Tougher friendlies will take Weston to next level says manager Bartlett

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 August 2020

Bailey Kempser celebrates scoring the winner for Weston at Slimbridge. Picture: Will.T.Photography.

Bailey Kempser celebrates scoring the winner for Weston at Slimbridge. Picture: Will.T.Photography.

Will.t.Photography

Weston manager Scott Bartlett feels there is an “expectation” on his team to do well in pre-season but the character shown by the sides The Seagulls have faced will take them to the “next level”.

Weston's Matt Jones celebrates opening the scoring for The Seagulls in their 2-1 victory at Slimbridge.Picture: Will.T.Photography.Weston's Matt Jones celebrates opening the scoring for The Seagulls in their 2-1 victory at Slimbridge.Picture: Will.T.Photography.

Bailey Kempster’s 87th-minute winner at Slimbridge ended Weston’s three-game run without a win, following Matt Jones’ deflected effort to give his side the lead just as half-time was approaching was cancelled out by Danny King’s fine strike.

But Kempster’s heroics gave Weston their third win in five games after earlier victories over Bridgwater Town and Banwell, following a draw against AFC Totton and 1-0 defeat at Clevedon Town.

And Bartlett has been left pleased with the progress his players have made so far ahead of successive trips to Cinderford Town and Bath City.

“It’s been good,” he said. “It’s been a strange pre-season for everyone really, everyone is back in but some of them are at work and some aren’t.

“It’s a little bit disjointed, then we played the first few games without any supporters.

“We have always earmarked the Cinderford game, which is next Tuesday on September 1, as the one we want to be hitting top tilt.

“We won’t always get the performance we want on any given game in terms of being physical at their optimum, and then the Bath one with the Hereford and Yeovil games chucked in as well. They are a really good mix of games for us.

“Hereford will be a really tough test for us. Bath is a local derby and Jerry (Gill) has done a brilliant job, so that is going to be a great game.

“I didn’t want to test ourselves against those types of teams – there is some expectation on us this year.”

But Bartlett insists the matches they have played were games he felt the club would benefit most from, adding: “I wanted to go to Bridgwater, I wanted to go to Clevedon, I wanted to come to Slimbrigde because these are good clubs with good honest players that will give us a tough game, that was a tough game Monday.

“We totally dominated the ball, we created numerous chances, but it was a tough game. They didn’t sit off us, they pressed the life out of us and that is what we need to get us up to that next level.”

Weston host a Bristol City XI tonight (Wednesday, 7.30pm).


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