Bill Robinson reports from Twerton Park……
Thurrock failed to emulate their recent scoring record on their travels this weekend with a performance that was well below expectations.
From the start they looked to be second best and rode their luck early on when Bath should have taken the lead on two occasions.
With only seven minutes on the clock Phil Anderson was put under pressure as he tried to allow ball to run out of play, Kaid Mohamed had other ideas as was able to win the ball back, but his cross, although dangerously crossing the six yard box failed to find a Bath player to convert it.
Two minutes later Lewis Hogg had the easiest chance any player would want to score, he was three yards out with the goal unguarded, the cross came in from the right from Sekani Simpson, Hogg scuffed his side footed effort and the ball rolled wide of the post.
Thurrock must have thought this was their lucky day when ten minutes later they found themselves under pressure with two consecutive corners and this time it was Darren Edwards who should have scored but again shooting wide of the target.
By this time three Thurrock players had changed their footwear, obviously the pitch was playing a little softer than expected, one of those three was David Bryant and it was Bryant who managed to get Thurrock’s first effort on goal on the half hour, although easily saved it did start a spell of Thurrock pressure.
But it was Bath that finally broke the deadlock in the 39th minute, it was a long ball out of defence that found three Bath players struggling to get back onside which caused some hesitation in the Thurrock back four, as one of them appeared to make a play for the ball but stopped, as Darren Edwards ran through to collect the ball to face Joe Woolley on a one on one situation, it was Edwards that won as he side footed home the goal.
Despite Thurrock protests to the officials the referee allowed the goal to stand.
In the second half Thurrock still look like they were not firing on all cylinders as the moves continued to collapse mainly due to misplaced passes.
Bath seemed to be defending deeper this half which allowed Thurrock to mount attacks and on two occasions both from good deep crosses from Mat Bodkin they came extremely close to the equaliser.
First the head of Rob Swaine rose higher than anyone in the penalty area and his goal bound header seemed to hang in the air as Keeper Ryan Robinson produced a fabulous save to keep his side ahead.
Minutes later a similar occurrence, this time it was Phil Andersons header that had Robinson in action again.
Manager Hakan Hayrettin sent on his subs trying to push his team forward in a more attacking mode but Bath managed to hold off the Thurrock attempts and took all three points at the end.
With six more matches for Thurrock in March, this will be a testing month for them if they are to keep pace with the others in the play off race.
Thurrock: Joe Wolley, Craig Pope, Phil Anderson (Matthew Judge 75), Matt Paine (Lewis Smith 67), Kenny Clark, Rob Swaine, Matt Bodkin, Leon Lalite, David Bryant, Leon McKenzie (Paul Olima 82), Fola Orilonishe.
Subs Not Used: Andre Foster, Ryan Andrews.