Clevedon Town (2) 2 Bath City (2) 3 – Wednesday 6 October 2021 – Somerset Premier Cup 1st Round – The Hand Stadium

Clevedon Town (2) 2 Bath City (2) 3 – Wednesday 6 October 2021 – Somerset Premier Cup 1st Round – The Hand Stadium

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Cody Cooke’s eighth goal of the season eventually secured City’s progression in the Somerset Premier Cup against Western League Premier Clevedon Town.

The Romans were made to work hard against Mickey Bell’s men, who cancelled out Eddie Jones’ header and Omar Holness’ 25-yarder with Etham Feltham’s neat finish and Syd Camper’s penalty, all this before the break.

Eventually Cooke capitalised on a loose clearance to seal victory for Bath, who were denied by Luca Smith continuously in the second half.

City goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, 22 years Smith’s senior, made his comeback from injury ahead of schedule as one of five changes from Jerry Gill, who fielded a strong side.

That decision appeared wise as City opened the scoring inside three minutes. Elliott Frear added to his three assists from Saturday with a dangerous ball towards the back post which was powerfully headed home by Jones, his first goal for the stripes.

Clevedon weren’t deterred and levelled on 17 minutes. Feltham cut in from the left and from 20 yards unleashed a precise shot between Jack Batten and makeshift centre-back Lloyd James, out of Clarke’s reach and into the bottom right corner.

The Seasiders faithful had witnessed 50 goals in just 12 league matches this season, and there was no let-up in the cup as a third arrived midway through the half.

Glen Hayer could only deflect Jones’ delivery to Holness, who perfectly guided it into the top right corner from 25 yards to give Smith no chance.

Again Clevedon wouldn’t lie down but had the rub of the green with an equaliser on 36 minutes. Camper’s free-kick into Ferris saw the big forward go to ground in the box under little persuasion from Joe Raynes, and Camper coolly sent Clarke the wrong way from the spot.

Raynes worryingly hobbled off six minutes after the break which saw substitute Alex Fletcher join the attack and Jones retreating into the back three.

A Clevedon change appeared to distract them defensively as City took advantage on 63 minutes.

Seconds after Alex Kemsley replaced Sam Iles on the left side of the home defence, the Romans attacked down that side as Tom Richards’ low ball wasn’t fully cleared and Cooke was on hand to easily side-foot home from eight yards.

It could have been more. Fletcher’s determined run concluded with a stinging drive parried by Luca Smith, who also frustrated Jones and Holness with tidy stops.

The young stopper’s best save was from City substitute Ethan Cannings, an academy product for Bath under former Clevedon defender Billy Clark. The 17-year-old’s half-volley was dipping under the crossbar but Smith batted it behind.

The hosts struggled to create any clear openings with Jack Camm firing over from distance as Gill’s men comfortably saw out the closing stages to seal a place in round two.

Att: 85

City’s Line-Up: Clarke (c), Raynes (Fletcher 50), Batten, Holness, Cooke (Cannings 75), Smith, James, Jones, Frear, Richards, Touray. Subs not used: Fuller, Ovigne.

Scorers: City – Jones (3), Holness (23), Cooke (61); Clevedon – Feltham (17), Camper (pen 36)

City Bookings: Smith (55)

Officials: C Scriven, S Ouchene, K Gould