No goals for Rebels or Romans at Arbour Park

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bath City

Bath City

League Attendance: 520 Ben Harris
Jon Underwood was pleased with a point against Bath City, the Rebels’ first point of 2019.

“We’re pleased - I think that goes down as a good point. Bath are a very good side, I expect them to be in the playoffs at the end of the season, they’re on a great run of form. So although we’re at home, you take a point against teams like that and I think we put in a decent shift tonight”.

Coming into the game off the back of a heavy defeat at Torquay, it was important that Slough put in a strong defensive display - something that would be difficult against another of the league’s in-form teams. Bath came into the game unbeaten in their last five games and with the league’s fourth-best away record.

Slough made a few changes from Saturday with Chris Flood unavailable and James Dobson sitting the game out having nearly finalised a move to a National League side. Scott Davies and Louie Soares were brought in with the Rebels playing a 4-3-3 formation.

The Rebels had the first chance of the match as Lee Togwell played in a low cross which Bath defender Kevin Amankwaah got a heavy touch to, sending it back towards his own goal. Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke had to react quickly to clear the ball, but it came out to Soares who saw his effort blocked.

A few minutes later Bath had their first chance as Adam Mann had space just outside the box but his shot was just wide of the post. Josh Jackman then counter-attacked and also saw his shot go wide.

On 20 minutes Slough thought they had the first goal after a scramble in the box. Lee Togwell was the player to put it over the line but the linesman had his flag up.

The game then settled with both teams looking strong defensively. Bath picked up a series of yellow cards with Clarke, Robbie Cundy, Jack Batten and Joe Raynes all included in the busy referee’s notebook, with Ben Harris bearing the brunt of a number of challenges.

In the final few minutes of the half, Bath started to get the upper hand and apply pressure to Jack Turner’s goal. Striker Freddie Hinds managed to flick the ball past the defence and with Ross Stearn looking to latch onto it, Turner did well to rush out and slide in to clear the ball.

Just before half time Hinds fired in a long-range shot but Turner was again equal to it.

Slough started the half strongly with Soares finding Simon Dunn in the box, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his shot down and Clarke was happy to watch it fly over his bar.

The home side remained on top, with two more long range shots from George Wells and Davies forcing Clarke into saves. Davies then put in a good free kick with the ball pinballing around the area before being cleared. Dunn recovered the ball, laying it off for Ben Harris to cross in low looking for Dunn, but he couldn’t get there in time.

Bath started to work a few chances with Tom Smith seeing his half volley go just wide and another shot from Hinds also going the wrong side of the post.

On 80 minutes came perhaps the highlight of the game as Hinds flicked the ball up before volleying it first time, forcing Turner to throw himself acrobatically to get a hand on the ball to turn it away from goal. A few minutes later, Hinds once again went close with his effort coming back off the post.

Bath City then picked up their sixth yellow card of the match as Matt Richards fouled Lee Togwell. It is hard to describe the match as dirty as there were very few poor tackles and the Romans will be left scratching their heads as to how they received so many cautions. Dunn was also booked a few minutes later for kicking the ball a few yards after the whistle, joining Jackman in the book for Slough.

The final few minutes petered out as both teams seemed content with a point and certainly didn’t want to give up a goal after defending so well.

Slough are at Arbour Park again on Saturday with Chelmsford City the visitors.

Report: Will Tuck.

Bath City Lineup

Ryan Clarke, Kevin Amankwaah (Matt Richards 50), Anthony Straker (c), Adam Mann, Jack Batten, Frankie Artus, Robbie Cundy, Joe Raynes, Freddie Hinds, Tom Smith (Sean Rigg 78), Ross Stearn. Unused substitutes: Harvey Wiles-Richards, Dan Ball.


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