Meikle sends Stags in level at Bath

A LINDON Meikle cross that drifted over the keeper into the home net on 23 minutes brought Mansfield Town back level after going behind to bottom club Bath City at Twerton Park this afternoon. Marley Watkins had fired the Romans, who have only won one league game all season, ahead on 19 minutes.

Bath were immediately on the attack with Hog running powerfully down the centre before scuffing a tame finish towards Marriott.

Mansfield, playing down the pronounced Twerton Park slope, responded with Green making a nuisance of himself around the box before rolling the ball back for Bolland to drive well over from 25 yards.

On nine minutes Stags were given a real scare as Watkins left Verma in his wake in the middle to slot a through ball forward for home debutant Bryan whose shot clipped the outside of the near post.

An offside flag halted Green when he thought he was through one-on-one three minutes later.

Verma showed his class on 17 minutes when he swapped passes with skipper for the day Thompson and then ghosted past a defender before seeing his powerful 20 yard shot deflect just wide.

But Stags fell behind on 19 minutes when Verma overhit a pass to Bolland, the ball bouncing off the midfielder’s shin towards Marley.

He ran on and squared to Sean Canham for a shot that Marriott beat away only to see Watkins run in to drill home the follow-up from 16 yards.

But Stags were level – with a spot of fortune – within four minutes.

Verma fed Meikle on the left and the winger curled a cross to the far post which debut-making keeper Matthews misjudged and saw it float over him and end up just inside the far angle and in the net.

However, Bath should have restored their lead on 27 minutes. Jones headed a long free kick from the far post straight in front of goal where Clough stole in but, with the goal gaping three yards away, he somehow managed to lift it over.

It was poor defending from the visitors and a huge let-off.

Both sides had a shout for handball in the box ignored as Stags continued to have the edge in a scrappy affair.

Two minutes from the break, as Bath players made their penalty appeal, Dyer broke away from his own half with a splendid burst forward.

His final ball to Howell was perfect and the makeshift striker saw Matthews block his finish.

Soon after Howell poked a tame effort inches wide, though Matthews seemed to have it covered all the way as the sides went in deadlocked.