Gurney bemoans penalty decision

A CONTROVERSIAL penalty denied Weston a deserved draw with the play-off contenders on Saturday.



A CONTROVERSIAL penalty denied Weston a deserved draw with the play-off contenders on Saturday.

To the bemusement of both sides, referee Lee Swabey pointed to the spot following a melee after a 50th minute corner.

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Seagulls' keeper Ryan Northmore dived low to his left to save Will Hendry's spot kick, but Staforde Palmer tucked in the rebound from close range.

Weston boss Andy Gurney told the Mercury: "I don't think anybody in the ground thought it was a penalty, but there's nothing we can do about it.

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"Even their players didn't have a clue what he had given it for.

"We played quite well, really, especially in the first half, but I think the players felt a bit sorry for themselves after the penalty."

The injury-hit Seagulls, without first teamers Mike Green, Craig Rand, Scott Bartlett, Marc McGregor and Manny Williams, had started well.

But to compound the problem Tom Parrinello and Dayle Grubb limped off before half time and Gurney was forced to blood academy graduate Dave Thorne alongside new signings Tom Evans and Matt Groves.

And it was centre-half Evans who drew first blood on 29 minutes by hooking home after Charlie Comyn-Platt's knock down from Ben Wells' free-kick.

Wells then went close with a swerving volley from 25 yards, but after the break two goals in three minutes put the visitors ahead.

Palmer's 48th minute cross from the right looped over Northmore's head and into the far top corner, before the penalty was awarded two minutes later.

Adrian Harris sent a free-kick over the bar with three minutes to go, but the Seagulls were unable to draw level.

Weston are 12 points clear of Thurrock, who are in the first relegation place.

A win at St Albans on Saturday could see them safe with five games to play if the struggling Essex side lose against Basingstoke.

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