Pre-season report from Twerton Park
United’s pre season preparations continued with a 1-1 draw at Bath City this afternoon with James Roberts giving the U's the lead before they were pegged back by an Andy Watkins strike.
A young United side started with Jack Stevens in goal behind Miles Welch-Hayes, captain Robbie Cundy, Canice Carroll and Charlie Tuttle. In midfield wingers Jordan Graham and Jonny Giles flanked the excellent Shandon Baptiste and Josh Ashby while Roberts and George Jeacock teamed up in attack.
It was Stevens who caught the eye in the first half with two good saves, the second a magnificent reflex stop to keep out a Jack Batten header from a corner. Bath, with experienced Start Fleetwood and Marvin Morgan up front, were a great test in a well-contested game in which challenges were hard but the spirit was always fair.
Centre-half Carroll was often the start of United’s forward planning, comfortable on the ball and passing from deep or slipping the ball into playmaker Ashby further forward. Roberts had the ball in the net but was denied by an offside flag while Giles sent in a powerful long-range effort that veteran keeper Steve Phillips got down well to save and keep the score 0-0- at the break.
The U’s showed greater intensity after the break and a great deal more tempo, allowing them to get forward more and spread the ball wide. An impudent piece of skill from Giles almost found an unlikely opener as he back-heeled a cross towards goal, but it was Roberts who found the breakthrough when he scuttled away in the left channel, showed good strength to hold off a defender and slipped the ball across Phillips for a typically well-taken goal.
Stevens then made another excellent save to fingertip a dipping effort on to the bar but Bath had deserved something for their efforts and got their equaliser when Ellan Gordon ran at the defence and was tackled, but the ball squirmed through for sub Watkins to tuck the ball beyond the on-rushing Stevens to make it 1-1.
Probably a fair result but a good test for both sides and a proper pre-season work out for all involved.
Stevens, Welch-Hayes, Tuttle, Ashby, Cundy, Carroll, Graham, Baptiste, Roberts, Jeacock, Giles
Subs: Agboola. Chilcott, Baker, Napa