Super Scott Sees Seagulls Through
When Scott Wilson boarded the team coach following Saturday’s victory at Chelmsford, the striker’s enjoyment of a fine team win was likely tinged with a degree of personal disappointment.
Wilson gave a perfectly passable performance at Melbourne Stadium, but you got the feeling it just wasn’t going his way – near misses and perhaps an element of overthinking, being too cute in front of goal.
Fast-forward four days and Weston’s number nine is toasting a match-winning hat-trick, crystalized with a thumping added-time header that earned a dramatic 3-2 victory over Wealdstone, booking the Seagulls in for a weekend on the seaside as they face Grimsby Town in the second round of the FA Trophy.
Wilson opened the scoring on 17 minutes, bursting in behind and speeding away from the Stones’ defence before finishing with a delicious chip via the underside of the bar.
The 23-year-old striker then doubled the Seagulls’ advantage six minutes later, profiting from a limp flap at Dayle Grubb’s corner by Stones’ keeper Garry Malone to bundle home from under the crossbar, capping a dominant opening half hour for the ‘home’ side – the tie being played at Paulton Rovers due to the drainage issues with the Woodspring Stadium playing surface.
A third almost followed when Joe McClennan sent an audacious volley towards goal from 40 yards on the right flank, only for it to agonisingly rebound off the far post with Malone rooted.
Wealdstone grabbed a foothold in the game just prior to the interval when Bradley Hudson-Odoi raced through on goal and coolly slotted past Luke Purnell.
Moments later, Elliot Godfrey struck the crossbar from the perimeter of the penalty area with the visitors camped in the Weston half in search of an equaliser as the game reached the interval.
Emerging from half time, with persistent rain hammering the playing surface, the Seagulls couldn’t convert a number of chances to clinch a berth in the next round.
Wilson put wide when through on goal and Grubb hit over when well placed in the penalty area, before the Weston goalscorer had a cracking effort from distance tipped onto the bar by Malone with 20 minutes remaining.
And after hard slog in awful conditions as the game drew nearer to its conclusion, it was Hudson-Odoi who levelled for Wealdstone with 16 minutes to play, turning and smashing into the net from 18 yards, with Purnell a mere bystander.
With the tie being played over a month after the original planned date, the prospect of a replay, and a potential Tuesday night trek to the North-East, seemed less than ideal for both sides and the endeavour for a conclusion was evident.
And as the light from the fourth official’s board flashed a glowing ‘3’ amidst the rain on the 90 minute mark, the relentless McClennan chased down the right and whipped a wicked cross for Wilson at the front post, who leapt uncontested to send a bullet header into the top corner before wheeling away in jubilation to celebrate with the elated Seagulls supporters.
It sealed a magnificent hat-trick, and also the tie with referee Robert Massey-Ellis bringing proceedings to a close soon after.
The striker’s effort and performance in Essex on Saturday can’t be questioned, it just wasn’t his day in front of goal. But if one thing’s for sure, this night solely belonged to Scott Wilson.
Final Score: Weston-super-Mare AFC 3-2 Wealdstone FC
Goals: Weston (Wilson 17, 23, 90); Wealdstone (Hudson-Odoi 42, 74).
Weston XI: Purnell, Withey (Mawford 76), Barnes, Cane, Keary, Fortune, McClennan, Plummer (Pope 57), Wilson, Grubb (c), Byrne.
Substitutes Not Used: Llewellyn, Edge, Wring.
Man of the Match: Scott Wilson – Rampant performance from the swift striker. A constant threat in behind, Wilson scored a classy opener, displayed a poacher’s instinct for the second, before burying a third with his head. Complete performance for a centre-forward.
The Seagulls now face a near 500 mile round trip to take on Grimsby Town on Saturday, with kick-off set for 3:00pm at Blundell Park.
Match Report written by Sam Frost