Yate Town (0) 0 Bath City (2) 2 – Saturday 30 July 2022 – Pre-Season Friendly – Lodge Road
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Early goals from Luke Spokes and Cody Cooke sealed a comfortable success for Bath City in their final pre-season outing at Yate Town.
The Romans dominated throughout and should have won by more, with Dan Hayfield denied by an astonishing second half save from Martin Horsell to keep it at two.
Zac Bell impressed at left-back in Dan Greenslade’s absence, giving Jerry Gill food for thought should the Welshman recover in time for next week.
Defensively City were sound to keep their fourth clean sheet in eight outings.
Yate were unbeaten in pre-season heading into the contest, scoring five or more in three matches and recording four shut-outs in five games.
It didn’t take long for Bath to breach their back four. With just three minutes on the clock, Cooke’s flick for Alex Fletcher saw the latter tee up Luke Spokes. The midfielder’s effort was blocked by covering defender Landon Golding, but with Horsell already committed to the dive, Spokes was able to slide the rebound into the unguarded net.
A second arrived on 16 minutes. Chris Lines’ patience preceded a pass to Elliott Frear, who nutmegged Leighton Tuodolo before his dinked cross was easily headed home by Cooke from a couple of yards.
Eleven minutes saw a similar build-up nearly result in a third, this time Frear’s delivery saw Cooke’s looping header tipped over by Horsell.
Charlie Johnson provided Joe Wright’s first scare when his 25-yard daisy cutter nearly squirmed through the legs of the City keeper but he was just able to gather.
Frear’s curler was inadvertently blocked from Cooke in the final opening of a half where City were largely on top, which they carried into moments after the restart.
Joe Raynes’ precise cross was headed towards goal by Hayfield, who was denied by the well-placed Pierce Mitchell to nod away.
Hayfield went close again on the hour. After good work by Bell and Spokes, Lines laid it off to Hayfield whose first time strike from 25 yards produced a magnificent save from Horsell, who tipped it behind when the ball looked destined for the top right corner.
City’s only real fright of the second half saw Wright and Bell hesitate over Omar Taylor-Clarke’s through ball which allowed Prince Henry to nip in, but his touch was too heavy as he over-ran it out of play.
A City counter saw Scott Wilson, Fletcher and Hayfield combine before the latter’s low centre looked certain to be tapped home by Frear, only for Horsell to deny him with his feet.
Fletcher’s cross-shot grazed the top of the bar and went behind as City couldn’t add to their healthy advantage having already shown enough to defeat the Bluebells in pre-season for the seventh successive match.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Dyer, Parselle (c), Fletcher, Spokes (Smith 71), Cooke (Wilson 64), Frear, Bell, Lines (Backwell 76), Hayfield. Subs not used: Mannings, Clarke.
Scorers: City – Spokes (3), Cooke (16); Yate – none
City Bookings: Parselle (56), Raynes (70)
Officials: G Enever, M Loughlin, F Lewis