Laird ‘frustrated’ by lack of progress

Soccer Westonv Gosport,

Soccer Westonv Gosport, - Credit: Archant

MANAGER Craig Laird is ‘frustrated’ his Weston side have been unable to build on last season’s success after a 1-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Gosport Borough.

The Seagulls remain in the play-offs but with sides around them having up to five games in hand, Saturday’s defeat makes promotion look increasingly tough.

Gale-force winds and torrential rain made for an uncomfortable afternoon for players and spectators but the day was made all the worse as the visitors took all three points from the Woodspring Stadium.

Laird said: “The weather is a great leveller. The pitch, the wind and the rain didn’t suit our style of play. We thought one goal would win it and unfortunately they got it.

“The chances in the game were limited as the wind had a massive effect. We had enough of them to win but they scored a bit of a wonder goal.”

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Departure of leading scorer Tristan Plummer to Skrill Premier outfit Aldershot Town saw Chaz Hemmings start as the lone forward, with Naby Diallo supporting him after returning from suspension.

Weston started well with Ashley Kington firing a free-kick narrowly and Hemmings proving a handful for the Gosport’s back-line.

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The striker’s ambitious attempted lob from the half-way line was unfortunate to bounce over the crossbar and only Gosport keeper Nathan Ashmore quickly rushing from his line prevented Hemmings from capitalising on a defensive error at the back.

Hemmings, who has five goals to his name this season, was again denied on the stroke of half-time by the excellent Ashmore whose double save stopped Weston from taking the lead.

The Seagulls were made to pay for the profligacy in the first half with Gosport scoring, with their only shot on target, in the 48th minute.

Visiting captain Jamie Brown scored from almost the halfway as his effort towards goal was carried in the wind and dipped under Lloyd Irish’s crossbar.

Dayle Grubb was denied as Weston pushed for an equaliser as Gosport held on to hand the Seagulls their 10th league defeat of the campaign.

Laird this week challenged some of the younger players who have come through the academy to take their chance and fill the void.

He said: “Tristan has been like a breath of fresh air around the club. He is bright, bubbly, his enthusiasm is infectious and we are going to miss him greatly but he goes with the best of wishes.

“We would love to strengthen but we don’t have the finances to bring in the quality of Tristan week in, week out.

“The club isn’t in that position. We have to beg, borrow and steal because we aren’t as affluent as many of the other clubs.

If we get near the play-offs then we have had a good season. It’s disappointing and a bit frustrating we haven’t been able to build on last season but I have got to work with what we have got.”

Weston travel to third-placed Ebbsfleet United tomorrow (Sat) looking to avenge a 6-0 drubbing they suffered at home in October.

A busy week will then be completed on Tuesday night when Weston face a 230-mile round trip to Maidenhead United.

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