Defensive frailties cost City as Leatherhead earn replay in FA Trophy thriller
MATCH REPORT: Leatherhead 4 (Nnamani 2, Bradbrook 14, Hutchings 56, 87) Bath City 4 (Allen 8, S Canham 29, 70, Brown 30)
Bath City and Leatherhead will meet again at Mayday Trust Park on Tuesday night after sharing eight goals in a thrilling FA Trophy third qualifying round encounter.
The visitors twice trailed their hosts – who play two levels below them in Ryman Division 1 South – but were denied their place in the competition's first round by Tom Hutchings' late leveller.
City's defensive frailties again reared their head and coach Lee Howells has now seen his side net 21 times and ship 16 goals in the seven matches since he took the first-team reins from Adie Britton last month.
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Leatherhead's third-minute opener came after keeper Glyn Garner sliced an attempted clearance behind for a corner, from which City's slack marking was exposed by Jerry Nnamani's close-range finish.
In-form midfielder Chris Allen drew the Blue Square Bet South visitors level after being set up by Sean Canham's header six minutes later but the home side soon cashed in again from a Mark Simmons flag-kick, with Tom Bradbrook the man to take advantage as he nodded in unchallenged at the far post.
Two goals in a minute around the half-hour mark turned the game on its head, however. First, Charlie Griffin found strike partner Canham to score before Aaron Brown's tremendous 25-yarder beat Leatherhead keeper Gareth Williams all ends up.
Substitute Kerry Morgan was introduced just before the break after Josh Low limped off and City began the second half well as they looked to stretch their advantage.
The goal did not come, though, and Leatherhead equalised when Hutchings' free-kick from the edge of the box beat Garner at his near post.
Canham, last season's top-scorer, took his tally to eight in seven games since re-joining City on loan from Hereford United when he headed home Brown's cross with aplomb with 20 minutes to go.
But City could not hang on and Leatherhead's late pressure was deservedly rewarded when Elliott Thompson beat Brown on the right and crossed for Hutchings to score at the near post.
LEATHERHEAD: Williams, Pestle, Mathias, Nnamani, Boulter, Blackman, Thompson, Simmons, Bradbrook, Hutchings, Terry. Subs: Andrews, Palfrey, Holness, Chin, Brady.
BATH CITY: Garner, Ball, Brown, Jones, Preece, Keats, Low (Morgan 43), Connolly, Allen, S Canham, Griffin (Cummings 90). Subs not used: Rollo, Howells, Mellor.