Cody Cooke’s 50th goal in City colours was enough to see the Romans beat Weston Super Mare at the Optima Stadium this evening. Fittingly he struck on 50 minutes, lifting the ball over ex-City keeper Max Harris from a cross by Ewan Clark, and, despite late pressure from the Seagulls, it was enough to secure City’s first win of 2024.
The hosts shaded a low-key first-half, not helped by a strong wind blowing across the ground and, given the recent weather, an unsurprisingly heavy playing surface. Josey Casa-Grande easily dealt with long range shots from Reid and Humphries, whilst Kieran Parselle produced a great block to deny Reid the best opening of the half. City were largely reduced to half-chances, Dan Hayfield looping an early header over the bar and Clark seeing his well-struck shot charged down.
City fashioned the first chance of the second half, but Scott Wilson couldn’t keep his shot down. However, a minute later City were in front thanks to Cooke. Weston responded well to the blow and won a series of corners that City defended strongly. Just past the hour mark Bastin’s shot flew narrowly wide of the far post as Weston continued to press, but City were looking solid at the back and a threat on the break. With nine minutes left a scramble in the City box almost ended with Reid poking home but that turned out to be the last real scare for the Romans. Weston brought on former City striker Alex Fletcher in the closing stages, to a warm reception from both sets of supporters, but he couldn’t spur his new side to any late drama and deny City a hard-fought three points.