Romans given huge FA Cup scare by Larks

City were given a huge FA Cup scare this afternoon before two Cody Cooke penalties and a long range strike from Jordan Thomas saw them overcome Larkhall Athletic and secure a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round.

The home side struck twice in the opening eleven minutes. On five minutes Camm was given the time and space to fire past Ollie Wright then six minutes later a corner was headed back across goal for Bowman to tap home. It could have been even worse for the Romans as Ferris raced clear on goal only for Wright to kept his shot out then, right on half-time, the same player saw a lob from midway in the City half clear Wright but bounce just over the bar. In between the Larks no.10 was very lucky to stay on the pitch after a shocking knee-high challenge on Kieran Parselle. Ferris somehow escaped with just a booking but the City captain had to be helped from the pitch and replaced by Jack Batten.

A change of referee at half-time – with assistant Mr Ouchene taking over from Mr Mackey – eventually led to the course of the game changing. From the restart City took control of the contest as the Larks were penned back in their own half. Joe Raynes saw a 48th minute header blocked on the line then Cooke mis-directed an unmarked header. Nasta saved well from another Cooke effort on 64 minutes. Nine minutes later City finally halved the deficit when substitute Elliott Frear was tripped in the box and Cooke netted from the penalty spot. And he repeated the trick on 82 minutes after being wiped out by Goodall to level the scores. There was only going to be one winner now and two minutes from time Thomas cut inside before unleashing a 20-yard shot that flew into the net via the underside of the bar. City saw out the remaining time with few scares but it was very much a relieved cheer from the majority of the sell-out crowd at the final whistle.