City ease to Bishops Cleeve pre-season win

Bath City kept up their impressive pre-season with a comfortable 3-0 win at Bishops Cleeve tonight. Joe Raynes got the ball rolling on 22 minutes with a fine strike from 20 yards which flew just inside Lewis Clayton’s left post to give the Romans a deserved lead. They had enough territory but struggled to test Clayton further as the home side defended in numbers, with Luke Spokes’ attempted cross from a free-kick bouncing narrowly wide on the Gloucestershire side’s newly laid 3G surface. Lee Llewelyn fired wide from 20 yards in a rare opening for Cleeve, who were grateful for Will Turner in clearing from near the goalline when Alex Fletcher prodded the ball past Clayton after holding off Shayne Anson. City doubled their lead on 55 minutes with a superbly worked move between Tom Smith, Raynes and Fletcher. The latter saw his strike initially saved by replacement keeper Greg Lannon but Fletcher instinctively volleyed in the rebound via the underside of the bar. Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis wasted a glorious opening with 20 minutes remaining when he exploited a gap in the Bath backline but curled his first-time effort off target when he should have tested Kai Storr in the City goal. From the resulting goal-kick, Elliott Frear linked up with Scott Wilson before the winger pulled the ball back from the byline for Dan Hayfield, who easily side-footed home from 10 yards. Storr prevented Darquan from pulling one back for the Mitres and Wilson nearly wrapped up a fine performance with a fourth with a close-range downward header but Kieran Alder hacked it off the line with Lannon beaten. Overall it was a promising display against the Hellenic League champions ahead of Saturday’s meeting against National League North outfit Gloucester City.