Gutsy Weymouth suffer cup heartache
By Dan Rose
|A GUTSY display from the Terras could not quite see them over the line in a quite remarkable contest, as they crashed out of the FA Cup in Essex tonight.Adam Kelly’s brace and Stewart Yetton’s 76th minute leveller forced extra-time for Weymouth at Cressing Road, but for all their fight, they were powerless to prevent Conference outfit Braintree Town netting twice during the additional half hour to emerge 5-3 winners.
Things did not get off to a great start for the visitors, even before the warm-up, as the club coach was brought to a standstill in traffic and manager Jason Matthews had less than an hour to get his troops focused.
They also had four absentees from the weekend, with Tim Sills, Jamie Beasley and Ashley Wells all unavailable, as well as Ed Palmer, who announced he had left the club on Sunday.
Sam Poole was the only man to come into the squad and took a place on the bench, with right-back Jamie West, who has had limited opportunities for the first team this term, and Steve Colwell thrust into the XI.
Dangerous in the first meeting, Iron winger Dan Walker soon forced the first save of the contest from Matthews, but the Terras’ boss got right behind the strike on eight minutes.
And although skipper Stewart Yetton fired the first shot on target for Weymouth after a promising move between Chris McPhee and Chris Shephard, it was much a containing job for the visitors throughout the opening 20 minutes.
Shephard then provided a spark for the away side when he unleashed an effort from 25 yards to work Nick Hamann between the Braintree sticks, and Kelly almost put the Terras’ ahead.
From the same distance as Shephard’s shot moments later, the all-action midfielder sent a curling effort which looked goal- bound but came off a post, and as it fell to West, he blasted over.
George Rigg, rumoured to have been scouted by Football League clubs in the first fixture, then picked up a booking for a foul on James Mulley.
Things started to look promising for Weymouth, and it looked like they were about to go in level at the break, but they were dealt a cruel blow when the home side opened the scoring after 132 minutes of football between the teams.
Jordan Cox showed persistence to put Matthews under pressure and charge down the goalkeeper’s clearance, and he was left with a simple tap-in on the goal line three minutes before half-time.
Powerful frontman Simeon Akinola then nearly made it two for the Iron when he fizzed an effort through a sea of players and Matthews, partially unsighted, tipped the ball around a post.
And after giving the Terras a warning, it didn’t take much longer for the striker to hurt the away side and net his first goal for the club.
He picked the ball up on the edge of the area, and stroked the ball under Matthews to make it 2-0. But up stepped Kelly to give Weymouth a lifeline on the hour.
After a jinking run from Shep-hard, the ball fell to the midfielder, who curled a sweet effort round Hamann to put the Terras back in the tie and send the visiting contingent into raptures.
Shephard then tried to match the strike of his midfield partner, but blasted well over, and nobody could expect what happened next, as the game quite frankly went berserk.
Two goals in the space of two minutes followed for either team as Walker cut inside and put the ball into the far corner to give the Iron a 3-1 lead, and Kelly turned in Yetton’s cross-cum-shot to pull one back.
It was then that man Yetton’s turn to get in on the act, as he smashed the ball in to make it 3-3 after Kelly’s run to set up extra time.
But the weary Terras then fell behind once again as Akinola leaped above his man to head home Sam Harbergham’s centre three minutes into the extra period.
The striker was then booked for diving on 103 minutes, much to the disgust of the travelling fans, and it got worse for them four minutes later as Walker added his second of the night to put the tie beyond doubt.
He intercepted a misplaced pass, ran menacingly at goal and fired into the back of the net to make it 5-3 and break Terras’ hearts.