Weston manager Marc McGregor says Seagulls ‘should have won’ after 1-1 draw away at league leaders Chelmsford City

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 11 September 2017

Irnti Rapai in action against Chelmsford City. Picture: Will T Photography.

Irnti Rapai in action against Chelmsford City. Picture: Will T Photography.


New Weston striker Irnti Rapai certainly had a debut to remember for the Seagulls at the weekend as he netted a crucial late equaliser for his new side away at National League South leaders Chelmsford City.

Dayle Grubb on the ball at the weekend. Picture: Will T Photography. Dayle Grubb on the ball at the weekend. Picture: Will T Photography.

Weston travelled to the Melbourne Stadium on the back of an excellent 5-1 win at home to Wealdstone on Tuesday, and it looked like that momentum saw them through as it was a strong performance from Marc McGregor’s side.

But it was not all plain sailing as the Seagulls found themselves a goal behind after just eight minutes.

Chelmsford broke away from a promising Weston attack and goalkeeper Luke Purnell had a moment to forget.

Striker Lee Barnard’s shot was initially saved by the 27-year-old but he then fumbled the ball and could only watch as it rolled over the line.

Marc McGregor. Marc McGregor.

However, the mistake did not affect Weston and Dayle Grubb and Danny Greenslade both had chances to equalise before the first half came to an end.

Chris Dickson did have a good chance for the home side after the break, but his shot could only sail wide.

It wasn’t until the 82nd minute that Weston managed to find that elusive equaliser and Rapail not only scored his first goal in Seagulls colours, but his first goal in England.

Rapai, who is Albanian, spent last season at Olympicos Lavriou and celebrated in style as he tapped in his first goal.

Jake Lee’s long ball found Grubb in space and his neat footwork saw him drive towards the back post and found Rapai who only had to tap the ball in.

And the forward had a chance to seal a dramatic win in added time when Archie Collins played the ball into space.

Sam Beasant was on hand to pal m away the danger but Rapai could only scuff the shot wide.

Manager Marc McGregor said he was actually disappointed his side did not return to North Somerset with all three points.

He said: “It’s a tough place to come, but on the day we deserved to come out and win.

“With a bit of luck we could have scored three or four more than we did.”

Weston are now 18th in the National League South table with nine points from 10 games.

The Seagulls travel to Oxford City on Tuesday night, before they make their way to Bognor Regis Town in the second round qualifying of the FA Cup on Saturday.

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