Rare Sekani Simpson goal earns Bath City victory over league leaders Welling
FULL-TIME: Bath City 1 (Simpson 36) Welling United 0
Sekani Simpson's first league goal for four-and-a-half years fired Bath City to a surprise but thoroughly deserved victory over table-topping Welling United.The full-back, who last scored against St Albans City in October 2008, produced a composed finish nine minutes before half-time to secure three welcome points.Welling had a miserable night, which was made worse in the closing stages when Giannoulis Fakinos was sent off for a late challenge on Adam Connolly just 13 minutes after coming on as substitute.City head coach Lee Howells made three changes to the team which started Saturday's 2-2 draw with Chelmsford, with Chris Allen, Charlie Griffin and the injured Gethin Jones dropping out to be replaced by Mark Preece, Josh Low and the fit-again Elliott Chamberlain.And the latter almost made a dream return to the team as, with two minutes on the clock, he worked some space on the edge of the box and used the outside of his foot to put in a shot which went just wide.Chamberlain almost broke through again soon after but was tripped on the edge of the box by defender Anthony Acheampong, who escaped with just a yellow card from referee Steven Plane. The subsequent free-kick was drilled low through the wall by Simpson but keeper Jamie Turner made a comfortable save.Despite their strong start, City looked certain to go behind in the 12th minute when Kiernan Hughes-Mason cleverly turned Dan Ball and fed Ross Lafayette inside the six-yard box, only for the Welling striker to get the ball stuck under his feet.The game went flat after that but sprung back to life in unlikely fashion in the 36th minute. Noah Keats forced Welling to concede possession and City kept the ball alive before Joe Burnell lifted a lovely pass over the back-line for the onrushing Simpson.The full-back's first touch expertly took him around visiting keeper Turner and his second put the ball in the back of the net for his first league goal since October 25, 2008.City deserved the lead and twice went close to doubling it in the early stages of the second half. The superb Chamberlain brilliantly chested the ball down on the left wing and drove past two defenders before firing in a rising shot which Turner could only push over the bar.The visiting keeper made an even better stop seconds later when the subsequent corner was cleared as far as Adam Connolly, whose 30-yard skimmer was tipped around the post at full stretch by Turner.That was the cue for Welling to make a change and they sent on striker Kurtis Guthrie - who scored six goals in 13 appearances for City at the start of the season - for Kiernan Hughes-Mason.But Welling, for all of their patient passing, failed to create anything of note against a City side which never stopped running and harrying.The visitors made two more changes in the closing quarter, sending on Fakinos and Jon Main for skipper Lee Clarke and striker Jake Reid respectively, but still the chances eluded them and it was City who looked most threatening on the break.And Welling's evening went from bad to worse with three minutes remaining when sub Fakinos was shown a straight red card for a late lunge on Connolly.Kerry Morgan came on for Chamberlain in the 90th minute and had a glorious chance to kill the game off but fired straight at the keeper - not that it mattered as City held on for the win.
BATH CITY: Mellor, Simpson, Brown, Ball, Preece, Burnell, Charles, Connolly, Keats, Chamberlain (Morgan 90), Low. Subs not used: Griffin, Allen, Lennox, Rollo.WELLING UNITED: Turner, Franks, Obersteller, Day, Martin, Acheampong, Gallagher, Clarke (Fakinos 74), Reid, Lafayette, Hughes-Mason (Guthrie 53). Subs not used: Kinch, Main, Fairweather-Johnson.REFEREE: Steven Plane (Pershore).ATTENDANCE: 367.
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