In one of the most eagerly-anticipated Somerset derbies in recent years, an in-form Bath made the short journey to the Woodspring Stadium, running out 1-2 winners, in a game where friendships were forgotten and the past was pushed aside in the sense of celebration.
Both sides started with a quick-pressing game, leading to Bath’s first chance just a few minutes in. Billy Murphy floated a free-kick into the box, finding Marvin Morgan unmarked in the six-yard area, who could only side-foot wide despite is seeming to be easier to score.
Moments later, another Murphy set-piece was flicked towards goal by Jack Batten, with Luke Purnell in no man’s land, and with the ball destined for the back of the net, captain Dayle Grubb made an excellent last-ditch clearance off the line.
However, it was Weston who took the lead after seven minutes when Grubb initially lost the ball following a short free-kick. With right-back Jason Pope retrieving it, he delivered a cross toward the far post from just inside the Bath half, finding former Romans loanee Aden Baldwin, who rose highest to power a header into the far corner of the net.
The game lulled for the remainder of the half, coming alive again just before half-time when a cross from the left was poked towards goal by Andy Watkins, but the consistent Weston ‘keeper Purnell scrambled across and palmed it away.
Both teams returned to the pitch for the second half to rapturous applause from both sets of fans. The game turned for the Seagulls just before the hour when Shawn McCoulsky looked to break down the left, brushing with Rollin Menayese. The referee deemed the challenge to be a bookable offence, and the centre-back received his marching orders for his second yellow, following the soft booking in the first half, leaving the Seagulls to continue with just 10 men.
Bath equalised on 68 minutes thanks to an Axel Andresson penalty, awarded to Watkins after he broke into the area and was deemed by the referee to have been brought down by a sliding Jacob Cane.
Bath then stole the winning goal two minutes from time when Watkins nudged the ball through for McCoulsky, who managed to bundle the ball past a commited Purnell despite stumbling in his efforts, with the former Seagull running off to celebrate with the travelling supporters, earning himself an entry in to the referees notebook for doing so.
FT: Weston 1-2 Bath (Baldwin 7-Andresson pen 68, McCoulsky 88)
Weston XI: Purnell, Pope, Greenslade, Humphries, Baldwin (Laird 71), Menayese (S/O 59), Lee, Cane, Ash, Grubb(C), Reid. Unused Substitutes: Chemlal, Hill, Kington, Anderson.
MOTM: Lloyd Humphries