Bath City win replay to set up Chesham trip in FA Trophy
MATCH REPORT: Bath City 2 (Griffin 36, Allen 73) Leatherhead 0
By Andrew Kerslake
Bath City booked their place in the first round of the FA Trophy and banked £4,000 in prize money after seeing off Leatherhead at the second attempt tonight.
Goals in each half from Charlie Griffin and in-form midfielder Chris Allen set up a trip to Southern League outfit Chesham United – 2-1 replay winners over Canvey Island tonight – on November 24.
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City and Leatherhead shared eight goals in a thrilling contest at the weekend, so their second meeting in four days had the potential to be an anti-climax.
However, City still appeared to be vulnerable at the back. Within the opening ten minutes they twice failed to connect with the simplest of balls in defence and escaped a near-suicidal back pass as Gethin Jones failed to notice that Jason Mellor had come for the ball, while recalled keeper Mellor himself twice miskicked easy clearances.
The biggest threat to the home side came through Kevin Terry, whose darting runs City found difficult to contain.
As the home side settled they gradually began to seize the initiative and Griffin headed Luke Cummings' cross over after Allen found him out wide.
Four minutes later, Griffin played the ball into the box for Allen to put his shot over the crossbar.
At that stage Griffin was clearly looking the more potent half of the home side's twin strikeforce and, sure enough, he got his reward on 36 minutes. City won a corner and, when Aaron Brown whipped the ball in towards goal, Griffin came charging into the box to head home.
From then on it was pretty much all one-way traffic as Leatherhead were reduced to pretty passing in midfield but put little pressure on Mellor in the City goal.
The second, and somewhat inevitable, goal arrived with 17 minutes to go when Noah Keats flicked the ball on to Allen, who made a darting run between two defenders before shooting across goal and into the net.
Leatherhead introduced Chris Holness for Sam Blackman and Louis Chin for Elliot Thompson but it made little difference to the impotent visiting attack.
Bath City: Mellor, Ball, Brown, Preece, Jones, Keats, Connolly, Allen, Canham, Griffin, Cummings (Morgan 80). Subs not used: Rollo, Hopkinson, Garner.
Leatherhead: Williams, Pestle, Mathias, Nnamani, Boulter, Blackman (Holness 64), Thompson (Chin 81), Simmons, Bradbrook, Hutchings, Terry (Andrews 55). Subs not used: Palfrey, Brady.
Referee: Simon Knapp (South Gloucestershire).