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Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 15:00 k.o.
The Lew Hill Memorial Ground, Bath (view on map) - 6.4 miles round trip
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Admission: 6
Attendance: 190

Scorers: Weymouth FC - Thomson, Baker (3), McCarthy
Yellow Cards: Odd Down AFC - Sage, Gould (2) / Weymouth FC - Cooper
Sent Off: Odd Down AFC - Gould (second bookable offence)

For those who are not familiar with the geography of Bath, Odd Down lies high up to the south of the city. The eponymous football club is flanked by a secondary school and a park and ride. Currently playing in the Western League Premier today they faced a Weymouth side two divisions higher and currently unbeaten at home this season. The home side however did beat higher opposition in the previous round so would likely go into this match confident that an upset was possible. Weymouth had brought a decent amount of fans with them up from Dorset though the crowd was smaller than I had imagined, particularly given the sunshine was present for large parts of the afternoon.

A chance for either side within the opening 2 minutes - Weymouth hitting the post for theirs - suggested that we would not be in for a bore draw today. Around the quarter hour mark Weymouth's Antonio Diaz seemed certain to score but didn't connect properly with a cross into the box. Shortly after, the home side laid claim to a penalty that was not forthcoming. I was quite a distance from the incident, but the Odd Down players seemed convinced that their player was impeded unfairly in the area. Then dangerous Diaz was causing problems for the home defence and a left footed shot from him was parried away from danger by Ed Baldy in the Odd Down goal. The visitors were starting to pile on the pressure and on 28 minutes they hit the post again with the follow up ending up in Baldy's grateful arms. The home defence were putting their bodies on the line with shot after shot coming in, mainly from outside the penalty box. The goal came on 37 minutes but not before Weymouth hit the woodwork for a third time - albeit via an offside forward. A corner was partially cleared but only as far as Ben Thomson who shot through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner. Just before half time Odd Down's Asa White made a good interception and hit a first time shot just wide.

Less than 5 minutes into the second half the away team doubled their lead. Thomson's shot spun off a defender, falling kindly for strike partner Harry Baker who struck a sweet shot into the top corner. 2 minutes later Baker shot again but this time it was too high. The Odd Down players found a new energy in trying to find a way back into the game, however much of this energy was misplaced and a couple of players were lucky to escape being booked. A double substitution looked to shake things up a bit. Kye Simpson made a good run and looked to play in White but they were not on the same wavelength. The Down's Dave Gould - one of the pair lucky not to be booked earlier on - made a couple of late challenges and was sent for an early bath leaving his team mates to battle on for a little over 15 minutes a man short. The free kick awarded for the sending off fooled the defence who were expecting a shot on goal. Instead Baldy pulled off a great save after a Weymouth forward was played in on goal. Down the other end, Kye Simpson finally made the visiting keeper Nick Thomas earn his keep. A cross from Ash McGrane was met well enough by Simpson but Thomas was equal to it. Fellow substitute Adam Bouchama had an opportunity to pull one back but mishit his shot when well placed. Weymouth weathered the storm and with 12 minutes remaining put the game to bed. Baker's low shot may have taken a deflection on its way to goal but they all count. Visting captain Jake McCarthy wanted in on the goals and struck a shot from 30 yards, but Baldy got across to turn it behind with the save of the match. McCarthy would not be denied 3 minutes later, however, and he found the top corner when he was one of several Weymouth players queuing up in the box. Deep into injury time, Baker grabbed his hattrick and put a gloss on the scoreline. Another low finish just about crept into the bottom corner when it appeared to be going wide.

Weymouth will be pleased with their performance and to avoid a potential banana skin, while Odd Down can be pleased with their first half performance. As it was, the visitor's quality shone through and they go on into the next round leaving The Down to concentrate on other matters. A trip to the Lew Hill Memorial Ground is highly recommended - a great clubhouse serving food and drink seemed popular before the game as well as at half time. Inside the ground is a seated stand facing the dugouts. There is further cover at the near side goal end. Behind the far goal is a large grassy area which must be 'interesting' in less clement weather! So overall I had a great time at my 2nd FA Cup match of the season and look forward to my next visit.

View the photos from this match.