FA Cup: Crane lifts Rocks into next round - report and video verdict

The Rocks are in the next round of the FA Cup after coming from behind and beating Weston-super-Mare with James Crane's injury-time winner.

Saturday, 16th September 2017, 6:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:29 pm
James Crane flies in to head home the Rocks' winner versus Weston / Picture by Kate Shemilt

The Rocks are in the next round of the FA Cup after coming from behind and beating Weston-super-Mare with James Crane's injury-time winner.They trailed at the break and ended the first half looking low on confidence and short of ideas, but a very much improved second-half performance turned things round and an own goal set up the grandstand finish in which Crane emerged the hero.It will lift everyone at Nyewood Lane after a tough month in which little went right. And fans will hope this little bit of cup success will lift their league fortunes, starting with a big home game against Gloucester next Saturday.Bognor welcomed Weston to town for the second qualifying round tie a month after the sides played out a 1-1 draw in the league at the Lane, with £4,500 up for grabs for the winners.The Rocks love an FA Cup run but have only had one of note in recent seasons - when they reached the final qualifying round two years ago before losing at Wealdstone - and went out at this stage last year at Billericay.They were almost at full strength, with defender Corey Heath the only remaining member of the squad in the treatment room.It was a bright start from the Rocks as an attack down the left in the second minute ended with Jimmy Muitt getting into the box and putting a dangerous ball across the box.Ollie Pearce was not far off target with a shot from 25 yards in the eighth minute after picking the ball up and running at the defence in an attack down the Rocks right.Dayle Grubb - the Weston dangerman last time Weston visited - was the first to test Dan Lincoln, forcing him into a good diving save on 11 minutes with a drive from 25 yards out. The corner led to a move from which Aden Baldwin headed goalwards, but it was held by Lincoln.Weston were starting to look dangerous and a neat build-up down the right led to Grubb heading towards the bottom corner but Lincoln was there.Crane skewed a shot wide from the angle of the box when a poor Weston clearance fell to him.Naby Diallo brought a top-class save from Lincoln on 21 minutes when he cut inside and curled a right-foot shot towards the top corner.El-Abd drove forward on 25 minutes and played in Ben Swallow for a cross that the keeper had to fist away.There was a let-off for the Rocks just before the half-hour when Lincoln couldn't hold Grubb's low shot and Jake Lee almost pounced. The Rocks went straight to the other end but Muitt's cross was claimed by keeper Luke Purnell.Swallow was close with a superb shot from long distance that was met by an equally-excellent save by Purnell, and the corner came to nothing.There were half-hearted claims for a Weston penalty when Diallo went down under a challenge but the ref was not interested.Weston went ahead two minutes before the break when a low ball across the box by Tristan Plummer was touched in by Jake Reid - a simple goal to give the Somerset side the interval advantage.In first half stoppage time, Diallo was booked for a foul that gave Bognor a free-kick 25 yards out - but Swallow curled the attempt high and wide.Weston might have taken a two-goal advantage into the break when Lee's cross flashed across goal. Then a header from the corner skimmed the bar and had to be headed clear by Dan Beck. Bognor ended up glad to get to the break only one down.The Rocks started the second half on the front foot, forcing a corner from which Pearce's one-two with Swallow required some desperate defending from Weston.They were level three minutes into the second half when a Davies cross was turned into his own goal by Baldwin. It was Baldwin's second visit of the season to Nyewood Lane and his first had seen him sent off. He will be glad if he does not have to come back for a while.Weston brought on Jake Hawford for Plummer a couple of minutes after the goal. Soon after that Reid was replaced by Ben Seymour.For a spell the Rocks had a bit of a spring in their step and Pearce was seeing plenty of the ball down the right. One cross was over-hit and another was just too high for the unlikely onrushing figure of Davies in the six-yard box.Then Whyte was well-placed for a shot central to the goal but it was too close to Purnell. Minutes later, Pearce tried to play in Swallow in the box but the keeper got there first with the pass too strong.Joe Lea came on for Beck just after the hour with the Rocks now looking the most likely to get the next goal.Swallow was sent clear down the right and poked an early pass into Pearce, but his first-time shot was high and wide. Swallow's next pass was a perfect through-ball for Muitt but his low shot was too close to the keeper and was saved.Hawford was yellow-carded for a late tackle on Crane with 20 minutes left. Hawford was in the action again curling an ambitious shot over Lincoln's bar.Muitt was booked for halting a Weston attack after El-Abd gave away possession on halfway.Jimmy Wild replaced Muitt on 78 minutes as the Rocks looked for a goal that might avoid the need for a Tuesday night trip to Weston.The Rocks were so close to taking the lead on 80 minutes when the keeper let Pearce's low drive squirm beneath him. Wild looked certain to score but it went wide, with wild claiming the keeper had blocked it but a goal kick given.Davies, Whyte and Swallow combined down the right to win a corner but it was cleared and then Weston enjoyed a short spell of pressure that required some frantic Rocks defending.Weston were reduced to ten men when Hawford picked up a second yellow for a foul on El-Abd, and then the visitors brought Irnyi Rapai on for Lee.Lincoln rescued Bognor with a fingertip save to deny Grubb in a one-on-one - with Jacob Cane heading the rebound over.Both sides wanted to win and avoid the replay and Grubb had another shot that Lincoln couldn't hold at the first attempt. Lincoln was rightly named man of the match.In added time Alex Parsons replaced Pearce. And just when it seemed Bognor were in for the long midweek trip to Weston for the replay, they found a winner.Swallow launched a high cross to the far post from wide on the right, El-Abd rose to head it back across the goal and Crane dived in to nod it in and send the home fans wild.There was still another four or so minutes for Bognor to hold on but they dug in and the final whistle was greeted by a mixture of joy and relief that the winless run going back four and a half weeks was over.The draw for the next round is on Monday, with just two rounds now standing between Bognor and a prized place in the first round.Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Field, Muitt, Beck, Whyte, Pearce, Swallow. Subs Parsons, Wild, Lea, Suraci, Heath, Boughton.Weston: Purnell, Harper, Greenslade, Cane, Baldwin, Pope, Plummer, Diallo, Reid, Grubb, Lee. Subs: Seymour, Kington, Hawford, Welch, Rapai, Kingston.

James Crane flies in to head home the Rocks' winner versus Weston / Picture by Kate Shemilt