Late Wilson magic sees Weston through
- Credit: Archant
At the sixth time of asking, Weston were finally victorious in their FA Trophy first round match against Wealdstone on Wednesday.
A hat-trick from in-form Scott Wilson gave the Seagulls a 3-2 win over their north London visitors, in a match played at Paulton Rovers’ Athletic Field ground.
The tie had been due to take place on December 12 but following poor weather and issues with Weston’s Woodspring Stadium pitch, the game was re-arranged five times before finally being played this week.
The fixture almost heralded yet more re-arrangement as it seemed destined for a replay before Wilson sealed Weston’s progress with a last-gasp winner, to set up a trip to Vanarama National side Grimsby on Saturday.
If there was any doubt over Weston’s credentials in front of goal following the departure of 14-goal Bradley Ash to Barnsley, Wilson is working well to dispel it.
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The 23-year-old has seven goals in his last seven games, having struggled to find the net earlier in the season, to give manager Ryan Northmore some breathing space before contemplating Ash’s replacement.
After an unprecedented number of re-arrangements, neither side would have wanted a replay, which would have pushed the victor’s second-round tie to a later date, and Wilson soon set about ensuring there would be a winner on the night.
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Racing in behind the Stones defence, his perfect chip beat visiting keeper Garry Malone before dropping in via the underside of the bar.
He soon had another with his next shot, when Dayle Grubb’s corner was not dealt with by Malone, allowing Wilson to tap in from a couple of yards out.
Weston rarely do things simply, despite their promising form which has seen them unbeaten since November, and Joe McClennan’s spectacular 40-yard volley, which rebounded off a post soon after the second goal, seemed to spark the visitors into life.
With half-time approaching, Bradley Hudson-Odoi was played clean through before slotting past Weston goalkeeper Luke Purnell, and the Stones almost grabbed an equaliser before the break when Elliot Godfrey smashed the ball against the crossbar.
Early into the second half, Wilson nearly had his hat-trick as he shot narrowly wide before Malone tipped over his goal-bound effort, while Grubb was also close to restoring the two-goal lead.
Weston’s profligacy wrote the script for a Wealdstone equaliser, and it soon arrived from Hudson-Odoi from the edge of the box.
The draw was both team’s worst nightmares, but Weston were spared another game in an already packed schedule by another moment of Wilson skill.
Latching on to McClennan’s right-wing cross, the Bristol City youth product rose highest to head home in added time to set-up a second-round tie with Grimsby tomorrow, with kick-off at Blundell Park at 3pm.
The Seagulls will also net £5,000 in prize money for their win.