Weston suffer third straight defeat at top of the table St Albans City
PUBLISHED: 14:07 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:07 14 August 2017
Weston Football Club have not had the start to the season they would have wanted, as they slipped to their third successive defeat on Saturday, at early National League South pace-setters St Albans City.
Weston were without influential midfielder Jacob Cane, who only made the bench after limping off in the opening match against Poole Town, but the Mercury understands he will be back in contention for place in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) match against Gloucester City.
The Seagulls were downed 3-1 by the Saints thanks to goals from Sam Merson, Rhys Murrell-Williamson and Charlie Walker.
Dayle Grubb’s first-half penalty had looked to get Weston back into the game before the break, but a string of missed opportunities meant it was the Saints who were victorious.
Goalkeeper Luke Purnell was in fine form early-on and kept Sam Merson from opening the scoring just 10 minutes in.
However, it didn’t take long before the Saints broke the deadlock.
On 16 minutes. Zane Banton latched onto the ball in midfield and found Merson, whose powerful shot gave Purnell no chance.
Weston did give themselves a chance before the break and found themselves level seven minutes later.
Danny Greenslade burst forward with the ball, three yards outside the box and the defender took a touch before seeing his attempted cross blocked by Solomon Sambou’s left arm.
Referee Will Finnie awarded Weston a penalty for handball, something the home side were less than pleased about.
It was midfielder Dayle Grubb who stepped up and confidently dispatched the spot-kick for his first goal of the season, following his 20-goal haul in the last campaign.
Weston had plenty of possession but could not find a way through a resolute St Albans defence, although Grubb and Collins attempted to exploit the wide areas.
It was a game of few clear openings for either side, with the best openings appearing to come from set-pieces. St Albans’ David Noble saw his 30 yard free-kick tipped spectacularly wide by Purnell just after the hour mark.
The game eventually changed on an inspired substitution from the home side. Rhys Murrell-Williamson replaced Banton and immediately played a short one-two from the corner with David Noble before hitting a superb effort that curled past Purnell and into the far corner.
The substitute had been on the pitch for less than ten seconds when he found the net.
And it was to get worse for Weston, despite pushing for that elusive equaliser.
Aden Baldwin had the best chance just four minutes from the end but his head was cleared off the line by Percy Kiangebeni.
The Saints finally put the result beyond doubt two minutes later, when Walker got on the end of a loose ball in the box and hammered home.
St Albans City now sit top of the National League South with an 100 per cent record, while Weston sit second bottom.
But the Seagulls have a chance to finally get their season started tomorrow.
They play host to Gloucester City, who have secured just one point in their opening three games.
Kick-off at The Woodspring Stadium will be at 7.45pm and there will be live updates on the Mercury’s Twitter @WSMERCURY.
A full match report and exclusive reaction after the game will also be available at www.westonmercury.co.uk/sport