Weston-super-Mare in seventh heaven as they thrash Shepton Mallet in Somerset Premier Cup
- Credit: Archant
Weston-super-Mare won their first match in ten games – and their first under caretaker boss Jon Haile – with a convincing 7-0 victory over Shepton Mallet in the Somerset Premier Cup.
The Seagulls got off to the perfect start after three minutes thanks to a Darren Mullings header and it set the tone for the rest of the evening.
After a dull first half, Weston turned on the style after the break with Kane Ingram adding a second, as well as a ten-minute Eliot Richards hat-trick, and late strikes from Jake Mawford and Lewis Powell.
Weston came out strongly and forced an early corner which unsettled the visitors. Mawford latched onto the loose ball and his perfect cross was met by the head of Mullings.
He made no mistake with his finish, which set the Seagulls on their way.
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Shepton did play their part in the match and started to assert themselves as the half wore on but failed to test Luke Purnell in the Seagulls’ goal,
After 23 minutes, the visitors had their first chance of the match after some neat attacking play from Joe Morgan and Tyson Pollard.
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The away side forced a corner but Ashley Willmott could only head the ball wide of the post.
As the match approached the half hour mark, Kane Ingram nearly scored a spectacular goal to double Weston’s advantage.
His neat footwork allowed him to get the ball to his feet and his 20-yard strike sailed just over the bar and Shepton had goalkeeper Jamie Rothwell to thank for keeping the scoreline down.
He made two diving saves from Eliot Richards and Lewis Powell and spurred his team on to breakaway.
Once again the Toolstation Western League side forced a corner and Lewis Matthews’ fantastic header somehow sailed just wide of the post.
While the Seagulls looked largely comfortable for the first half, they were unable to extend their one-goal advantage and took the slender lead into the break.
Stand-in manager Haile has made it clear he intends to win this competition and this was clear to see when the Seagulls came out all guns blazing in the second half.
It took them just five minutes to double their advantage and it was captain Kane Ingram who got the goal.
Some early Weston pressure resulted in a scramble in the box. But Ingram latched onto the ball inside the penalty area and made no mistake with his finish in the bottom corner.
His performance throughout was excellent and he deserved his goal on an evening when he took on the captains’ armband.
The floodgates then opened and Weston quickly added a third. Richards showed some superb individual skill inside the box and finished the move off with a neat finish.
Before long it was 4-0 to the home side it what was their most clinical performance of the season.
Powell took on a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box. His shot was cleared but Richards made no mistake slotting home for his second of the night.
It only took four minutes for Richards to seal his hat trick and ensure his side made it through to the second round of the Somerset Cup.
Weston were putting plenty of pressure on Shepton’s back four and Danny Wring broke free from his marker, but took one too many touches. Richards was then in the right place at the right time and showed his poachers instinct and slid the ball home to put the tie out of sight.
As the match entered the last ten minutes, Shepton did everything they could to get themselves a goal and never gave up.
But the Weston defence stood firm with Purnell in particular looking unbeatable in goal.
The Seagulls then took advantage of Shepton committing bodies forward and broke quickly.
Jake Mawford was next in on the act and he fired home before Powell added a seventh.
Powell had barely started celebrating before the referee blew his whistle and signalled the end of an impressive Weston performance.
They may have come up against a side three divisions below them, but after nine defeats in a row, never has the cliché ‘a win is a win’ been more true for the Seagulls this season.
Weston now have a week off after their early exit from the FA Cup and then face high-flying Ebbsfleet at The Woodspring Stadium on October 8.