A late Sam Avery header helped Weston defeat Hayes & Yeading at The Optima with a 1-0 win.
Reuben Reid had the game’s first opportunity when he was found in behind by a defence-splitting Jacob Jagger Cane and after rounding visiting keeper Simon Grant, his shot toward the near post hit the side-netting as the angle narrowed thanks to Hayes players scrambling back. Moses Emmanuel’s first opportunity came when latching onto a Paul Field pass, and his cross-shot toward the top corner hit the side-netting. Taylor Miles then curled wide of the near post from 18 yards after being set by Roger James.
Emmanuel put a shot wide of the near post after bringing down a low Field cross and getting a shot away on the half-turn, before Lloyd Humphries’ dipping strike from 30 yards was easily held comfortably by Grant. Amos Nasha then got his first sight of goal from 18 yards but his strike was plucked out of the air by Purnell.
Purnell was called into his first real save by Emmanuel, the visitors’ No.9 seeing his shot toward the near post being repelled by the Seagulls shot-stopper. Emmanuel then had an effort from inside the area ripple the side-netting after being played in behind by James, before Jason Pope had his own opportunity down the opposite end when fed through by Grubb, but his one-on-one was kept out by the feet of Grant. Adam Liddle had the final shot of the half, but his 25-yard volley cleared the AltoDigital Stand.
In the second half, Sam Avery’s header from a Grubb free-kick was held by Grant after the ball had looped up, before Marlon Jackson fired over at the near post after being played in behind by Pope. Weston came the closest of either team when a Grubb free-kick found Jackson six yards out, and his downward diving header struck the base of the post before Hayes could clear.
Hayes substitute Reece Cole had an opportunity from 30 yards after intercepting a stray Weston pass and after turning his man, his shot toward the bottom corner was just past Purnell’s far post.
The Seagulls got their deserved goal nine minutes before the end when Grubb’s corner found Avery toward the back post, and his downward header deflected off of a Hayes player and into the net despite an away player attempting to clear off the line,
For the rest of the game, Hayes threw everything at the Seagulls but some excellent defensive work from all 11 players on the pitch ground out the win in the end.
FT: Weston 1-0 Hayes & Yeading (Avery 81)
Weston XI: Purnell, Pope, Laird, Jagger Cane, Humphries, Avery, Dodd, Jackson, Grubb (C), Watts (Mehew 64), Reid (Coppin 72). Unused substitutes: Murray, Bastin, Williams.
MOTM: Lloyd Humphries.