Weymouth (1) 1 Bath City (0) 1 – Vanarama National League South – Tuesday 6 August 2019 – Bob Lucas Stadium
Tyler Harvey’s penalty ensured Bath City played out an unbeaten opening week of the season as they came from behind to draw on the road at Weymouth. Jerry Gill spent 44 days in charge of Weymouth nearly a decade ago, the same timeframe which covered Brian Clough’s turbulent spell at Leeds United in 1974. Whilst there’s unlikely to be a Damned United film sequel based on the City boss’s spell on the south coast, events from Tuesday night could have been classed as a slapstick comedy or horror. A happy ending eventually for the Romans, as they returned from the Bob Lucas Stadium with a deserved point.
Ryan Clarke should have been on course for his 44th consecutive league start, but an ankle injured at home during the afternoon meant he was ruled out at the last minute, resulting in Harvey Wiles-Richards being thrown in for a league debut. He was given a tricky start when Josh McQuoid forced him into a decent tip-over save at his near post early on. The first corner was put behind for another, and Ollie Harfield’s delivery was on the money as it was inadvertently slid home by Alex Hartridge at the far post, although some protested he had been felled by Stephane Zubar in doing do. Five minutes later, Tom Smith unintentionally caught Ross Stearn in the face, flattening last season’s top scorer and after a delay, forcing his withdrawal with a nasty cut above the eye. Adam Mann took his place. Fortunately, that’s where City’s bad luck ended. Wiles-Richards did well to parry Harfield’s stinging drive as the full-back ran unchallenged into the box, whereas at the other end there was precious little to shout about, Smith firing wide from distance in a rare attempt on Calum Ward’s goal.
The second half saw the Terras blow a glorious chance to double their advantage. The impressive Abdulai Baggie skipped down the right and laid on a perfect centre for McQuoid, but the captain blazed over from 12 yards. City responded positively and began to frustrate the hosts. They were rewarded with a leveller on 58 minutes. During a scramble, Ward did well to deny Smith, but rashly wiped out Mann from the rebound, conceding a needless penalty. Tyler Harvey stepped up and nonchalantly sent the stopper the wrong way. It could have been better. Mann scuffed at Ward when well placed, and Hartridge nearly made up for his own goal, latching on to a well-worked corner routine but shot wide when he should have tested Ward.
City’s Line-Up: Wiles-Richards, Raynes (c), Riley-Lowe, T Smith, Watkins, Harvey, Stearn (Mann 12), Bower, Richards, Hartridge, H Smith. Subs not used: Simpson, Harper, Hamblin.
Scorers: City – Harvey (pen 57); Weymouth – Own Goal (5)
City Bookings: Hartridge (45), Richards (46), H Smith (80)
Officials: R Watkins, A Baker, S Fudge