Gurney - injuries took their toll

WESTON ended their league campaign with a heavy defeat, but in truth Andy Gurney s side had little to play for against the promotion-chasing Clarets.

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WESTON ended their league campaign with a heavy defeat, but in truth Andy Gurney's side had little to play for against the promotion-chasing Clarets.

The manager conceded he was disappointed by the end of season run in, which might have seen his charges secure a mid-table spot.


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Gurney told the Mercury: "We had some players back, but in truth some of them were still not fit and that showed towards the end of the game.

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"I thought that although we never looked like winning, the result perhaps flattered them a bit.

"You can see that in the last month all the injuries we had took their toll, which is disappointing because we had some very good results before that."

Without suspended skipper Adi Harris, the injured Marvin Brown and Ashan Holgate and with Craig Rand recovering from illness, Weston were always going to struggle against the strong Essex side.

And two goals in a five-minute first half spell, followed by a pair in the dying minutes ensured Weston were never likely to take points from the game.

But in a bright start they could have taken the lead when Scott Partridge fired narrowly wide from Dayle Grubb's fifth-minute cross.

And shortly after, Clarets captain Andy Duncan did well to scramble Marc McGregor's lob off the line with goalkeeper Danny Gay stranded.

Partridge fired over when well placed before the home side took control, first hitting Ryan Northmore's crossbar on 14 minutes, then striking Weston with a double blow.

Midfielder Spencer Knight headed home James Lawson's back post cross after 22 minutes and four minutes later Knight turned provider for David Rainford to finish neatly from 10 yards.

Weston's injury woes were compounded on when McGregor limped off shortly after half time.

Darren Mullings gave some hope when he fought off two defenders to beat Gay with a low shot for his sixth strike of the season after 71 minutes.

Former Southend United striker Lawrie Dudfield killed the game in the dying moments when he got the better of Rand to beat Northmore from 15 yards.

And with just seconds remaining Dudfield's cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Rand.

Despite the defeat, Gurney reflected on the success of avoiding relegation, which looked odds-on when he took the reins following the 3-0 defeat to Basingstoke on November 29.

He said: "But the aim was always to stay up. We achieved that and at times we have been really pleased with how things have gone.

"The players responded well to the challenge and we can take a lot of positives from this season.

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