Back-to-back wins reignite promotion push

Weston AFC v Welling.

Weston AFC v Welling. - Credit: Archant

WESTON beat table-toppers Welling United 2-0, as the club reignited its promotion bid in fine style.

The Seagulls followed Saturday’s home win with a 2-1 victory at Truro City on Tuesday night.

The six points move Weston up to sixth spot, just a point outside the play-offs, with a dozen games to go.

Boss Craig Laird said it was fantastic to be discussing promotion rather than relegation at this late stage and called for more fans to come down and watch.

He said: “The teams above us have more to lose than us. We aren’t expected to win the league like them, and they have bigger budgets. We need to keep our heads down and keep plugging away.”

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Weston started the brighter against Welling with former Southampton striker Kayne McLaggon almost scoring inside seven minutes, but he narrowly steered winger Ross Stearn’s cross wide.

Stearn should have opened the scoring himself half an hour later but fired wide from the penalty spot after being tripped by Welling’s Joe Healy.

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Weston were not to be denied a first-half lead though, as Jamie Laird stabbed home a loose ball during a goalmouth scramble, a minute before the interval.

They continued to press after the break with Dayle Grubb’s shot cleared off the line, although the Seagulls were grateful to Lloyd Irish for several saves to preserve the slender advantage.

Goalscorer Laird received a second yellow card with 10 minutes to go but Weston doubled their advantage in added time following a swift counter attack.

Substitute Chas Hemmings fed Grubb, whose pace took him beyond the defenders, and he slotted home to seal victory.

Blue Square South’s bottom club Truro proved equally tough opponents on Tuesday night, despite sitting more than 20 points adrift of safety.

Nabi Diallo came into the starting line-up and he touched home Ashley Kington’s free-kick to hand Weston a fourth minute lead. Both sides wasted chances before Weston doubled their advantage eight minutes into the second half.

Truro’s goalkeeper Luke Payne could only stand and admire as Kane Ingram scored a superb 25-yard strike on the turn.

The home side were rewarded with a late consolation from former Fulham and Bristol Rovers veteran Barry Hayles, but Weston held on to seal their second victory in three days.

Laird said: “Both games were really tough. We felt the Truro game was going to be as tough as the Welling game as they had nothing to lose and was a potential banana skin.

“For 85 minutes we controlled the game, were very professional, and perhaps could have had a third.”

Weston travel to Salisbury City on Saturday, who went top following Welling’s defeat at the weekend. Salisbury are unbeaten at home this season.

The Seagulls then welcome fourth-place Chelmsford City on Tuesday evening at 7.45pm.

But the club will be without Nat Pepperell who has decided to leave the club for personal reasons, after scoring 20 goals in 85 games for the Seagulls.

Laird said he was a ‘wonderful servant’ for the club and expressed his hope that he will rejoin the club next season once off-the-field issues have been resolved.

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