Report by Tom Wright , Reporter
Thursday, May 10, 2012
WESTON boss Craig Laird praised his players after they retained the Somerset Premier Cup by winning at local rivals Clevedon Town.
The Seagulls won Tuesday’s re-arranged match 2-1 and ensured silverware was taken back to the Woodspring Stadium for the second season in a row.
Weston started positively taking the game to Clevedon in a match Laird warned his players was a ‘potential banana-skin’ with the two sides separated by two divisions in the league pyramid.
They were rewarded with two early corners and the second forced Town’s keeper Jason Mellor into a good save from Dayle Grubb’s low drive.
After 10 minutes Clevedon’s captain was again called into action to deny Nat Pepperell, but he was not to be denied a cup final goal.
Just seven minutes later the deadlock was broken when Sahr Kabba was denied from close range by Mellor but Pepperell was on hand to score in front of jubilant Weston supporters.
Weston continued to carve out chances and doubled their lead on 36 minutes when man-of-the-match Kabba seized on a loose ball in the penalty area and acrobatically fired past Mellor.
Clevedon came out strongly in the second half but only had a stoppage-time consolation from Henry Muggeridge to show for their efforts.
And Laird paid tribute to the large number of fans who travelled in support of his side and made up a large proportion of the 554-strong crowd. He said: “We had great support during the game and after. Everyone behaved themselves which is a credit to the club.”
With several first-team players out of action, four members of the under-19 side were drafted into the squad and impressed their manager.
Laird said: “It is a great experience to be in a cup final at 19 and it will put them in great stead for the future.”
He said Weston were delighted to round of a successful season with more cup success after a 13th place finish in the Blue Square Premier South.
Promising a busy summer of transfer activity, he added: “It is great to cement ourselves in the the Blue Square South. We are all geared up towards moving the club forward.
“But we must be careful not to put the club at risk. We have a debt-free club but we cannot jeopardise ourselves.”