Report by James Franklin , Reporter
Thursday, August 9, 2012
WITH only one pre-season match to go before the new Blue Square South season, Weston look ready for a promotion push after two entertaining friendly matches.
With no new signings imminent, Seagulls boss Craig Laird used the matches away at Yate Town and home to Gloucester City to prepare his squad ahead of the new season.
Weston took a strong side that also featured a number of youth team players on the short journey up the M5 to Evostik Southern League Division One South West side Yate’s ground on August 1.
Despite the home side taking the lead after only four minutes through Tom Knighton, new Seagulls signing Ashley Kington levelled the score on 15 minutes.
The former Clevedon Town player then sent his new side into the lead on the stroke of half-time through a magnificent 25-yard effort.
Veteran striker Marc McGregor added Weston’s third with a neat header from Nat Pepperell’s cross, before Yate’s Mitchell Page rounded off the scoring near the end of the match.
Two days later, Blue Square North side Gloucester City paid a visit to Weston’s Woodspring Stadium and gave Weston a thorough run-out, which was more reminiscent of a tasty cup tie than a friendly.
There were a number of thunderous challenges throughout the game which saw three players – including Weston’s Ross Stearn – yellow carded and Gloucester’s Darren Edwards lucky not to be sent off.
Martin Slocombe was sent clattering into the steel fencing around the ground early on, and was subbed shortly afterwards as a precaution.
Gloucester took the lead on 16 minutes through a blunder by home goalkeeper Lloyd Irish, who kicked the ball straight to City striker Ben Hunt after hurriedly attempting to deal with a backpass.
Hunt, presented with the easiest of chances, scored.
Weston picked up the pace and both Nabi Diallo and Ashley Kington had a number of efforts.
It was Diallo who equalised for Weston on 52 minutes, after letting fly with a 35-yard effort that flew over the head of away keeper Mike Green and drew warm applause from the Seagulls support.
Towards the end Weston substitute goalkeeper Connor Sidley-Adams picked up a head injury in a collision, and as he lay prone on the ground Gloucester had two efforts hacked off the line before referee Rick Hulme halted the match.