Weston’s Bartlett looks ahead to Somerset Cup tie with Taunton Town
PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:40 25 February 2020
Weston manager Scott Bartlett has called tonight’s match with Taunton Town in the quarter-final of the Somerset Premier Cup “important” as The Seagulls look to become the first side since Bath City in 1986 to win three consecutive finals.
Goals from Jake Lee, Jarrad Welch and a 92nd-minute winner from Tristan Plummer helped the Seagulls come from 2-0 down to beat Paulton Town in the 2018 final, before a double from Sam Hendy ensured last year's success.
"We look forward to every game, this one is important to us and our supporters in many ways," said Bartlett.
"We approach each one in this competition differently, depending on the moment we find ourselves in.
"Right now, it gives us a chance to look at the whole squad, some of the younger players that deserve a chance, if we play them they will benefit from the experience and it also gives us the opportunity to get some minutes into legs that need it after the break in games.
"We want to win, of course, but we also need to go as strong and fit as possible on Saturday v Met Police to maintain our good run of form in the league."
Tonight's tie has been moved to the home of Keynsham Town, with the Optima Stadium pitch failing an inspection, but Weston will go into the match full of confidence after recording three successive victories.
Bartlett added: "We are happy with the form, but it's what we expect. What I am most pleased about is how we have performed and how fit and sharp we look after the constant postponement of games.
"I think there have been three times in our schedule when we could have put some pressure on the teams above us where games have been postponed which would have given us more momentum but it is what it is and we are still in with a chance of being successful this season."
BBartlett praised Weston's weekend win at Dorchester Town, calling it a 'professional performance.'
"We were good and every player played their part. I thought we worked hard, we were focused and did well in and out of possession. They scored a wonder goal but I was delighted with our reaction to that," he said.
"We saw the game out professionally with a number of young players in the side at the end so that was pleasing."
Bartlett had particular praise for Chris Knowles, who scored his second goal for the club after signing from Gloucester City.
"Knowlesy isn't known for his goalscoring but the way we play and build attacks allows him to get in some advanced positions, his goal was a carbon copy of the one he scored at Beaconsfield last month," he added.
"He is a good at everything he does and will never dip below a seven out of 10.
"He has been a brilliant addition to our club as a player and a person. We now have a core senior element in our dressing room and a group of talented, enthusiastic youngsters.
"We knew it would take some time to build but there is a tinge of regret that we didn't have this squad a bit earlier in the campaign."
However, Saturday's game was marked with tragedy after the death of fan Dan Huxtable and Bartlett was quick to point out the impact that each and every fan has had at the club since coming back for his second spell last summer.
"I think as the season goes on, as management staff and players there become more opportunity to engage with more supporters," he said.
"As the manager of the football club I think it's important to send our condolences when sad news greets us because ultimately we all want the same thing and anyone that gives up their time and money to support the players means a lot and is very much appreciated."