Evesham United (0) 0 Bath City (0) 2 – Pre-Season Friendly – Tuesday 24 July 2018 – Jubilee Stadium
John Mills stepped off the bench to net his fourth goal of pre-season as Bath City sealed a sixth win from seven pre-season games at Evesham United. By that point the Romans were already ahead through Dan Ball, the central defender shooting home the rebound after a Ross Stearn free-kick had been turned away by the home goalkeeper. Those goals made it 22 goals over the course of pre-season so far, scored by 11 separate players, albeit including trialist Michee Efete, who has since featured for National League Maidstone United. City have one more chance to add to that remarkable tally when visit Southern League Premier South promotion hopefuls Weymouth on Saturday afternoon.
They ventured to Worcestershire for their penultimate pre-season contest with only three substitutes, young James Ollis making a late appearance following Mills off the bench, with keeper Kieran Hodges the other sub named. Stearn typically looked to take the game by the horns early on as he had three efforts on goal, sending a free-kick and a long-range effort off target before firing into a defender. Ryan Clarke had to keep out former Larkhall Athletic and Odd Down winger Cory Simpson at the other end, while ex-Evesham player Adam Mann saw a drive nicked past the post. The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first half was when Joe Raynes forced a superb stop from home keeper Harvey Rivers.
Mann and Batten saw chances come and go just after the break before the deadlock was finally broken. It was another Stearn free-kick that caused the danger, Rivers only able to push out for Ball to score. Tricky Simpson drew a more testing save from Clarke as the Southern League Division 1 South hosts sought a route back into the contest. But the game was essentially done and dusted with around ten minutes left on the clock. Half-time sub Mills marked another appearance off the bench with an unstoppable strike, getting as much power as curl on a fine hit from the edge of the penalty area. It could have got even better in the dying embers when Stearn struck the post from distance, but ultimately a City side that arrived with 14 men in the squad were made to settle for just the two goals.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke, Straker, Batten, Artus, Watkins (Mills HT), Brunt (Ollis 72), Stearn, Ball, Mann, Cundy, Raynes. Sub not used: Hodges.
Scorers: City – Ball (51), Mills (79); Evesham – none
City Bookings: none