Bath City boss Lee Howells keen to avoid second upset
Saturday's FA Trophy match at Leatherhead will be a trip into the unknown for many associated with Bath City – but not manager Lee Howells.
He does not have fond memories of Fetcham Grove, having lost 4-1 to the Tanners in a 2006-07 FA Cup replay during his time as Mangotsfield United boss.
And, with City's recent FA Cup exit to lower-league Gosport Borough fresh in the memory, Howells has warned his players not to take the Ryman League Division 1 South opposition lightly.
"It will be a struggle if we are not at the races, like it was at Gosport," he said. "I know the ground and I know it is a big pitch.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
"The players shouldn't need me to remind them about Gosport, they should be able to motivate themselves. You can only do so much as a manager, you have to just trust them once they cross that line."
Since the Gosport defeat, which was the catalyst for Adie Britton's move upstairs and Howells taking over the managerial reins, City have won three out of five league fixtures.
Their latest success, against high-flying Farnborough, came courtesy of Sean Canham's injury-time winner from a peach of a cross by Kerry Morgan.
The Welsh winger was one of four first-team squad members – along with Jim Rollo, Mark Preece and Luke Cummings – due to get some valuable match-time under their belts in last night's Somerset Premier Cup tie at Wellington.
"They need games so it was good to give them a run-out," said Howells, who also gave several Academy players the chance to impress.
"Fingers crossed they got through OK. We are getting a few players back – Adam Connolly came on Saturday and didn't have any problems after, while Charlie Griffin looked like he'd never been away.
"Marc Canham isn't far away and Sekani Simpson should be about four weeks after him. If we can get the squad up to 16 or 17 fully-fit players, I'll be happy."
Joe Burnell is a doubt for this weekend, though, after limping off against Farnborough with a hamstring strain. Harry Hooman also picked up a groin injury but his month-long loan spell from Cheltenham Town came to an end this week anyway and was unlikely to be extended.
"We are looking at maybe bringing in one or two other players but there is nothing lined up at the moment," Howells added.
Leatherhead – who have only played City twice before in their history, winning one FA Cup tie and losing another – go into Saturday's Trophy tie unbeaten in five matches.