The Non-League Football Paper - - NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH - By Mark Still­man

BATH CITY ex­tended their un­beaten run to seven, with their fifth clean sheet in a row, and ex­tended East Thur­rock’s dis­mal run of away form.

John Coven­try’s men re­main win­less this term on the road, col­lect­ing a mea­gre two points from 39, but they gave City a few scares be­fore Sean Rigg’s sec­ond-half strike de­cided the con­test.

The Rocks weren’t over­awed in the early stages. Ben Mar­low’s scuffed shot picked out Sam Ash­ford at the far post, but from a nar­row an­gle he blazed well off tar­get.

The vis­i­tors frus­trated the Ro­mans and boss Jerry Gill switched for­ma­tion early on to try and prize the vis­i­tors apart.

It had an in­stant im­pact as they quickly cre­ated two open­ings. Tom Smith wasted the first, mishit­ting wide from 15 yards af­ter An­thony Straker brushed off Jon Nzengo and crossed from the by-line.

Rocks cen­tre-back Steve Shee­han bravely de­nied Smith with a su­perb block.

Fred­die Hinds dragged wide af­ter Joe Raynes

al­most bull­dozed his way through a packed vis­i­tors de­fence.

East Thur­rock’s Reece Prest­edge pro­duced the match’s first ef­fort on tar­get shortly be­fore half-time, a vol­ley from 25 yards which flew straight at Ro­mans keeper Ryan Clarke.

Adam Mann’s sting­ing drive when Raynes’ shot ric­o­cheted to him re­quired a smart save from vis­it­ing cus­to­dian Rob Gid­dens.

The Rocks har­ried and chased to good ef­fect, but posed few prob­lems for Clarke, with de­fences on top in the first half.

Gid­dens showed in­cred­i­ble re­ac­tions when Rob­bie Cundy’s de­flected header nearly sneaked in.

But from the re­sult­ing cor­ner, Frankie Ar­tus’ header was par­ried off the line by Nzengo and ran to Rigg who drove into the roof of the net from ten yards on 54 min­utes.

Tom Derry bore down on goal af­ter a mix-up in Bath’s mid­field, but Clarke smoth­ered the ball be­fore Derry could get his shot away.

Derry went even closer on 80 min­utes when his spec­u­la­tive shot from 25 yards bounced off the in­side of the post and away to safety.

It was the clos­est they came as City made it 521 min­utes with­out con­ced­ing, their long­est run of league clean sheets since 2007. A de­lighted Gill told The

NLP: ‘It’s a fan­tas­tic three points. Pro­gres­sion again and a sixth clean sheet in seven, re­strict­ing them to only one clear chance.

“It con­sol­i­dates our third spot and the boys are con­fi­dent and look­ing for­ward to Torquay next game.”

PIC­TURES: Paul Pax­ford

ALL SMILES: Sean Rigg cel­e­brates Bath’s win­ner

BAT­TLE: Joe Raynes of Bath City is chal­lenged by Steve Shee­han and right, Jack Bat­ten of Bath City heads at goal

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