Seagulls top of the league after goalless draw
- Credit: Archant
Weston-super-Mare sit top of the National League South after four matches as their unbeaten start to the season continued at home to Poole Town tonight (Tuesday).
Poole Town 0
Weston: Purnell, Simpson, Williams, Dowling, Pope, Fortune ©, McClennan (Richards 60), Mawford, McCoulsky (Meechan 83), Grubb, Kington
Subs not used: Barnes, Ingram, Mullings
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Poole: Hutchings, Case, Spetch, Walker, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbidge, Devlin, Wort (Gillespie 63), Roberts, Baggie (Gleeson 68)
Subs not used: Davis, Granger, Rees
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Weston started the match well and enjoyed an extended amount of possession with the club’s top scorer, Shawn McCoulsky, looking lively.
Inside two minutes he won the ball in midfield and made his lightening-quick trademark run down the right-hand flank.
But as the game went on it became more and more scrappy with the only real chance falling to the Seagulls after a quarter of an hour.
Jake Mawford’s header was powerful and accurate and had it not been for the outstanding reactions of visiting keeper Nick Hutchings, the midfielder would have been celebrating.
The chance gave Weston some much-needed confidence and Joe McClennan’s run down the right just minutes later was too good for the Dolphins’ defence but Hutchings was again on high alert.
Weston have played some scintillating passing football in the opening matches of the season and this encounter was no different. Their expansive game troubled Poole and the visitors committed bodies back to try and deal with the high-tempo Seagulls attack.
After 24 minutes Poole Town could – and probably should have – taken the lead. Luke Roberts’ shot from just inside the box flew just wide and Luke Purnell breathed a sigh of relief - along with the Weston faithful behind the goal.
McCoulsky had scored five goals in three games before this match but he almost turned goal provider before the break. He picked out the impressive Jake Mawford but his acrobatic effort sailed agonisingly wide.
The Seagulls were turning on the style as the half came to an end. Steve Devlin carelessly gave the ball away to McCoulsky who found McClennan whose shot again could only go wide of the goal.
Two minutes to go before the break and the Dolphins finally had a chance of their own. Luke Burbidge’s header left Purnell beaten but he happily watched it flash wide.
The opening 45 minutes almost concluded in dramatic fashion. Hutchings made the rash decision to race off his line, which seemed to be a smart decision. But he managed to lose the ball to Mawford who attempted to chip the keeper from 40 yards.
Hutchings’ blushes were saved but it was not far away.
The second half started with the visitors well on top as the Seagulls struggled to come out of the traps. They put the Weston defence under a lot of pressure but they held firm with captain Clayton Fortune clearing everything which came his way.
Eliot Richard’s introduction on the hour gave the Seagulls the spark they needed and his first shot at goal was deflected for a corner.
As the match wore on Weston looked the fitter of the two sides and threatened to snatch a winner late on.
Two last-minute corners put pressure on the visitors and loose balls in the box had the 510-strong crowd on their feet willing it into the back of the net.
However, it was not meant to be and the Seagulls had to settle for the point.
Ebsfleet could only muster a draw at home to Whitehawk which means Weston remain the early pace-setters in the National League South.
The Woodspring Stadium will play host to Dartford on Saturday - who are yet to win a game and sit 17th in the table - as Weston look to extend their lead at the top.
Kick-off is at 3pm.