Chippenham Town (1) 1 Bath City (0) 1 – Vanarama National League South – Saturday 26 December 2020 – Hardenhuish Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman
It was honours even in the A4 derby which saw both sides end with 10 men.
An own goal from Jack Batten gave Chippenham a 27th minute lead, but they were a man down 11 minutes later as Klaidi Lolos marked his home debut with a sending off.
Freddie Grant’s first goal for Bath levelled it up with 16 minutes left, before Donovan Wilson received his marching orders for colliding with home goalkeeper Will Puddy.
Former Bath winger Ross Stearn saw his intended cross hit the inside of the post with Will Henry stranded, before the Bluebirds’ luck was in for their opener.
Eddie Jones’ wicked delivery from the right was met by the backtracking Batten, who unintentionally looped it over Henry from 10 yards.
The context of the game was altered as half-time approached when Lolos’ lunge on Tom Mehew warranted a red card for the Greek midfielder.
City were largely kept at bay after the interval against a Chippenham side looking to catch them on the break.
Their plan nearly worked when Stearn was freed down the right and squared to the unmarked Brad Ash, but the Town leading scorer blazed miles over.
Tommy Conway also skied over after good work by Taylor before hard-working Ash atoned for his miss with some sterling defensive work, vitally clearing off the line before Mehew could pounce.
Wilson’s 25-yarder was well parried by Puddy as City threatened more, and they finally made their possession count in the final stages.
Frankie Artus was given time to float a diagonal cross for the onrushing Grant, who courageously nodded home before Puddy came out to punch, making him Bath’s 100th different goalscorer in National League South.
It ended 10 a-side as Wilson saw red for dangerous play with two minutes remaining. In desperation stretching for the ball, Puddy went down in agony holding his head, although contact appeared minimal.
Chippenham nearly snatched a stoppage time winner but Alex Bray shot too close to Henry who denied the substitute with his legs.
The draw means Chippenham remain winless at home in six and City unbeaten in four in all competitions.
City’s Line-Up: Henry, Taylor (Richards 58), Grant, Smith, Batten, Artus (c), Wilson, Harley, Conway, Horton, Mehew. Subs not used: Ball, James, Pope, Bahadur.
Scorers: City – Grant (75); Chippenham – Own Goal (28)
City Bookings: Batten (9), Grant (63)
City Dismissals: Wilson (88)
Officials: B Atkinson, A Berrow, R Cox