Weston shock Rocks to take National League survival fight on to Easter weekend
PUBLISHED: 13:41 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 15 April 2019
Weston kept their very faint hopes of avoiding the drop from National League South alive with a late 3-2 triumph at relegation rivals East Thurrock on Saturday.
Alex Bray's 82nd-minute goal ensured a happy journey back back to Somerset for the Seagulls, who are now six points adrift from safety with three games remaining.
But despite back-to-back wins for only the second time this season, since their successes at Slough and Chippenham Town, their fate could still be secured on Saturday when they host Hampton & Richmond Borough or Easter Monday, when they visit Hemel Hempstead.
Buoyed by their 3-1 home win over Dartford a week earlier, the Seagulls made the trip to Essex to face a Rocks side sitting five points above them in the bottom three.
The home side's Alex Osborn was denied by a goalline clearance, while Marlon Jackson headed Weston's first chance over and Tom Llewellyn went close with a chip after a long kick from Luke Purnell.
Ryan Scott was unable to convert a set-piece, but Weston fell behind when Sam Higgins ran onto a through ball and beat Purnell on 19 minutes.
George Nurse fired over from a corner and Osborn was too high for the hosts, before Jackson was crowded out as he hesitated in the box.
Man of the match Llewellyn hit the crossbar with a close-range header but Weston levelled in the last minute of the first half as Jackson fired home a shot on the turn from 25 yards.
Harrison cleared off the line when Purnell failed to deal with a corner and Amos Nasha saw his curling shot hit the woodwork with the Weston keeper rooted.
Bray headed wide from Byrne's corner but Weston took the lead on 70 minutes when Bray found captain Jacob Cane, who flicked the ball on to young Llewellyn to slot underneath Jack Giddens before celebrating with the travelling supporters.
Rocks were back on terms on 80 minutes as Scott turned the ball home from close range following a goalmouth scramble.
But Weston won it two minutes later when winger Nurse was dispossessed as he looked to cut inside and the ball ran for Bray to slot into the corner.
There was more late drama as East Thurrock substitute Reece Prestedge was given his marching orders after catching Cane as Weston closed to within two points of their hosts.