Fixture: FA National Futsal League (Midlands Division)
Date: Wednesday 14 November 2012
Score: Hereford 1-12 Bath
Venue: Point 4, Hereford.
Bath shift through the gears to beat a defensive Hereford side.
A strong Team Bath side travelled to Hereford for a midweek evening match, which on paper was destined to be a one sided affair. However, a resolute Hereford team meant that the win was hard fought.
The first ten minutes proved tougher than anticipated.
Despite Bath’s best efforts to break the deadlock, and armed with mastermind Kitson’s new tactical setup, a highly defensive and unambitious Hereford side kept them at bay. Bath were struggling to retain possession in the final third, a lack of composure and miscommunication leaving them susceptible to counter attacks.
A tactical timeout calmed the Bath side, and the breakthrough was finally made when Kitson fired into the top corner from a Parkes lay-off. Their lead was soon doubled by Ballinger as Bath began to settle into their familiar rhythm.
However, a series of debatable refereeing decisions infuriated the Bath side, culminating in a yellow card for Ballinger, given as a result of dissent.
Further goals from Horlock and Yilmaz made the scoreline 4-0 at halftime.
Kitson urged his side to relax and dictate the game in the second half, focusing on their own performance and keeping a good shape. Bath started to turn on the style almost immediately, Parkes scoring two and Ballinger getting his hat-trick.
The match took a sour tone however, when Ballinger received a second yellow for unsportsmanlike behaviour and was sent from the arena. Rather than dwell on this, Bath kept their focus and the trio of Ingram, Parkes and Kitson superbly kept Hereford at bay for the two minutes’ numerical disadvantage.
Hereford managed to pull back a consolation goal, but Bath had already stretched their lead through Horlock and Bryan, capped off with doubles from Ingram and Parkes.
While their performance was not quite up to their usual high standards, an evolving yet experienced Bath side showed their quality to brush aside an organised Hereford side. The season will bring bigger tests, and Bath look forward to proving themselves yet again on the national scene.
Team: Jones (GK), Ingram (C), Kitson, Parkes, Ballinger, Gardiner, Guttridge, Horlock, Yilmaz, Bryan.