WEYMOUTH 1 HORNCHURCH 2
Four and a half years ago, the little pub team from Essex made its one and only appearance at Terras Island, and two of that team were back today, one in a playing capacity, the other in a coaching role. Weymouth have one of the best set ups outside the league – excellent terracing and seating, a large car park, magnificent facilities, they even have their own speedway track behind the main pitch. The team are full time professionals, and this was very apparent, but for every team, there is a twelfth man, and it was the off field support for the Urchins which inspired them to a magnificent result on the pitch.
Urchins made one change, Dean Green returning to the starting line up. Urchins were odds on favourites to lose today, but the huge away following greeted the team as they came out quickly narrowed the odds, and Urchins took the match to the home side right from the start. Lee Brown sent over a good cross from the left which Mawer managed to clear, and Lee Brown again, taking a pass from Elliot Styles, stormed up field, and slotted the ball neatly ahead of Dean Green, who was clear but was pulled back for a somewhat dubious free kick to Weymouth. Green was prominent in the next move, touching the ball out to Mark Janney on the right, and Mark sent an excellent pass in between two defenders for Kris Lee to chase, but the ball ran out for a goal kick as Kris stumbled on the slippery surface. With Urchins coming forward, the home side were all at sea, and a terrible back pass to keeper Knowles enable Kris Lee to race on to the ball, but his cross into the empty goal mouth was just too far in front of Dean Green and the ball ran out.
Weymouth had been forced to defend, although a quick break down the right saw Williams find Cutler in the middle, and he played the ball back out to Mawer, whose centre was headed powerfully away by Mark Goodfellow. And then, totally against the run of play, Weymouth were in front. A long pass out to Williams, and his cross appeared harmless enough until Dale Brightly slipped on the turf and could only manage to parry the ball out to STUART BEAVON, who calmly slotted it home into the unguarded net for a goal which had never looked likely.
Hornchurch, urged on by an ever increasing volume of noise, quickly recovered, and Kris Lee raced away on the left to win a corner. Andy Tomlinson floated the ball over and Knowles did well to punch away as Goodfellow came in. John Purdie then sent in a long free kick which Williams managed to part clear, but only as far as Dean Green, whose first time shot went narrowly wide of the goal. Lee Brown made ground on the left but was fouled and Tomlinson’s free kick saw Gaia just get to the ball ahead of Goodfellow. Tomlinson again, this time taking a pass from Donny Barnard, and finding Green, who was tackled by Mawer to earn a corner. Tomlinson again floated the ball over, but a free kick was given by a referee who had no intention at all of allowing any form of contact, however minor.
Weymouth came more into the game, and looked very sharp, and with a player stationed on each wing, and with two full backs ever willing to overlap, they were always dangerous. Mawer took a pass from Beavon and raced along the right, sending over a good centre which Brightly punched out, and Beavon followed up with a hard shot which went into the side netting. Beavon again, racing away through the middle, and Brightly came out at speed to save with his feet, and then did enough to put off the follow up shot, which hit the side netting again.
Urchins weathered the brief storm, and came back, Donny Barnard sending Janney away on the right, the ball then being played out further to Green, whose cross was deflected for a corner. Tomlinson took the kick, and Sandwith cleared. Frank Curley, dominant in midfield, sent Lee away in the middle, and thence out to Janney who was tackled by Doe as he was about to shoot, the ball going out for another corner. Tomlinson this time had the ball played back to him and his second cross was touched over for another corner, which this time fell invitingly for Kris Lee, who turned and saw his hard drive blocked by a packed defence.
With Urchins pressing forward, they left themselves open, but even so were surprised when Malcolm was allowed to run clear – surprised as he was standing several yards offside, but with Curley and Barnard chasing, his shot hit the post and rebounded to McPhee, whose first time drive was saved magnificently by Dale Brightly. McPhee put in another good shot a minute later, which Brightly tipped around the post, and then caught Williams’ corner as it came over. The referee signalled one minute of stoppage time, which just gave enough time to Tomlinson to hammer in a free kick which hit the wall and rebounded to Frank Curley, who hit his shot just wide of the post.
Half time and was Dale’s slip going to cost dearly? Colin’s half time talk not only inspired the team, but also the masses behind the goal, as Urchins came out to a great roar of approval, and within a minute of the restart, the approval became delirium, when Elliot Styles’ shot was blocked, and the ball was hit back by Curley, Dean Green touched it on to KRIS LEE, who hammered it home, to set off mass hysteria behind the goal, which put even the Arlesey celebrations into the shade, whilst on the pitch, Kris was engulfed by the entire team. The referee had no sense of humour and promptly booked Mark Janney who over-celebrating, though it is doubtful if any noticed, or even cared.
And this is when true support begins to take effect. The home following began to get on to their team, complaining loudly and jeering whenever they made a mistake, and this clearly had an effect, and was certainly noticed by the Urchins, whose own noise level reached a crescendo.
Weymouth are a team of full time professionals, and their rapid passing and breaks out of defence were pulsating. but it was now Urchins, well and truly on top. Brown to Lee, inside to Green, and Dean’s shot was parried out to Janney, whose follow up from a narrow angle went behind the goal. Green then charged down a clearance and sent the ball on to Lee, and then further on, out to Janney, whose shot cum centre drifted out of play. When Weymouth were awarded an extremely questionable free kick, just outside the area, Kevin Sandwith stepped up to blast the ball over the wall – and right out of the ground. The jeering increased, and Weymouth grew even more ragged. Barnard overlapped on the right to take a pass from Curley and Donny crossed to Lee, who slipped the ball back to Janney, but Mark’s shot was too high and the ball went over the bar. Kris Lee then won a free kick as he took on two defenders, on the edge of the area. Tomlinson loitered, but it was Donny Barnard who stepped up to fire the ball hard past he wall, and Knowles made an excellent save. Weymouth came back, and Williams took a corner which reached McPhee, and it was Dean Green, back in defence, who cleared. Sandwith tried to break through the middle, but Brightly came out quickly to save.
The massed red and white army were furious when Elliot Styles chipped the ball on to Kris Lee, who raced clear but was pulled back for offside. Weymouth, with time running out, tried hard to grab the winning goal, but McPhee’s cross was headed away by Barnard, and Sandwith followed up by hitting his shot into the side netting, which did not go down at all well with the home support. Raphael Sylvester came on, and was immediately involved, racing back thirty yards to tackle when Sandwith tried to break through. Urchins came back strongly, Janney taking a free kick which found Lee, who turned and shot, with Knowles making an excellent save. Lee again, this time being tripped by Sandwith, who was booked, and a goalscoring chance vanished when Tomlinson’s free kick drifted out.
With Weymouth now desperate to get something out of the match, they were controversially awarded a free kick just five yards outside the area. Everyone came back, and Kevin Sandwith blazed the ball over the wall, and right out of the ground. The jeering grew louder, as did the noise from the other end. The referee signalled three more minutes, and on came Simon Parker, greeted like a pop start. And this proved to be the decisive factor, for, in the fourth minute of the three minutes added on, Curley pumped the ball up, it went out to the left, and the cross was touched neatly back by Raphael Sylvester to SIMON PARKER, who hammered it low into the net, before racing across to receive the mass adoration behind the goal, and ending up in Annie’s arms, whilst Biased Bob, not to be outdone, hugged a steward. The referee eventually managed to extricate the entire Urchins team, and there was just time to restart, when the final whistle went, and the real celebrations started. The little pub team from Essex were through to the first round of the FA Cup.
And who were the two Urchins who featured in both matches? – Andy Tomlinson and Jamie Southon.