Yate Town 2-2 Gloucester City
FA cup 3rd qualifying round
By Simon Clark
A stoppage time penalty from Darren Edwards saved Gloucester City from a shock FA Cup 3rdQualifying Round exit at the hands of Yate Town.
Mike Bryant’s deflected shot had given the Bluebells an upset lead before Darren Mullings glanced Tyler Weir’s cross to equalise after the break.
However, the Southern League South and West side played beyond their lowly status and were 12 minutes from victory after Jake Cox unleashed a 30-yard screamer past Mike Green.
On this day luck was on City’s side as ex-Yate player Matt Groves was felled in the area by goalscorer Bryant and Edwards stroked home the precious spotkick for a replay on Wednesday night.
It had started promising for David Mehew’s side peppering Martin Horsell in goal from the beginning; the first seeing Groves test the shotstopper from outside the box.
Horsell was called into action again soon after with Groves now the provider for Morford to see his chance collected.
The host’s first opportunity came after 10 minutes with Bryant finding space but lashing his effort wide.
The Tigers kept on coming at the Bluebell backline with Scott Wilson, Lewis Hogg and Will Morford all seeing their attempts well saved.
City’s two former Yate men – Groves and Wilson – combined to superb effect in consecutive minutes seeing both testing Horsell only to be denied.
Against the run of the play the hosts went ahead; a deflected ball had found Bryant free on the edge of the area and his shot cannoned past Green after another deflection to settle in the net.
The half time break galvanised Mehew’s men as it only took 13 minutes for the equaliser; Tyler Weir, a livewire all game, stormed down the right and delivered an excellent ball into Mullings who glanced between two defenders to score.
The goal failed to ignite the City push forward as Yate kept on coming with half chances for Tom Seery and Lewis Haldane going begging.
However, City failed to clear their lines on 78 minutes when Cox unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards past an outstretched Green for a sensational second goal; and only 12 minutes from causing a major upset.
With time running out, the Tigers were awarded a golden opportunity after Horsell dropped the ball whilst attempting a kick out of hand straight to the feet of Morford who couldn’t shoot in time as it deflected to the right.
Mullings almost nicked a second ghosting in after Groves’ excellent cross but Horsell was there once again.
With added time being played, City were given an absolute lifeline with Bryant bringing down Groves in the area.
Edwards nonchalantly knocked it to the right, despite the immense pressure on his shoulders, and it nestled into the net to save City’s blushes; relief for the large away Tigers following.
But, it could’ve been even better, with five minutes of added time played Green punted a kick forward which found Joe Parker in behind the defence but his header bounced inches wide of the upright.
The replay will take place on Wednesday night at Whaddon Road.
Yate Town: M. Horsell, J. Cox, M. Harrison, J. Chandler, T. Seery, B. Abrahams, J. Harmer (Tippins 87), M. Bryant, R. Hulbert (Rodgers 84), L. Haldane, R. Staley
Subs Not Used: M. Meaker, J. Jackson, N. Felix, D. Lane, M. Lenihan
Goals: Bryant 42, Cox 78
Gloucester City: M. Green, S. Rawlings (Liddiard 76), T. Weir, M. Coupe, J. Harris, T. Webb, L. Hogg (Edwards 51), D. Mullings, W. Morford, S. Wilson (Parker 63), M. Groves
Subs Not Used: N. Phillips, M. Liddiard, S. Turl, M. Green, N. Mustoe
Goals: Mullings 58, Edwards 90+2 (pen)