After impressive wins on the opening day of the season, both teams were looking to assert their dominance on the league. Bath started well, passing with intent and ensuring they were the first to every loose ball. The Southampton defenders struggled to deal with the high intimidating press and there were early chances that Bath didn’t capitalise on.
Even as Southampton worked their way into the game the Bath defence, led by Harry Black, held strong and no obvious chances were created. This coupled with the work rate and creativity of Chris Wiseman and Captain Will Mainwaring in the midfield made Bath very difficult to breakdown. The closest either side came to a goal in the first half was just before the interval when Will ‘Ron’ Macdonald’s deflection was cleared off the line. Despite the 0-0 score line Bath went into the break clearly on top and confident they could win the game.
In the second half Bath were more frantic looking for the opening goal. They gave away possession too much allowing Southampton the ball in dangerous areas, although no chances were created. Some poor tackling led to a yellow card and a 5 minute sin bin for Team Boy Jamie McCulloch putting Bath down to ten men at a crucial stage. This however did not deter the Rangers and a series of short corners with 15 minutes to go brought about an inevitable goal with Harry Black firing a drag flick bottom left to the delight of the players and spectators. After the goal Bath kept their composure passing the ball with confidence and the only danger was a couple of late attacks from Southampton. Dan Rayner kept his concentration in goal after a quiet game to make crucial saves towards the end meaning the game finished 1-0 Bath and that the 3XI soared to the top of the table. Needless to say there was no hesitation in starting the celebrations.
A Man of the match performance from Chris Wiseman was clear with his work rate and impact on the game second to none. This fed through the team with every member working hard for the man next to him. The 3XI will be looking to keep the winning form going against UWE in the opening cup game next week while having one eye on the league with no intention of being knocked off top spot any time soon.
Picture credited to University of Bath Students’ Union