Weymouth swoop past Bluebirds in FA Cup
WEYMOUTH delivered a battling defensive display to record a superb 2-0 win over Chippenham Town in their FA Cup second qualifying round clash at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Goals either side of half-time from Charlie Davis and Mark Cooper, against his former club, were enough to settle the tie as the Terras survived a concerted late spell of Bluebirds pressure.
Calvin Brooks was sent off for two yellow card offences but Weymouth held firm in torrential rain to progress to the next round, pocketing £4,500 in prize money.
Manager Mark Molesley made two changes to the line-up that started the 2-1 loss at Tiverton Town in midweek, with Jordan Rose and Josh Wakefield absent from the starting eleven, Rose having returned to parent club Havant & Waterlooville after scoring four goals in his month-long loan spell.
That meant a change in defence for Weymouth, with Calvin Brooks coming inside to centre-half and Mark Cooper filling in at right wing-back, allowing Toby Down to slot in at centre-back as the hosts resumed their usual 5-3-2 formation.
But it was a dismal start to the tie, with neither side capable of retaining possession in a scrappy opening.
After a brief scare for Chippenham goalkeeper Jared Thompson, who dropped a Mark Cooper free-kick, his opposite number Mark Travers was forced into the first save of the match as the visitors settled quickest.
The Bluebirds created an opening for Alex Ferguson in the area and the Chippenham number seven wriggled clear of the Weymouth defence before firing a shot through a crowd of legs, which Travers superbly toed away.
Chippenham were now dominating possession and territory but were reduced to shooting from distance, Scott Donnelly the latest to see a long-range effort rise over the bar.
On 24 minutes, Chippenham almost took the lead through the simplest of moves.
Thompson punted a goal-kick straight downfield and striker Dave Pratt flicked a header into the path of Jake Andrews, who raced clear on goal and smacked a shot against Travers’ right-hand post.
But Weymouth opened the scoring against the run of play on 26 minutes via a fine counter attack.
Brandon Goodship played Ben Thomson through on the right and the forward stormed into the area before squaring for Davis, who swept home from six yards.
Goodship was regularly finding space between the defence and midfield and, after a smart interchange with Cooper, drove a stinging left-footed shot at Thompson, who collected at the second attempt.
Chippenham responded when Pratt sent a looping header wide from a Dan Bowman cross, but that was their last chance of note as Weymouth finished the second half stronger.
Weymouth carried the ball forward through Goodship, but the striker scuffed his shot as Weymouth went in 1-0 up at the break.
With the second half beginning in torrential rain, both sides again started the half scrappily.
That was to change on 50 minutes when Weymouth extended their lead through Cooper.
Goodship was again the architect, surging towards goal from midfield, and his through ball for Cooper nutmegged the covering defender, putting the Weymouth man clear and he made no mistake, rifling home a left-footed shot past Thompson from 12 yards.
Weymouth were buoyed by the second goal and Goodship had another chance from an acute angle saved by Thompson having been shepherded wide by the Chippenham defence.
The visitors were piling forward in search of a route back into the game and Matt Smith peeled off the back of the defence from a corner to place a diving header at goal, but Travers collected easily.
With half-an-hour left, Brooks was sent off for a second yellow card offence to leave Weymouth facing a difficult final spell.
And Chippenham threw men forward in search of a goal, with Mike Jones and Bowman each forcing stops from Travers, before Andrews shanked a presentable chance late on.
Yet Travers continued to repel several crosses into the box as Weymouth bravely held on for an impressive win.
Terras: Travers, Cooper, Buckley, Wells, Down, Brooks, Carmichael, McCarthy, Thomson (Baker 87), Goodship (Diaz 79), Davis (S Stewart 87). Subs not used: Prodomo, Farrugia, Harvey, James
Chippenham: Thomson, Bowman, Felix (Beeden 66), Jones, Richards, Smith (Sandell 76), Ferguson, Donnelly (Evans 66), Guthrie, Pratt, Andrews. Subs not used: Tindle, Ricketts, Matthews