Two-goal Yetton puts Weymouth into next round
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round.
A GOAL from Weymouth striker Stewart Yetton that would have graced an FA Cup final ended Cirencester Town’s involvement in the world’s most famous knockout competition.
Weymouth had justified their higher league status when dominating a strangely subdued Cirencester in the first half, and they were at least worthy of their 1-0 lead at the break thanks to Yetton’s first goal in the 21st minute.
But the rejuvenated hosts immediately put the Terras on the back foot with a 49th-minute leveller from centre back Chris Holland. And they looked far more likely to get a second goal – which arguably would have been enough to see them through to the next round – when Yetton struck brilliantly on the hour mark, taking a swirling ball over the head of Holland on his chest before volleying it ferociously past Glyn Garner in the Ciren goal from 20 yards.
Ciren never fully regained the momentum of their first 15 minutes in the second period, but still did most of the pressing and, on balance, they deserved a replay.
However, it is Weymouth who progress to the draw for the next round when the Conference sides are introduced.
With Sean Wood cup-tied, Ciren boss Brian Hughes opted to experiment with defender Ellis Dunton in midfield, but elsewhere it was as you were.
Weymouth were much quicker to both first and second balls in the opening 45 and it was only just reward for their dominance when Yetton skilfully converted a Burbidge cross from the edge of the box to break the deadlock. They had grazed the bar from an inswinging corner in an earlier spell of pressure.
With Steve Davies starved of any service and a frustrated Lee Smith not seeing much quality ball, either, Ciren offered little threat.
Their only strike on target in the half came in the 27th minute when Davies, swapping wings, drove at the left side of the defence before laying off a ball to Smith who, under pressure, fluffed his shot. But the ball broke to skipper Shayne Anson on the right of the box only for his goal-bound drive to be drilled straight at Jason Matthews.
After the restart, Cirencester suddenly looked like a team which had been on sparkling recent run – eight wins and two draws from ten games in principal competitions.
Dunton fired a spectacular volley just wide, before the pace and anticipation of Smith won a corner, which he then delivered to the head of Holland, who powered it home from ten yards.
Sam Collier saw a piledriver palmed away by Matthews and the striker could not keep his header down when the ball came back across the box.
In the 55th minute, Davies jinked to the byline but his inviting cross across the six-yard box found no Ciren player to administer the tap-in.
Then in the 60th minute, Yetton’s wonder strike proved to be the winner in a tie worth £7,500 in prize money.
Though understandably rattled by the setback, it was still Ciren making the running thereafter and it required two fine Matthews saves to keep them out, firstly from a back post Smith header and, immediately afterwards, from a Leigh Henry header at a corner that would have been a carbon copy of Ciren’s first goal.
At the other end, a Ben Joyce drive that whistled over the bar following a corner and a Dave Allen 86th-minute dinked shot that cleared the bar when he was strongly challenged by both Anson and Garner were Weymouth’s two best threats of the second period.
Though Ciren continued to press for the equaliser, it was not to be.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Anson, Beeden (Prictor, 78), Mortimer-Jones, Holland, Henry, Dunton, Hooper (Bennett, 69), Collier (Bevan, 69), Davies, Smith. Unused sub: Bromley.