Seagulls held to a scoreless draw

PUBLISHED: 10:21 25 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:55 24 May 2010

WESTON picked up a precious Conference South point against eighth-placed Braintree, but had they taken their chances, especially in the first half, they would have won at a canter against their newly-promoted opponents

Weston-s-Mare 0 Braintree Town 0WESTON picked up a precious Conference South point against eighth-placed Braintree, but had they taken their chances, especially in the first half, they would have won at a canter against their newly-promoted opponents.From the side that lost at Sutton in midweek, skipper Matt Rose was dropped and former Bristol City youngster Sekani Simpson was released by the club, so Scott Walker, recovered from injury, and Craig Loxton were in the starting line-up and both had good games.The home side were first to attack, with Loxton firing narrowly wide from distance on three minutes and a minute later he tested visiting keeper Nick Morgan, but on five minutes, Braintree came close when, from Steve Hughes' pass, Louis Riddle forced a good save from Ryan Northmore with a snap shot.On seven minutes, Weston forced two successive corners and minutes later, Gareth Hopkins had an effort on target and their best chance of the half came on 15 minutes when Gary Owers picked out Walker wide on the left with a superb cross-field pass. From Walker's cross, Marvin Brown powered a header just wide of the far post with Morgan and the defence stranded.From a Braintree free kick on 18 minutes, Andy Porter fell awkwardly in a challenge with Northmore and dislocated his shoulder, Warren McBean taking over. McBean, once with Barnet, forced a good save from Northmore on 28 minutes, taking a strong header under his crossbar from Mark Jones' free kick.A minute later Weston almost scored when from Owers' free kick, Hopkins headed back across goal and defender Billy Burgess just managed to turn the ball behind for another corner as Brown and Marc McGregor closed in.Brown and McGregor exchanged passes to open the Braintree defence on 32 minutes, but, as he was about to shoot, much to his embarrassment, he slipped with only Morgan to beat.Three minutes later, from another Walker cross, Owers had an effort come off the crossbar back into play. Again Walker crossed, but this time defender Ollie Adedeji managed to turn the ball behind for yet another home corner.Minutes into the second half, Braintree forced the first of five corners and from a good position, James Hawes fired over, but at the other end on 55 minutes, McGregor fired narrowly across goal.The visitors made two changes in attack, and had more of the play and on 70 minutes, Northmore made the save of the game, going full-length to his left in a crowded penalty area to turn Braintree skipper Bradley Quinton's effort round his post and soon after substitute James Baker fired just wide. At this stage, Braintree were enjoying their best spell, pinning Weston in their own half, but the home defence, with Jarman, Leigh Henry and Gary Thorne in top form, held the attack well.In a hectic last 10 minutes, Weston had claims for penalties ignored when Hawkins and McGregor were tumbled, and a minute from time Brown had another great chance to secure all the points, but again he powered a Walker cross just wide of the far post.

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