FA Cup: Awadh and Rasulo see Puritans through in replay

Amer Awadh gave Banbury United the lead against Weymouth in Tuesday's Emirates FA Cup replay
Amer Awadh gave Banbury United the lead against Weymouth in Tuesday's Emirates FA Cup replay

Amer Awadh and substitute Giorgio Rasulo booked Banbury United’s place in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The Puritans got past Weymouth at the second attempt in Tuesday’s first qualifying round replay at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium. United were good value for their 2-1 victory and can now look forward to a home tie with Bath City.

Mike Ford made three changes from Saturday’s starting line-up with Marvin Martin replacing Jordy Ngathe, Awadh came in for Rasulo and Mark Bell took over from Ravi Shamsi.

Both sides had early chances in an even opening. Greg Kaziboni’s shot was deflected over and Lee Henderson headed wide from Bell’s ensuing corner while Brandon Goodship cut into the box but fired over.

The industrious Awadh tried his luck from long range and began to link up well with Kaziboni in the final third. A tight first half ensued with neither side giving much away in their own third.

Weymouth got on top as the half progressed with Josh Carmichael pulling the strings in midfield. Goodship’s snap shot from the edge of the box almost caught out James Goff who did well to parry the ball and Jordan Ngalo’s follow-up was blocked by Martin.

But United always looked a threat on the quick counter and went close when Bell’s free-kick was headed into the side-netting at the far post by Henderson.

Josh Wakefield fired just wide from the edge of the box after being neatly set-up by Carmichael. But it was United who broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Ricky Johnson helped on Goff’s long clearance and Awadh took one touch in the box before getting his shot away and the ball looped over Jordan Seabright and nestled in the far corner of the net.

Moments later United went close to doubling their advantage when Awadh released Kaziboni and his angled drive was tipped away by Seabright. Boosted by the breakthrough, United finished the half strongly but could not add to their tally.

United picked up from where they left off after the restart and went close again when Awadh’s trickery in the box set up Kaziboni who saw his first time effort deflected wide. Johnson headed wide from Martin’s cross as United kept up the pressure in search of the crucial second goal.

Another good move saw Kaziboni cut inside and set up Awadh whose fierce drive was tipped over by Seabright. From Bell’s ensuing corner Henderson headed over.

Sensing his side still needed that second goal, Ford made a double change, sending on Rasulo and Shamzi on the hour mark. Charlie Wise glanced a near post header wide of the far upright from Shamzi’s inswinging corner.

Weymouth were still in the tie without seriously testing United’s rearguard apart from a long range drive from Goodship which flew just over. They sensed an equaliser and upped the tempo in the closing stages, enjoying plenty of possession but United remained solid in defence.

United finally got the second goal in the first minute of stoppage-time following a quick break, Kaziboni exchanged passes with Rasulo but was upended in the box as he was about to pull the trigger. Rasulo fired the ensuing spot-kick high into the roof of the net, his third penalty in as many games.

Stephane Zubar headed home Wakefield’s corner deep into stoppage-time but it came far too late to alter the outcome.