CHELMSFORD City needed an 88th minute equaliser from Thomas Hitchcock to ensure a share of the spoils against Bath City as they lost further ground in the National League South title race.

The Clarets were indebted to the substitute who headed home late on, after the hosts had fallen behind early in the second period.

Chelmsford started well against play-off chasing Bath but were unable to force the opener, hamstrung by goalkeeper Sam Beasant's injury in the warm-up.

Kudus Oyenuga's deflected effort well gathered by a wrong-footed Luke Southwood in the away goal.

Up the other end, Kevin Amankwaah's goalbound header bounced off Anthony Church and was cleared before Bath came even closer - Nat Jarvis' effort correctly ruled out for offside.

But Bath were to strike early in the second half. Just two minutes in Andy Watkins's strike was deflected into the path of Ross Stearn and he prodded home under pressure at the far post from a despairing Craig Braham-Barrett.

A fingertip save from Southwood halted Bagasan Graham, as the Clarets threw on Hitchcock with their last throw of the dice.

The attacker almost levelled within seconds but his header was cleared off the line, and only a terrific challenge from Braham-Barrett up the other end stopped Bath netting on the counter attack.

But the goal was to come in the end, Church's cross headed into the net by Hitchcock to ensure the points were shared at the Melbourne Stadium.

The result leaves Chelmsford seven points behind leaders Dartford with a game in hand on the Kent side.

Chelmsford City: Beasant, Omosuzi, Braham-Barrett, Davies, Spillane, Haines, Johnson (West 46'), Church, Oyenuga (Hitchcock 78'), Dickson (Barnard 62'), Graham