Banbury United 0-2 Bath City
By Steve T
United's FA Cup hopes ended for another year
Two first half goals from Bath's Ross Stearn ended Banbury's interest in the FA Cup for another season and there could be no complaints about the result as the visitors controlled the game for most of the 90 minutes.
Bath created more opportunities in the opening half hour and it came as no surprise when they took the lead. Jack Harding did well to parry a shot from Adam Mann high to his left but Ross Stearn was on hand to fire the rebound home.
Stearn then delivered a killer blow. A corner was only half cleared and he smashed home a shot from the edge of the box with Harding unsighted to leave Banbury two down at half time.
Jordy Ngathe was brought on for Mark Bell and a change of formation saw Banbury start the second period in the ascendancy. However pressure could not be converted into clear cut chances. A cross shot from Ravi Shamsi that cleared the bar by inches was the closest Banbury came to scoring.
As the game developed Bath reasserted their control and only the woodwork and some fine saves by Harding kept the deficit down.
To add to Banbury's woes they finished the game with ten men when Lee Henderson was shown a second yellow card for a seemingly innocuous challenge on substitute Andy Watkins.
It was a disappointing result for United who were never able to get any grip on the game. The visitors certainly showed their class in victory.
It is now 45 years since Banbury reached the First Round Proper.
Banbury United: Harding, Hawtin, Martin (Awadh 78), Finch, Wise, Henderson, Bell (Ngathe HT), Self, Johnson (Diggin 67), Shamsi, Kaziboni.
Subs not used: Rasulo, Odhiambo, Nash, Barnett.
Bath City: Clarke, Raynes, Cundy, Batten, Straker, Artus, Rigg (Watkins 77), Mann, Stearn (Ollis 86), Mills (Smith 56), Brunt.
Subs not used: Hodges, Amankwaah, Richards, Ball.
Banbury Man of the Match as selected by match sponsors Newly Weds: Ravi Shamsi