Weston boss Bartlett relishing FA Cup tie against Merthyr
PUBLISHED: 14:18 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:18 20 September 2019
FA Cup action returns to Weston on Saturday as Weston face Merthyr Town at The Optima Stadium.
The Seagulls and the Martyrs face off in the second qualifying round, three wins from a coveted spot in the first round proper.
The sides met in the Southern League Premier South in the first week of the season, when Scott Laird's penalty deep into added time rescued a 1-1 draw for Weston.
Manager Scott Bartlett is expecting another tough test.
He told the Mercury: "It's going to be difficult game. Comparing teams from our league and the league above, there isn't a difference in quality of the games.
"Merthyr are a good team and Gavin Williams is a good coach. They will come here on a lovely surface and enjoy the tie.
"We could have got a better tie, but there are a lot worse ones out there and they will be saying the same."
Bartlett's Seagulls go into the game off the back of an end-to-end 3-3 draw with Salisbury on Tuesday, where they once again mustered character and resolve to secure a point with 10 men.
The manager, despite frustration over relinquishing a two-goal lead against the Whites, was impressed with his charges' resilience.
He said: "It was probably a great game to watch, I enjoyed it. It was two spirited teams with good quality on show, and we looked really dangerous at times.
"We were unlucky to concede the equaliser and the third goal was a deflection, which can happen at times.
"To be fair to the boys, they never know when they're beat. We could have shut up shop and gone 4-4-1, but we kept two up top and it was a good move because the boys are brave and that's what they want to do."
Merthyr sit five places and three points behind fifth-placed Weston in the table and travel to BS24 off the back of a 3-1 defeat to league-leading Chesham United on Saturday.
The Welshmen have former Weston players Gethyn Hill, Ben Swallow, Eliot Richards and Tom Meecham in their ranks, while top scorer Ian Traylor netted against Weston in August and will be gunning for goals again.