FA Cup: Hooky bow out but push Weston all the way

Hook Norton's Dan Reeves and Simon Hall tangle with Weston-Super-Mare's Jake Llewellyn at The Bourne
Hook Norton's Dan Reeves and Simon Hall tangle with Weston-Super-Mare's Jake Llewellyn at The Bourne

The width of an upright denied Hook Norton the opportunity to extend their excellent Emirates FA Cup run.

The Brewery Boys lost 2-1 against Weston-Super-Mare in Saturday’s second qualifying round tie in front of a record breaking crowd of 533 at The Bourne.

All three goals came in the final 15 minutes of the tie with Seagulls substitute Bradley Ash breaking the deadlock from the penalty spot only for skipper Joe Eyre to equalise. The Vanarama National League South outfit won it with a late goal from Scott Wilson but Hooky almost earned a replay when substitute Nathan Bott hit the upright in the closing stages.

Up to that point, while the Seagulls played neat and composed football out of defence, they lacked imagination and incisiveness in the final third and Hooky were rarely looked troubled in defence.

The Brewery Boys were by no means overawed by their opponents or by the occasion and created a few openings of their own but without causing any great anxiety to the visitors’ defence.

The second half saw the visitors apply early pressure but, with Hooky managing to weather

the storm, neither team looked likely to break the deadlock. But that all changed in the 75th minute when referee Michael D’Aguilar awarded a penalty for a handball offence spotted by his assistant and Ash beat Kurt Fox from the ensuing spot-kick.

The decision spurred Hooky on and two minutes later the ball fell to Eyre just outside the box and he lashed the ball into the top corner of the net to send the home crowd wild.

It was a goal befitting the occasion but the visitors regained the advantage in the 82nd minute when a rare lapse of concentration in the Hooky defence allowed Wilson to head home.

Manager Joe Davies threw on Bott and he almost equalised when his shot through a crowded area beat the keeper but hit the post.