Slimbridge 1 Weston 2: Super-sub Kempster nets Seagulls late winner

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 August 2020

Ryan Jones in action for Weston during their 2-1 victory over Slimbridge at Thornhill Park. Picture: Josh Thomas

Ryan Jones in action for Weston during their 2-1 victory over Slimbridge at Thornhill Park. Picture: Josh Thomas


Bailey Kempster came off the bench to score in the 87th-minute to help Weston pick up their first victory in three pre-season friendlies in a dogged affair at Slimbridge.

The Academy star picked up a lose ball before rounding Lewis Adams to tap the ball into the empty net.

Mike Symons had earlier teed up Matt Jones to score his first goal for the club just before half-time, following his signing from Hungerford Town, despite his effort looked to be going wide and deflected into his own net by Ben Deakin.

Danny King had looked to have given the Swans a share of the spoils after a fine solo effort with 15 minutes left before Kempster’s heroics.

Seagulls manager Scott Bartlett mixed youth with experience as he made seven changes from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Clevedon Town with only Luke Purnell, Jacob Jagger-Cane, Matt Jones and Mike Symons all keeping their places as Jack Goodall, Ryan Jones, Aaron Parsons, Luc Noble, Sam Hendy, Lloyd Humphries and Ben Griffith all came in.

In front of a strong crowd of 126 fans at Thornhill Park, the hosts came close to opening the scoring following Ronee Hendricks low testing cross which left Will Hawes with the goal gaping at the far post but the ball just eluded the forward and the chance went begging.

Hawes, who scored a hat-trick the last time the two sides last summer, went close again but he could only fire over before Ryan Jones’ in-swinging corner on the right hand side, eluded everyone and looked to nestle in the back of the net before Deakin cleared the ball of the line.

Despite being 18, Ryan Jones showed what a class player he is with direct running down the left channel and his energy to run at the defences with ease is enough to show what a talented player Bartlett has on his hands.

Another player with a lot of talent is former Cardiff City Midfielder Humphries, who already had two shots blocked from distance, saw his third shot from 25-yards-out well held by Adams in the visitors first shot on target after 38 minutes.

Weston would go one better four minutes later after Symons, who used his strength to hold the ball well and create chances for his side throughout the first-half, picked the ball up and played it back to Jones and the winger drove it first-time which flicked off Deakin and nestled in the back of the net at the far post.

Set-pieces seemed to be problems for both sides and following King’s corner, Jacobs could only direct his header just wide of Purnell’s goal.

Moments later Sam Hendy picked upon a poor kick by Adams and drove forward before the midfielder found himself in the box, took aim and fired his shot towards the far corner but Adams palmed away his effort superbly to keep the scoreline down to one goal.

That save would prove crucial as King picked up Slimbridge’s equaliser on 75 minutes after he cut inside and beat three men before rifling home into the bottom left-hand corner to set up a grandstand finish.

With both sides making a number of changes to give players rest and game time, it was Kempster, on for Symons at half-time, who used his fresh legs to pick up on a poor back pass three minutes from time before finding himself one on one with Adams.

And the former Clevedon Town under-18 forward showed great composure to round the teenage goalkeeper before slotting home in front of the travelling supporters to spark jubilant scenes behind the goal.

Weston are back in action on Wednesday at The Optima Stadium when they host a Bristol City XI at 19:30 GMT.

Weston XI: Luke Purnell (C), Jack Goodall, Ryan Jones, (Toby McCallum, 80), Jacob Jagger-Cane, (Scott Laird, 45), Aaron Parsons, Luc Noble, (Sam Avery, 80), Sam Hendy, (Chris Knowles, 80), Lloyd Humphries, (Dayle Grubb, 45), Mike Symons, (Bailey Kempster, 45), Ben Griffith (Will Harvey, 80) and Matt Jones (Kieran Thomas, 45)

Slimbridge XI: Lewis Adams, Ben Deakin, (Harry Purnell, 78), Nick Humphreys, (Jamie Martin, 85), Myron Turner, Christien Turner, Owen Giles, Ronee Hendricks, (Leighton Tuodolo, 72), Dean Turner, (C), (Nick Tilling, 60), Will Hawes, (Rhys Sarson, 50), Danny King (Johan Flo, 79) and Reese Jacobs (Marley Thomas, 72),


Weston: Ben Deakin, 42, OG and Bailey Kempster 87

Slimbridge: Danny King 75

Attendance: 126

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