Weston fall to defeats in friendly fixtures
PUBLISHED: 09:03 24 July 2015 | UPDATED: 09:03 24 July 2015
Weston suffered two friendly defeats against Cheltenham Town and Exeter City.
WESTON kicked off their pre-season campaign with two higher division tests, and put in some commendable performances.
Exeter were the first visitors to the Woodspring Stadium last Wednesday in front of a sizable crowd and on a perfect surface, and were kept at bay in the early stages as the hosts looked equal to their Football League opponents.
It was not until the half-hour mark that Paul Tisdale’s League 2 side took the lead, when Craig Woodman’s cross from the left was met by a diving bullet header from Alex Fisher to beat Dan Jackson from six yards.
New signing Danny Wring, recruited from Paulton Rovers over the summer, was the first man in black and white to test Exeter keeper Bobby Olejnik, before Bradley Ash saw the ball taken off his toe by the Austrian stopper minutes later.
Weston were by no means overshadowed by their more illustrious opponents, but undid all their good work three minutes after the break in comical fashion.
Under little pressure, the hosts conspired to lose the ball on the edge of their own area, allowing Alex Nicholls the freedom of North Somerset to fire past a stranded Jackson from 12 yards.
Ryan Northmore had made three half-time changes and Exeter’s second goal appeared to spark them into life, as they helped to bring Weston back within a goal on 63 minutes with the game’s best move.
A flowing passing interchange between the impressive debutant Scott Wilson and substitute Plummer was finished with aplomb by fellow replacement Dayle Grubb, for a goal which would not have looked out of place in the Football League. Chances were at a premium in the closing stages, as the Grecians hung on for a one-goal win.
Relegated Cheltenham Town provided the Seagulls’ next test on Saturday and came away with a more comprehensive 3-0 victory, with all the goals scored in the first half.
Things begun badly for Weston when the Robins’ Amari Morgan-Smith headed beyond Jackson from Jack Munn’s free kick, and he struck again just three later after being teed up by Danny Wright.
Cheltenham had begun at an electric pace and could have gone further ahead when triallist Danny Parslow’s shot was blocked, before Harry Pell forced Jackson into a save.
Weston finally enjoyed a spell of respite and looked to be heading in at half-time relatively unscathed, but were punished five minutes before the break when Morgan-Smith turned provider for Wright to add a third.
In the second half, Weston introduced new Exeter loan signing Jason Pope and Wring, and improved without frequently testing Callum Kitscha in the Cheltenham goal.
They did fashion the best chances of the half, however, and Wring had a strong effort turned over by the England C stopper, before Syd Camper also forced a save.
THIS Sunday, Weston will host a pre-season fans’ forum at the Woodspring Stadium in Winterstoke Road, starting at 11am.
Director of football and first-team manager Ryan Northmore will give his views on the coming season, and player-coaches Tom Jordan and Clayton Fortune will also be in attendance.
This is a chance to ask questions of the management about the season ahead, and hear the board’s plans for the future.