Key month for Seagulls’ promotion hopes

WESTON manager Craig Laird says his side face a season-defining month as the Seagulls get ready for five games in December.

And they had the perfect preparation for that run as they recorded their first-ever win in Hertfordshire with a 1-0 win at fellow play-off chasers Boreham Wood.

The result avenged a 4-2 defeat at the Woodspring Stadium earlier in the season, and Laird praised his team’s work ethic for closing out the game.

Weston had the best of the first half, as after a bright opening spell from Wood, Seagulls’ striker Chas Hemmings saw a goal disallowed on 14 minutes. Then skipper Ben Kirk fired narrowly over and Brett Trowbridge forced a save from home keep James Russell.

But the away side got the all-important breakthrough a minute before the interval as Ross Stearn, who has been impressive since his summer arrival, cut in from the right and dribbled through the home defence before playing the ball across the penalty area to find left-back Pete Monks.

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The former Exeter City full-back beat Russell from six yards to register his first goal for the club.

Wood made a double substitution for the second half, bringing on Mario Noto and Greg Morgan, but Weston should have sealed the result on 67 minutes through Hemmings, who fired hopelessly wide after Dayle Grubb’s cross.

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Despite a spell of late pressure on the Weston defence, the Seagulls held on for a win that has pushed them back up to 9th in the Blue Square South table.

The Seagulls will now play AFC Hornchurch at home on Saturday, before facing Sutton United (away), Eastleigh (home), Bath City and Truro City (both away) before the month is out.

Speaking of Saturday’s win, Laird said: “It was a good performance. I’m not surprised by the efforts of the lads as they’ve got a good mentality and they’re a good group of lads.

“Sometimes seven or eight players are on their game and there can be two or three who are not quite on it, but on Saturday every one of them put in a good performance.

“Now we’ve got to try and keep contact with that group of teams above us and stay in the hunt for the play-offs.

“We’re coming into an exciting period of the season with the games coming thick and fast and it will map out our season.

“I think we will take a few points and lose a few but we have got to keep our concentration up – we had a great January run last year but then couldn’t win for anything, and we need to take the lessons from that.”

Laird added that although he currently has a fully-fit squad to pick from, he ‘always looks at ways to improve the squad’.

He also said defender Mark Cooper, who joined the club from Newport County in November, is likely to leave the club on loan this month.

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