Cory Simpson strikes as Larks see off Weymouth
LARKHALL ATHLETIC 1
CORY Simpson struck as Larkhall Athletic knocked Weymouth out at the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup last 16 stage with a 1-0 victory at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Joe Tumelty crossed in towards Simpson whose strike from six yards out in the 51st minute was enough to see the Terras exit the last available cup of the season.
Weymouth made eight changes for the match, among which was captain Jake McCarthy, who signed an extension to his existing deal on Tuesday evening, while Jordan Ngalo made his first start since it was announced on Friday that he had signed exclusively for Weymouth.
Mark Cooper started for the first time since he received a straight red card in the 1-0 win at home against Chesham United while Aaron Rodriguez also made his opening starting appearance since his recall from a successful loan spell at Dorchester.
Weymouth created an early chance as Rodriguez saw a shot blocked away after working well with Josh Wakefield down the left-hand side.
Wakefield was having initial success down the left-hand side and another attack saw him weave across the edge of the box before getting the ball to new signing Fadel Seibou whose cross couldn’t find Rodriguez.
Wakefield then went on another good run down the left-hand side and tried to find Harry Baker with a pull back but George King was able to clear.
Moments later Baker put Harry McGrath through but Larks’ keeper Shaun Semmens was quick off his line to clear the danger.
Larkhall then had the best chance of the match up to that point when Geraint Bater got the ball to Tumelty after a run down the left-hand side, and passing to King who took a dipping shot from 25 yards out which Will Dennis held on to well.
A Wakefield corner then came close to helping Weymouth find a breakthrough as he delivered towards Baker, who took a touch before firing over the bar.
Another flowing move saw Wells run forward to the halfway line, pass the ball to Seibou who got the ball forward to McGrath but from the cross Wakefield could not get a clear effort at goal.
Tumelty then rattled the bar with a superb shot from just outside the box with Dennis beaten but from the rebound Wells was able to clear the ball away.
The second half started with a superb chance for the away side as, from a Tumelty corner, Cox collected the ball from 25 yards out and rattled the underside of the Weymouth bar.
Soon after Cox fed the ball to Bater down the right-hand side but Wells was on hand to smuggle the ball out for a corner.
But Larkhall took the lead shortly after the corner as Tumelty won the ball back from an Ngalo clearance before firing in a low cross along the six-yard box towards Simpson who tapped in on 51 minutes.
The Terras tried to recover soon after as McCarthy fired in a strike from just outside the area but could only shoot straight at Semmens in the Larks’ goal.
Cox then fed the ball across the Weymouth six-yard box but Peel fired wide from close-range.
Weymouth were mounting pressure and had their best chance of the match as Baker rounded the keeper only to see his shot blocked by skipper Matt Guy.
McCarthy almost played in Baker with a low ball from the centre of the field but the talismanic Guy duly intercepted once more to stamp out the attack as a stubborn Larkhall defence continued to deny Weymouth a route to goal.
Guy was then booked for a late tackle on Wakefield to concede a free kick eight yards away from the corner flag but the delivery flew over everyone in the box and out for a goal-kick.
With the clock running down, Semmens charged out to a loose ball under pressure from Baker, giving the ball straight to Wakefield who attempted an audacious 35-yard shot, which he sent just wide.
Baker then struck the ball over the bar from just outside the box as the Terras were ultimately unsuccessful in their quest for a late equaliser that would have sent them into a penalty shoot-out. As it was, Larkhall survived to take a deserved quarter-final berth.
The Terras are next in action when they travel to Stratford Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division on Saturday (3pm).
Terras: Dennis, Seibou (James 82), Cooper (Sa 59), Wells, McCarthy (Harvey 69) S Stewart, Wakefield, Ngalo, Baker, McGrath, Rodriguez. Subs not used: Boore, Molesley.
Larkhall: Semmens, Winter, Clarke, King, Guy, Bater (Lambert 83), Peel, Tumelty, Simpson (Spruce 69). Subs not used: Restorick, Arndale
Referee: Stacey Pearson