Bath City end home hoodoo with emphatic win over Tonbridge Angels
MATCH REPORT: Bath City 3 (Keats 45, Morgan 57, Griffin 66) Tonbridge Angels 0
Head coach Lee Howells' attacking approach was rewarded with three goals and three precious points as Bath City beat ten-man Tonbridge Angels to record their first home win since November 3.
Howells gave Kerry Morgan a rare start and saw the winger set up Noah Keats for City's first on the stroke of half-time and then double the lead with an assured finish.
Morgan was also brought down by Ollie Schulz, resulting in the Angels defender receiving a straight red card, before Charlie Griffin wrapped up a confidence-boosting victory by tapping home Elliott Chamberlain's cross.
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Despite Morgan's inclusion, at the expense of Chris Allen, City offered little going forward in the opening half-hour, with Angels dominating possession without creating any chances.
City finally posed their first threat in the 30th minute when Chamberlain pounced on a mistake by Schulz and drove into the box. However, rather than shoot with his left foot, he tried to pick out strike partner Griffin and the ball was cleared.
The hosts went even closer from the resulting corner, which dropped at Griffin's feet inside the six-yard box but his shot was brilliantly blocked on the line by keeper Lee Worgan.
It was Adam Connolly's turn to close three minutes later when Morgan's long throw was only partially cleared but the midfielder's dipping volley narrowly cleared the bar.
City finally made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time with a goal that was stated and finished by Noah Keats. He picked the ball up in midfield and rolled the ball to Connolly, who in turn fed Morgan on the right.
His cross was only partially cleared by Angels defender Gary Elphick, straight to the feet of Keats whose stinging shot hit keeper Worgan and rolled towards the line. Griffin tried to force it in but saw his shot hit the post and spin across the face of goal, where Keats was following up to smash the ball home.
The goalscorer found himself forced to play at right-back in the second half after the injured Gethin Jones failed to emerge after the break. City had centre-halves Joe Burnell and Jordan Walker on the bench but instead sent on midfielder Allen, with Dan Ball moving across to join Mark Preece in the heart of defence.
And it was Ball's presence which contributed to a glaring miss by Angels striker Frannie Collin, who couldn't divert George Purcell's fizzed cross goalwards from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors were forced to regret that miss moments later when Chamberlain won possession in midfield and produced a perfectly-weighted pass to send Morgan racing through on goal. The winger showed great composure by taking a touch before slotting a right-footed shot past Worgan.
City's grip on the game got even stronger three minutes later when Angels player Schulz was shown a straight red card following a late challenge on Morgan.
And the visitors' misery was compounded in the 66th minute when Keats fed Chamberlain, who rolled the ball across goal to give Griffin a simple tap-in.
The goalscorer had squandered a great chance seconds before, lifting a lob straight into the keeper's hands, and he was mighty close to getting on the end of a Morgan centre as City turned the screw.
With an eye on the midweek trip to Eastbourne Borough, Howells took off Griffin with 18 minutes to go and sent on Walker for his City debut following last month's move from Clevedon Town.
Morgan was also substituted to a well-deserved round of applause 12 minutes from time with the job done and three points in the bag.
City had late chances to add to their tally, with Chamberlain forcing a save from Worgan, and should have had a penalty when Walker went down in the box following a challenge which took his boot off but referee David Woolford waved away the appeals.
Norris also side-footed wide following excellent work by Chamberlain down the right but it could not detract from a fine City performance.
BATH CITY: Mellor, Ball, Brown, Preece, Jones (Allen 46), Canham, Connolly, Keates, Chamberlain, Griffin (Walker 72), Morgan (Norris 78). Subs not used: Burnell, Hopkinson.
TONBRIDGE ANGELS: Worgan, Walder, Green, Browning, Elphick, Schulz, Davis (Gayle 64), Ijaha, Purcell, Collin (Piper 82), Lovell. Subs not used: Davison, Harden.
REFEREE: David Woolford (Andover).