Match Report by Nick Dugard: Saturday, 21 November 2015:
National League South: Wealdstone 2 Bath City 0
On a bitterly cold afternoon and on a boggy pitch it was Wealdstone’s impressive work rate and defensive determination that saw them to victory over bogey side Bath City.
Stones injury problems continue to provide selection headaches for the management team with Wes Parker out for several weeks (calf) together with Micky Corcoran (Knee), Tom Cadmore (ankle) and midfielder Matty Harriott again failing a fitness test prior to kick off.
Both sides came into this clash on an indifferent run of form, but it was Stones that dramatically took the game by storm after only two minutes play. Matt Ball played a lovely inside pass to Scott Davies who powered into the box and was promptly bundled over.
Jefferson Louis stepped up to take the spot kick and smashed the ball past City keeper Steve Phillips.
City counter attacked immediately and Stones keeper Jonathan North came off his line rapidly to heroically prevent Andy Watkins snatching an equaliser.
City kept the pressure up as Nick McCootie scuffed his shot wide of the far post after
Shaun Lucien was causing problems down the flank for the Romans back linebut the final delivery from his side either lacked the killer touch or was well defended. The home side’s midfield play showed flashes of better cohesion that of late but, frustratingly, possession was often squandered during crucial passages of play.
City tried to counter attack and held some good possession but they failed to break through a resolute defence with Tom Hamblin (himself not fully fit) and Josh Urquhart on top form with full backs Olly Duffy and Dale Binns putting in great shifts aided superbly by the persistent deep midfield harrying of Elliott Godfrey.
The second period was more open than the first as both sides attacked and counter attacked seemingly at will. City almost got the break they craved on 60 minutes when Kaid Mohamed for once found space but he volleyed wide of the target in a great position.
Bath rained in successive corners and high balls into the box but North was in commanding form in his area and taking virtually everything cleaning in the air. Lucien almost found the net on 75 minutes with a superb run and strike but Phillips produced a wonderful save as play became end to end.
As the Romans increasingly pushed up Wealdstone found more time and space to counter with speed and energy and sub Bradley Hudson- Odoi was finding some real joy down the left flank with ten to go. And with three minutes of normal time remaining it was Odoi that created the opportunity for Matt Ball to sweep the ball home at the far post to seal the points for the home side.
And it could have been 3-0 a moment later when substitute Josh Hutchinson’s fierce snap shot was parried away by Phillips.
Wealdstone : North, Duffy, Binns, McLeod-Urquhart, Hamblin, Godfrey, Wright, Ball (Hickey 90), Louis (Hutchinson 87),Davies, Lucien (Hudson-Odoi 81) Subs not used: Lowe, McGleish