Academy players on show

PUBLISHED: 11:46 07 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 May 2010

FOR their latest pre-season friendly against newly-promoted to the Southern League Cheltenham-based Bishops Cleeve, Weston gave a second-half airing to their latest crop of Academy players and the youngsters gave a spirited display. Weston started the fir

FOR their latest pre-season friendly against newly-promoted to the Southern League Cheltenham-based Bishops Cleeve, Weston gave a second-half airing to their latest crop of Academy players and the youngsters gave a spirited display.Weston started the first half by resting Lee Jarman, Matt Rose and John Williams, but had Gary Thorne back in defence along with Bristol Rovers youngster Ben Wiltshire; youth team Gary Fisher and Craig Loxton were in midfield, while Darren Hawkins, normally a midfielder, led the attack with Marvin Brown.Although Cleeve had the better of the exchanges, forcing five corners, Ryan Northmore was never troubled and Hawkins twice forced good saves from keeper Jon Skeen. Late in the half, Sam Bailey picked up a slight knock and Craig Herrod took over. After the interval, Weston brought on Matt Fisher, Michael Hudson, Jack Clark, Sam Clark, Josh Williams and Greg Turner, while Luke Purnell took over in goal from Ryan Northmore. For the final 20 minutes, only Craig Rand, Scott Walker and Wiltshire were left of the original line-up.Bishops' winner came two minutes from time, when Purnell made a superb stop to deny Billy Davis, but Steve Cleal scored from the rebound. Minutes before Skeen made a fine one-handed save to deny Walker's low free kick and straight from the restart following the goal, Walker forced another corner with an effort from the halfway line which Skeen was fortunate to tip over his bar.Conference South champions Weymouth are Weston's final pre-season opponents at the Woodspring Stadium tonight (Friday) kick off 7.45pm.Weymouth, who clinched the championship on the last day of the season, and in no small way were helped by the Seagulls' win at St Albans that day, are to bring their full squad with them along with several of their new signings as they embark on their return to the Conference (National Division). Weston of course, played Weymouth four times last season, all of which were excellent games and Woodspring Park regulars will remember the scintillating cup-tie early last season, when the visitors were held to a 2-2 draw, in what was a memorable match.Weston open their Nationwide Conference (South) League season at Welling United on Saturday August 12 (kick off 3 pm), prior to opening their league campaign at the Woodspring Stadium on Wednesday, August 16, versus local rivals Dorchester Town (kick off 7.45pm). The Seagulls have a further home league match on Saturday, August 19, versus league newcomers Fisher Athletic, kick off 3pm.

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