Wales youth international stands out despite Bristol City U23s losing to Bath City

Bath City beat Bristol City U23s 1-0.Bath City beat Bristol City U23s 1-0.
Bath City beat Bristol City U23s 1-0.
Latest run-out for the Robins development side took place at Twerton Park on Tuesday evening.

Bristol City U23s were given a good workout in their latest friendly of pre-season, as they lost 1-0 to National League South outfit Bath City on Tuesday evening.

The Romans had already seen off Bristol Rovers a week previously - 3-1 - and manager Jerry Gill’s side followed that up with another impressive display here that suggests they may be a handy outfit in the English sixth tier this coming campaign.

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The only goal of the game came on 22 minutes as Alex Fletcher found space behind Callum Wood, playing at left-back. A low cross was met first-time by Dan Hayfield, who finished pwerfully inside the near post.

The Young Robins were playing a 3-4-1-2 formation similar to Nigel Pearson’s senior side, and although the manager was not present at Bath, Dave Rennie and Pat Mountain were on the sidelines to report back.

Wood suffered an injury in the first half, that looked like a hamstring problem, and was replaced by former Romans loanee Sam Pearson for a more attacking threat from out wide, as fellow Wales youth international full-back Harry Leeson shifted from the right flank to the left.

Both Pearson and Leeson caused the home side problems, with Leeson the pick of the visitors as he continually beat his marker, but goal-scoring opportunities were limited.

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Seb Palmer-Houlden led the line and he almost rounded home goalkeeper Joe Wright in the first half before lashing at goal from 25 yards in the second half. The Bristol City forward, who went to Austria on the senior pre-season camp, then headed a Marley Rose free kick straight at Wright too.

But the home side looked the more dangerous, as midfielder-with-a-mullet Tom Smith shot several times from range, and substitute Scott Wilson came off the bench to flash a cross-cum-shot narrowly off target from wide in the final throes of the game.

Ex-Bath City player James Morton came off the bench in the second half to pull the strings in midfield for the team from Ashton Gate, as Dylan Kadji and Josh Owers were replaced at the break. And Ben Acey showed some neat touches as Olly Thomas held the ball up well, but Bristol City lacked a focal point in attack at times, and certainly after Palmer-Houlden had been withdrawn.

Joe Low, Jamie Knight-Lebel and Duncan Idehen offered physicality at the back and helped to limit the home side’s attacks but it was not enough.

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Bath City, meanwhile, kept a clean sheet that the watching Max O’Leary, a former Roman, would have been proud of. The hosts also fielded two young Robins loanees: right-back Zac Bell and attacking midfielder Tommy Backwell in the second half, who helped to see the win through.

Starting teams:

Bath City: Wright, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle, Fletcher, Spokes, Cooke, Lines, Mannings, Hayfield

Bristol City U23s (3-5-2): Wiles-Richards; Knight-Lebel, Low, Idehen; Leeson, Owers, Kadji, Wood; Rose; Thomas, Palmer-Houlden

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