Bath City rue defensive lapses after defeat at Dover Athletic
Dover Athletic 2 (May 23, Jones og 70) Bath City 0
Bath City were unable to halt in-form Dover Athletic’s Blue Square Bet South promotion push as they went down to a goal in each half at The Crabble.
Former Millwall striker Ben May put the hosts – 2-1 winners at Mayday Trust Park in September - on course for a league double and skipper Gethin Jones put through his own net with 20 minutes to go to seal the result.
City were dominant in the first period and hit the woodwork twice through Adam Connolly and Charlie Griffin.
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Goalscorer May put an excellent early chance wide for the third-placed home side after meeting Moses Ademola’s right-wing centre but City soon got on top.
Griffin fired over before midfielder Connolly beat a couple of men and thumped a shot against the bar from 20 yards out in the 12th minute.
Aaron Brown’s cross from the left was them met by the head of Griffin but keeper Mitch Walker managed to get a touch to the top-scorer’s effort and tipped it onto the bar.
Dan Ball connected with Connolly’s cross but sent his effort just past the post, while Mark Preece headed over as City kept the pressure on.
A mix-up between Preece and keeper Jason Mellor led to Dover taking the lead against the run of play midway through the first period. Mellor came out of his goal to claim a Barry Cogan free-kick but the centre-back got there first and his touch took the ball into the path of May, who accepted the gift by slotting it into an empty net.
After Griffin fired just wide with a shot on the turn, another error by Preece presented May with a one-on-one chance. This time, Mellor did enough to force him wide before Preece recovered to make the clearance.
Noah Keats’ effort from distance was claimed by Walker early in the second half but Dover began to ask more questions of the City defence and Ian Simpemba headed wide before Ricky Modeste fired over from a good position.
City escaped when substitute Billy Bricknell’s shot came back off a post but Dover did not have to wait long before doubling their advantage via an unlikely source. Jones attempted to clear the resulting corner but only succeeded in sending it – with interest - past a helpless Mellor.
Griffin fired into the side-netting as City looked for a way back into the contest, while Simpemba and Bricknell both went close to giving the scoreline an even more emphatic look at the other end.
City slipped to 13th spot in the table – still seven points clear of the relegation zone – ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Havant & Waterlooville (7.45pm).
BATH CITY: Mellor, Simpson (Lennox 68), Brown, Preece, Ball, Connolly, Keats (Canham 82), Jones, Chamberlain (Morgan 82), Allen, Griffin. Subs not used: Walker, Low.