No good fortune for Weston in relegation battle after hard-fought draw in Sussex
PUBLISHED: 08:54 17 January 2019
Weston-super-Mare were denied a much-needed victory in their National League South relegation battle by the finest of margins on Saturday, having to settle for a point at Eastbourne Borough.
Gethyn Hill’s second-half equaliser earned Marc McGregor’s side a 1-1 draw at Priory Lane, but the striker agonisingly hit the post deep into injury time as the Seagulls chased all three points in the race against the drop.
The Sports took a well-deserved lead inside a quarter of an hour through Kane Wills, and should have put the match to bed but spurned several clear chances.
A resurgent Weston emerged from the break with the kind of vigour which has been desperately lacking at times this term, and were well worthy of a point on the south coast.
But McGregor’s side remain bottom of the table, seven points from safety after relegation rivals Gloucester City and Hungerford Town fought to a 0-0 draw.
Eastbourne dominated the opening moments of the game and duly took the lead on 14 minutes as Joel Rollinson’s cross was scruffily put into the net by Wills, who mustered just enough power to elude Luke Purnell’s hand.
Purnell was able to palm away a fierce 30-yard strike from Wills shortly after and he also made a superb point-blank save to deny Joe Quigley’s close-range header which seemed destined to hit the back of the net.
With the Seagulls’ stopper’s excellent performance keeping them in the game, McGregor’s side returned from the interval with renewed impetus and pace in attack.
Tom Harrison saw a goal-bound shot blocked and, from a subsequent George Nurse cross, Eli Phipps was unable to set his feet quickly enough when the ball fell to him kindly in the area as Tom Gardner made a superb intervention.
But after banging on the door for much of the second half, Weston did find their equaliser in the 82nd minute as Hill was on hand to follow up from Phipps’ saved shot.
The Seagulls were denied a winner by the woodwork in added time as Hill cracked the inside of the post with a thunderous strike from all of 30 yards, but Weston will be heartened by their impressive fightback ahead of Saturday’s visit to Truro City’s Treyew Road.