Laird praises hat-trick hero

Weston AFC v Salisbury.

Weston AFC v Salisbury. - Credit: Archant

KAYNE McLaggon fired Weston to victory during an ill-tempered match at Sutton United on Tuesday night.

Manager Craig Laird was full of praise for the ex-Southampton striker as he bagged a hat-trick to boost Weston’s play-off chances.

Both Weston and Sutton had a man sent off in the final quarter of an hour as the Seagulls strengthend their grip on fifth in the Blue Square South table.

Bristol City loanee Lewis Carey was handed a debut in place of injured goalkeeper Lloyd Irish, but the 19-year-old was a spectator for large parts of the game.

The Seagulls were a goal up inside five minutes as McLaggon finished clinically after being played through by Naby Diallo.

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And the striker doubled his and Weston’s tally 18 minutes later with another fine finish after a strong run.

Sutton improved after the break but the game appeared to be petering out until both sides were reduced to 10 men with 13 minutes to play.

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After Henry Beautyman and Diallo clashed the Sutton man kicked out and Diallo pushed Beautyman to the floor.

Laird, who said referee Alan Young was poor for both sides, felt Diallo could have been given a caution instead.

With the game getting increasingly heated, the home side struck in the 83rd minute as Dean Sinclair beat Carey from close range, with their only shot on target.

Sutton boss Paul Doswell was sent to the stands by referee Alan Young in stoppage time after complaining to the referee that Weston were time wasting, but it was the Seagulls who had the last word.

Five minutes into added on time and with nine Sutton players attacking a corner, Weston broke clear and McLaggon carried the ball 70 yards before slotting the ball home to seal his hat-trick.

The three points see Weston remain fifth in the Blue Square South table and in the final play-off spot. Boreham Wood, ahead of their game last night (Wed), are four points behind Weston with three games in hand.

Laird said he is happier to have the points on the board, adding: “I think early in the season games in hand are alright.

“But we have got seven games in a month and they have got more than that, and it could take its toll with injuries and suspensions.”

Weston host Farnborough on Saturday before making the long trip to Tonbridge Angels on Wednesday. Weston had been due to play them last Saturday but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Laird said: “It’s a shame more people won’t come along because we try to play entertaining football.

“We are fighting for a play-off position which we haven’t done for a long time.”

The club has installed extra seats at the Woodspring Stadium after being instructed by the league they need to have 500 at the ground to take part in the play-offs.

Director Oli Bliss said it had cost the club just under £2,000 and the seats will remain regardless of what happens in the last few weeks of the season.

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