Weston look to end pre-season well after Somerset Premier Cup success
PUBLISHED: 18:13 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:13 31 July 2019
Weston complete pre-season with a home match against a Bristol City XI on Friday – with one piece of silverware already in the trophy cabinet.
The Seagulls welcomed their new Southern League Premier Division rivals Taunton Town to the Optima Stadium on Tuesday for their delayed Somerset Premier Cup final.
And Scott Bartlett's new-look squad came out on top by a 2-1 margin for a notable boost ahead of the new league campaign which starts next weekend.
Weston had beaten Hengrove Athletic (4-0), Chard Town (4-2) and Paulton Rovers (2-1) on their way to the final last season, but only six players remained from that squad.
They had drawn 1-1 at Western League Premier Division outfit Clevedon Town last Wednesday and Sam Hendy saw an early shot saved by Lloyd Irish, but Niall Maher had to make a brilliant save in the Weston goal soon after to keep the scoreline blank.
The home side were inches away from making the breakthrough on 16 minutes when Hendy hit a post from close range and Ben Whitehead sent a looping header over the crossbar moments later.
Nick McCootie fired wide midway through the first half and Irish saved low from Whitehead, before Weston finally got their noses in front on 32 minutes as Hendy saw his curling shot deflected in off Owen Howe.
Taunton had penalty appeals turned down before the interval and Ed Palmer blazed a free-kick over the crossbar six minutes after the restart.
Isaac Pearce was too high on 54 minutes, with Jake Mawford firing just wide from the edge of the box with 15 minutes left.
Hendy doubled the advantage five minutes from time, though, and it proved decisive as Andrew Neal netted an 89th-minute penalty for Taunton.
After receiving the trophy and celebrating, Weston will now hope to end their preparations well against City, with Friday's match kicking off at 7.45pm.
They begin life in the Southern League, following relegation from National League South last term, against Hendon on August 10 and then travel to Merthyr Town three days later.
Weston: Maher, Mawford, Laird, Byrne, Madden, Tindle, McCootie, Hendy, Howe, Whitehead, Pearce. Subs: Parsons, Welch, Llewellyn, Malshanskyj, Purnell.
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