Bath City left to lick their wounds after Bromley defeat
MATCH REPORT: Bromley 1 (Joseph-Dubois 10) Bath City 0
By Andrew Kerslake
This might have been only Bath City’s third defeat of the season but it was the one most likely to cause manager Adie Britton the most distress.
His side not only ended the game with even more injury problems but looked devoid of ideas and were only saved from a much large defeat by a Bromley attack that was generous in the extreme in its desire to avoid putting the ball in the net.
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Given City’s casualty list, it always seemed likely that their trip to Bromley would be a game too far. Already missing Josh Low, Aaron Brown, Sekani Simpson and Joe Burnell, the visitors’ cause was not helped by Kerry Morgan limping off the pitch after slipping and sustaining an ankle injury during the pre-match warm-up and Adam Connolly nursing a heavy cold but still needing to play.
At least Morgan’s injury meant a late reprieve for Kurtis Guthrie, who very nearly celebrated as early as the fourth minute when a great crossfield ball from Marc Canham saw his shot well saved by Joe Welch in the Bromley goal.
With ten minutes gone City were caught offside just in the Bromley half and a fine ball played from left to right found Sanchez Ming. He should have been covered by Danny Ball but the left-back had pressed forward and so the Bromley defender found himself in yards of space.
Ming galloped forward to put in a perfect cross for Pierre Joseph-Dubois, who, arriving late in the box, headed home. It was the home side’s first real attack and one that was to prove decisive.
Yet at this stage of the game, with both defences looking as nervous as a mouse in a cattery, it seemed highly unlikely that Joseph-Dubois' goal would settle the contest.
Joseph-Dubois then shot narrowly wide after latching on to an Ali Chaaban through ball and, at the other end, Jim Rollo uncharacteristically galloped forward down the right to cross to Charlie Griffin, whose shot sailed straight into the hands of Welch.
Noah Keats also received a Rollo cross before shooting narrowly wide and then forced a diving save from Welch at his near post on 38 minutes.
At half-time City made a double substitution, with short-term signing Lamar Powell coming on for an increasingly ineffectual Guthrie and Luke Cummings replacing Adie Harris as Britton attempted to give his side some width down the flanks. With Richard Pacquette - so often a scorer against City in the past - also leaving the field after sustaining a knock in the first half, it looked as if the visitors’ prospects might just be turning a corner.
Instead it was Bromley who presented the greater threat. Joseph-Dubois put in an horrendous shot after a great break down the middle that really stretched the City defence. A minute later a pildriver from the same player was blocked by Ball, followed by Moses Swaibu heading wide from a Bromley corner when it looked easier to score.
City momentarily came back into the match with 20 minutes to go when another Rollo cross found the head of Powell in a carbon copy of the move that lead to the Bromley goal. However, Powell put his header inches wide.
It was to be the former Bristol Rovers youngster’s last involvement in the game as he in turn was substituted following an asthma attack. Brad Norris was introduced and, with Morgan injured, City were left with only Jason Mellor on the bench.
By now Bromley were running riot yet still failing to find the net. Substitute Elliott Buchanan fired wide, while Michael Malcolm brought out a good save from the recalled Glyn Garner. However, the keeper then almost spoiled his good work by racing off his line for a ball which he failed to reach, only for Buchanan to somehow put a free shot wide of the target.
If Bromley were as wasteful as an inebriated lottery winner then City were still doing their best to impersonate an episode of Casualty. A tiring Keats was left limping for the rest of the match after a strong challenge 30 yards from goal.
City hardly needed to worry, though, as Bromley continued to spurn every opportunity presented to them.
Again Buchanan was guilty as he put another fine cross wide, followed by Danny Waldren missing a header.
Finally, Joseph-Dubois missed the best chance of all. He got free down the left flank as Rollo, who has only just returned from injury, was increasingly reduced to walking pace. Garner again came off his line for the ball and failed to get there, but Joseph-Dubois hesitated in front of an empty net, allowing the defence to get back and Garner to eventually make a save.
Eventually referee Lee Betts put City out of their misery, leaving them to lick their metaphorical and literal wounds.
Bromley: Welch, Ming, Rhule, Fuseini, Swaibu, Harwood, Malcolm, Waldren, Chaaban (Finn 65), Pacquette (Buchanan 46), Joseph-Dubois. Subs not used Sobers, Howard, Hughes.
Bath City: Garner, Rollo, Ball, Jones, Preece, Harris (Cummings 46), Connolly, Canham, Griffin, Keats, Guthrie (Powell 46, Norris 75). Subs not used: Morgan, Mellor.
Referee: Lee Betts (Norfolk).