Frome Town (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Saturday 8 July 2023 – Pre-Season Friendly – Badgers Hill
Match Report by Mark Stillman,
Goals from Cody Cooke and Chris Lines secured Bath City’s first win of pre-season.
Cooke netted against Frome for the fifth game in a row with the last touch of the first half with Lines’ first time finish sealing victory after the break.
Depleted Frome used three City Academy players and they struggled to make inroads as Ollie Wright claimed a clean sheet at the club he represented as a young boy.
Ben Morgan completed 90 minutes at centre-back with his signing from Gloucester confirmed before kick-off.
City started confidently and were largely untroubled in the opening half hour with a high press forcing Frome into mistakes.
On 36 minutes the Romans were unlucky to not break the deadlock when Jordan Thomas received the ball from Dan Hayfield and his marauding run across the penalty area eventually concluded in a thumping drive which came back off the top of the post.
Luke Russe shanked wide soon after before City broke the deadlock in first half added time.
A patient move saw Thomas and Tom Smith link up before Joe Raynes dug out a cross for Cooke, whose glancing header flew past the committed Kyle Phillips in goal, the keeper misjudging his attempted punch.
It was Cooke’s final action as Scott Wilson replaced him at the break.
Frome’s only meaningful chance of the match arrived on 54 minutes when Ben Griffith’s ball over the top was misjudged by Morgan but Wright was alert to thwart James Ollis, standing form before bravely diving onto the rebound.
Smith lashed over after Warren Maidment’s sliding intervention saw the ball deflect kindly to him but from a similar position another midfield man made no mistake on 65 minutes.
After Ben Ford, who made a handful of outings for City last season, lost possession for Town in his own half, substitute Elliott Frear pulled the ball back for fellow replacement Lines, who guided the ball into the top corner from 18 yards.
With conditions worsening, Frear kept his balance in the driving rain before his cross was headed over by an onrushing trialist as Jerry Gill’s men threatened for more.
In the end they settled for two, confirming their first pre-season win ahead of Tuesday’s home match with Bristol City U23s.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Greenslade (Frear 59), Batten, Parselle (c) (Dyer 59), Hayfield (Trialist B 66), Cooke (Wilson HT), Smith, Thomas (Trialist D 72), Russe (Lines 59), Morgan. Subs not used: Hamblin, Trialist A, Trialist C.
Scorers: City – Cooke (45), Lines (65); Frome – none
City Bookings: Batten (49)
Referee: Ollie Taylor