Weston returned home empty-handed from their trip to Essex after a 2-0 defeat at second-place Aveley.
Following the midweek game at Dartford, The Seagulls made two changes as Sam Avery and Luke Pearce made it into the starting eleven, with Reuben Reid unavailable through injury and Opi Edwards starting on the bench.
However, Edwards was quickly introduced into the action as Keiran Thomas was forced off with an extremely early injury following an aerial collision.
Once the game had settled down, Weston were moving the ball around nicely on the 3G surface at Parkside. In Weston’s first attack of note, Dayle Grubb played an exquisite reverse ball into the path of Jordan Bastin. The former Tiverton man then slipped the ball into the path of Pearce, but an excellent block from home defender Jalen Jones saw the ball bounce to safety via the top of the crossbar.
The away side showed some more threat by winning a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions, with Grubb going the closest to breaking the deadlock.
More neat approach play ended with James Morton having a shot from 25 yards, but his attempt cleared the bar.
Substitute Edwards was looking sharp, and he made a pacy run with the ball at his feet and he teed up Grubb, but his side-footed effort was cleared from danger.
Although Weston appeared to be enjoying the majority of possession, it was Aveley who took the lead just before the interval. Jones was Weston’s nemesis again as he flicked the ball towards Sydney Ibie, and the Millers’ debutant poked the ball home from close-range.
Half-time: Aveley 1-0 Weston-super-Mare AFC
The start of the second-half saw more good approach play from Weston. Jacob Jagger Cane had The Seagulls’ first attempt of the second-half as his left-footed volley from the edge of the area was on target, but collected safely by Aveley goalkeeper Jonathan North.
The away side continued to attack and forced a succession of corners, although they didn’t produce anything to seriously test the Aveley net.
As in the first-half, Aveley scored again whilst Weston had most of the ball. This time it was Eduino Vaz who got himself on the scoresheet as his left-footed effort curled towards the top right corner of the net, out of the reach of Harry Lee.
Undeterred, Weston continued to attack and Robbie Willmott’s set-piece delivery was met by a forceful header from Lloyd Humphries, but the Welshman was denied as Jason Ring met it with a header of his own to clear it off the line.
Edwards, who had been lively since replacing Thomas, had to be replaced himself as he too went off with an injury. The former Bristol City man was replaced by Rex Mannings.
Almost immediately, the ex-Frome man managed to get in another shot on target, but a home defender blocked the ball and it ricocheted to safety.
Grubb had another attempt safely held by ex-Wealdstone shot-stopper North, while at the other end Bastin made a headed clearance off the line of his own to deny Aveley a third.
As Weston tried desperately to reduce the arrears, Mannings had a header on target from another Bastin cross, but home defender Tom Stephen managed to guide it around the post for yet another corner.
Aveley looked like they had added a third but Millers’ substitute Nana Kyei was somehow thwarted by some courageous defending from the Weston rearguard.
Shortly after, the referee indicated an additional six minutes injury-time but, in truth, neither side really looked like scoring as The Seagulls slipped to defeat.
Full-time: Aveley 2-0 Weston-super-Mare AFC
Weston-super-Mare AFC: Lee, Thomas (Edwards, Mannings), Pope, Avery, Humphries, Bastin, Jagger-Cane, Morton, Willmott, Grubb, Pearce
Unused subs: Purnell, Jackson, Roddy.
MOTM: Robbie Willmott. Another bright attacking display from the new signing.