The SeedGrowers made the 207 mile journey to Somerset to take on a side bottom of the Conference South, without several first team players with Nnamdi Nwachuku, Luke Wilson and Michael Gyasi all absent and Josh Pollard was only fit enough to be on the substitutes bench. Weston-super-Mare came in to the big FA Cup match without a home win or a clean sheet all season.
It was the visiting underdogs who started on the front foot and dominated the opening exchanges. After Tevan Allen collected an early yellow card, Curtis Haynes-Brown almost opened the scoring. A long pass from Goalkeeper, Bransgrove found Haynes-Brown on the edge of the opposition box however his left footed effort went just wide of the post.
The SeedGrowers went close again, after a cross from Jamie Shaw was smashed towards goal by the dangerous Ross Wall, however a Weston defender was able to clear the ball off the goal-line. From the resulting corner, Coggeshall had another effort cleared off the line following a header from Jamie Shaw. The visitors appealed for a penalty however the Referee disagreed and waved play on.
Weston then had their Goalkeeper to thank for keeping the scores level. A cross from Haynes-Brown found Tyler Brampton inside the six yard box, as Brampton prepared to wheel away in celebration, the Weston keeper appeared from nowhere to make a remarkable save! The whole ground were left stunned at the fact the game remained level and Coggeshall had not scored after a number of good efforts.
With less than five minutes on the clock until the half-time interval, Weston forced Bransgrove in to his first save of the afternoon. A chipped effort from Gethyn Hill almost went beyond Bransgrove, however he was able to make a save at full stretch to keep the ball out of his net.
The last action of the first half was not particularly friendly. A tackle on the half-way line resulted in Shaw winning the ball and the Referee blowing his whistle for half-time. Immediately after the whistle Weston striker, Tristan Plummer appeared to stamp on Shaw however the Referee missed the incident and Shaw was left requiring treatment during the interval.
HALF TIME: Weston-super-Mare 0-0 Coggeshall Town
Just seconds in to the second half and the reckless Plummer was at it again. A two footed aerial lunge on Allen inside Coggeshall’s half resulted in the Referee issuing him a straight red card and the Conference favourites were down to ten men with forty-five minutes left to play.
As Weston changed their formation, Coggeshall had more chances to take the lead. Connor Hubble was denied by a last ditch challenge and Darren Mills saw his effort smartly saved by Luke Purnell in the Weston goal. As the SeedGrowers looked to take advantage of their extra man, they made two changes in quick succession with Tom Monk and Kieran Bishop being introduced in place of Cunningham and Mills.
As the game began to become stretched, both sides appeared to be looking to catch each other on the counter attack. Weston had still failed to test Bransgrove apart from their effort late in the first half. With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Coggeshall had their best chance of the second half. Wall released Monk in to the box on the left hand side, with the goal in his sights, Monk look destined to score however he put his left footed effort wide of the goal without testing Purnell.
As the Weston tannoy announced Purnell as their man on the match, Aaron Condon replaced Wall in what was Coggeshall’s last throw of the dice. The Referee added an additional four minutes, as the game appeared to be heading towards a Tuesday night replay at West Street.
However, the home side had other ideas. A mis-hit corner from the right hand side bobbled in to the box and in to the six yard area. The ball landed at the feet of ex Colchester striker, Eli Phipps who had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds – with his first touch of the match, Phipps smashed the ball in to the back of the net past a helpless Bransgrove – Weston’s second shot of the match! A real suckerpunch for the SeedGrowers who had given absolutely everything against a side two divisions above them.
As Weston appeared to have completed daylight robbery, Coggeshall tried to force a replay in the dying minutes however the Weston defence escaped with their first clean sheet and home win of the season. The SeedGrowers fantastic debut FA Cup run was over when really, they should have been in to the fourth qualifying round with ease.
FULL TIME: Weston-super-Mare 1-0 Coggeshall Town
James Bransgrove, Tyler Brampton, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Daniel Cunningham, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Tevan Allen, Connor Hubble, Darren Mills, Ross Wall & George Cocklin.
Tom Monk, Kieran Bishop, Aaron Condon, Lewis Soraf & Josh Pollard.
Luke Purnell, Louis McGrory, Matthew Bower, Jacob Crane, George Nurse, Jason Pope, Jake Lee, Jarrad Welch, Gethyn Hill, Tristan Plummer & Jamie Lucas.
Tom Llewellyn, Liam Kingston, Alex Byrne, Ben Swallow, Eli Phipps & George Morris Edwards.