Craig's goal sends the Seagulls safely through
PUBLISHED: 17:26 01 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:17 24 May 2010
WESTON are safely through to the first round proper of the FA Trophy, but they were pushed all the way by their Southern Premier League opponents
Weston-s-Mare 1 Cirencester Town 0WESTON are safely through to the first round proper of the FA Trophy, but they were pushed all the way by their Southern Premier League opponents.Weston have been given another home draw in the Trophy when they face either Evesham United of the Southern League Midland Division or Hemel Hempstead of the Premier Division at the Woodspring Stadium on December 16 (3pm). The sides drew 1-1 on Saturday.The Gloucestershire-based squad put on a sterling defensive display, backed up by some inspired goalkeeping by former Salisbury City stopper Kevin Sawyer who brought off a string of first-class saves, although Weston enjoyed the majority of the midfield play.With the departure of Darren Hawkins to Mangotsfield United, Marc McGregor started in midfield, being the only change from the side that was successful against Yeading in midweek.Cirencester created the first chance on two minutes when a fierce left-foot shot by Scott Griffin was spilled by Ryan Northmore, but the home keeper was quick to recovered and scooped the ball to safety.As Weston began to take control, Ryan Harley swerved a 20-yard free kick just wide of Sawyer's near post on 13 minutes and seven minutes later, when Weston's first corner was only half cleared, Scott Walker had a fine low effort beaten away by Sawyer, diving to his left.From Weston's second corner on 27 minutes, Sawyer was in action again, getting down to deny Gareth Hopkins' downward header from six yards and on 35 minutes, Sawyer brought off another splendid save to deny Hopkins' 15-yard pile-driver.The visitors wasted a glorious chance of breaking the deadlock when, following their second corner, Mike Symonds sent Rene Regis' left wing cross over the bar with an unmarked header from six yards out.Just before the break, Sawyer did well to cut out Craig Loxton's cross into the six-yard box with Marvin Brown and Hopkins closing in.Three minutes into the second half, Sawyer was in action again, diving to his right to turn Lee Jarman's downward header behind from Walker's corner, and the Cirencester goal had a let-off on 63 minutes when another Loxton cross beat Sawyer, but Weston had no-one on hand to apply the final touch as the ball drifted across goal.Weston lost central defender Gary Thorne through injury and Sam Bailey, back from a lengthy lay-off took over for his second substitute appearance of the season.The all-important goal came on 65 minutes when Hopkins, who was given a torrid time by no nonsense defender Steve Leigh, held the ball up well on the right and fed Loxton who cut inside, beating three defenders, before finally beating Sawyer with a 15-yard swerving shot.For the last 15 minutes Cirencester brought on an additional striker Phil Hall for defender Regis and they came more into the game as an attacking force, but only once was Northmore seriously tested when he made a splendid reflex save to deny Marc Richards on 85 minutes from the visitors' third corner.* TOMORROW (Sat), Weston are home again, this time to Farnborough Town as they return to Conference South duty.The Hampshire club started the season being deducted 10 points for falling into administration and are currently third from bottom in the table, having won seven and drawn two of their 16 games. Had they not been penalised the points, they would now lie in 11th spot in the league.Weston have announced the signing of Barry McConnell, the former Exeter City and Tiverton Town utility player, who had two successful loan spells with Weston some seasons ago. In 1998 in his first spell, he played five games and scored four goals, including a hat-trick at Racing Club Warwick and in his second spell in 2000, he played nine games, scoring five goals.