Emirates FA Cup: Ryan Seager strikes late as Hungerford Town beat Cirencester Town to progress
Five goals, a penalty save and a red card. It was a dramatic afternoon at Bulpit Lane as Hungerford Town beat Cirencester Town 3-2 in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The National League South side needed a 90th minute winner from Ryan Seager to secure their place in the next round of the competition.
Keith Emmerson put the home side ahead, before Seager scored a tap-in just minutes after Luke Cairney denied Levi Irving from the penalty spot.
The drama didn’t end there.
Ellis Dunton and Ben Whitehead fired Cirencester level after two goals in as many minutes and they were back in the cup tie.
Things got worse for Hungerford as Callum Willmoth was given a second yellow card and the hosts had to see out the remainder of the game with 10 men.
Just as you thought the game was heading to a replay, Seager popped up to win the game for Hungerford.
The first half was a scrappy affair, with both sides having a few opportunities to make the breakthrough.
The first opportunity of the game fell to the visitors, when a corner was met by the head of Josh Helmes.
However, his guiding header from just inside the penalty area was unable to test Cairney as it went over the bar.
Moments later, Cirencester should have gone ahead after a couple of big chances.
Irving, who was causing the Crusaders all sorts of problems down the right, carried the ball into the penalty area and his shot was denied by the feet of Cairney at his near post.
Four minutes later, Cairney was called upon twice in quick succession.
Josh Parsons was denied from close range by the body of the Hungerford keeper, before then seeing his shot palmed away by him after an attempt from outside the penalty area.
It took Hungerford 33 minutes to have their best chance of the half, when a cross-field ball from Seager saw Rhys Tyler cut inside and hit a left-footed shot, forcing Alex Harris into action.
Nana Kyei went close before the break, but it remained goalless at the break.
It didn’t, however, take long for the deadlock to be broken when a corner fell to Emmerson, who fired his effort into the back of the net.
Chris Flood was unlucky not to make it 2-0 when his first-time effort from a Kyei cross struck the inside of the post.
Cirencester were gifted a huge opportunity to level the game after 68 minutes as Willmoth was penalised for handling the ball in the area.
From the resulting kick, Irving was denied by Cairney and the danger was cleared.
The visitors were made to pay a minute later as Hungerford broke away and Kyei set up Seager for a simple tap-in, to make it 2-0.
Cirencester began their charge with 15 minutes as Dunton smashed home his effort after the ball fell to his feet.
The visitors, remarkably, drew level a minute later when Whitehead reacted quickest to head the ball into the back of the net from close range, seconds after Cairney made a fine save onto the crossbar.
The tie got harder for Hungerford when Willmoth was given a second yellow card after a late challenge and they were forced to see out the game with 10 men.
However, it didn’t seem to cause the home side any real problems as they dug deep to find a winner in the 90th minute.
After a James Rusby throw, Simo Mbonkwi superbly forced his way to the corner and sent a cross into the box.
From there, Seager got infront of his man to fire past the Cirencester keeper at the near post and send Bulpit Lane wild.
Despite a flurry of attacks from the visitors, it’s Danny Robinson’s side who will be in the hat for the fourth qualifying round draw of the FA Cup on Monday afternoon.