Promotion hopefuls beaten by the Seagulls

WESTON’S performance reached new heights as they beat second in the Blue Square South table Ebbsfleet, who had won 10 of their previous games on their travels, losing only two. The Seagulls stood up well to their physical visitors, some of whose tactics went unpunished by an indulgent referee.

WESTON-S-MARE 3,

EBBSFLEET UNITED 2

WESTON’S performance reached new heights as they beat second in the Blue Square South table Ebbsfleet, who had won 10 of their previous games on their travels, losing only two. The Seagulls stood up well to their physical visitors, some of whose tactics went unpunished by an indulgent referee.

Weston were without their two central defenders, Craig Rand and Matt Villis as well as leading scorer Marcus Duharty, all injured, but they welcomed to the defence Jak Martin, who had been on loan at Tiverton Town, and who was outstanding partnering Jamie Laird.


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The visitors were given a fright in the first two minutes when central defender Dean Pudley missed a headed clearance from Martin Slocombe’s cross and then keeper Preston Edwards dropped the ball as Sahr Kabba closed in, but the keeper dived on the ball to make amends.

Ebbsfleet began to take control, forcing successive corners before taking the lead on 17 minutes when Craig Stone set up St Kitts and Nevis international Calum Willock to score from 15 yards.

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Three minutes later, Weston were back in the game when Nat Pepperell beat two defenders wide on the right and crossed for Kane Ingram to notch his seventh league goal of the season with an unmarked header.

Before the interval, Ebbsfleet’s Ashley Carew was just wide with a 30-yard free kick and minutes later, at the other end, a neat move involving Ingram and Brett Trowbridge in the clear, but his attempted lob just cleared the visitors’ crossbar. Weston ended the half forcing successive corners.

Ebbsfleet pressed in the opening minutes of the second half, but on 49 minutes Weston struck again. Kabba got the better of Pudley just inside the Ebbsfleet half, and outpaced the other defenders and fired diagonally past Edwards and followed this up by forcing two more successive corners as the visitors appeared to be rattled.

Again Weston forced successive corners with Martin heading just over from Slocombe’s flag kick and minutes later, Kabba fired just over. But they did better on 86 minutes when Martin’s superb pass out of defence found Pepperell wide on the right who went on to draw Edwards before scoring low into the far corner.

A minute later, in a fast attack, Carew crossed for Willock to score his 17th league goal of the season in a scramble from a couple of yards. With their tails up, Ebbs pressed for an equaliser and into stoppage time, the home goal had a let off when Jacob Erskine cracked a drive against an upright.

WESTON STATS

Goals: Weston, Ingram (20), Kabba (49), Pepperell (86). Ebbsfleet, Willock (17, 87).

Shots on target: Weston 5, Ebbsfleet 6.

Shots off target: Weston 4, Ebbsfleet 6.

Corners: Weston 8, Ebbsfleet 6.

Offsides: Weston 1, Ebbsfleet 3.

Free kicks conceded: Weston 8, Ebbsfleet 12.

Referee: Adam Bromley (Plympton). Did not keep up with play and missed several incidents.

Bookings: Weston, Kirk, Gilbert, Price. Ebbsfleet, Duncan.

Attendance: 366.

Weston squad: Irish, Price, Slocombe, Martin, Laird, Gilbert (Dayle Grubb 89), Ingram, Kirk, Kabba (Diallo 85), Trowbridge, Pepperell. Subs (not used): Mawford, Porter, Cureton.

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