WEYMOUTH went desperately close to pulling off an FA Cup giant-killing act against League Two Bury in front of 2,503 fans at the Wessex Stadium.
The Terras came from behind to take a 2-1 lead, but were held to a 2-2 draw following an unfortunate mistake by their young goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett in the 74th minute.
He failed to take a cross in the air and Bury’s 6ft Sin striker Andy Bishop, who has scored eight times this season, headed into an unguarded net.
The teams will now try again at Gigg Lane a week tomorrow.
The replay Will ensure extra revenue for Weymouth, already £75,000 better off from the TV fees from live coverage by BBC Match of the Day yesterday.
Weymouth manager Garry Hill claimed that both of Bury’s goals were poor and that at one time in the second half, after his side had gone 2-1 ahead, he felt sure that they were bound for the second round and a home tie against Chester City.
Hill said his side had been punished for making mistakes for both goals — the first should have been cleared -but even so, they had shown character in coming back so well against the Football League side to take the lead.
He added: “We shall have to defend better if We are to go forward.” But he was not Writing off their chances in the replay on November 21.
“We took our chances,” said Chris Casper, the Bury manager. “Weymouth put us under a lot of pressure and we did not play so well.
“I think we learned a lesson. We got away with it.”
Bury, unbeaten in their previous eight matches, came under a lot of first-half pressure and, in the view of many Weymouth scored a perfectly good goal in the third minute when Richard Logan netted with a header following an El Kholti free-kick cross. Marc Pugh was on the Bury line to force the ball away as Weymouth a tacked early and twice Rafael Nade had the Lancashire side Worried as he pounced close in but could not control his final shots.
Bury were certainly dangerous on the break, with Bishop causing the Weymouth defence worry. He missed a good chance in heading wide from close range and on another occasion Simon Downer blocked a ﬁercely hit volley.
But Pugh made no mistake in the 24th minute When the Terras failed to clear a corner and the midfielder promptly drilled the ball home from ten yards.
Weymouth were unlucky however, in the 35th minute when Bury’s central defender John Fitzgerald miskicked and the ball looped back to hit the bar.
The Terras equalised in the 50th minute with a great 25-yard shot from Simon Weatherstone, who beat Arron Grundy after a Lee Elam cross had been blocked by Dave Challinor. It was the persistence of Elam that brought Weymouth’s second goal in the 55th minute, when his cross was headed home by Logan, who climbed high to beat Grundy from close range.
A moment later, Elam almost scored himself, sending a header against a post.
It was so unfortunate for Weymouth in the 74th minute when Bishop headed the equaliser after Lee-Barrett had missed a cross from Tom Kennedy.
Weymouth: Lee-Barrett, Downer (Wilkinson 67), O’Brien, Vickers, El Kholti, Crittenden (Tully 44), Weatherstone, Smith, Elam, Logan, Nade (Purser 84).
Subs not used: Matthews, Tindall.