Tough friendlies ‘important’ for Weston-super-Mare
PUBLISHED: 12:49 20 July 2016 | UPDATED: 12:58 20 July 2016
Weston Football Club hosted two ‘important’ friendlies over the past week, which manager Ryan Northmore said provided ‘plenty of positives.’
A bumper crowd turned up to watch Weston take on newly-promoted Bristol Rovers - who will play in League One next season - under the floodlights.
On Saturday, the test got even tougher as the team welcomed Championship side Barnsley to the Woodspring stadium.
Rovers ran out 3-1 winners, with Eliot Richards grabbing the Seagulls’ goal, while Barnsley downed Weston 6-0.
Despite the seemingly heavy scorelines, Weston held their own against far superior opposition.
On Saturday, a superb defensive display - not to mention a brilliant goalkeeping performance from Luke Purnell - meant the score was 0-0 at half time.
However, a series of substitutions meant the floodgates opened. Northmore told the Mercury while the result was hard to take, the team gained a lot of fitness as a result of the match.
He said: “I thought first half our shape was great and I thought we defended really well. It was a pretty even contest but the second half was a different story.
“Overall, it was a lot of fitness. People are fighting for spots and I have to experiment. Luke was fantastic. I laid the gauntlet down to him a little bit and the early signs are that he is starting to do it.
“We have to keep things in perspective, we are playing a side who will be stepping out in the Championship. We have to take the positives.”
Weston now turn their attention to more realistic opposition as they travel to Mangotsfield United on Friday. However, the club have announced a further friendly against Newport County, which will pose another test against a Football League side.
Newport will travel to the Woodspring stadium on Tuesday with a 7:45pm kick off.
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