A sole Reuben Reid strike was enough for Weston to progress with a 1-0 win over Shepton Mallet in the Emirates FA Cup.
Marlon Jackson had the game’s first opening when he struck the side netting from inside the box after Elis Watts’ pull-back had been cleared away to him, before Keiran Thomas’ half-volley from the halfway line after playing a quick one-two witn Reid from a throw-in was caught by Shepton keeper Tom Easterbrook.
Easterbrook was called into action for the first time when he was forced to push Dayle Grubb’s curling free-kick out for a corner, with the Weston skipper then firing over the bar from 12 yards when the corner came in. James Dodd then had a shot pushed away by the visiting No.1 following another Watts pull-back.
The game’s only goal was to come when Watts drove into the box, looking to get a shot away. A Shepton defender stuck his foot in and won the ball from the winger, the loose ball falling to Reid’s feet. Sharply getting the ball out of his feet, the striker fired home inside Easterbrook’s near post to break the deadlock.
Grubb curled just past the far post after a Scott Laird cross had been cleared his way 18 yards out, before Jackson glanced a header wide from a Thomas cross. Shepton’s only opportunity of the half came from Nathan Legge, who fired wide of the target from 25 yards.
In the second half, Thomas’ header at the back post from a Grubb free-kick was caught comfortably by Easterbrook. Dodd’s cross from the left was cleared away by a Shepton defender but the ball richocheted off of Jackson and onto the post with Weston’s No.8 having a cross-shot pushed away from danger by Easterbrook. Watts then fired over from inside the box after the ball had dropped to his feet kindly.
Watts then had another chance go begging following some exceptional play by Grubb, who had carried the ball past countless Shepton men before feeding the winger into the box yet the No.11’s shot was over the bar. Easterbrook got down low to keep out Grubb’s attempt from 18 yards after he had been found by Jacob Jagger-Cane’s pull-back before Jackson’s downward header from six yards after being found by a Laird cross was cleared by a visiting defender.
Conrad Peck scuffed a shot wide from inside the box after substitute Ieuan Crowe’s cross was punched clear by Max Harris in the Weston net, before Crowe fired over the bar from 25 yards as the visitors began to grow in hope that they could snatch an equaliser with Weston failing to kill the game off. Weston substitute Jay Murray then had a chance to make it two when cutting past two Shepton defenders in the box onto his left foot, but Nick Hewlett’s block deflected the shot onto the crossbar.
Peck’s header from a Callum Gould corner was straight at Harris and the home stopper could gather comfortably, before Gould’s free-kick was volleyed wide by Fin Haines at the back post in added time as Weston managed to progress through to the Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round.
FT: Weston 1-0 Shepton Mallet (Reid 18)
Weston XI: Harris, Thomas, Laird (Tunnicliff 90), Jagger-Cane, Jones, Humphries, Dodd, Jackson, Grubb (C), Watts (Bastin 82), Reid (Murray 60). Unused substitutes: Purnell, Griffith, Bak, Avery.
MOTM: Lloyd Humphries.