FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
Saturday 10 October 2015 - The Harlow Arena - kick off 3.00pm
||Phillips, Simpson (Adelsbury 73), Gallinagh (c), Coupe, Ball, Hemmings (Williams 88), Bowman (Watkins 53), Kington, Pratt, McCootie, Artus. subs not used: Barrington, Davies, Allen, Barrow.
|man of the match:
||Hemmings (10), Watkins (66)
||I Rathbone, R Dadley, L Scott
|league position: n/a
||next match: Harlow Town (FAC) (H)
Report taken from
Substitute Andy Watkins kept Bath City from another disastrous FA Cup trip to Essex as his equaliser forced a replay against Harlow Town.
The frontman followed up an Ashley Kington effort to tie the scores at 2-2 after Junior Dadson had turned the game around for Harlow - bringing back unpleasant memories of last season's humiliation at East Thurrock.
City had gone in front after only ten minutes when Chas Hemmings finished from close-range, but the underdog Isthmian League hosts, who looked an ever-present threat on the counter, levelled through Fabian Simms shortly before the interval.
In front of a vocal support, backed by a drum and an air-raid siren, Harlow made the first attacking incursions and had a shot from Ryan Melaugh blocked out as their attacking triumvirate combined.
Craig Pope also nodded a corner over Steve Phillips' crossbar before City found their feet and the opening goal.
Nick McCootie instigated the breakthrough, muscling his way to the byline and beating two defenders before squaring for Hemmings to knock in from eight yards.
City were in firm control for the next 15 minutes, but could not extend their lead when Frankie Artus sent a header over the bar.
In the 26th minute Artus robbed defender Ibrahima Sonko and played McCootie into space down the left. A poorly-timed bobble off the 3G surface cost the frontman, as his effort was spooned way over the goal.
A misjudgement on an aerial ball by Matt Coupe almost cost the Romans as Alex Read played Melaugh into the box, but he failed to get enough power as Phillips made a low stop.
A clash of heads between Sonko and McCootie saw play held up for five minutes and forced the defender off, while McCootie was bandaged up on the sidelines.
Harlow used their numerical advantage to force City back, but it was not until McCootie returned to the field that the equaliser came.
The Romans failed to significantly clear a corner and allowed time for the ball to reach Fabian Simms, who shot through a crowd of bodies into the far corner.
Ash Kington had a shot blocked as the visitors looked to restore their lead, only for Harlow to counter with Melaugh.
He slipped Dadson into space and the wideman charged towards the City goal, but dragged his placed effort inches wide.
Harlow keeper Nikalus Freund was out sharply to smother a shot from McCootie before Hemmings sent Pratt in behind, although a defender got a touch before he could pull the trigger.
Artus was clattered by Pope within a minute of the restart as the hosts again began brightly.
Syrus Gordon had Phillips scrambling for a volley that went narrowly wide, with a series of corners keeping up the pressure.
But just as City appeared to have quelled the pressure Harlow went in front as Dadson raced onto a through pass and burst clear of the defence to finish.
Not content with a one-goal lead, the hosts almost doubled their advantage when Read turned and shot past the post.
Dadson also saw another opportunity come and go as he drilled a half-volley high and wide when Harlow swept forward dangerously again.
City found an equaliser when Freund could only parry a stinging Kington drive into the path of Watkins, who just scrambled the ball into the bottom corner as he slipped in the act of shooting.
The game then went into a lull, although the City frontline began to find space in the final third, but could only muster a long-range dig from McCootie that Freund comfortably held.
McCootie should then have put the Romans ahead when he lifted a ten-yard effort over the bar after Watkins had found him from the byline.
Harlow finished the game on top, although City prevented any clear chances despite a raft of set-pieces.
And Kington bent one final effort around an upright as the hosts earned a deserved second bite of the cherry at Twerton Park.