Friday 29 July 2016 - Plainmoor - kick off 7.45pm
||Phillips (Harvey HT), Bowman (Elcock 76), Ball, Batten, Monthe, Hemmings, Rigg, Diallo (Hall 71), Morgan (McCootie 58), Fleetwood (Hutchinson 58), Watkins (Hunter 58). subs not used: none
|man of the match:
||Rigg (17), Hutchinson (67, 70), McCootie (73)
|league position: n/a
||next match: Margate (A)
Report taken from
Josh Hutchinson sparked a stunning Bath City comeback as they overcame a three-goal deficit to draw with Torquay United.
The Romans went ahead early through George Rigg and looked the better of their National League opponents for much of the first period.
They controlled possession and passed the ball around smoothly on a quality Plainmoor surface, only to go in behind at the interval following goals from Ben Gerring and Dan Sparkes.
The Gulls improved noticeably after the break and went 4-1 up courtesy of Aman Verma and Sam Chaney.
However, Hutchinson arrived just before the half-hour, scoring his first ten minutes later.
He had a second within three minutes and then set up Nick McCootie for a leveller that City's overall performance deserved.
There was no shortage of action in the first period, Brett Williams getting the game rolling by dragging a volley wide within the opening minute.
A quality move from the Romans led to their first chance. Steve Phillips rolled out to Dan Ball, with the play worked down the field through Andy Watkins and Naby Diallo for Marvin Morgan to draw a fingertip save from home keeper Brendan Moore.
Sparkes curled a free-kick over the top for the Gulls after a lackadaisical Diallo had fouled Courtney Richards, while Phillips had to parry away a long-range Damon Lathrope dig.
With both Billy Murphy and Frankie Artus missing, set-piece duties were passed on to Stuart Fleetwood.
His corners regularly caught the Gulls defence cold, Manny Monthe nodding his first delivery back into vacant space and then forcing a save from Moore from the next flag-kick.
The defender then almost found the net at the other end as Phillips was forced to hack a misplaced backpass over the empty terrace.
A raking cross-field ball from Fleetwood presented Watkins another opportunity that Moore thwarted, but the Romans would go ahead in the 18th minute.
The phase of play began with a strong challenge from an under-pressure Ball.
Although City's first attack was turned away, Dan Bowman got a second cross in that Watkins headed down for Rigg to strike into the bottom corner.
Torquay looked dangerous on the occasions they came forward – Phillips alertly out to boot away a through ball destined for Nathan Blissett – but by and large it was the visitors in charge.
Another corner touched off Jack Batten's head and fell for Morgan, who somehow spooned over the top.
An unmarked Watkins headed over again, this time from a Fleetwood free-kick before the former Charlton had a shot of his own saved.
A kind deflection left the ball at Morgan's feet to play Fleetwood in behind. The striker took his time but telegraphed his intentions to shoot across the keeper for the bottom-right corner, allowing Moore to make a good diving stop.
Torquay's equaliser came from a long-range Nicholson shot that Phillips patted out.
Monthe missed his clearance, allowing Richards a shot that was deflected behind – the resulting corner headed home by Gerring.
A burst of pace and backheel at the byline from Diallo set Watkins up for a blocked shot, but it was Torquay that would go back to the dressing rooms in front.
Moore plucked a corner from the air and sent a rangy punt downfield for Sparkes to run onto and stroke under Phillips.
The second half began with Diallo playing a cheeky through ball in behind for Fleetwood to draw another save, but it was the Gulls that ran the show.
Sean McGinty fired a warning shot when he headed a far-post corner into the side netting, but that was not heeded as Verma found the net with a powerful header from Luke Young's corner.
When Chaney slipped Torquay's fourth past sub keeper Cory Harvey the game looked over - although nobody told Hutchinson.
He got his first goal when fellow sub McCootie nipped past a defender and tapped back for the hitman to tap home.
It wasn't long before Hutchinson had a second, latching onto an intricate Diallo pass to beat the offside trap and round Moore.
For good measure, the youngster added an assist to his name when he received a throw-in on the right and sent over a low ball for McCootie to drill in at the near post.
As the south Devon night fell, so did the pace of the game. Torquay had the better of the remaining chances, testing Harvey on a handful of occasions, but the Romans held out for a fully deserved draw.