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Bath City's narrow defeat to Concord Rangers
A steady improvement, just the finishing touch lacking
Yes, Saturday was another defeat, but at least there were signs of life in the attacking unit once again.

You could count on one hand the number of times that a City player has found himself with a clear sight of goal recently.

It wouldn't be too hefty an exaggeration to say they came close to matching that against Concord. Sadly the finishing left much to be desired.

Nevertheless it was a vast improvement, and Nick McCootie's first-half performance was one of his best in the past few months.

The powerful, driving runs that set up opportunities for Ashley Kington and then himself are exactly why the management rate him so highly. It must happen more consistently.

Andy Watkins, too, was a menacing figure running in the channels, and Dave Pratt – not fully fit, according to Adie Britton – came on and put himself about.

A healthier, match-fit and match-sharp Eliot Richards should provide a boost in terms of a clinical edge, even though he will be disappointed at missing a headed chance late on.

So a disappointing result, but a largely positive performance, particularly when framed by month leading up to it.

Conceding the opening goal has been the Achilles' heel for City throughout their barren run on the pitch, and against Concord it proved their undoing again.

Saturday was the tenth time in the last 12 games that the Romans have conceded either the first or only goal of a game.

In those matches, they have drawn level on only three occasions – going on to lose each time. They have not led a home game since October.

We can rattle out all the stats we like, but the fact is that, while conceding first is obviously a problem, the reaction to it needs to be addressed.

In recent games against Oxford, Truro and Dartford, City have made reasonable starts – not great, but certainly okay.

However, once the first goal goes in, they have been listless, with the three losses ahead of the Concord game a case in point.

It's not fair to expect a struggling team to keep a clean sheet every game of course, but the least that's required is a concerted response to conceding.

Three talking points from Bath City's narrow defeat to Concord Rangers


Yes, Saturday was another defeat, but at least there were signs of life in the attacking unit once again.

You could count on one hand the number of times that a City player has found himself with a clear sight of goal recently.

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30 photos from City's defeat to Concord
Adie Britton says his side should have won comfortably on Saturday
Bath City 0 Concord Rangers 1: Missed chances costly for Romans
It wouldn't be too hefty an exaggeration to say they came close to matching that against Concord. Sadly the finishing left much to be desired.

Nevertheless it was a vast improvement, and Nick McCootie's first-half performance was one of his best in the past few months.

Bath City chairman Paul Williams says plans are still formulating following Lee Howells' exit
The powerful, driving runs that set up opportunities for Ashley Kington and then himself are exactly why the management rate him so highly. It must happen more consistently.

Andy Watkins, too, was a menacing figure running in the channels, and Dave Pratt – not fully fit, according to Adie Britton – came on and put himself about.

A healthier, match-fit and match-sharp Eliot Richards should provide a boost in terms of a clinical edge, even though he will be disappointed at missing a headed chance late on.

So a disappointing result, but a largely positive performance, particularly when framed by month leading up to it.

If you can't score first, you must react positively

Conceding the opening goal has been the Achilles' heel for City throughout their barren run on the pitch, and against Concord it proved their undoing again.

Saturday was the tenth time in the last 12 games that the Romans have conceded either the first or only goal of a game.

In those matches, they have drawn level on only three occasions – going on to lose each time. They have not led a home game since October.

We can rattle out all the stats we like, but the fact is that, while conceding first is obviously a problem, the reaction to it needs to be addressed.

In recent games against Oxford, Truro and Dartford, City have made reasonable starts – not great, but certainly okay.

However, once the first goal goes in, they have been listless, with the three losses ahead of the Concord game a case in point.

It's not fair to expect a struggling team to keep a clean sheet every game of course, but the least that's required is a concerted response to conceding.

Dead ball delivery must improve

There are few things more infuriating in football than a set-piece failing to beat the first man.

Sadly for City, that has been a common occurrence recently, with Saturday's crimes against dead balls particularly heinous.

It's a free chance to put the ball in the box and put a team under pressure, don't waste it.

Admittedly, City aren't the biggest or most physical team in the league, but chuck it in the mix and who knows where the ball might end up.

When a team is struggling for goals as much as the Romans – now a tally of 14 in their last 18 games – it is imperative to make the most of set-pieces.

With each corner or free-kick that was turned away by a Concord defender at the front post, the groans of frustration became increasingly audible.

I'll admit, I don't regularly keep a track of the corner count during a game, and that may well have been for the best this weekend.

- bathchronicle.co.uk
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