Hereford United . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
HEREFORD UNITED will be hoping that they do not encounter Paul Batty when they embark on next season's FA Cup campaign. This time last year, Batty was a member of the Yeovil Town side that denied Hereford a third-round home tie against Arsenal, and in yesterday's second-round tie at Twerton Park he became Bath's hero three minutes after rising from the substitutes' bench.
There seemed little threat to the visitors' goal when, 12 minutes from full-time, Batty advanced from his own half. As the 29-year-old shop assistant made progress the Hereford defenders backed off, allowing Batty the time and space to thrash the ball into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
Thanks to their substitute's spectacular winner, the GM Vauxhall Conference club earned the dubious pleasure of a third-round tie at Stoke City. Yet Batty's strike was untypical of a scrappy, often spiteful match. Much of the play was crude and clumsy, with little sign of subtlety.
Hereford did not deserve to lose to their former Southern League rivals. The Third Division side had more chances than their hosts, but only made one count, when Derek Hall arrived at the far post to head Howard Clark's accurate right- wing cross past an exposed David Mogg.
That 56th-minute goal cancelled out Bath's opener, scored in the last minute of the first half. The bustling Adie Mings found his way blocked when he tried to dribble round Alan Judge, but the Hereford defence failed to clear the ball and Nicky Brooks, wide on the right of the area, drove it high into the net from a narrow angle.
That was Bath's first shot on target of the first half, and it came a minute after Hereford missed their best chance of the half. Put through by Owen Pickard's neat pass, Chris Pike beat two defenders but sent his shot a foot wide.
After the equaliser, Gareth Davies saw his header, from a left-wing corner, deflected on to the Bath bar. Five minutes later Hereford fell behind, and their desperate late pressure was to no avail.
Bath City (4-4-2): Mogg; Gill, Williams, Crowley, Dicks; Cousins, Boyle, Brooks (Batty, 75), Chenoweth; Adcock (Smart, 90), Mings. Substitute not used: Torrez (gk).
Hereford United (1-3-3-3): Judge; Downs; Clark, Smith (Anderson, 29), Davies; Harrison (May, 82), Reece, Hall; Pickard, Pike, Nicholson. Substitute not used: Thomas (gk).
Referee: V Callow (Solihull).
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