Defeat puts Weston on brink but board backs McGregor to rescue Seagulls
PUBLISHED: 17:35 26 February 2019
Ten points adrift and time is running out – Weston have a mountain to climb if they are to avoid relegation after falling to a 1-0 defeat against Chippenham Town on Saturday.
The Seagulls are on the brink of losing their National League South status after Nat Jarvis’ second-half header at the newly-named Optima Stadium saw Weston beaten in a game that manager Marc McGregor had said his side had to win.
There were calls from the stands for the manager to lose his job as a miserable afternoon transpired, but the board remain defiant he is the best man to rescue Weston’s season.
The 90 minutes encapsulated the Seagulls’ miserable campaign, as they bossed possession throughout the game but their play in the final third was devoid of the required cutting edge.
And the home supporters vented their frustration en masse at full time as the prospect of falling into the Southern League edged closer to reality.
Weston started brightly and probed the visitors’ back four, but several promising openings were scuppered by imprecise passing and a lack of composure in front of goal.
At the other end Chippenham looked threatening on the counter attack and they almost stung the league’s bottom side with a swift break on 13 minutes.
Luke Purnell continued his fine form between the sticks and made a superb one-on-one save from Jarvis, and the keeper repeated the trick to deny former Seagull Jack Compton in the 34th minute when he was put through on goal.
Jarvis almost opened the scoring with an inventive acrobatic effort six minutes after the interval, but he only had to wait nine more minutes for the breakthrough.
Compton bought himself some space and delivered a wicked cross from the right flank, with Jarvis outmuscling Aaron Parsons in the box before heading the ball into the far corner of Purnell’s net.
The Seagulls lacked the required guile to mount a comeback in the latter stages with visiting stopper Will Puddy barely dirtying his kit as Weston’s woeful season moved closer to its likely conclusion.
McGregor’s side travel to league leaders Torquay United on Saturday, and his side must upset the odds at Plainmoor if they are to revive their chances of staying in the division.