Laird expects grandstand season finale

Weston AFC v Farnborough.

Weston AFC v Farnborough. - Credit: Archant

MANAGER Craig Laird believes this week will make or break the club’s play-off dreams after watching his side salvage a late draw at home to Farnborough.

The Seagulls face three games in seven days, starting with last night’s (Wed) trip to Tonbridge Angels.

Laird said: “I think the next two games will have a massive bearing but there will be a few major twists and turns before the end of the season – just like we saw with the Premier League last year.”

Saturday’s charity day proved a success, as 635 fans cheered on the Seagulls, with more than £1,500 raised for its community trust.

But the large crowd nearly went home disappointed, but for a late equaliser from Dayle Grubb.

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Weston shaded an even first half and should have taken a lead into the break.

In the 15th minute Grubb was played through on the left but his effort was well smothered by goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw.

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The loose ball was stabbed towards goal by Spaniard Anton Alvarez, but the ball was cleared off the line.

After last week’s hat-trick hero Kayne McLaggon fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area, Grubb was again denied by a fine Bradshaw save.

In the second half Weston started the brighter with the large crowd roaring on the home side.

Winger Ross Stearn forced yet another smart save from Bradshaw as the Seagulls looked the most likely to break the deadlock.

Despite posing a threat on the counter attack all afternoon, it was against the run of play when Farnborough took a 70th minute lead.

A long clearance released Josh Huggins and his low cross was smashed past a helpless Lewis Carey by Richard Peniket.

The visitors continued to press and almost doubled their advantage seconds later when Dan Bennett’s fierce drive cracked against the bar.

However Weston’s efforts were rewarded with an equaliser, six minutes from time. Grubb picked up the ball just inside the box and fired home to secure a late point for the Seagulls.

Laird said he felt a draw was a fair result but rued the impressive Bradshaw in the visitors’ goal.

He said: “It was always going to be a tough game after the Sutton victory in midweek.

“We tried to freshen the squad up and I thought we should have been one or two goals up at the break.

“If we had gone ahead in the first half, then I don’t think they would have had that chance (which they scored from).

“We probably should have been a little bit more patient but we want to show our fans that we want to take the game to the opposition. When we are at home we will always try to attack.”

The result keeps Weston in fifth place in the Blue Square South table after promotion rivals Chelmsford City and Boreham Wood both lost on Monday.

Laird believes their defeats mean ‘four or five’ teams now have a realistic chance of making the end of season play-offs.

Weston travelled to relegation-threatened Tonbridge Angels last night hoping to secure another three points to help them with their play-off push.

They will welcome Bromley on Saturday before heading to mid-table Basingstoke on Tuesday evening.

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