FA Cup: Weston 2 Swindon Supermarine 2 (4-2 pens)
PUBLISHED: 18:51 03 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:51 03 October 2020
Weston kept their cool to win a penalty shoot-out against Southern League rivals Swindon Supermarine and progress to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup on a soggy Saturday.
Rain fell throughout the day at the Optima Stadium, with players splashing their way through surface water on the pitch, but the Seagulls twice came from behind to earn their place in the hat for Monday’s draw.
Manager Scott Bartlett made three changes from Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat at Tiverton Town, as Chris Knowles replaced birthday boy Lloyd Humphries and Mike Symons and Nick McCootie returned from injury in place of Ben Griffith and Lewis Hall.
Ryan Jones was named among the substitutes, having played 60 minutes for Fulham under-23s against Norwich on Friday, and Symons won an early free-kick, with Greg Tindle heading wide from Dayle Grubb’s delivery, but claiming his shirt had been pulled in the box.
The visitors were awarded a penalty with only nine minutes played, though, as Ryan Campbell was pulled back by McCootie just inside the box – with the Weston man earning the first yellow card of the day – and Brad Hooper converted from the spot.
James Waite jinked his way to the byline on the right as the hosts looked for a quick reply, but Symons couldn’t get enough on the cross, and then Sam Avery thumped a left-footed shot against the far post when a free-kick was only half-cleared on the quarter-hour mark.
Good work on the right by McCootie saw the ball reach Jacob Jagger Cane, but his low shot was pushed behind by Martin Horsfall and Keiron Thomas saw his glancing header from Grubb’s subsequent corner drift wide.
Luke Purnell came out of his box at the other end to head clear from Harry Williams, who caught the Weston keeper but avoided censure, before Waite played a one-two with Symons and McCootie’s shot was deflected behind.
A combination of Thomas and Tindle headed Grubb’s corner wide, before Hooper was booked for holding a rampaging McCootie on halfway and Chris Knowles had a shot blocked.
Weston continued to probe, though, and Scott Laird played a long diagonal ball to Grubb on the right, who cut the ball back for Symons to turn home from close range to level.
And the home side went close to taking the lead just before the break as McCootie spun infield from Laird’s throw-in and thumped a 25-yard effort goalwards, which Horsfall was able to beat away two-handed.
Weston were back on the front foot at the start of the second half, with Laird sent aquaplaning after being well tackled by Zack Kotwica and Jagger Cane flashing a 25-yard shot well wide.
Laird was booked for a cynical block on Kotwica on halfway, before Thomas got a telling touch to deny Conor McDonagh as he looked to latch onto a cross from the right.
Grubb drove a low shot beyond the far post, then saw a pass intended for Symons held up in a puddle just outside the Swindon Supermarine box.
But a speculative cross-shot from Kotwica almost caught Purnell out on the hour mark, dropping onto the roof of the net, before a great run by Waite saw him wriggle his way into the box and see a shot saved by Horsfall.
The visitors countered, with Williams fouled right on the edge of the box by Seagulls skipper Tindle and Michael Hopkins fired the free-kick into the defensive wall, before Kotwica shot just over from the right.
Supermarine regained the lead on 65 minutes, though, as a Weston attack was broken up and the ball played downfield by Williams for McDonagh, who made space for himself as Tindle tracked his run and then fired an angled shot into the far corner of the net.
Williams was booked for dissent moments later, but combined well with Campbell on the left before McDonagh’s header dropped over the crossbar.
Grubb had chased the ball out to the left touchline and beaten his man before that, but Symons couldn’t get enough contact on the cross at the near post.
Swindon’s Jamie Edge was shown a yellow card for dissent, after Laird appeared to push one of the visiting players in the back when contesting a header, and McCootie slashed a 20-yard shot wide after shrugging off two tackles.
But Weston had a let-off on 80 minutes when Purnell allowed a low cross from Kotwica to squirm from his grasp at the near post and Williams fired the loose ball into the side netting.
Waite made way for Jones moments later and the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Hooper was shown a second yellow card by referee Stuart Kane for disputing a handball decision against one of his teammates.
Weston rubbed salt into the wounds when Grubb’s free-kick from the left channel reached Avery at the far post and he smashed the ball home left-footed to level.
Campbell sliced a shot wide during the first of four minutes injury time, while Jones teed up Laird and his well-struck effort was smothered by Horsfall just before the final whistle.
Then came the penalties and Purnell dived to his right to keep out Kotwica’s opening effort, only for Kane to order a retake as the Weston keeper was adjudged to have moved off his line.
Kotwica converted into the opposite corner with his second attempt, but Laird tucked his effort inside the same post to level.
Jake Lee beat the dive of Purnell to put Supermarine back in front, with Grubb firing into the top left corner to square matters again, before Campbell saw his effort beaten away by the Seagulls keeper.
McCootie smashed home Weston’s third spot-kick, sending Horsfall the wrong way, and McDonagh then fired against the top of the crossbar to leave Jones with the chance to clinch it, which the youngster did in style with a confident penalty into the top corner.
With another £3,375 in prize money added to club coffers, Weston will now hope for a kind draw in the next round.
Weston: Purnell, Thomas, Laird, Knowles, Avery, Tindle, McCootie, Jagger Cane, Symons, Grubb, Waite (R Jones 81). Unused subs: Parsons, McGreevy, M Jones, Hall, Humphries, Mendy.
Swindon Supermarine: Horsfall, Mitchell (Hopkins 46), L Spalding, Edge, Lee, Liddiard, Kotwica, Hooper, Williams (Shepherd 81), McDonagh, Campbell. Unused subs: H Spalding, Stanley, Marshall, Ouldridge.
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