Missed chances cost Weston dearly in relegation six-pointer

PUBLISHED: 12:55 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:55 28 December 2018

Weston AFC v Gloucester City.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston AFC v Gloucester City. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A huge chance to boost Weston-super-Mare's hopes of climbing from the National League South relegation mire was wasted on Boxing Day, as the Seagulls battled to a 0-0 draw with fellow strugglers Gloucester City.

Weston AFC v Gloucester City.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston AFC v Gloucester City. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Seagulls dominated affairs at the Woodspring Stadium, but a lack of guile and ruthlessness in the final third cost them dearly against the Tigers in what many home fans viewed as a must-win six-pointer.

In truth Marc McGregor’s side could have played non-stop into 2019 and not broken the deadlock, despite holding a near monopoly of possession.

McGregor’s charges entered the game following a dismal run which had seen them ship 14 goals in four games, with calls increasing from the terraces for a change of leadership.

Weston do not participate in many goalless games – the previous one being more than two years ago against Chelmsford City – and while the home dugout and directors’ box would have been pleased to not see Luke Purnell’s net ripple, the result may prove costly in the long run.

Weston AFC v Gloucester City.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston AFC v Gloucester City. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Maximum points from the pair of festive clashes with Gloucester, who sit one place ahead of the bottom three, could have seen the Seagulls leapfrog from the relegation zone. You can add that to the list of missed chances on Boxing Day.

Skipper Jacob Cane spurned a golden opening to take an early lead, but he badly mistimed his header from George Nurse’s accurate cross.

Nurse himself went a little closer from a well-executed set-piece routine, but his sweeping long-range effort from George Dowling’s corner bent narrowly wide.

The Seagulls kept knocking on the door before the break, but their finishing continued to let them down – Marlon Jackson, in particular, was guilty of spurning a clear sight at goal.

Weston AFC v Gloucester City.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston AFC v Gloucester City. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The pattern of play was familiar in the second stanza, with Weston forcing the issue but hampered by a painful absence of cutting edge.

Jennison Myrie-Williams was denied from close range, Cane’s deflected shot went the wrong side of the post, and Gloucester’s Spencer Hamilton fortuitously shanked the ball over his own crossbar from Nurse’s delivery.

For all of Weston’s possession, it was the Tigers who had the best chance of the game, but Odin Bailey’s effort hit the post after knifing through the defence.

The battle will recommence at Gloucester’s temporary home of Evesham on New Year’s Day, after the Seagulls have hosted Bath City on Saturday.

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