The Larks made history in Dorset last night when they beat Southern Premier promotion contenders Weymouth in the league cup 3rd round.
On a fast surface the Larks more than matched their higher-level opponents, playing some impressive passing football and creating some fine chances in a goalless first period. The best of these was a rocket of a half-volley from the indefatigable Joe Tumelty which crashed off the bar; George King, playing an unaccustomed midfield role, also had two good efforts not quite hit the target.
The decisive moment of the game came only five minutes from the restart, when relentless attacking from the visitors resulted in Cory Simpson’s goal. Greg Peel and Joe Tumelty worked tirelessly to hold the ball up in the Terras’ penalty area and our number 11 tore in from the left to collect a cross from Joe and fire home past Will Dennis.
For the next spell the Larks dominated the game, with Jacob Cox creating runs down the right wing that bamboozled the Weymouth defence; indeed, Coxy had a great chance to score with an elliptical strike that rattled agonisingly off the inside of the bar.
Weymouth weren’t passive spectators, of course, and Shaun Semmens was called on to make a couple of instinctive stops. At one point captain Matt Guy had to clear off the line as Shaun came out to deal with the threat. As the Larks’ legs tired, our hosts saw more of the ball and won a number of throw-ins and corners, but Matt Guy and Mike Baker in central defence stood firm, Mason Winter kept the ball moving upfield, and 17 year old Alfie Clarke defied his years with an assured performance on the other side of the pitch.
Choosing man of the match from a fantastic team performance was not easy, but eventually the decision was made to give it to Geraint Bater, who battled for over 80 minutes in midfield to keep and supply the ball to our forwards.
We are expecting the quarter final draw to be made next week: so far, Marlow, Kempston Rovers, Redditch United, Hitchin Town, Frome Town, and Hayes & Yeading are through, with Chesham v Didcot still to play.
Mark Guy’s gallery of photos of the cup tie is here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128930019@N08/albums/72157668333745429
Up the Larks!