Slough Town (0) 0 Bath City (0) 3 – Tuesday 28 February 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Arbour Park
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Scott Wilson’s double helped Bath City comfortably see off Slough Town, who had player manager Scott Davies sent off. The midfielder was dismissed for deliberate handball and the Romans took full control with Wilson dispatching the resulting penalty. James Morton’s sublime strike made it 2-0 before Wilson wrapped up a fine success in added time.
The result was City’s first away win at Slough in their history and completed a double over the Rebels following a 5-1 thrashing in August.
Slough started confidently, boosted by an impressive win at St Albans at the weekend. Shane Bush glanced a header wide from Matt Lench’s inswinging corner before Lench blasted over from 20 yards. Wilson shot too close to Will Dennis from distance as the Romans struggled to make inroads against a side with the second worst home record in the division.
Max Harris had to be at his best to deny Matt Burgess on 32 minutes when he was afforded space in the box, the keeper spreading himself and getting the slightest touch to divert the midfielder’s strike inches wide.
Slough started the second half positively with Harris again called into action, throwing himself to his right to tip away Davies’ raking shot. But the manager’s hard work was undone on 50 minutes with a moment of madness. Morton’s precision through ball saw Wilson hold off Shane Bush but Dennis came out to deny him. The loose ball fell to Sonny Cox whose thunderous first time strike from 25 yards was flying into the top corner, but Davies leapt and instinctively tipped it over with his hand and picked up a predictable red card. Wilson kept his cool to wrong-foot Dennis from the resulting penalty and give City a deserved lead.
Having been contained well in the first half, suddenly there were gaps aplenty and Jerry Gill’s side took full advantage. Cox rounded Dennis but Temi Eweka covered to clear off the line when a second looked certain. The same player repeated his heroics to deny Tom Smith’s goalbound shot after Dan Hayfield teed him up.
There was no stopping Bath’s second on 66 minutes. Having picked up the ball from Hayfield, Morton stepped inside and fabulously bent the ball into the top corner from 20 yards, full-stretch Dennis left clinging at thin air.
Slough fought bravely to halve the deficit with Ogo Obi’s rasping strike tipped away by Harris. In committing men forward they left opportunities at the back. Having squandered two half chances, Bath made the game safe three minutes into added time.
Rabby Minzamba won the ball back in midfield, moments after making his league debut as a substitute for Smith, and Chris Lines’ precision ball forward sent Wilson away with Slough appealing for offside. The forward cut inside and deliciously curled home from 16 yards, another sublime finish to give Dennis no chance.
It rounded off a fine February for Gill’s men, collecting 13 points, as they moved within seven points of the top seven.
City’s Line-Up: Harris, Dyer, Batten, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Smith (Minzamba 90+1), Frear (Spokes 60), Lines, Wilson, Morton, Cox. Subs not used: Clarke, Ford.
Scorers: City – Wilson (pen 52, 90+3), Morton (66); Slough – none
City Bookings: Parselle (63), Spokes (90+1)
Officials: A Byrne, C Peter, H Blair