Welling United (0) 1 Bath City (0) 0 – Saturday 25 March 2023 – Vanarama National League South – Park View Road
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Max Harris’ unfortunate own goal proved the difference as Bath City’s play-off hopes took a hit at struggling Welling.
The keeper was helpless to prevent Kieran Parselle’s clearance ricocheting back off him in a goal which summed up a lacklustre contest at Park View Road.
Christie Pattisson hit the bar in the first half where Scott Wilson and Dan Greenslade squandered good openings for the Romans.
Eventually the luck was on Welling’s side late on as they ended an eight-game winless run and claimed their first home victory since New Year’s Day.
City were hampered before the visit to Kent with Jack Batten suspended and Jordan Dyer on the sidelines, forcing midfielder Dan Hayfield to fill in as a centre-back alongside half-fit duo Parselle and Greenslade.
It didn’t scupper them from the off as Tom Smith was centimetres away from connecting with Opi Edwards’ cross with debutant keeper Yusuf Mersin in nomansland.
Pattisson was even closer to breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes when his thunderous drive from just outside the penalty area cannoned off the underside of the bar with Harris at full stretch.
Wilson failed to fully meet Smith’s ball from the byline when unmarked and Greenslade shovelled over from 10 yards after the hosts failed to deal with Chris Lines’ free-kick from deep.
The second half saw both sides struggle on a tired looking pitch, destroyed by Welling regularly training on it alongside three other teams sharing the surface. Passes regularly went astray with momentum stunted in a low quality affair.
James Morton’s attempt from range span just wide on 70 minutes with Ade Azeez firing off target for the Wings, largely thanks to excellent pressing from Parselle, who soldiered on superbly in his return from injury.
Eventually the Romans captain was unwittingly involved in the home side’s winner with eight minutes remaining.
Taylor Maloney’s corner bounced in the box, Jamie Sendles-White nodded it inside to central defensive partner Kodi Lyons-Foster whose header was cleared off the line by Parselle against the head of the grounded Harris before rebounding into the net.
City tried in vain to respond with Greenslade’s strike batted around the post by Mersin before Sonny Cox was denied by the bravery of Sendles-White, who threw himself in the way when the loanee had a glimpse of goal.
An equaliser failed to arrive as United admirably stood firm, consigning Bath to back-to-back league losses and a first defeat on the road since 21 January.
City’s Line-Up: Harris, Greenslade, Parselle (c), Hayfield, Smith, Frear (Spokes 90+1), Lines, Wilson, Morton, Cox, Edwards (Raynes 75). Subs not used: Clarke, Ford.
Scorers: City – none; Welling – Own Goal (82)
City Bookings: none
Officials: T Ellsmore, J Keane, J Hall