Huge crowd treated to entertaining game

WESTON’S experiment of allowing free entrance was a huge success, but this was marred by two unsightly brawls by the players.



WESTON’S experiment of allowing free entrance was a huge success, with 803 fans turning up to enjoy a highly entertaining game packed with good football, but sadly it ended in chaos with brawls just before and after the final whistle.

On the stroke of full time, Weston were awarded a penalty, but before the kick could be taken, there were ugly scenes involving both sets of players and resulted in red cards for Weston’s Simon Gilbert and Staines’ Marc Charles-Smith and James King.

Then, when the final whistle was blown and with the players leaving the field, another unsightly brawl broke out, which was finally quelled by stewards and officials of both teams. We now await referee Kevin Morris’ report as to what further action may be taken.

Weston manager Craig Laird opted to leave regular defenders Jamie Price and Martin Slocombe on the bench, bringing Justin Porter and Simon Gilbert into midfield, with Jamie Laird, Craig Rand, and Jak Martin in defence.

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There was not one effort on target in the scoreless first-half with the best chance falling to Gilbert when he picked up a poor clearance by Staines’ keeper Louis Wells, but as he burst through, Wells came quickly off his line to dive at Gilbert’s feet. Just before the break, Kabba made a speedy run on the right, but finished with a low shot that narrowly went across goal.

Staines’ Darty Brown was stretchered off on 14 minutes when he injured a knee in a rash tackle on Sahr Kabba, Charles-Smith taking over. Although the Weston goal was never under real threat, Staines forced four first-half corners.

Early in the second half, Weston keeper Lloyd Irish made his first serious save when he held a close-range header from Dominic Sterling following another corner and two minutes later, Irish got down well to deny Elliot Onochie’s low effort that he saw late.

Staines broke the deadlock on 63 minutes when Irish dropped a high cross and Onochie was on hand to score from close range.

The visitors looked to be hanging on for a win until Weston forced only their second corner on 83 minutes and from substitute Dayle Grubb’s flag kick Kabba scrambled in his sixth goal of the season.

Then on 90 minutes came the drama as Kabba was brought down by King and after order had been restored Kane Ingram beat Wells from the penalty spot to make him leading scorer with 13 strikes in all competitions.

Goals: Weston, Kabba (83), Ingram (90 penalty), Staines, Onochie (63).

Shots on target: Weston 4, Staines 4.

Shots off target: Weston 3, Staines 4.

Corners: Weston 2, Staines 6.

Offsides: Weston 3, Staines 3.

Free kicks conceded: Weston 18, Staines 11.

Referee: Kevin Morris (Hereford). Excellent game that became difficult near the end.

Bookings: Laird, Porter, Rand, Gilbert (2 yellows). Staines: Taylor, King (2 yellows), Charles-Smith (red).

Attendance: 803.

Weston squad: Irish, Porter, Gilbert, Rand, J Laird, Martin, Ingram, Kirk (Diallo 59), Kabba, Trowbridge, Pepperell (Grubb 71). Subs (not used): Price, Duharty, Slocombe.

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