Monday, November 14, 2005

HERO Adam Webster netted Worcester City a £91,000 FA Cup jackpot last night with the killer goal against 10-man Chippenham Town.

On a night of high drama and controversy, Webster fired City into the second round of the cup for the first time in 22 years -- and sent the majority of a sold-out St George's Lane into wild rapture.

His 76th-minute strike proved decisive as City, who now face League One Huddersfield Town in a live televised clash on December 4, ran out 1-0 winners.

It was nothing more than Worcester deserved after completely bossing the plucky Bluebirds.

But the Southern League Premier Division high-fliers were harshly treated when Iain Harvey, scorer of the equaliser at Hardenhuish Park 10 days ago, was sent-off in a case of mistaken identity.

Harvey was booked for a late foul on Tom Warmer and then shown a red card by referee Phil Gibbs, but the midfielder had previously not been cautioned.

Three minutes later, Webster cracked home the game's only goal.

For long periods, City found it nigh on impossible breaching inspired Bluebirds goalkeeper Peter Trego in front of a boisterous 4,006 crowd.

Cricketer Trego, a former Worcestershire and Herefordshire CCC batsman, showed all the instincts and reflexes of a slip fielder to keep Worcester at bay.

He pulled off three magnificent first-half saves as City probed away.

After a predictably tense opening, Worcester soon grew into their stride and forced five corners in 10 minutes.

From the third of Les Hines' deliveries, Trego acrobatically tipped over Chris Smith's back-post header.

Then a sweeping move from right to left landed at the feet of Nick Colley, whose fierce drive, arrowing into the corner, was tipped wide.

Trego pulled off another great stop moments later, reaching down one-handed to divert Webster's stabbed shot from near the penalty spot.

The Bluebirds barely mounted a serious attack in return until the 52nd minute, when Dave Gilroy slapped a rash drive wide of Danny McDonnell's upright.

Harvey then wasted his side's best effort, chipping onto the roof of the net from 12 yards.

City were a man to the good on 72 minutes after Harvey fouled Warmer. Furious Chippenham players confronted Gibbs over the dismissal, but the West Midlands official stuck to his decision.

The aggrieved visitors were suddenly disorganised and Webster, scorer in each round of the FA Cup this season, seized the moment.

From a tight angle, Webster's low shot looked harmless enough, but a rare mistake by Trego allowed the ball to sneak in at the near post.

Worcester supporters bounced in celebration and, following late spurned chances from Leon Kelly, invaded the pitch at the final whistle.

CITY: McDonnell, Warner, Hines, Smith, Thompson, Lyttle, Colley, Hyde (Preece 65), Kelly, Webster (Clegg 90), Warmer (McDonald 85). Subs not used: Hodnett, Jones.