Beavers Made To Rue Missed Chances, As Rigg’s Thunderbolt Wins It For Bath
Gary McCann will be left scratching his head as to how his team did not score, before his side's lack of potency was punished through a moment of magic from Sean Rigg.
Coming into the game, neither side had recorded a league win, and manager Gary McCann had stressed the importance of the match, and how both teams would be scrambling for a win.
Despite the game starting with Bath City on the front foot early on, winning an early free-kick which was dealt with calmly, The Beavers grew into the first half excellently, and created a hatful of chances for forwards Zak Joseph and Chris Dickson.
In the ninth minute, a ball from Rhys Murrell-Williamson found Dickson in space, with the forward taking the chance on the half volley. It was a spectacular effort, but Clarke was able to watch it head narrowly over the Bath City crossbar.
Moments later, Dickson’s blistering pace forged another chance, nicking the ball off of Clarke's toe in a wide left position. Unfortunately, it was an impossible angle, and Dickson’s improvised effort was unable to hit the target.
This early spell of pressure set the tempo, and in the 24th minute, The Beavers should have taken the lead. Zak Joseph raced onto a good through ball from Dickson, finding himself one-on-one, but his lofted effort was the wrong option on this occasion.
Joseph and Dickson continued to threaten throughout the half, with a tirade of chances made through solid defensive work – largely in part to Michael Corcoran’s introduction to the heart of defence.
Zak Joseph nearly capitalised on a poor defensive pass from the Bath City backline, racing in on goal - but his low powerful shot was denied superbly by Clarke.
Before the half-time whistle, Hampton captain Ricky Wellard’s inch-perfect ball found Dickson running at blistering pace. Dickson’s powerful effort was stopped expertly once again by Ryan Clarke, a theme for the afternoon.
The second half saw Bath City introduce Ryan Brunt in place of John Mills, shifting into a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Initially, this didn’t have too much of an effect on the game, with The Beavers picking up where they left off. Joseph and Murrell-Williamson found plenty of space on the wings, an in the 56th minute Joseph almost broke the deadlock as his low effort crept agonisingly past the post, with Dickson onrushing in support.
The game was won, however, through a moment of brilliance from City’s Sean Rigg. Rigg found the ball in the Hampton half, 20 yards or so from goal, took a touch inwards, and unleashed an absolute thunderbolt into the top left corner, leaving Lovelock no chance.
The Beavers tried their best to restore parity, with substitutes Uchechi and Roberts causing problems out wide, but the Romans held their resolve to record an impressive first win.
Despite the disappointing result, Gary was looking at the positives of a performance which saw another big improvement in the performance levels of a new squad.
“We need to add more of a clinical edge to the chances we’ve created,” said manager Gary McCann. “We should have been three or four goals to the good at halftime, and we deserve more than we’ve got.”
“I thought the two centre-halves today were magnificent… and we limited them to virtually nothing – the goal was a bit of quality, and we’re finding out that we can’t give the sight of goal like that.”
Catch up with Gary’s full post-match interview here.