Weston AFC fall to first away defeat of pre-season at Slimbridge

Jordan Bastin, featuring for Weston AFC against Weymouth, scored the Seagulls only goal at Slimbridge.

Jordan Bastin, in action for Weston AFC against Weymouth, scored the Seagulls only goal at Slimbridge. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Weston AFC fell to a 2-1 defeat in their last pre-season friendly on the road at Slimbridge on Tuesday.

A Luke Purnell own goal and Jacob Geddes effort either side of the half put the Swans in control at Thornhill Park.

Jordan Bastin halved the deficit with a fine strike inside the box but the day belonged to Southern League Division One side.

Manager Scott Bartlett named a strong starting line-up for Weston’s trip to Gloucestershire with places in the XI after illness and injury for Reuben Reid, Jacob Jagger-Cane and Jason Pope.

There was also a place on the bench for Max Harris after rejoining the club on a season-long loan deal from Cheltenham Town.

The visitors stared brightly but Bastin’s teasing cross couldn’t be turned home by Marlon Jackson or Jack Holmes, before the latter saw his effort from 18 yards well held by Dan Troke.

Captain Keiran Thomas then saw his header kept out by Troke as Weston cranked up the pressure.

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Purnell did well to keep out Will Hawe’s deflected free-kick before Reid nearly marked his 34th birthday with his first goal for the club. The summer signing picked up Pope’s pass and fired across goal but his effort struck the post and away to safety.

Dylan Lewis saw his drive narrowly go wide before Bastin shot straight at Troke. 

Troke then pushed Scott Laird’s well-taken free-kick round the post and moments later Hawe should have scored but sent his volley wide when he was played in by Marley Thomas.

Slimbridge did open the scoring in the 40th minute, though, in fortunate circumstances as Laird’s ball back to Purnell looks harmless but it rolled away from the goalkeeper, as he tried to control it, and ended up in the back of the net.

It looked like the Seagulls had levelled in their very next attack as Dodd’s pass found Jackson who played the ball to Bastin to race in behind and poke the ball home, but celebrations were short lived as the linesman’s flag was raised.

Bartlett made three changes at half-time introducing Elis Watts, Jay Murray and Harris, who made his second debut after signing from the Robins.

Harris made 33 appearances across all competitions and conceded just 31 goals while guarding the Weston net, keeping 12 clean sheets last season.

But he would have to pick the ball out of his net with his first real contribution three minutes after the break. 

Thomas’ dangerous corner found Geddes six yards out, and his downward header bounced past Harris and over the line despite the best attempts of Jagger-Cane to keep it out.

But Weston got themselves on the scoresheet seven minutes later when Reid poked the ball across the box into the path of Bastin to fire a low effort through the legs of Troke.

But that was the end of the scoring and proceedings and Weston AFC have one final friendly against Yeovil at The Optima Stadium today (Saturday) before the start of the Southern Premier South season a week later at Bracknell Town.

Weston: Purnell (Harris 46), Thomas (Murray 46), Laird (Moulden 71), Dodd, Pope, Humphries, Jagger-Cane, Jackson (Griffith 61), Holmes (Watts 46), Bastin (Kempster 71), Reid (Grubb 75).

Attendance: 155.