Concord Rangers (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Saturday 15 October 2022 – Vanarama National League South – The Aspect Arena
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Cody Cooke’s timely return from injury earned Bath City a comfortable win at Concord Rangers, who parted company with manager Chris Search within 24 hours after the game.
Cooke took his tally to 11 for the season with a simple close range header and second half penalty after Scott Wilson was upended by Harvey Beckett.
It consigned the hosts to a ninth defeat in 11 which proved enough for manager Search, who left by mutual consent after 17 months in charge.
As for City, Jerry Gill’s four changes, including debutant Jacob Jones, blended well and were barely threatened throughout.
They got off to the perfect start with two of the players back in the side combining for a sixth minute opener.
Chris Lines’ outswinging corner saw Cooke easily escape the weak marking of Luke Pennell to powerfully head home from six yards.
Dan Hayfield nearly made it two on 13 minutes. Wilson’s intelligent hold-up play concluded with a slipped pass to the midfielder, whose effort with the outside of his foot flashed wide.
The same player had another opening just past the half hour when Alex Fletcher laid it off on the edge of the box to allow Hayfield to surge through, but his low left-footer was palmed away by home debutant goalkeeper Patrick Ohman.
Fletcher’s arrowing drive across the box somehow bypassed a crowded six yard box and flew narrowly wide with Ohman beaten.
City went into the interval completely in control, though they were dealt a blow in losing Jordan Dyer to a hip injury with Jack Batten on in a straight swap.
Incredibly Ohman was the first player for the hosts to have a shot on target when his 55th minute free-kick from some 70 yards bounced awkwardly in front of Joe Wright who had to tip it over.
Having nearly levelled, the Beachboys then gifted City the opportunity to make it 2-0 two minutes later. Luke Spokes’ ball down the line was latched onto by Wilson, who darted past Beckett before having his heels clipped near the byline. Referee Aaron Farmer pointed to the spot and Cooke made no mistake, driving his kick low to Ohman’s left with the keeper guessing correctly but unable to block the well-placed penalty.
Batten headed over when completely unmarked from six yards as again Concord’s marking left a lot to be desired.
The centre-back provided a vital interception at the other end when after a composed build-up Danny Green nutmegged Lines on the edge of the box and chased onto the fortunate ricochet before Batten slid in and prevented a shot on goal.
Spokes’ tame effort from the edge of the box saw Ohman scramble behind for a corner as City kept hold of the ball with simplicity in the dying stages to further deflate an already flat home side, securing a straightforward three points.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Dyer (Batten HT), Parselle (c), Fletcher, Hayfield, Cooke, Lines, Spokes, Wilson, Jones. Subs not used: Clarke, Frear, Mannings, Morton.
Scorers: City – Cooke (6, pen 58); Concord – none
City Bookings: Spokes (22), Wilson (73), Wright (83), Lines (86)
Officials: A Farmer, C Charles, G Swanton