Weston held to a draw with AFC Totton to maintain unbeaten pre-season
PUBLISHED: 17:48 15 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:19 16 August 2020
Weston maintained their unbeaten start to pre-season with a hard earned 1-1 draw with AFC Totton at The Optima Stadium.
Chances came and went for both sides, with Luke Purnell performing admirably between the sticks after making four world class saves from Craig Feeney and Ethan Taylor, before Hisham Kasimu equalised on 52 minutes.
The forward picked up Greg Tindle’s attempted back pass to Purnell before he rounded Weston’s number one and fired home into the empty net to give The Stags a well deserved equaliser.
Weston manager Scott Bartlett named a strong starting 11 with all four new signings involved as Jacob Cane, Dayle Grubb, Matt Jones and Kieran Thomas were all selected in a 4-2-3-1 formation with McCootie leading the attack.
And the home side got off to the perfect start when Tindle’s long pass across the field found McCootie on the far side of the pitch and the forward used his strength to beat of his man before sending his pull-back to Knowles on the edge of the area.
The midfielder then composed himself before his strike towards goal saw his effort deflect past Noice and nestle into the back of the net.
The early goal gave the home side confidence and looked dangerous every time they came forward with Sam Hendy coming close but his weak effort was easily dealt with by Noice.
Goalscorer Knowles was then denied his second of the match after good work by Dayle Grubb but the former Gloucester City man could only shoot straight at Noice, who gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Grubb was the next to go close after dancing his way past a couple of defenders but he saw his shot go just wide at the near post from the edge of the area.
Despite being all over AFC Totton for the first half an hour, the visitors knew that a goal would change the momentum and with that in mind got more into the game.
Purnell did well to save from Craig Feeney not once but twice in quick succession after his first strike from the edge of area was kept out by Weston’s number one before the ball rebounded to Feeney but once again Purnell was in his way as he got up quickly and kept out the former Winchester City man.
Moments later Ethan Taylor was next to go close but Purnell saved well again to make it three world class saves in a couple of minutes.
Symons went close again when he saw his shot cleared off the line, following good work from Grubb, before Hendy couldn’t fire home the rebound after Noice saved his follow up.
Taylor and McCootie went close again but Weston held on to take the slender lead into half-time.
But for all AFC Totton’s possession, Glenn Howes’ side equalised seven minutes into the second as Tindle’s poor backpass was picked up by Kasimu, who rounded Purnell before slotting into the empty net.
Weston manager Scott Bartlett bought on all 10 substitutes to experiment with his side including bringing on Will Harvey, Ben Jones, Ryan Jones and Bailey Kempster, all who scored in last Saturday’s 10-0 win over Banwell.
And after being awarded a free-kick, Scott Laird’s delivery missed everyone but Luc Noble recovered the ball on the far side and his cross found Callum Eastwood in the middle.
Despite bringing the ball down well Eastwood could only send his effort straight at Noice.
Eastwood went close again moments later but his strike from 25-yards was well held by Noice as there was nothing to separate Weston and AFC Totton, as both sides settled for a draw.
Weston: Luke Purnell, Keiran Thomas, (Jack Goodall, 70) Greg Tindle (C), (Aaron Parsons, 55) Sam Avery, (Luc Noble, 70) Matt Jones, (Ben Jones, 70) Jacob Cane, (Callum Eastwood, 70) Chris Knowles, (Ryan Jones, 70) Sam Hendy, (Scott Laird, 55) Nick McCootie, (Bailey Kempster, 70) Mike Symons (Will Harvey, 70) and Dayle Grubb (Ben Griffith, 70)
Weston: Chris Knowles 1
AFC Totton: Hisham Kasimu 52
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