Braintree have keeper Nathan McDonald to thank for a wet draw in Bath

Braintree keeper Nathan McDonald saves a penalty during the 1-1 draw at Bath. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY

Braintree keeper Nathan McDonald saves a penalty during the 1-1 draw at Bath. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

Bath City 1 Braintree Town 1

Braintree's Karl Oliyide carries the ball back to the half-way line after netting the equaliser at B

Braintree's Karl Oliyide carries the ball back to the half-way line after netting the equaliser at Bath. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

Braintree Town stay top of the National League South, despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Bath City on Saturday, while Chelmsford City have risen to second following their 1-0 home win over promotion rivals Dartford.

The Iron had keeper Nathan McDonald to thank for securing a point at a rain-swept Twerton Park, after he pulled off two excellent saves in the second half.

McDonald’s first key save was on 57 minutes. Marc-Anthony Okoye was adjudged to have fouled home striker Nat Jarvis from a right-wing cross, but Marvin Morgan’s ensuing penalty kick was saved by McDonald, the ball coming off his legs and then striking the bar before being cleared.

Moments later, a cannon shot from home substitute George Rigg ricocheted off an Iron defender, forcing McDonald to twist the opposite way and dive to grab the ball on the line.

Braintree's Christian Frimpong (No. 4) goes close during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Twerton Park. Pictur

Braintree's Christian Frimpong (No. 4) goes close during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Twerton Park. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

But there was nothing that Iron’s keeper could do about Bath’s opening goal on 79 minutes. Rigg let fly with another shot which this time ricocheted off Iron’s Billy Crook, the ball looping high over McDonald into the net.

But Braintree came back strongly and deservedly equalised in the 84th minute when defender Christian Frimpong surged forward and Karl Oliyide drove the ball powerfully home.

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The home side were reduced to 10 men almost at the final whistle, but Iron could not fashion a late winner.

Iron boss Brad Quinton said: “We knew it would be a hard game because they are a good side and we could have been in the lead before the break had Samir Bihmoutine’s shot not come back off a post.

“But full credit to all the boys for digging in particularly, after going a goal behind.

“Nathan did brilliantly to save the penalty, which I think was unfairly given, and then followed up with another great save from another deflected shot.”

BRAINTREE: McDonald, Battache, Gabriel (Wyatt, 67), Frimpong, Okoyo, Bihmoutine (Campbell, 90+4), Allen, Crook, Michael-Percil (Barrington 71), Roberts, Oliyide. Unused subs: Wynter, Obanwonyi. Att: 842.

- Chelmsford City beat Dartford 1-0 to go second, in front of a crowd of 1,029 at Melbourne Stadium, despite playing 71 minutes with just 10 men. Kundus Oyenuga was sent off for an alleged use of an elbow in the 19th minute, just four minutes after Michael West had scored what proved to be the winner.

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