Reds live to fight another day
A commendable draw against National League South opposition maintained a tangible interest for Reds in The FA Trophy, with Tuesday’s Borough Park replay likely to produce another evenly fought encounter.
The Somerset outfit were clearly the better side in the first half and their excellent technical ability and swift movement of the ball had Reds penned back for long periods. But it was a different story after the break and Lee Andrews’ team began to show their attacking prowess, causing Weston numerous problems.
By the end, there wasn’t much between the teams but, in terms of clear-cut chances, Reds will count themselves unfortunate not to progress to the last sixteen at the first time of asking.
Both teams were unknown quantities to their opponents before this first-ever meeting, so the decider might not be as open and free-flowing as the original tie once each other’s strengths have been nullified.
But for all their dominant possession, the hosts didn’t get behind Reds very often in the first half and their goal came from a well-worked corner routine. It was their first set piece and as delighted as Marc McGregor would be after its execution, Andrews was equally disappointed that Reds didn’t defend the situation better.
Danny Greenslade passed the ball towards the eighteen-yard line, Tristan Plummer’s clever dummy wrong-footed a couple of defenders and Jarrad Welch drove home with the aid of a slight deflection for the sixteenth-minute opener.
Jake Lee had sent an earlier shot over the bar after Gethyn Hill had created the opportunity and then the latter’s attempt drifted wide following a good flowing move.
It wasn’t one-way traffic by any means and Scott Allison, Anthony Wright and Nathan Waterston combined well before the move ended when Allison’s shot drifted narrowly wide.
Dav Symington saw one dipping shot bounce off ‘keeper Luke Purnell’s chest and he then sent a free-kick into the crowd.
The half ended when Purnell kept out a crisp Conor Tinnion shot at the expense of a corner.
The visitors started to attack with more fluency and purpose after the interval and Phil McLuckie, Waterston, Tinnion and Symington all went very close to equalising.
Weston then had a spell of activity at the other end and Plummer twice went close to putting the tie to bed. His first shot whistled narrowly wide, his second smartly saved by Aaran Taylor.
But Reds deservedly levelled after sixty-six minutes with a fine goal. Gari Rowntree’s diagonal pass to Waterston was made even better by the latter’s first touch which took him away from Greenslade. A low accurate cross was met by Allison who converted on the run in one swift movement.
Either side could have won it after that but Taylor made sure Weston didn’t, saving well to thwart Ashley Harper and Symington was ever so close with the final chance but his cross-shot evaded the far post by inches.
A good cup-tie overall, but Saturday is history and both teams will feel equally confident about completing the job at in the replay, via extra time and penalties if necessary.
Weston-super-Mare Purnell, Harper, Greenslade, Cane, Smith, Pope, Plummer, Diallo, Hill, Welch, Lee (Reid, 81). Substitutes – Laird, Kington, Hunter, Morris-Edwards (not used).
Workington Taylor, Douglas, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Calvert, Wright (Earl, 90), Symington, McLuckie, Allison, Waterston (Holt, 85), Tinnion. Substitutes – Joel, Wilson, Mellen (not used).
Referee Adam Bromley, Plymouth
Bookings: Tinnion (Workington), Cane (Weston)