Goals from Jay Malshanskyj and Nick McCootie secured Weston passage through in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round game against Fareham Town.
Weston had a few early chances when Sam Hendy had a shot smothered by keeper Ross Casey, and Isaac Pearce dragged a shot wide from 18 yards before Niall Maher was forced into action down the other end by tipping an inswinging cross over the crossbar.
Joel Randall blazed over at the back post following a driven Jake Mawford cross across the face of goal, and Nick McCootie saw his volley from 18 yards bounce into the ground and go wide of the target after a Fareham clearance rebounded to him. Pearce was next to try his luck after a one-two with Alex Byrne, and he fired over on his left foot from 30 yards.
Hendy curled just wide from the edge of the area after McCootie’s cross was cleared out to him, before the Seagulls took the lead.
Dan Martin rolled the ball into Pearce inside the opposition half, and the attacking midfielder fed McCootie. The striker looked set to score, but his low shot was saved by the foot of Luke Douglas, Fareham’s substitute keeper after Casey had been forced off by injury, and Jay Malshanskyj tapped in from close range for his first Weston goal.
Weston came inches from a second, but Randall’s low cross following a one-two with Pearce from a corner, fell to McCootie six yards out but his shot was scrambled away off the line. Down the other end, Weston captain Greg Tindle was in the way to deflect a Lewis Stcokford effort out for a corner.
In the second half, Dan Martin had an early opportunity but fired over from 25 yards, before Weston scored their second.
Pearce latched onto a loose pass and poked through to McCootie. The striker turned and fed Mawford, who took his time as he looked for a cross. The ball was hung up for McCootie, and he headed into the corner for 2-0.
Weston got a third goal when Martin drove at the backline, and pulled the ball back for McCootie. The striker turned and fired into the corner on the half-turn to seal the win for Weston.
Maher was forced into action when Scott Hamilton fired high and wide from 18 yards, while Stockford’s 18 yard volley was held by Maher low down.
In second half added time, Fareham were reduced to ten men when Gary Austin lunged in late on Weston substitute Jarrad Welch inside the area, and recieved his marching orders from referee Oliver Spender.
FT: Weston 3-0 Fareham (Malshanskyj 38, McCootie 55, 72)
Weston XI: Maher, Mawford, Martin, Byrne, Parsons, Tindle (C), Randall (Jones 76), Hendy (Llewellyn 79), McCootie, Malshanskyj, Pearce (Welch 72). Unused substitutes: Madden, Davies, Goodall, Callum Plaistow.
MOTM: Dan Martin