Blue Square Bet South
Saturday 13 APril 2013 - Mayday Trust Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Brown (c), Ball, Jones, Burnell, Keats, Connolly, Allen (Charles 46), Griffin (Canham 83), Low. subs not used: Rollo, Lennox, Preece.
|man of the match:
||Griffin (pen 63)
||S Knapp, D Bryant, M Lawrence
|league position: 12th
||next match: Staines Town (A)
Report taken from
Eastleigh substitute Adam Watkins bagged a dramatic equaliser in the last minute of stoppage time to deny Bath City victory in Blue Square South.
Charlie Griffin’s penalty just after the hour mark looked likely to hand the home side victory at a soggy Mayday Trust Park but Watkins struck at the death to earn Eastleigh a point at the death.
The strike will be a real sickener for City first-team coach Lee Howells and his players but they can take some consolation from the fact they extended their recent unbeaten league run to a seventh match.
Lashing rain made conditions difficult but Jai Reason had the first effort on target when the Eastleigh striker fired straight at home keeper Jason Mellor, while Noah Keates flashed a shot wide at the other end.
Sekani Simpson looked like getting an unlikely opener for the hosts when he chased Josh Low’s flicked header but Eastleigh stopper Ross Flitney just outjumped the City full-back to claim the ball.
Chris Zebroski then fired straight at Mellor as Eastleigh broke from a Bath corner, and the home stopper was in the action soon afterwards to keep his side level.
Dale Binns and Reason combined well on the visitors’ left to send Craig McAllister into space but Mellor pulled off a fine diving save to keep out the winger’s curling effort.
Keates then had Flitney scrambling across his goal after the City midfield showed good skill to bring the ball down on the edge of the box and fire goalwards, while Low then headed wide from Joe Burnell’s cross.
There was still time for more Mellor heroics before the interval, however, with the City keeper racing from his line to save at the feet of Reason after the home defence lost their man from McAllister’s pull-back.
Eastleigh continued on top at the start of the second half and only a fine last-ditch challenge from Danny Ball denied Reason a clear strike at goal.
City got themselves in front against the run of play just after the hour mark, though, when referee Simon Knapp awarded the home side a contentious penalty after Ryan Charles’ driven cross hit Binns high on the arm.
The Eastleigh midfielder claimed the ball had connected with his shoulder but referee Knapp consulted with his linesman before pointing to the spot, and Griffin sent Flitney the wrong way to break the deadlock.
The visitors then thought they should have had a penalty of their own when McAllister went down in the box in the melee following Mellor’s save from his initial shot, but it was the hosts who got the decision when Gethin Jones was felled.
Eastleigh continued to bombard the City box in the closing stages but an excellent rear-guard effort, led by the outstanding Mellor, kept the visitors at bay until deep into stoppage time.
McAllister had already missed one golden chance to earn the visitors a point when he headed substitute Corey King’s cross inches over the top.
King’s deliveries eventually proved dividends, however, as Eastleigh snatched a draw with virtually the last kick off the match. The substitutes’ low cross caused chaos in the City box and Watkins pounced to lash home the loose ball.