Seagulls slip to fourth successive defeat
- Credit: Archant
Weston crashed to their fourth successive defeat at the hands of newly-promoted St Albans.
ST ALBANS CITY 2
WESTON’S miserable loss of form continued as they crashed to their fourth successive Vanarama Conference South defeat at the hands of newly-promoted St Albans.
They had no answer to the visitors’ strong physical challenge and never posed a threat to a side in eighth spot in the table.
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Weston were missing Sam Teale, who was on holiday, while Jake Mawford, Jake Harris and Conor O’Sullivan were missing through injury. Debuts were given to Barbadian international Roger Lee, who came into the back four, and on-loan midfielder Gus Mafuta from Bristol City.
The visitors dominated from the start, forcing three early corners, but Weston almost snatched an unlikely lead on 29 minutes when a huge clearance by keeper Luke Purnell was tipped over his crossbar by his opposite number Joe Welch.
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A minute later Saints were in front when Purnell could only parry a fierce effort by John Frendo and unfortunately Sean Shields was first to the rebound and easily beat the prone keeper.
As Weston tried to get into the game, they forced a couple of unsuccessful corners and on 41 minutes Jamie Lucas might have done better when he was put through unmarked, but Welch, coming off his line, blocked the weak effort.
Saints made the game safe on 43 minutes when a superb cross-field pass by James Comley found Steve Wales unmarked in space and he easily fired past Purnell.
Weston had more of the midfield play in the second half with Jacob Kane, Ryan Bath and substitutes Alec Fiddes and Joe McClennan prominent, but they failed to break down a no-nonsense defence and Welch did not have a save to make.
Goals: Saints, Shields (30), Wales (43).
Shots on target: Weston 2, Saints 5.
Shots off target: Weston 3, Saints 3.
Corners: Weston 4, Saints 5.
Offsides: Weston 6, Saints 1
Free kicks conceded: Weston 13, Saints 9
Referee: Andrew Laver (Portsmouth). A bit hasty with his use of cards.
Bookings: Weston, Cane, Fiddes. Saints, Locke, Comley, Green.
Weston squad: Purnell, Lee, Brown (Fiddes 57), Jordan, Fortune, Mafuta, Cane, Lucas, Bath (Williams 74), Grubb (McClennan 57). Subs (not used): Camper, Ash.
ON Saturday, Weston are back on FA Cup duty with a visit to Ryman Premier League strugglers Witham Town, with £12,500 prize money on offer to the winners who will be in the draw for the first round proper of the competition.
Witham is situated in Essex near Chelmsford and the party will travel on Friday afternoon, staying overnight at Chelmsford.
If a replay is necessary, it will be at the Woodspring Stadium on Tuesday next (7.45pm) with extra time and a penalty shoot-out if needed.