Concord Rangers (2) 3 Bath City (1) 2 – Vanarama National League South – Tuesday 8 December 2020 – The Aspect Arena
Match Report by Mark Stillman
Ryan Charles snatched a stoppage time winner for Concord Rangers in a match which finished just shy of 10.30pm.
Gridlock on the M25 meant City arrived late and delayed the kick-off for nearly an hour, but they made up for lost time with Tom Smith scoring his second in four days to give the Romans a 10th minute lead.
Within six minutes they found themselves 2-1 down as Alex Wall and Aron Pollock stunned Jerry Gill’s men with efforts from outside the box.
Tommy Conway won and dispatched a penalty in the second half but Charles’ late heroics gave Concord their first home league win of 2020.
Having sat on a coach for nearly seven hours, City started surprisingly brightly and were rewarded when Ryan Harley’s low corner was met first time by Smith, whose drilled effort took a slight deflection and flew past debutant keeper Adam Pryzbek.
Concord weren’t deterred and levelled when Wall received the ball from Lewis Simper on the edge of the box and his curler saw Ryan Clarke only able to fist it into the net.
The frantic opening took another twist on 16 minutes when the visiting defence failed to clear their lines and Pollock punished their sloppiness by thundering home from 18 yards inside Clarke’s left post.
Wall latched onto James Taylor’s underhit backpass but shot too close to Clarke and Simper nodded Will Dean’s header off the line in a lively half.
City enjoyed more possession at the start of the second half and were rewarded when Conway was upended by Frazer Shaw near the byline when attempting to cut inside. Referee Aji Ajibola pointed to the spot, Conway took responsibility and thumped it down the middle to bring City back on terms.
The youngster also clipped the outside of the post before Bath were left crestfallen in injury time when a draw looked certain.
Wall’s raking free-kick was parried behind for a corner, and from Tosan Popo’s delivery, substitute Charles headed home a debut Concord goal from close range to send Danny Scopes’ men into ecstasy.
The result, coupled with Braintree drawing with Welling, pushed the Romans back to bottom spot ahead of another trip to Essex this Saturday where they’ll take on out-of-form Chelmsford City.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke, Taylor, Smith, Batten, Ball (c) (Richards 74), Wilson, Harley, Conway, Dean, Horton, Mehew. Subs not used: Henry, Artus, James, Pope.
Scorers: City – Smith (10), Conway (pen 59); Concord – Wall (14), Pollock (17), Charles (90+3)
City Bookings: Smith (28), Dean (70), Richards (90+2)
Officials: A Ajibola, L Lungarella, H Collins