Fleet’s evermore slender grasp on a potential play-off place finally slipped away as failure to win at Twerton Park mathematically ended all hope of a top-five qualification.
Jamie Day made three changes to his line-up with Preston Edwards, Kenny Clark and Tyrone Marsh replacing Brandon Hall, Matt Fish and Danny Kedwell. And after an unremarkable opening spell, the game to life shortly after the quarter-hour mark when Clark was penalised for bringing down Frankie Artus in the box and Bath’s top scorer David Pratt tucked away the spot kick.
Fleet responded within a minute when Luke Rooney delivered for Matt Godden to bring a save out of Jason Mellor but Stuart Lewis was on hand to convert the rebound.
And still the excitement continued as the visitors almost got their noses in front sixty seconds or so later as Marsh drove at the retreating Bath defence and threaded a ball through to Rooney whose decent shot came back off the post.
Both sides continued to press and Pratt twice drew saves from Edwards before a third effort from the Romans’ top scorer hit the woodwork, while at the other end the lively Rooney saw his shot stopped by Mellor.
Like the first, the second half ebbed and flowed and just past the hour, Rooney and Marsh combined to release Adam Cunnington whose shot was turned behind for a corner. Rooney delivered that and it fell for Godden but his shot was blocked from close range by Artus.
But the home side got what proved to be the winner 18 minutes from time, Nick McCootie beating Anthony Acheampong, cutting in from the flank and sending in a ball across the goal for Pratt to slide in at the far post and record his second of the game.
Fleet have just two games left of a season they’ll not be sorry to see consigned to the history books with all focus now entirely on 2015/16.
TEAM: Edwards, Clark (Osborn 88), Palmer, T Lewis, Acheampong, Bonner, Godden (Shields 88), S Lewis, Marsh, Cunnington (West 74), Rooney. Subs not used: Johnson, Turner