Yate Town (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Saturday 29 July 2023 – Pre-Season Friendly – South West Interiors Stadium

Yate Town (0) 0 Bath City (1) 2 – Saturday 29 July 2023 – Pre-Season Friendly – South West Interiors Stadium

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

A Cody Cooke brace saw Bath City end pre-season on a high.

The striker netted just before half-time and with 14 minutes remaining against Step 4 Yate Town at the South West Interiors Stadium.

Joe Raynes hobbled off early but Jerry Gill confirmed afterwards it was a precautionary measure.

Cooke was inches away from a hat-trick when his stunning strike hit the crossbar in an impressive display by the 30-year-old.

City’s afternoon got off to a bad start when Raynes pulled up inside 10 minutes with a tight groin and he was immediately replaced with Jack Batten filling in at right back.

The substitute did well to snuff out Dylan Lewis after Ben Morgan had initially prevented the Yate man following Kyle Tooze’s through ball.

Lewis’ clever reverse pass set George Box one-on-one but the summer signing wastefully struck straight at Wright.

In response, Ewan Clark blazed across the face of goal before clever link-up play down the left between Jordan Thomas and Dan Greenslade created an opening for Tom Smith, whose effort appeared to be deflected behind but referee Mark Loughlin awarded a goal kick to the Romans’ displeasure.

Dan Hayfield tamely shot straight at Aaron Sainsbury after Smith picked him out before the visitors made a 43rd minute breakthrough.

Thomas’ near post corner saw Hayfield’s attempt blocked, with Batten’s shot on the turn from the rebound ending up being flicked home by Cooke, with Town’s protests for offside ignored.

Ironically Cooke did have a goal ruled out for offside just before the break as Gill’s side looked to build on their superiority.

Morgan, injured by an early Box challenge, was replaced at half-time by Jordan Dyer, allowing Batten to revert to his usual centre-back role.

It didn’t affect the Romans defensively as they looked more threatening in the final third with Cooke shooting wide of Sainsbury’s near post after Thomas’ jinking footwork tied Yate in knots.

Sam Pashen took his frustration out on the City man with a reckless challenge on 51 minutes, earning him a caution with Thomas replaced seven minutes later after another promising showing.

Pashen arrowed wide from 25 yards and his excellent first time ball into the box was miscontrolled by the unmarked Tooze when well-placed, squandering a decent opening for the Bluebells.

City were far more potent at the other end and added a second on 76 minutes. Hayfield was played onside by former Bath Academy defender Joe Paradise, his pull-back from the byline was ideal for Cooke who easily dispatched from 12 yards.

He nearly completed a treble with seven minutes remaining. A half-cleared ball from the Yate defence landed nicely for the number nine, whose dipping strike hit the top of the bar with Sainsbury beaten.

Dyer hammered wide from the edge of the box in the Romans’ final chance of pre-season as they ended July on a winning note ahead of the league curtain raiser at Dartford next weekend.

Att: n/a

City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes (Batten 11), Greenslade, Parselle (c), Hayfied, Cooke, Smith, Clark, Thomas (Wilson 57), Russe (Lines 70), Morgan. Subs not used: Frear, Robinson.

Scorers: City – Cooke (44, 79); Yate – none

City Bookings: none

Referee: Mark Loughlin