Weston ready for new season

Weston AFC v Plymouth Argyle

Weston AFC v Plymouth Argyle - Credit: Archant

TWO narrow defeats to league opposition rounded off Weston’s preseason ahead of the start of the club’s Conference South campaign on Saturday.

The Seagulls welcome Bishop’s Stortford this weekend and will be confident of a positive start to the Vanarama Conference South following positive performances against Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City this week.

Both Sky Bet League 2 opponents left the Woodspring Stadium after being heavily tested and new Weston boss Mickey Bell said he is delighted with how his first preseason at the club has gone.

Character was needed on Saturday when Plymouth travelled north to Weston as the visitors scored within the first 40 seconds.

Striker Reuben Reid latched onto a hopeful clearance and beat an exposed Luke Purnell with a cool finish.

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Undeterred, the Seagulls bounced back with both Dayle Grubb and Jake Mawford narrowly off target.

Plymouth continued to cause problems but a mix of good goalkeeping from Purnell and indifferent finishing, kept Weston just a goal behind.

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Alec Fiddes forced a couple of saves early in the second half but Argyle doubled their lead after 66 minutes when Morgan turned the ball home despite strong appeals from Weston for offside.

Fiddes struck the post as Weston pushed on in the final minutes and Bradley Ash grabbed a consolation with a great strike, four minutes from time.

On Tuesday night, Weston lost 1-0 to Exeter with the game following a similar pattern.

The Devon club scored in the first half through Oliver Watkins and held their narrow advantage through to full-time despite Weston coming close on several occasions.

Bell said: “Bar the second half at Cirencester (where Weston lost 2-1), I have been really pleased with the players. They have worked hard, played at a good tempo and played the style of football which we want to see at Weston.”

The Seagulls finished five points ahead of Bishop’s Stortford in the table last season although both fixtures between the clubs were drawn. They then travel to Farnborough Town on Monday night seeking to avenge last year’s 4-0 reversal.

Most bookies have Weston as outsiders for promotion this season but the early fixtures give Bell’s side a chance to put a marker down.

They will be playing in just a 21-team division though, as Sailsbury City’s appeal against expulsion from the league was rejected this week.

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