In their penultimate pre-season friendly, Weston made light work of the visitors Cheltenham Town in a 4 – 1 victory, where the Seagulls were unlucky to not get more.
Cheltenham were the side to start off strong, George Lloyd cutting inside and deceiving Jake Lee but his effort towards Luke Purnell’s near post was palmed away by the keeper with a strong hand. Jake Lee was the first to go close for Weston, but his header from a short corner didn’t trouble the goalkeeper and flew harmlessly over.
In their first dangerous counter of the day, captain Jacob Cane did well to win the ball. His pass into the channel for Gethyn Hill was picked up by the front man, and he found Jarrad Welch inside. The midfielder had his first effort blocked, and his volley on his weaker left foot was harmlessly wide of the target from outside the area. Lloyd went close again, but his chest down and acrobatic overhead kick was narrowly wide of Purnell’s goal.
Tom Smith drove forward from halfway after picking up the ball, reaching the edge of the area, yet his shot flew wide of the post.
Weston broke the deadlock when Matt Bower brought down Welch in the area, and it was down to Jamie Lucas to step up to the spot. Placing the ball down on the spot, Lucas calmly sent Cheltenham keeper Rhys Lovett the wrong way to make it 1 – 0 Weston.
Smith was given the ball from a throw in and he made light work of Cane by outmuscling him. He pulled the ball back to Archie Brennan, who tried his luck from the edge of the area but Purnell got down quickly to turn the ball round the post.
Weston were awarded a second penalty when Hill won the ball from a Cheltenham midfielder and drove forward. Committing his man, Hill skipped round him inside the box but was fouled by Robins captain Jordan Forster. Dusting himself off, Hill stepped up to take the spot-kick but for the second time in pre-season, Hill missed his penalty as he smacked it off the bar.
Weston doubled their advantage thanks to Cane’s harassing. Winning the ball for himself momentarily, the loose ball came to the right-back trialist. He fed a beautiful ball down the line to Cane, who had acres of space to run into. Picking his head up, the skipper found Hill arriving at the back post, who tapped into an empty net.
A third was to come for the Seagulls just before half-time, as Jason Pope’s burst forward from the back culminated in him being tripped upon approach to the box. No.10 Welch stepped up to the dead ball situation, and with excellent accuracy, he curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner of Lovett’s corner.
After the interval, Brennan went close from Lloyd’s cross, but he glanced his header wide of the target.
Lucas got the fourth for Weston, through some poor Cheltenham defending. Expecting too much time on the ball, a Cheltenham midfielder was robbed of possession by Welch, who burst forward and fed Lucas. Cutting onto his left foot, Lucas stuck the ball past Lovett to make it 4 – 0 Weston.
Cheltenham pulled one back through one of their scholars with 25 minutes to go. A corner toward the back post found Fin Clift, who nodded home with his first touch to give the Robins a consolation goal.
Aaron Basford tested Purnell from the edge of the area, and Ben Swallow was unlucky not to get a goal as he cut inside after an exquisite ball forward from Cane, but his deflected effort was tipped just wide by Lovett.
FT: Weston 4 – 1 Cheltenham (Lucas pen 17,54, Hill 34, Welch 42 – Clift 65)
Weston XI: Purnell (Kingston 84), Trialist A (Goodall 84), Trialist B (Trialist F 84), Cane (C) (Trialist D 63), Pope (Morris-Edwards 84), Lee, Swallow, Diallo (Llewellyn 76), Lucas (Trialist E 81), Welch, Hill (Trialist C 54).
MOTM: Jacob Cane – In a tight call for MOTM with his other two midfield compatriots in the form of Diallo and Welch, Cane just about sneaks MOTM for his constant running in midfield, breaking up the opposition attacks and starting them for Weston. However, the whole Seagulls team played well.