Younger players shine in successful season

Football generic picture

Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Weston Football Club can look back over the past season with satisfaction after reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup and maintaining their Vanarama South status.

WESTON Football Club can be quietly content with the season just ended. They reached the first round proper of the FA Cup and maintained their membership of the Vanarama Conference South, both excellent results bearing in mind their limited resources.

It was pleasing to see the emergence of the younger players from the successful Academy set-up with Bradley Ash, Syd Camper, Jake Llewellyn, Jake Mawford and Will Sneddon-Coombes all playing their parts against experienced opposition.

Before the league season got under way, Micky Bell was appointed manager, but with the side languishing at the bottom of the table, he was replaced by the club’s director of football, Ryan Northmore who quickly turned things around and at one time were just outside the play-off spot before ending the season in 17th spot.

Weston won 13 games, seven on their travels, six at home, drew five and lost 22, scoring 55 and conceding 86 goals. They recorded doubles over Farnborough, Ebbsfleet and Sutton United.

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Jamie Lucas, came on loan from Bristol Rovers, scored 13 goals, including the club’s only hat-trick, from 19 appearances before being recalled by the Gas, followed by Dayle Grubb with 11.

Another loan signing, Olly Watkins, from Exeter City weighed in with seven. Bradley Ash contributed three, Jacob Cane, Tristan Plummer and Jake Harris scored two each. Single goals were scored by Aaron Brown, Cory Williams, Ryan Bath, Jake Mawford, Jordan Tillson and Olly Barnes.

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The league season kicked off in August with a home defeat to Bishop’s Stortford, followed by an away win at Farnborough. Then came two defeats, to Eastbourne away and home to Gosport Borough. Another away win followed at Staines Town and they finished the month by drawing at home to Hayes and Yeading.

September started with a home draw against Hemel Hempstead, followed by a win over Ebbsfleet. After that they lost to Chelmsford.

October saw losses to Wealdstone, Maidenhead and St Albans. November was another dismal month, with losses against Concord Rangers, Havant and Waterlooville and Boreham Wood.

With the change of manager, December was much brighter, starting with a defeat to Bromley, Weston beat Farnborough, drew with Whitehawk and ended the month by beating Ebbsfleet and Hayes and Yeading.

January was a mixed month, starting with a defeat at Bath City, but then they beat Sutton United and Chelmsford City before losing to Hemel Hempstead.

February began with a draw with Eastbourne Borough, then there were wins over Wealdstone and Sutton United, followed by defeat by Boreham Wood, but they ended the month with a win over Bishop’s Stortford.

March began with a win over Havant and Waterlooville and their biggest win ever over Bath City by 4-2. Unfortunately that was Weston’s last win of the season, as they picked up just one more point in a draw at Gosport Borough. During the rest of March and all of April, they lost to St Albans City, Basingstoke Town, Concord Rangers, Whitehawk, Saines Town, Maidenhead United, Bromley and Basingstoke Town.

Weston were exempted from the FA Cup until the second qualifying round where they were drawn at home to Banbury United of the Premier Division of the Southern League, whom they beat 3-0 with two strikes from Jake Harris and one from Cory Williams.

In the next round Weston travelled to Flackwell Heath of the Hellenic Premier League where they won 4-1, Sam Teale, Tom Jordan and Ryan Bath, with two, the marksmen.

The fourth qualifying round saw Weston travel to Witham Town of the Ryman League where they won a tight game 2-1 thanks to a header by Clayton Fortune and an own goal.

This brought Weston to the first round proper and a home tie against Doncaster Rovers. This brought the BBC television programme Football Focus to the club with presenters Dan Walker and Mark Lawrenson, along with the FA Cup and a security guard. Unfortunately, the game had to be postponed due to continuous rain which made the pitch unplayable.

When the game was played, just under 3,000 fans packed the ground, but Doncaster won 4-1, Weston’s goal coming from loan signing from Bristol City, Liam Monelle.

In the FA Trophy, Weston travelled to Bedford and came away with a scoreless draw. They won the replay 3-2 with two goals from Dayle Grubb and one from Syd Camper.

The next round saw Weston at home to Farnborough, whom they had twice beaten in the league, but this time lost 3-1 with Jake Mawford the scorer.

The Somerset Premier Cup was a big disappointment for Weston as they lost to Bridgwater Town in the second round.

Vanarama Conference South final tame, every team playing 40 games:

W D L Pts

Bromley 23 8 9 77

Boreham Wood 23 6 11 75

Basingstoke 22 7 11 73

Whitehawk 22 6 12 72

Havant & W 21 7 12 70

Gosport Borough 19 10 11 67

Concord Rangers 18 11 11 65

Ebbsfleet United 17 9 14 60

Hemel Hempstead 16 12 12 60

Chelmsford City 17 5 18 56

Eastbourne B 14 13 13 55

Wealdstone 14 12 14 54

St Albans City 16 6 18 54

Bath City 15 8 17 53

Sutton United 13 11 16 50

Bishop’s Stortford 12 10 18 46

WESTON 13 5 22 44

Maidenhead U 10 13 17 43

Hayes & Yeading 11 9 20 42

Farnborough 6 6 26 30

Staines Town 7 4 29 25

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