Hungerford Town (0) 1 Bath City (0) 2 – Vanarama National League South – Monday 11 September 2017 – Bulpit Lane
Bath City made it three wins in a row as they saw off fellow in-form outfit Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane. Saturday’s victory at Concord saw them marshal a young, passing side well. Tonight, they were greeted to a different proposition, a direct style of the Berkshire club, who were grateful for Jack Compton’s double to see them over the line. The game’s major talking point saw Ian Herring red-carded, but rescinded within a minute as referee Paul Harris consulted an assistant. Compton’s resulting spot-kick, his second in three minutes, was parried by Lewis Ward, but fortunately it proved academic as City eventually held out for three well-earned points.
This was following a first half full of endeavor but lacking in creativity. Hungerford’s rapid style of play and high-pressing prevented Gary Owers’ men from any clear sights on goal, with Kevin Amankwaah, Nick McCootie and Ryan Case all sending shots out of the ground. The second half started similarly with players’ fitness levels impressive despite the second outing in three days. It took until the hour for the visitors to break the deadlock. Following sustained pressure where Hungerford failed to clear their lines, McCootie was clipped by former City full-back Paul Stonehouse and referee Harris pointed to the spot. Compton took responsibility and confidently sent Ward the wrong way. Within two minutes a second spot-kick was awarded, and again with few complaints from the hosts. Nat Jarvis set Marvin Morgan away, who was bundled over by Herring when lining up a shot. Without hesitation, referee Harris pointed to the spot and issued a red card to the co-caretaker manager. However, following a consultation with a nearby assistant, the red card was rescinded, possibly with added advice that Herring hadn’t deliberately denied a goalscoring opportunity. All these antics added pressure to Compton, who lost a battle of wills this time, driving his kick down the middle with Ward easily parrying. The winger responded by teeing up Jarvis with a pinpoint cross which saw the former Hungerford man denied by a stunning save from Ward, though he was powerless to prevent Compton notching a second with 17 minutes remaining. Amankwaah’s throw was flicked on by Case and Compton’s first-time volley flew past the home stopper to give City breathing space. They needed it. Jordan Simpson warmed Luke Southwood’s gloves as they pressed forward, before their efforts were rewarded as top-scorer Louie Soares sprung the offside trap and calmly rolled the ball past the advancing keeper. Southwood kept out Stefan Brown’s header as Hungerford searched for a point, as they did on Saturday when 2-0 down to Hampton, but the Bath defence stood firm to continue their climb up the table.
City’s Line-Up: Southwood, Amankwaah, Straker, Batten, Jones (c), Case, McCootie (Watkins 81), Artus, Jarvis, Morgan (Lucas 83), Compton. Subs not used: Ball, Welch-Hayes, Wollacott.
Scorers: City – Compton (pen 61, 73); Hungerford – Soares (83)
City Bookings: Jones (67)
Officials: P Harris, A Ricketts, J Bonnick