Two second-half goals from Braintree Town saw them inflict a 2-0 defeat on Weston in Essex.
Jacob Jagger Cane had the game’s first shot, controlling a headed clearance from debutant Robbie Willmott’s free-kick and firing over from 25 yards. Reggie Lambe headed an Aaron Blair cross wide at the back post for the hosts, before Luke Pearce had a shot headed away in front of goal from inside the area following Keiran Thomas’ smart pull-back when getting in down the right. From the second phase of the attack, James Dodd had a flick towards goal straight at Vicente Reyes from Rex Mannings’ low cross.
Gio Critchlow had a low shot from 25 yards skim wide of Harry Lee’s near post, before Lee kept out a Blair header from six yards following Critchlow’s right-wing cross. Willmott then drove over the bar from 25 yards after drifting inside to receive the ball from Mannings.
Lambe fired over from 18 yards when allowed time to turn on the ball, before Willmott tested Reyes with a 20-yard free-kick which was punched over the bar. From Willmott’s resulting corner, Sam Avery nodded wide of the target from six yards. With the final shot of the half, a Ben Wyatt effort drifted wide following Lee’s clearance when coming out of his box to sweep up a long ball.
Braintree had the first opportunity of the second half when Will Davies turned 25 yards out from goal and fired over the bar.
The hosts were to take the lead when a long ball in behind found Blair racing in down the side of the centre-backs and as he bared down on goal, he lashed a shot across Lee into the top corner to break the deadlock.
Braintree kept on coming at the Seagulls, and Lambe tested Lee with a low shot from 25 yards that was pushed away by the Exeter keeper.
Braintree were to get a second goal when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul in the box following a corner, allowing striker Davies the opportunity to step up and dispatch his spot-kick into the bottom corner, sending Lee the wrong way to double the home side’s advantage.
In the final minutes of the game, Thomas headed a corner wide from substitute Opi Edwards’ delivery, before Avery volleyed into Reyes’ gloves from six yards following pinball in the box at a corner. Reuben Reid then had a toepoke from six yards out pushed aside for a corner by Reyes when he met Thomas’ delivery from the right.
FT: Braintree 2-0 Weston (Blair 56, Davies pen 70)
Weston XI: Lee, Roddy (Pope 67), Humphries (C), Avery, Thomas, Mannings (Edwards 67), Jagger Cane, Dodd, Willmott, Reid, Pearce. Unused substitutes: Purnell, Morton, Bastin.
MOTM: Jacob Jagger Cane.