Experimental side fall short
WITH their Blue Square South status secure, Weston manager Craig Laird decided to have a closer look at some of his fringe players, but the experiment back-fired as Thurrock recorded their first home win since January 29.
WITH their Blue Square South status secure, Weston manager Craig Laird decided to have a closer look at some of his fringe players, but the experiment back-fired as Thurrock, strengthened by two new signings, who started the day one place above the relegation spot, recorded their first home win since January 29.
Strikers Danny Hockton from Woking and Lee Boylan, on his debut from Stevenage Borough, caused the damage with Boylan scoring a hat-trick.
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Weston went into the game with Ben Kirk, Brett Trowbridge, Nat Pepperell, Kane Ingram and Jamie Laird all on the substitutes’ bench and there was no place at all for Sahr Kabba.
Despite all this, Weston made a bright start with Jamie Price beating two defenders on a run on the left, but he shot straight at home keeper Joe Woolley and later Martin Slocombe finished a strong run by having his cross cut out by Woolley as Marcus Duharty closed in. Then Craig Rand forced a corner with a shot from distance and Price was just over with a header from Dayle Grubb’s corner.
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Much against the run of play, Thurrock took the lead on 33 minutes when, from their only corner of the half, Boylan headed past Lloyd Irish from six yards.
A minute before the interval, Weston were thrown a lifeline when Grubb, cutting in from the left, was bundled over and referee Carl Brook pointed straight for a penalty, but unfortunately for the visitors, Woolley guessed correctly to Duharty’s poor spot kick.
This gave Thurrock confidence and they struck again on 50 minutes when a Weston attack broke down and Hockton put Boylan through to lob Irish, who had come off his line, from just outside the penalty area.
Weston came close on 57 minutes when Grubb set up Craig Laird junior for a low effort which was pushed to safety by Woolley and a minute later, Duharty was just off target. The visitors brought on Ingram for Laird and they played a little better, their best chance falling to Ingram who finished a strong run by firing just wide.
However, Thurrock forced another corner and when Hockton headed against Weston’s crossbar, Boylan was on hand to score from the rebound.
Goals: Thurrock, Boylan (33, 50, 73).
Shots on target: Thurrock 7, Weston 5.
Shots off target: Thurrock 10, Weston 7.
Corners: Thurrock 5, Weston 7.
Offsides: Thurrock 2, Weston 5.
Free kicks conceded: Thurrock 18, Weston 11.
Referee: Carl Brook. Excellent game.
Bookings: Weston, Price, Diallo.
Weston squad: Irish, Price, Slocombe, Martin, Rand, Diallo, Porter, Gilbert, Duharty, Craig Laird (Ingram 62), Grubb. Subs (not used): Kirk, Trowbridge, Jamie Laird.
ON Saturday, Weston are looking to complete another Blue Square South double when Dover Athletic provide the opposition. When the sides met on the south coast in February, Weston won by a single goal scored by Kane Ingram direct from a corner.