A below par showing from Weston just about saw them over the line against Coggeshall Town, thanks to Eli Phipps’ last-gasp goal in the FA Cup.
Coggeshall keeper, and captain, James Bransgrove punted the ball long up field, the ball bouncing over the heads of the Seagulls back-line towards Curtis Haynes-Brown, but his volley from inside the box was just wide. Jarrad Welch had an early sight at goal after being played in by George Nurse, but Welch’s shot bounced off a defender’s foot and out for a corner.
Coggeshall came close when a ball from Jamie Shaw found Ross Wall, and his effort was pushed behind for a corner by Luke Purnell. From the corner, Shaw met the ball with his head and Weston defiantly blocked the ball on the goal-line, with it being scrambled out for another corner, with that one coming to nothing.
Connor Hubble curled a 20-yard free kick over Purnell’s bar, before Bransgrove was called into action from Gethyn Hill as his chip towards the back stick from the right-hand side of the area had to be pushed over his own crossbar from Bransgrove.
Minutes into the second half, winger Tristan Plummer saw red. By the left touchline, Plummer lunged in recklessly on Tevan Allen and was shown a straight red by the referee, with a few players from both sides involved in a fracas afterwards, Coggeshall players incensed by Plummer’s challenge.
Purnell once again kept Coggeshall at bay when Wall’s cross into the box fell to Darren Mills at the back post, but the striker’s shot was pushed away by the shot stopper. Weston should have got a shot away when Louis McGrory’s cross into the box found Jamie Lucas, whose attempted header bounced into the floor but kindly for Hill. However, the striker was unable to get a shot off and Coggeshall cleared.
Welch fired over from the edge of the box after Jake Lee had passed him the ball, with the Welshman again firing over from a similar distance later on when stepping up to take a free-kick.
Wall flicked substitute Tom Monk in on goal, and with the ball bouncing up kindly for the forward, he fired wide when one-on-one, a chance that seemed easier to score than miss, with Coggeshall kicking their heels at the missed opportunity.
As the clock ticked into the 90th minute, Phipps was to be the hero as he replaced Welch. Phipps took up his position in Coggeshall’s box, and in came Nurse’s corner. The ball bobbled around the box and Phipps was on hand to steer in from a few yards out to hand Weston the initiative.
Hanging on for their life with ten men, Marc McGregor’s men cleared everything that came their way in the final whistle until the referee blew up for full-time, booking Weston’s place in the Fourth Qualifying Round.
FT: Weston 1 – 0 Coggeshall (Phipps 90+1)
Weston XI: Purnell, McGrory, Bower, Cane (C), Nurse, Pope, Lee, Welch (Phipps 89), Hill, Plummer (S/O 47), Lucas (Llewellyn 77). Unused subs: Byrne, Swallow, Morris-Edwards, Kingston.
MOTM: Luke Purnell – Pulled off some excellent stops throughout the 90 minutes to preserve Weston’s first clean sheet of the season and book their place into the next round of the FA Cup.