Weston fly high to progress to next round of cup after victory over Downend rivals

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 December 2019

Weston Ladies moved into the next round of the Bristol Soccer World Cup with a morale boosting home victory over Downend Flyers.

The Seagulls, who have endured a tough start to the season in their new 'Northern' division in the South West Regional League, welcomed Downend to the Optima Stadium on Sunday.

And the team, which has faced many challenges in the last few weeks - including losing key players to other local sides and joint manager Jimmy Darch after he decided to step down from his role - took on a new formation in the tie.

The changes showed as the spectators watched their exceptional passing, covering and overall performance, that was previously known of them. Penning the away side into their own half, Weston finished the first half motivated and in a comfortable position after a double from Ashleigh Richards and a Kira Horsley goal put them 3-0 up.

The second half saw manager Stacie Morrissey give all of her substitutes match time.

The side which recently gained charter standard were also supporting the rainbow laces campaign, which partnered nicely with their main team sponsor 'Proud Bar', and looked content.

But they didn't have the same fire as the first half which allowed Downend to make breaks in a more competitive half.

With only 15 minutes left in the tie, Downend pulled two goals back to leave a very tense conclusion to the match at 3-2.

A draw would have seen the tie go directly go to penalties, but the Seagulls managed to hold onto their lead and secure a place in the quarter-finals of the cup against local rivals Weston Mendip.

Morrissey said: "I was happy with the performance overall, but felt the team lacked discipline and fitness in the second half which gave the opponents a chance to come back. It's something that will be worked on in training."

The player of the match award was shared between Gabby Massey and Maddy Templeman

Weston are back in league action this Sunday at the Optima Stadium against AEK Boco Ladies for their final game of 2019, with the match starting on the 3G pitch at 2pm.

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