County continued their pre-season schedule with a trip to Twerton Park, to take on National League South outfit Bath City.
Terry Butcher named Rhys Taylor and Regan Poole in the starting eleven, with new signing Matt Taylor being named captain for the evening.
Striker Lenell John-Lewis led the attacking line, with new signing Scott Bodan in attendance to see his new team-mates in action.
The first chance of the game came to County striker Lenell John-Lewis. The forward rose to head the ball towards goal, only for Bath ‘keeper Steve Phillips to spill his effort back towards to him and he snatched his volley over the crossbar.
The hosts were quick to respond with chances of their own. Dave Pratt established himself as a handful for the County, rising about the defence to head a deep cross narrowly wide of Rhys Taylor’s left-hand post. The striker was soon involved again, as he failed to connect with a squared ball across County’s six-yard box with just an open net in front of him.
It was Dave Pratt who came close to breaking the deadlock just after the half hour mark, this time being played through on goal and firing a shot past Rhys Taylor that cannoned into the post and away to safety.
As the first half looked destined to be goalless, Bath City striker Andy Watkins advanced into the County area unchallenged and managed to squeeze his effort into the far corner of the net and past the outstretched Rhys Taylor to give the hosts the lead in the 43rd minute.
County started the second half brightly. Youngster Aaron Collins latched onto a whipped cross by Kieran Parselle and forced Bath ‘keeper Steve Phillips into making a good reflex save to deny County an equaliser.
County created another opportunity soon after, with a Mark Byrne corner finding Elliot Scotcher who was unable to keep his header down at the near post.
The hosts went on to double their lead in the 59th minute, when substitute striker Nick McCootie’s shot from the edge of the area took a big deflection that wrong footed Rhys Taylor and the ball trickled into the back of the net.
Nick McCootie had a chance to add a third for the host in the last ten minutes of the game. The striker ran clear of the County defence and knocked the ball past an outrushing Rhys Taylor. His effort lacked conviction and on the heavy surface at Twerton Park the ball slowed up on route to goal and the County defence was able to intervene.
After the match manager Terry Butcher told the press: “It was disappointing result after the high standards we set ourselves in the opening two matches. I have no excuses tonight at all, we have to work harder and make sure we respond properly to this defeat. You learn more from a defeat and a performance like tonight, than if you won four or five nil comfortably”.
Attendance: 283 (43 travelling fans)
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