Scorers : Ryan Brunt 23, Andy Watkins 60
Date: Tuesday 17 December 2019 - 7:45pm - Buildbase FA Trophy First Round
Venue: Twerton Park
Bath City: Ryan Clarke ©, Joe Raynes, Tom Smith (Jordan Simpson 75), Dan Bowry, Frankie Artus (Tom Richards 82), Adam Mann, Andy Watkins (Connor Riley-Rowe 63), Noah Chilvers, Ryan Brunt, Dan Ball, Alex Hartridge. Unused subs : Ross Stearn, Harvey Wiles-Richards, Ollie Kensdale, Leo Eglin.
Yellow Cards: Dan Bowry
Sholing: Ryan Gosney, Marvin Mclean (Jamie Bulpitt 53), Jake Hoole, Owen Roundell, Dan Miller, Alex Sawyer (James Lauder 82), Lee Wort, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Stuart Green (Owen Royl 35), Brad Targett. Unused subs : Tobi Falodi, Jack Nicholas, Joe Smith
Yellow Cards: Bryon Mason, Dan Mason
Attendance: 401 (approx 30 Sholing fans)
Man of the Match: Dan Miller
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis Assistants: Alan Berrow & Daniel Robinson. 4th Official : Benjamin Williamson
Boatmen's great run in the FA Trophy came to an end at National League South, Bath City, in a game that the home side dominated. The 55 places between the clubs in the Non League Ladder was evident as Bath were in control throughout the 90 mins, although valiant defending by Sholing restricted them to just the two goals. Boatmen gave all they had and can be proud of their performance not only tonight but throughout our historic run in the competition.
Team News: Dan Mason returned from suspension, but TJ missed out through injury. Therefore, Diapes went again with Marv switched to right back and Jake at left back. Sawyer came into midfield and there was a place on the bench for promising Development player, Joe Smith, to gain experience of being around the first team on a big game.
Contrary to what we've been used to for the past couple of months, the pitch at Twerton Park was in fantastic condition as the teams came out on a bitterly cold evening. The historic stadium was one of the biggest non league grounds the club has ever played at, with a huge playing surface, big old grandstand and large terraces on the far side and behind the goals. A small, but vocal group of Sholing fans set up behind the goal the Boatmen were attacking, although most of the action would end up being down the other end of the pitch.
The opening exchanges were quite even and it was Sholing who had the first shot on target, although Stu Green's effort lacked the power to bother the keeper. Dan Miller produced a great last ditch tackle on 18 minutes to deny Bath a clear shot on target, but the home side were to take the lead on 23 minutes with a classy goal. A series of quick passes through midfield ended with a ball into the right side of the box to Ryan Brunt, who set his curling effort outside of the far post, but saw it come back nicely to strike the upright and go in the net, giving Gosney no chance.
Two minutes later and there was a half-chance to the Boatmen as a lifted ball into the box was latched onto by Alex Sawyer, who tried to lift it over the advancing keeper, but Clarke was able to stretch a hand to bat it away. Rest of the half belonged to Bath, who were camped in Sholing territory and the visitors had to be thankful to more last ditch defending by Owen Roundell and good saves by Ryan Gosney. The Boatmen's attacking threat was dealt a blow as Stu Green had to come off with an injury as the half ended with a narrow lead for Bath City. HT 1-0
The second half picked up where the first had left off. Bath, who hadn't played on Saturday, looked fresh and were popping the ball around at pace. Whilst, Sholing, who had dug deep on a heavy pitch 3 days before, were getting the run-around and tiring, although still defending well. It was typical that Bath City doubled their lead on the counter-attack from one of Sholing's rare attacks. From a corner, Dan Mason rose well to head downwards, but the ball hit a defender near the line and bounced kindly into Clarke's hand. The keeper immediately freed Raynes down the right wing and he burst past a tackle to put in a quality cross that was flicked past Gosney from 8 yards by Andy Watkins.
With a two goal lead, Bath took their foot off the gas a bit as Sholing went hunting for a consolation, but apart from an effort by Sawyer kicked away at the near post, the Boatmen were also twarted by a couple of questionable offside calls, but in truth, never really looked liked scoring and home keeper's pristine kit told its own story. Boatmen continued to defend well, with Jake Hoole blocking an effort that looked destined for the net and Gosney, on his 250th appearance, once again showing what a great shot-stopper he is by saving well twice more before the referee blew the final whistle.
Would have been a huge upset if Sholing had come away with anything tonight. Bath are 5th in the National League South, with players who have played at professional clubs and several who are currently on loan from the likes of Bristol City & Colchester United. I fully expect them to be pushing hard for promotion to the National League this season. For the Boatmen, we made a bit of history going further in the FA Trophy than ever before and also bagged £13k in prize money. That will allow us to do the finishing touches to the new clubhouse and also help towards building new changing rooms. FT 2-0
Many thanks to Bath City & their supporters for their warm welcome and excellent hospitality. Good luck in the next round of the Trophy at Concord Rangers. Thanks also to our supporters & volunteers for making the long trip on a Tuesday night and getting behind the team.
Next Game : Sholing v Bristol Manor Farm - Saturday 21 December 3pm - Southern League (Xmas Raffle being drawn, tickets on sale from the bar)
A Gallery of action shots Courtesy of Bath City Photgraphs can be viewed by clicking here