Highlights: Weston 3-2 Eastleigh
- Credit: Archant
WESTON moved into the play-off places with an entertaining 3-2 victory at home to promotion- chasing Eastleigh.
A third league win on the bounce saw the Seagulls defeat their full-time opponents for the first-time ever following 18 unsuccessful attempts.
Saturday’s trip to Sutton United fell foul of the weather but Weston made amends with a fine victory on Tuesday night.
Eastleigh came into the match on the back of four straight Skrill South wins but left the Woodspring Stadium empty handed after a vibrant display by Weston.
Manager Craig Laird predicted Eastleigh would not fancy a trip to Somerset and so it proved as Weston dominated the first half.
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The deadlock was almost broken inside 12 minutes with only the visiting goalkeeper Ross Flitney denying Tristan Plummer the opening goal.
It was his strike partner that did hand Weston the lead however in the 33rd minute.
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Martin Slocombe unselfishly slipped the ball to Chaz Hemmings following an excellent run, and the forward expertly fired across Flitney into the far corner.
Weston deserved a two-goal half-time lead and they nearly got it when Dayle Grubb fired across goal but neither Hemmings nor Ashley Kington could stretch enough to get the decisive touch.
Eastleigh, who remain second in the league despite Tuesday night’s defeat, improved after the break.
Chris Todd fired wide and with 15 minutes to go, the Hampshire side equalised when top-scorer Craig McAllister lobbed Lloyd Irish.
Weston were not to be denied a vital three points however, and re-took the lead within a minute.
Substitute Alec Fiddes’ cross-field ball to Grubb found the tricky winger in space and his 30-yard drive beat Flitney at his near post.
Determined not to surrender the advantage again, Weston piled forward and got the crucial third with two minutes remaining.
Fiddes and Hemmings exchanged passes before the former fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
There was still time for Eastleigh substitute Yemi Odubaje to grab a consolation in the fifth-minute of injury time but Weston were not to be denied a 10th league victory of the season.
On Saturday Weston host Gosport Borough at the Woodspring Stadium, with kick-off at 3pm.
The Seagulls will go into the game as favourites with the visitors languishing 21st in the table and seven points from safety, albeit having played fewer games in the league than any other club.