Ro­mans main­tain top form cour­tesy of Rigg

Western Daily Press - - Football -

THE re­turn­ing Sean Rigg en­sured Bath City notched the fifth win of their seven-game un­beaten streak with East Thur­rock United edged out at Tw­er­ton Park.

Five weeks on from his last start, Rigg ri­fled home from 12 yards as the ball dropped per­fectly for his third goal in as many starts, al­beit spread over near two months.

With goal­keeper Ryan Clarke dom­i­nat­ing at the back and a lack of ideas from East Thur­rock, City’s only real de­fen­sive wor­ries were of their own mak­ing on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions.

Tom Derry also drew gasps from the home sup­port with a spec­u­la­tive ef­fort that re­bounded off the post, but in truth an equaliser never truly looked likely as City con­tin­ued their fine form.

City opened the game play­ing Joe Raynes among a three-man de­fence, with Ross Stearn at rightwing back. That, how­ever, changed within 15 min­utes as Thur­rock’s 4-3-3 drew Jerry Gill into a match­ing sys­tem, Stearn mov­ing to the left wing and Raynes to right-back.

In that time, the vis­i­tors cre­ated the first op­por­tu­nity when a low ball to­wards the back post was turned over by the slid­ing Sam Ash­ford.

Fred­die Hinds was inches away from latch­ing on to chances on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions, in­clud­ing one early when Adam Mann’s header on was snaf­fled by goal­keeper Jack Gid­dens.

Bath’s best open­ing of the first pe­riod per­haps fell to Tom Smith. Posted at the edge of the area, he dragged wide from a low Straker cen­tre that swept through a num­ber of play­ers in the box.

A spell of con­certed at­tack handed the Ro­mans a lead early after the restart. Gid­dens was forced into a save first of all, Rob­bie Cundy’s flick-on from a long throw al­most de­flect­ing into the bot­tom cor­ner off a de­fender.

In­stead it was turned for a cor­ner and though the Rocks cleared Frankie Ar­tus’s goal­bound header, the ball ran out for Rigg to thump in with a de­flec­tion en route.

A sec­ond al­most ar­rived within min­utes as Jack Bat­ten saw a header cleared off the line.

That was not to say the vis­i­tors were out of the con­test. They had some spells in the City third in­clud­ing a num­ber of set pieces, but found Clarke in com­mand­ing form in the home goal.

But the big­gest scare of all came from Derry when he swiv­elled and shot from 25 yards, and rat­tled the in­side of the far post with Clarke des­per­ately div­ing across goal, but the Ro­mans sur­vived. Cado­gan’s cross-shot then went nar­rowly past a post.

At the other end, Smith did well to turn over a shot from Tariq Os­sai be­fore the Blue­birds scored what turned out to be the win­ning goal a quar­ter of an hour from time.

Josh Smile’s ball split the home de­fence and Kar­nell Cham­bers made no mis­take.

The Es­sex side had a late chance to equalise, but sub­sti­tute Nathan Min­has failed to hit the tar­get and Chip­pen­ham took the points.

The Blue­birds are next in ac­tion at Slough next week­end, while Bath host lead­ers Torquay, We­ston go to Truro, and Glouces­ter play at Ox­ford City.

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