A late Sam Avery header saw Weston claim a hard-fought win away at Tiverton in a 2-1 win.
Nick McCootie had the game’s first chance when he was set through down the middle, beating his man as he cut into the box but seeing his shot pushed away by stand-in keeper Jimmy Weeks, who had replaced the injured Lewis Williams after Tivvy’s normal No.1 had pulled out of the warmup with an injury. Dayle Grubb blazed the rebound over.
Max Harris was called into action for the first time when he was forced to gather a powerful Louis Morison drive from the edge of the box after Jordan Lam’s cutback.
The Seagulls were to take the lead when Josh Thomas, deputising at right-back in place of namesake Keiran, was found on the right-hand side. Cutting across the 18-yard line, his pass set up nicely for Lloyd Humphries on the edge of the box and he caressed a first-time volley past Weeks into the corner to break the deadlock.
Harris was made to hold a Gary Warren header from a Morison free-kick while the Weston No.1 also had to be alert and ensure that he held a
Nelson Iseguan shot close to his body as men closed in around him. Dan Hayfield then dragged a shot wide from outside the area as the hosts looked to get themselves back into the contest.
Tivvy were to get their first chance when a corner into the box fell to Hayfield at the back post and as he took a touch before shaping to shoot, he was brought down by a standing leg in the box. Morison stepped up to take the penalty kick, and he confidently dispatched his penalty to Harris’ left, sending the keeper the wrong way for 1-1.
The second half was a more subdued affair in terms of chances created, the first real chance falling to Scott Laird 20 minutes into the second period. Humphries’ long diagonal ball found the defender in space and after bringing the ball down before subsequently beating his man, his powerful effort from inside the box was tipped over the bar by Weeks for a corner.
Sonny Cox then curled over the bar from inside the area after Laird’s cross had been punched clear to his feet by Weeks, while down the other end Andy Watkins’ chip over Harris didn’t trouble the Weston goal.
With time running out, the feeling that a next goal for either side would be the winner was becoming more apparent. And get the winner Weston did. Substitute Jordan Bastin’s delightful corner was flicked on by Humphries at the near post and arriving right on cue six yards out was Avery, powering a header into the net as he took a knock to the face in the process.
With four additional minutes added on, the Seagulls saw the game out wonderfully as the race for the playoffs ramps up and Tiverton’s five-game winning run ends.
FT: Tiverton 1-2 Weston (Morison pen 37 – Humphries 17, Avery 83)
Weston XI: Harris, Josh Thomas, Laird, Jagger-Cane (Dodd 59), Avery, Pope, McCootie (Jackson 62), Humphries, Cox, Grubb (C), Watts (Bastin 70). Unused substitutes: Purnell, Murray.
MOTM: Lloyd Humphries.