Llewellyn sparks Seagulls’ stunning FA Cup comeback

PUBLISHED: 12:20 29 September 2018

Striker Jamie Lucas went in goal after Luke Purnell was sent off, and then scored a penalt.

Striker Jamie Lucas went in goal after Luke Purnell was sent off, and then scored a penalt.

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After a shocking start to the season, Weston-super-Mare have finally gained some momentum thanks to a thrilling 3-2 comeback win at Salisbury on Tuesday which saw them advance in the FA Cup.

The Seagulls were taken to a replay by Steve Claridge’s Whites after a 2-2 draw at the Woodspring Stadium on Saturday, but goals from Tom Llewellyn and George Nurse deep into extra time at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium saw Marc McGregor’s side book a third qualifying round home tie against Coggeshall Town.

McGregor said: “I’m over the moon with the result, but not the performance. Salisbury were the better team, they moved it better than us, their desire to get on the ball and close us down was a lot better than ours.

“We desperately needed to get off the mark and get a win, putting in the hard hours has paid off.

“It was a really tough night and credit to our lads for sticking in. I’m pleased with how we reacted. We stayed disciplined; we stayed in the game and a little bit of quality shined at the end.”

The Seagulls were unfortunate not to win the tie without a replay, leading 2-0 at the break on Saturday despite having striker Jamie Lucas – who remarkably scored a penalty – between the sticks after Luke Purnell’s red card. But a pair of late goals saw the teams face off in Wiltshire.

Weston hit the front with 22 minutes played on Tuesday when Ben Swallow’s wicked free kick was deflected in off a Salisbury defender, but the home side continued to probe and press the Seagulls’ defence.

Purnell was in fine form, but he could do little to prevent Bay Downing’s 62nd-minute equaliser, with the right back smashing into the net from the edge of the area.

Extra time followed, and the hosts snatched the lead in the tie for the first time four minutes in as Zak Kotwica prodded home from close range.

The Seagulls were given a lifeline when Thomas Whelan was sent off on the verge of half time, and the Seagulls’ capitalised.

Substitute Llewellyn, who has the knack of igniting games upon his introduction, levelled with 10 minutes remaining after good play from Nurse, and it was the left-back who grabbed the winner three minutes later, charging through on goal and slamming into the far corner to send the travelling support wild.

Isthmian North Division outfit Coggeshall, who are part-owned by popstar Olly Murs, will travel to the Woodspring Stadium on October 6 and the winners will be one game from a coveted spot in the first round proper.

McGregor said: We won’t rest until we’re where we need to be. I’ve told the lads there’s no relaxing or taking the foot off the pedal after this result.

“We will work harder than ever to get us into a situation where we’re happy.”

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