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Weston-super-Mare v Bracknell Town

Weston-super-Mare 1 - 3 Bracknell Town
14 Mar 2023 - 19:45The Optima Stadium

Weston fell to just a fourth league defeat of the season with a 3-1 loss at home to Bracknell Town.

Bracknell’s Joe Grant had the night’s first opportunity when he drove into the box, but he placed his effort wide of Luke Purnell’s far post. Elis Watts then had a first attempt for the hosts when he got the ball following a neat move, his low shot being held by Michael Eacott. Scott Laird then had a cross-shot kept out by a strong hand from Eacott just inside the area after he rode the challenge of Gary Abisogun following Jason Pope’s delightful through ball.

The visitors were to break the deadlock though when Darryl Sanders broke forward from midfield and slid in Ben Harris, whose shot at goal took a nick off of a sliding Weston defender and beat Purnell at his near post.

Purnell was called into action for the first time during the evening’s encounter when he was forced to push away a low Grant effort at his near post.
The Robins were to double their advantage when a pass in behind allowed Abisogun to get down the right, and his cross into the centre was met by an unmarked Harris six yards out who headed back across Purnell and into the corner for 0-2.

Weston pulled one back five minutes later through, when Jay Murray’s throw found Reuben Reid inside the box. The striker flicked the ball onto Watts, who was brought down inside the area as he looked to work a yard of space. The loose ball rolled perfectly for Olly Mehew, who swept in past the keeper and covering Bracknell defenders for his third goal since joining the club.

Reid had an opportunity to equalise when Sam Avery drove forward from the back and played a pass into the striker, but he fired over the bar from inside the area.

The visitors were to restore their two-goal advantage on the stroke of half-time when Abisogun got the ball on the right and despite the attentions of two Weston markers, he managed to pick out Sanders 12 yards out who swept a shot past Purnell first-time.

In the second half, Weston came out quickly with skipper Dayle Grubb having a shot from 25 yards held by Eacott. Watts fired wide on the half-volley after Avery had knocked a Grubb free-kick down into his path, before the winger curled wide of the far post after Laird had laid a corner back to him following a Bracknell clearance.

James Dodd volleyed over the bar after Grubb’s free-kick into the area had deflected off of the wall, before the midfielder had a shot from 18 yards held low down by Eacott. Substitute Lloyd Humphries then had a 30-yard effort pushed away by Eacott in the Welshman’s first involvement.

Avery headed a Grubb free-kick over at the back post, before Eacott could easily hold a 25-yard free-kick from the skipper. Purnell was then made to work by Sanders from 25 yards, tipping an effort round the post expertly.

Grubb had a low free-kick pushed away by Eacott with Reid putting the rebound wide from six yards, before Humphries headed a cross from fellow substitute Keiran Thomas into Eacott’s arms as the Seagulls looked to find another way through the Bracknell defence but to no avail.

FT: Weston 1-3 Bracknell (Mehew 33 – Harris 16, 28, Sanders 45+1)
Attendance: 793.

Weston XI: Purnell, Murray (Thomas 70), Laird, Jagger Cane, Pope, Avery, Dodd, Mehew (Coppin 84), Grubb (C), Watts (Humphries 70), Reid. Unused substitutes: Williams, Bastin.

MOTM: Luke Purnell.