WILSON DOUBLE POWERS SEAGULLS TO VICTORY
A first-half brace from Scott Wilson was enough to secure three vital points for Weston-super-Mare against promotion-chasing Dartford in a game that was marred by a mass brawl at the back end of the first period.
After consulting with his assistants, referee Daniel Leach dismissed Darts’ skipper Elliot Bradbrook for his role in the fracas, in addition to a smattering of bookings handed out to players on both sides.
Wilson opened the scoring in the 7th minute, then doubled his tally on the half hour. George Sykes narrowed the deficit in first-half stoppage time, but scoreline went unchanged in
the second half, halting a run of three consecutive defeats for the Somerset-side.
The first goal came from the relentless efforts of Tristan Plummer, harassing Ronnie Vint on the halfway line to win possession. The forward charged into the penalty area before squaring for his striking partner to finish off from under the crossbar.
If Wilson’s first came from the endeavour of a teammate, the second was a marvellous moment of individual excellence. Jamie Edge collected the ball from Luke Purnell before sending a 60-yard Scholes-esque long pass through to his number nine, eluding the clearing efforts of Callum McNaughton. With his marker overcommitted, Wilson profited, bamboozling Tom Gardiner with his quick feet as he drifted towards goal. Shifting onto his right in a central position, Wilson launched into the top corner from 16 yards.
Almost immediately from the restart, tempers flared as the match descended into chaos after Joe McClennan took exception to a challenge from Danny Harris. It took several minutes for the incident to subside and, after lengthy consultation, the referee and his assistants concluded their inquisition, deeming Bradbrook the primary culprit, brandishing a red card. The man in the middle subsequently issued the yellow variety to Plummer and McClennan. Following the game, Weston boss Ryan Northmore labelled the scrap as “a complete overreaction.”
As the game approached the interval it seemed Weston were composed and in control, but corner deep
into stoppage time provided the visitors with a route back into the game. The Seagulls couldn’t get it clear of danger, allowing Ryan Hayes to carry towards goal. The midfielder’s mishit shot fell kindly for Andy Pugh whose effort was blocked by Luke Purnell, but Sykes was on hand to drill in the follow-up.
Weston’s control of play dissipated in the second half. The visitors displayed their playoff credentials, leaving those on the terraces questioning which side had the extra man as Dartford peppered the Seagulls’ penalty area.
It was nervy viewing for the home support as the Kent-based outfit had multiple penalty appeals turned away as the game drew to a close. Weston weren’t without joy on the counter-attack however, but they somewhat dithered when it came to putting the game to bed.
With the game heading for the final whistle, substitute Lee Noble’s long-range strike induced a full-length save Purnell who palmed away to safety.
Noble once again brought the best out of the Weston ‘keeper in added time, firing a wicked effort from 25 yards that Purnell tipped over the bar.
The last meaningful event of the game saw yet another threating ball flash across the Seagulls’ box, seeming to catch Jason Pope on the way through, but there was nothing untoward according to the referee, who soon brought the game to a close, ensuring that the table appears a tad rosier for Weston fans ahead of Tuesday’s proverbial ‘six-pointer’ at St Albans City.
Final Score: Weston-super-Mare 2-1 Dartford (Wilson 7, 30; Sykes 45+3)
Weston XI: Purnell, Keary, Edge, Ingram, Pope, Fortune (c), McClennan, Plummer (Davis), Wilson (Withey), Wring (Byrne), Camper.
Substitutes not used: Llewellyn, Grubb.
Man of the match: Match sponsors Howards Motors awarded the accolade to Weston’s goalscorer Scott Wilson, whose brace puts the Seagulls within a point of safety with multiple games in hand.
Match report written by Sam Frost