The Seagulls fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hampton and Richmond Borough, despite taking an early lead.
The first 10 minutes were entertaining, both sides showing early signs of promise with the best chance falling to Weston; a great passing move orchestrated by captain Jacob Cane, who found Kenan Dunnwald on the inside left channel in the opposition’s box, the German breezed past his man and lashed a left-footed effort into the side netting.
On the 13th minute, Mohammed Baghdadi announced his arrival with a potential goal of the season contender. He picked up the ball on the right wing, producing a deft touch past his marker and rocketing a shot into the top left corner from 25 yards out to put the travelling side 0 – 1 up.
For the next 20 minutes or so the game slowed considerably, both sides seeming to struggle with the boggy pitch, neither of the teams able to maintain possession for any extended period of time.
Due to the difficult pitch, its no surprise that the Beavers’ equaliser came from a goal kick, punted over the back four to Bradley Hudson-Odoi, who twisted and turned past Ash Harper on the left wing to roll the ball past Luke Purnell, bringing the score level, at 1 – 1.
Just before half time, on the 41st minute, Kington received a hospital pass on the halfway line, dispossessed with the home side immediately counter-attacking with real venom; Shaun Jeffers broke past the defence and beat Purnell in the one-on-one, slotting the ball in the bottom corner to put the home side 2 – 1 up.
That late goal meant Hampton and Richmond went into the break with a 2-1 lead, perhaps against the run of play but Weston had an uphill battle in the second half.
The opening stages of the second half consisted of Jason Pope feeding Cane in midfield, he then broke through the lines and got the ball out wide to Ash Harper and Danny Greenslade however they were unable to make anything of the multiple crosses into the box and eventually paid the price for not taking advantage of the pressure.
Again it was Hudson-Odoi who struck for the Beavers, who picked the ball up on the left side, shimmied past the Weston defenders and lashed a tame shot goalwards, instead of the ball bouncing up into Purnell’s arms, it died in the mud and skimmed through the keeper’s hands and into the back of the net in what was an uncharacteristic error from the Seagulls ever-present.
The visitors only managed to create a couple more clear cut chances, in the 85th minute Greenslade broke to the byline before cutting back to Jarrad Welch, who’s shot was brilliantly saved by Will Henry and Welch’s second effort was well saved too. Shortly after, Cane found Gethyn Hill on the edge of the box, who curled a shot towards the top right corner, but somehow the keeper again produced a brilliant save and tipped it over the bar.
In the last minute the home side managed to work their way through on goal, round Purnell, luckily Pope had positioned himself brilliantly to clear the shot off the line, in what was effectively the last act of the game.
The full time score was 3 – 1 in what was a disappointing result for the Seagulls, despite a brilliant goal from debutant Mohammed Baghdadi.
FT: Hampton and Richmond Borough 3 – 1 Weston-super-Mare A.F.C (Baghdadi, Hudson-Odoi x2, Jeffers)
Weston XI: Purnell, Harper (Parsons 72), Lee, Pope, Greenslade, Cane (C), Welch, Kington (Scott 82), Baghdadi, Dunnwald (Plummer 72), Hill.
MOTM: Mohammed Baghdadi – Despite the loss it was a good debut for the Bristol Rovers loanee, scoring a stunning goal, showing promise with good feet and forward passing throughout.