Laird pleased with ‘brilliant season’

Weston in action against Dorchester.

Weston in action against Dorchester. - Credit: Archant

WESTON’S record-breaking season ended with a 2-1 defeat at Dorchester Town on Saturday.

Following wins for their promotion rivals earlier in the week, Weston had no chance of making the end of season play-offs and a defensive error handed the home side the win in an even contest.

Manager Craig Laird said he wanted a win but given the pressure of recent weeks was happy to let the players enjoy themselves.

He said: “We didn’t go out with great expectations but obviously we wanted to win and I was a bit disappointed with the work-rate off the ball in the first half.”

Goalkeeper Lloyd Irish returned to the starting line-up after missing seven games through injury and Chas Hemmings replaced an ill Kayne McLaggon upfront.

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Weston started the brighter but they struggled to create any meaningful chances in the opening stages as the strong wind made the final ball difficult to control.

But it was Dorchester that took the lead on 16 minutes as a clever flick on put Ben Watson clear who finished superbly.

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Dayle Grubb had the Seagulls’ best chance to equalise in the first half but he could only fire straight at Dorchester goalkeeper Jason Matthews when well placed.

However the away fans who made the journey were given cause to cheer just three minutes into the second half.

Neat approach play saw Brett Trowbridge pick up the ball 25 yards from goal and his superb strike arrowed into the corner of Matthews’ net.

However just as when Weston looked like they would end their season with a decent away point, they gifted Dorchester a second goal.

The Seagulls tried to play the ball out from the back instead of clear the danger but surrendered possession all too easily allowing Watson to nip in and claim his second of the afternoon.

The defeat sees Weston finish seventh in the Blue Square South table with a record haul of 67 points.

Laird said he was proud of his players’ efforts over the season although admitted to some disappointment about finishing five points shy of the play-offs.

He said: “I have been really chuffed with how they have played this season. It is above anyone’s expectation to finish seventh.

“If we had never been in the play-offs and made our way up to seventh then we probably wouldn’t feel as deflated but that shows how far we have come. The season has been brilliant.”

He wants to tie down the players to new contracts over the summer and to look for a couple of additions to help strengthen it.

He added: “The club will do what it can to support me as a manager but we have to live within our means.”

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