Seagulls dumped out of the FA Cup
WESTON-S-MARE 0 HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE 1 - ON the eve of one of the most important games of their season, the Weston squad was hit by a flu outbreak that prevented most of the players being able to train.
HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE 1
ON the eve of one of the most important games of their season, the Weston squad was hit by a flu outbreak that prevented most of the players being able to train in the days leading up to the match and they were forced to field a weakened squad.
Missing were Clayton Fortune, still suffering the effects of a knock picked up at Welling and skipper Adi Harris, a flu victim while Ashan Holgate, although on the substitutes' bench, was still slightly under the weather.
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On top of that, during the course of the game, they lost Marc McGregor and Craig Rand to injury, with Holgate and youth team member Dayle Grubb replacing McGregor and Rand and Josh Llewellyn coming on for Marvin Brown.
Former Weston favourite Manny Williams, the Blue Square South leading scorer, was in the Havant line-up, but played an insignificant part and was withdrawn after 55 minutes, but all the damage was done by midfielder Steve Walker.
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The game was only four minutes old when Havant's Steve Hutchings was tripped on the edge of the home penalty area just inside the by-line and Walker scored the crucial goal with a rasping free kick from the narrowest of angles that zipped through Kevin Sawyer's arms.
Two minutes later, Walker was just off target with another free kick and then he was wide from a close-range header. From Havant's first corner on 16 minutes, Gary MacDonald was just over with an unmarked header from Walker's flag kick and on 18 minutes, Sawyer got down well to beat a Walker effort to safety.
The home goal had a let-off on 26 minutes when Hutchings broke through, but Sawyer, coming off his line, blocked the effort. Hutchings was given a better chance on 29 minutes when he intercepted Rand's poor back pass, but again Sawyer saved the situation, clearing at the second attempt.
Nothing was seen of the Weston attack, as the defence and midfield, under constant pressure, lumped the ball high into the Havant half, giving the defence easy clearances, but just before the interval, Ben Wells was narrowly wide from Holgate's cross and Darren Mullings was also off target.
Weston came more into the game in the second half, and Havant's keeper Aaron Howe had to make his first serious save of the game on 54 minutes when he did well to push Wells' free kick to safety and later, Holgate tested the keeper with a shot on the turn while Mullings also forced a save from the keeper.
When Rand came off, Mike Green moved to the centre of defence, Scott Bartlett went into the back four and Grubb came on up front. A minute before the end of normal time, Weston forced their only corner of the game, but they just could not score.
ON Saturday, Weston are back in Blue Square South action, with the visit of St Albans City to the Woodspring Stadium (3pm).