Away to Hayes & Yeading in the playoff semi-final, the hosts came out on top in an end-to-end encounter with a 2-1 victory as Weston’s season comes to an end.
Weston started the brightest when Keiran Thomas’ 25-yard shot was fired out of the ground by the Seagulls skipper, before a Dayle Grubb free-kick from a similar distance was just past the post. Scott Laird then had an chance from a Grubb free-kick but he couldn’t quite get his head over the delivery, the ball skimming off his forehead and wide of the post.
In Hayes’ first real attack of the game, they broke the deadlock when Moses Emmanuel’s tricky feet saw him twist and turn on the edge of the Weston area. He laid the ball off to Omar Rowe, whose low side-footed shot across Max Harris struck the inside of the post and rolled in for 1-0.
A driving run from Amos Nasha saw him power into the Weston box and force a save from Harris, while down at the other end Jordan Bastin’s low cross was helped wide from six yards by the outside of Nick McCootie’s foot on the stretch.
That was to be the final action of the first half, and Hayes were to get a decisive second goal ten minutes into the second period. A quick throw released Francis Amartey, who managed to beat Jason Pope for pace down the left. He looked up and found Emmanuel six yards from goal who had escaped the attention of his Weston markers, and he dove to head in Amartey’s delivery for 2-0.
Weston kept plugging away and Bastin had an opportunity from Grubb’s ball over the defence, cutting onto his left foot 18 yards out and driving a sweet strike narrowly wide of the target. Jordan Norville-Williams had a chance for Hayes but his shot towards Harris’ near post was tipped wide by the keeper, before Amartey could have put the game to bed when being slipped through by Emmanuel but his shot toward the bottom corner was just wide.
The Seagulls got a consolation goal when Grubb got the ball 25 yards from goal and found substitute Sonny Cox. An excellent first touch allowed him to get away from Hayes defenders Liam McDevitt and Benedict Frempah to drive one-on-one, and he drove the ball low past Ravan Constable to get themselves back in the tie with minutes remaining.
The Seagulls chucked everything at Hayes and even put Sam Avery on as an emergency striker, but Hayes dug deep and were able to withstand the Weston pressure while winding down the clock to ensure they made the Playoff final against Farnborough on Bank Holiday Monday.
FT: Hayes & Yeading 2-1 Weston (Rowe 19, Emmanuel 55 – Cox 88)
Weston XI: Harris, Keiran Thomas (C), Laird, Humphries (Avery 90+1), Pope, Josh Thomas, McCootie (Cox 75), Dodd (Watts 68), Jackson, Grubb, Bastin. Unused substitutes: Purnell, Murray.
MOTM: Jordan Bastin.