FA CUP: Weston beat Bath City to reach first round

PUBLISHED: 18:02 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 18:02 20 October 2018

Man of the match Luke Purnell celebrates at half time. Picture: Will.T.Photography

Man of the match Luke Purnell celebrates at half time. Picture: Will.T.Photography

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The first round proper of the FA Cup awaits Weston-super-Mare after beating Bath City 1-0 in a pulsating tie this afternoon (Saturday).

Gethyn Hill celebrates scoring. Picture: Will.T.PhotographyGethyn Hill celebrates scoring. Picture: Will.T.Photography

More than 1,000 fans packed into the Woodspring Stadium to witness a historic win, which puts Marc McGregor’s side into the hat alongside the likes of Sunderland, Bristol Rovers and Coventry City.

The game’s defining moment came after just 14 minutes when Gethyn Hill slotted home from close range, and the Seagulls then fought heroically to stave of their Somerset rivals and hold on for famous win.

The Seagulls, as a result, netted £25,000 in prize money, and the club’s hierarchy will certainly be hoping a money-spinning tie against big-name opposition lies ahead after Monday night’s draw.

Weston started the game with an impetus which has been sorely lacking in a miserable league campaign so far, and their efforts were soon rewarded when Hill was on hand to snaffle a sitter after Jarrad Welch’s shot was parried into his path.

McGregor’s side almost doubled their lead on 39 minutes, but Ryan Clarke palmed away Jamie Lucas’ goal-bound flick.

At the other end, Luke Purnell was in inspired form and made excellent saves from Tom Smith and Frankie Artus before the break.

Bath emerged from the break with more energy and took control of proceedings, but Purnell made a pair of remarkable saves in close succession 10 minutes after the break, denying Ross Stearn’s bicycle kick and a close-range header.

Weston had chances to put the tie to bed, but Matt Bower and Welch could not profit when well placed.

But it was swiftly forgotten – after a nerve-jangling conclusion – and the Woodspring erupted in celebration, with anticipation building of an exciting adventure ahead.

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