Bath Chronicle - - SPORT -

Foot­balling fate was not on Bath City’s side as they were the vic­tims of a smash and grab Hemel Hemp­stead Town vic­tory. Not un­duly trou­bled for the best part of 75 min­utes, the Ro­mans were in charge for the ma­jor­ity of the con­test. How­ever, they were un­able to con­vert a host of strong chances. And hav­ing lost cen­tre-back Jack Bat­ten dur­ing their draw at Truro City in mid­week, his re­place­ment Kevin Amankwaah de­parted in­jured in the first half. Af­ter all that, the fi­nal kick in teeth ar­rived with 15 min­utes to go as Steve Caw­ley smug­gled in the win­ner to hand new Tu­dors boss Joe Deeney vic­tory in his first match in charge. With miss­ing play­ers mak­ing life dif­fi­cult, the Ro­mans be­gan with a di­a­mond mid­field and two up top, changed af­ter Amankwaah’s in­jury. Tom Smith twice glanced crosses from An­thony Straker wide in the first pe­riod with his head. Adam Mann also curled an ef­fort just high and wide of the top cor­ner as the Ro­mans, lack­ing per­haps a lit­tle in­ge­nu­ity in the fi­nal third, went in goal­less at the break. City set off apace in the sec­ond pe­riod with Hemel keeper Lau­rie Walker hav­ing to tip a Smith vol­ley around his right-hand post. Rarely called into ac­tion, Ro­mans stop­per Ryan Clarke had two saves to make, get­ting ev­ery­thing be­hind a Steve Caw­ley shot and get­ting down well to hold a wel-struck Jor­dan Parkes ef­fort af­ter he darted into the area. That save was out­done at the other end by Walker, who sprawled to keep out an ac­ro­batic Mann at­tempt, af­ter the Ro­mans had nod­ded a free-kick back across the box. Then came the chance of the game for City. Straker played a fine cross-field ball that Mann col­lected to go one-on-one with Walker, the vis­it­ing keeper out quickly to smother the fi­nal ef­fort. And Caw­ley’s match-win­ner was soon to fol­low as the hosts failed to ad­e­quately deal with a long free­kick to the edge of their box. Caw­ley col­lected, touched the ball away from his marker and prod­ded past Clarke. With their away goal in the bag, Hemel were ea­ger to shut up shop on City. The home side huffed and puffed, with the Tu­dors put un­der es­pe­cially great duress for the fi­nal min­utes of the con­test, but could not open up the clear-cut chance they wanted to draw level.

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