Romans maintain top form courtesy of Rigg
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.