New year, new Seagulls? Weston beat relegation rivals Gloucester City
PUBLISHED: 15:01 02 January 2019
A courageous second-half comeback rescued Weston's season on New Year's Day, as the Seagulls secured a vital 3-1 win over relegation rivals Gloucester City.
Weston needed a win to increase chances of evading the trap door in April, and with less than 40 minutes remaining they were staring down the barrel of a nine-point deficit to Gloucester in the spot above the relegation zone after Odin Bailey’s thumping long-range strike.
But the Seagulls – who had not found the net in their previous five games – mustered a brilliant response, with a trio of headers from Marlon Jackson, Jamie Lucas and Eli Phipps giving Weston a desperately-needed victory.
Marc McGregor’s new year celebrations could have been held at the last-chance saloon after his side were beaten 2-0 by Somerset rivals Bath City on Saturday, amid growing calls for him to be sacked.
Goals from Robbie Cundy and Joe Raynes saw Weston defeated for the fourth league game in a row, leaving them in a perilous position at the bottom of the table and in dire need of three points against Gloucester.
Thankfully for the Weston boss, they duly obliged with just their third win of the season at Gloucester’s temporary home of the Jubilee Stadium in Evesham, leaving the Seagulls four points from safety after Hungerford Town’s surprise win over playoff hopefuls Oxford City.
The Seagulls and Tigers shared the points in a grim 0-0 draw on Boxing Day, and this game threatened to follow a similar pattern
Weston edged a tight first half, which saw young right-back Jack Goodall step into the starting line-up after Naby Diallo was injured in the warm-up – the academy graduate performing admirably.
Jackson, Goodall, Lucas and Gethyn Hill all made decent efforts at breaking the deadlock for Weston, while Joe Parker had Gloucester’s best chance only to see his 18-yard effort deflected wide by Aaron Parsons.
But the game burst into life less than a minute after the break, with Bailey buying some space 25 yards from goal before lashing into the roof of the net.
It threatened to be a knockout blow which all but ended the Seagulls’ season, but they courageously rose from the deck with vigour.
Alex Byrne whipped a perfect cross for Jackson on the penalty spot, and his bullet header levelled the score on 54 minutes.
Jake Lee had a goal disallowed for offside soon after, but Weston did take the lead with 15 minutes to play as another Byrne cross was headed home.
This delivery was not so accurate, but Lucas’ inventive nod looped past the rooted keeper Jojo Wollacott and into the corner of the net.
Weston managed the closing stages well and the points were secured in added time as Jackson’s cross was converted by Phipps’ diving header.