept out Hayfield as his desperate lunge helped the ball over the bar with Henry beaten.
In the end neither side could make the breakthrough as Bath will look to build on their two draws in two games at the midway point of their season.
City’s Line-Up: Gould, Greenslade, Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Frear (Wilson 68), Spokes, Morton, Ebanks, Cox. Subs not used: Smith, Clarke, Lines, Mannings.
Scorers: City – none; Chippenham – none
City Bookings: Greenslade (19), Spokes (40), Hayfield (40)
Officials: A Humphries, T Green, S Barry