Full time: Bath City 2-3 Chelmsford City

Freddie Hockey’s second half brace earned a 10-men Clarets side a hard-fought win from a cold afternoon in Somerset. Cody Cooke’s two first half penalties helped Bath lead after 42 minutes, with Clarets captain Jazzi Barnum-Bobb getting shown a red card prior to the Romans’ second spot-kick. Bath defender Danny Greenslade’s own goal halved the hosts’ lead on the cusp of half time, paving way for City’s second half comeback thanks to Hockey’s strikes.

Jerry Gill’s side landed the first blow of Saturday afternoon’s proceedings at Twerton Park, when Bath were awarded an early penalty after Ben Brookes was penalised for a foul on Oscar Thorn. Despite diving the right way, Clarets goalkeeper Jacob Marsden couldn’t keep out Cooke’s spot kick.

City responded well to going behind and crafted some promising openings, one of which fell to Jermaine Francis, who put one of Brookes’ crosses agonisingly wide in the 15th minute.

Despite signs of a Chelmsford resurgence, Bath doubled their lead in the 42nd minute courtesy of another penalty converted by Cooke. Jordan Dyer’s long pass forward into Cooke unlocked the Clarets’ backline, and the retreating Barnum-Bobb was penalised with a straight red card for a foul in the penalty area on the Romans man. Once again, Marsden dived the right way from Cooke’s spot kick, but couldn’t keep the forward’s strike out.

Less than 120 seconds after going two goals behind though, Simpson’s side halved the hosts’ lead. Josh Castiglione did well down the left-hand side to cut inside and deliver a dangerous cross towards the backpost, which Bath defender Greenslade bundled into his own net whilst under pressure from Freddie Hockey.

Following a quiet start to the second half, the game came alive in around the 58th minute, when a long-range effort from Callum Watts was tipped over the crossbar by Bath goalkeeper Will Buse. Buse’s save sparked a series of Clarets corners, one of which fell to Charlie Ruff, who earned his side a penalty after being fouled by Jordan Thomas in the penalty box. Freddie Hockey stepped up from the spot and levelled for the Clarets in the 60th minute, with his powerful effort finding the top corner of Buse’s goal.

Three minutes later, Hockey became the second player of the afternoon to secure a brace. Charlie Ruff, who found himself in space after an excellent ball from Finley Barbrook, spotted the run of Hockey to his right and picked out the 18-year-old to put him through on goal. Hockey kept his cool, slotting his effort under the keeper in similar to fashion to his goal earlier this week against Halstead.

Chelmsford nearly earned a fourth goal in the 67th minute, when Luke Jenkins’ touch on Ben Brookes’ free kick forced Will Buse into a save.

With hosts probing for an equaliser, Robbie Simpson’s 10-man City side were forced soak up Bath’s pressure for much of the remainder of proceedings at Twerton Park. The Clarets did so to good effect, seeing the game out to secure a fifth consecutive away win in all competitions.

Bath City XI: Buse (GK), Greenslade, Dyer, Batten (Raynes 68), Parselle ©, Hayfield, Cooke, Thomas, Thorn (Clark 54), Wilson, Russe (Smith 75).

Unused substitutes: Frear, Lines.

Yellow cards: None.

Chelmsford City XI: Marsden (GK), Barnum-Bobb ©, Jenkins, Barbrook, Brookes; Ochieng (Wordsworth 81), Watts, Ruff (Coker 90); Francis, Castiglione (Jones 87), Hockey.

Unused substitutions: Spillane, Ebuzoeme.

Yellow cards: Castiglione, Adam Drew.

Red cards: Barnum-Bobb

Attendance: 1044

Words by Jake Dixon

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