Saturday, November 5, 2011

Goals galore as Bath and Hartlepool draw

Hartlepool United 3 - 3 Bath City (FA Cup 1st Rnd)

As fans left Victoria Park they will no doubt have agreed that neither team deserved to lose this game.

In an enthralling match which saw both sides throw caution to the wind, it was football which was ultimately the winner.

Striker Billy Paynter gave Bath the lead with a powerful close range effort in the 29th minute. Striker Adam Boyd then equalised for Hartlepool in the 44th minute with a powerful effort. An error from Christopher Ramsey allowed striker James Brown to score a diving header from within the six-yard box.

Full-back Jared Hodgkiss then equalised for Bath in the 77th minute with a real poacher's effort. Veteran striker Clyde Wijnhard then put the away side in front after 82 minutes with a well timed close range finish.

The Bath fans might have hoped that Wijnhard had scored the winner but it was not to be. With Hartlepool staring at defeat, there was controversy as Boyd then had a penalty shout turned down.

With Bath already beginning to celebrate, striker Adam Boyd scored a powerful effort from the edge of the area in injury-time to snatch the equaliser for Hartlepool. Better late than never for Hartlepool and the fans were clearly delighted with Boyd's impact.

Attendance: 3596

After cruising past Dag & Red in the FA Cup qualifier, we were hoping to be drawn against a lower team, or a home game against a larger team from div1. We got nothing; drawn away to Hartlepool.

Went in with hopes of an early goal to fit into the countering strategy we've been working on, and Paynter delivered on queue. From then on the game opened up and there were chances raining down from everywhere. They finally draw level and then go ahead through a Brown's header. Up until that moment he'd been playing out of sorts so maybe the comments about him being the main threat had put him off.

We get a lot of open space in their half when we get the ball, but nothing's going in. Finally a run down the left from Kouman opened up the field. Pressured into the corner he managed to turn it back to the top of the square where Murray kept it going to Hodgekiss. A neat channel opened up in front of Jared and he powered it into the opposite corner of the net. We're level. Happy.

Hartlepoool pull out the stops, but it opens up their defense even more and another blazing Kouman run down the left is matched by 5 red shirts running for the box. Kouman picked out Paynter with the cross inside the box, who deftly passed it off to Wijnhaard right in front to score! 3-2! 5 minutes to go! COME ON BOYS!

We're hunkered down hard, but an amazing blast from Boyd pierces through from 30 yards with under a minute to go. It finishes a tie at 3 all, but we're happy enough and the fans on both sides were buzzing.