Griffin double in vain as Bath City suffer fourth straight home defeat
MATCH REPORT: Bath City 2 (Griffin 27, 43) Dorchester Town 3 (Watson 20, Malsom 38, Pugh 80)
Bath City’s miserable run of home form continued as defeat to Dorchester left them looking nervously over their shoulders in Blue Square Bet South.
Charlie Griffin bagged two first-half equalisers to cancel out goals from Dorchester’s Ben Watson and Sam Malsom but the hosts were unable to respond for a third time after Aaron Pugh restored the Magpies’ advantage with ten minutes to go.
City, who are two points above the relegation places in 14th spot, have now lost their last four games at Mayday Trust Park and are without a league victory there since way back on November 3.
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Watson, who had a loan spell with City two years ago, put Dorchester in front on 20 minutes. The striker stole in on the left and, despite more than a hint of handball, side-stepped Mark Preece to fire home.
Five minutes later City were back on level terms. Griffin was fouled on the edge of the 18-yard box and stepped up to take the free-kick, curling it around the wall and leaving former City keeper Jason Matthews stranded.
City continued to pressurise the visiting defence and thought they had gone ahead when Griffin again had the ball in the net, only to be adjudged offside after taking a pass from Elliot Chamberlain.
Instead it was Dorchester who broke away to regain the advantage after Marc Canham lost the ball in midfield. Jake Smeeton picked it up and raced down the left before crossing to Watson. His touch looked to be covered by Dan Ball but the defender did not see Malsom racing in for a shot that beat Jason Mellor.
However, City never lost their determination and two minutes before the interval again brought the scores level. The ball was played forward by Sekani Simpson and flicked on by Chamberlain before Griffin lobbed Matthews from easily 30 yards out. The keeper got his fingers to the shot but could not stop it from going in.
After four goals in the first half, the second was always unlikely to live up to the same level of attack and skill.
On a heavy pitch both sides began to lose some of their pace and zip and despite City having the bulk of possession, Matthews was a spectator for much of the second period.
His task was much helped by the threatening Griffin leaving the pitch on 56 minutes to be replaced by the lively but erratic Kerry Morgan.
Just after the hour mark, Chamberlain had a good run down the centre but seemed to run out of ideas when he reached the penalty area and the ball was taken from him by ex-City defender Charlie Clough.
Minutes later a further opportunity presented itself as the ball bobbled around the visitors' penalty area, only for Chamberlain to fire wide.
As the sides cancelled each other out, the game appeared destined for a draw.
That was until ten minutes from time when Dorchester won a corner. The ball was swung into the City area and, with a crowd of players blocking keeper Mellor’s path to the ball, Pugh took advantage to head home from close range.
City pressed forward in the dying minutes and Morgan had a chance from a free-kick just outside the area but fired it straight into the wall.
After some good results on the road, City have another chance to break their home hex on Saturday when they entertain Tonbridge Angels (3pm).
Bath City Mellor, Simpson, Ball, Jones, Preece, Burnell (Norris 81), Allen, Canham, Griffin (Morgan 56), Chamberlain, Keats. Subs not used: Walker, Connolly.
Dorchester Town: Matthews, Bell (Walker 79), Martin, Pugh, Clough, Gleeson, Crittendon, Smeeton, Watson, Moore, Malsom. Subs not used: Way, Brooks, Morgan, Walker-Harris
Referee: Stephen Plane (Pershore).