Bath Bash The Rebels

Bath City

Bath City

Crowley (7), Randall (38, unknown), Withey (85)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 575 Trevor Bunting
A Slough side ravaged by injuries, suspension and other commitments made a nightmare trip to Bath on Tuesday evening and was humbled. The opportunity to build on their success of last week turned into a performance that will want to be forgotten for a long time and probably the club's worst since joining the Conference.

They started the game forced into using Trevor How and Mark Turkington who were battling to recover from injuries. Neal Stanley sat out the game still recovering from a dislocated shoulder, Steve Thompson and Mark Mallinson were both playing for the RAF and Phil Stacey was suspended. It all combined to leave Slough weakened, but not ineffective considering the calibre of players the Rebels still managed to turn out.
Bath are sitting pretty at the bottom of the Vauxhall Conference and had failed to produce a league win this season, sacked their manager and made changes. It all combined for the Romans to turn in a performance that simply outclassed Slough and left the crowd actually wondering who was at the bottom of the league.

Referee Mr Jones interrupted flow and seemed to be harsh on some 50/50 challenges which didn't help matters. The match was played with an awkward wind blowing just across the pitch but able to help the team kicking down the slope — Bath for the first half.

The Rebels rearranged side saw Tony Knight remain in the centre of defence alongside Darren Anderson, Mark Hill line up at left back and Trevor How at right. Mark Turkington, still battling for full fitness after an achilles tendon operation, stepped into Thompson's midfield boots but looked a yard too slow throughout.

Very early signs saw Slough twice venture into the home side's box but not managed to create anything though there was hope. That was until seven minutes had gone. A free kick on the right for Bath saw the ball swung in by Underhill and centre back Richard Crowley rose totally unmarked at the far post to head home.

The Romans pushed forward again and again, finding new confidence from every foray forward and had the Rebels on the ropes. They got round the full backs and put in telling crosses which were scrambled away with Slough getting little opportunity to counter-attack.

Tiv Lowe saw a curling effort catch the wind and float just over but just as Bath looked as though they could extend their lead, the Rebels steadied the ship. Jon Sissons found more space and caused problems up front for Bath, but was unable to hold the ball up.

Slough forced a few corners and they were desperately unlucky not to level the scores from one. It was cleared to Jonathan Hunt on the right and the youngster, who laid in some good balls forward, crossed for Mark Hill to glance a header into the path of Trevor How at the far post, his instinctive effort cannoning off the bar. Sadly, that was to be it in the way of attacking moves in the game for Slough.

With 38 minutes gone Paul Randall was sent racing through with the Slough defence claiming offside and he curled the ball past the on coming Trevor Bunting and into the back of the net with style.

Slough were losing out through poor tackling and wayward distribution in the centre of midfield, where Turkington and Dell struggled to compete. Both sides suffered injuries during the half, Bath's impressive centre back Crowley limping off and Tommy Langley having to be substituted at half time for an injury to his arm.

This lead to a reshuffle with Anderson moving upfront, Vernon Pratt coming on into the centre of defence to replace the ex Chelsea star. With the wind at their backs, Slough still failed to create, their one chance being Turkington's deflected shot hacked away by Banks early in the half.

Anderson was permanently in trouble with referee Banks and Slough made no headway and as the game wore on Bath totally dominated. Withey wasted a golden chance after waltzing through the Rebels defence only to blast wide of an open goal. Bath created more and showed more imagination and resolution and Randall grabbed his second and their third when he again found himself clean through and slotted the ball home.

Gary Donnellan was booked for a late tackle but Sissons was prostrate on the ground for the same reason without a word to the Bath offender. Naseem Bashir replaced him but it was down to Bunting to delay the fourth for a while when he made a point blank save from Randall.

By the time Withey finally collected his goal on 85 minutes, virtually walking through a Slough defence, Slough had nothing to offer and only another desperate tackle from Pratt prevented Randall's hat-trick and a fifth.

Bath City Lineup


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