Seagulls earn third successive draw
Weston drew their third successive Blue Square South game, despite going behind after just 10 seconds.
TONBRIDGE ANGELS 2
WESTON found themselves a goal down after just 10 seconds of this Blue Square South game, but ended by recording their third successive draw.
This was a much improved display than latterly against a strong physical side who started the day two places higher in the table and three points better off.
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Manager Craig Laird again shuffled the pack, with Brett Trowbridge back in midfield and Marcus Duharty and Nabi Diallo leading the attack, with Kane Ingram, Sahr Kabba, Ben Cleverley, Chris Young and Marc McGregor on the substitutes’ bench.
The visitors kicked off and with the Weston defence backing off, Mikel Suarez and Frannie Collin set up Chris Piper to open the scoring without a home player touching the ball.
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Buoyed up by this early success, Tonbridge pressed early on with speedy runs down both flanks by Joe Benjamin and Nathan Korantang and it looked as if Weston would be over-run. In one run, the powerfully built Benjamin outstripped the defence, but there was no support for his low cross into the six-yard area.
However, the Seagulls rallied and on nine minutes Dayle Grubb, who gave another superb performance in midfield, set up Jamie Price who fired narrowly wide. Later Grubb was just over with an effort.
Duharty had the ball in the Tonbridge net on 29 minutes after outjumping giant defender Ben Judge, but was pulled back for an earlier offside. Trowbridge was next to try his luck, his distance effort just skimming the Tonbridge crossbar.
Weston were rewarded for their efforts on 35 minutes when, after good work by Grubb and Diallo, Duharty beat keeper Lee Worgan, but on the stroke of half-time Piper rapped Weston’s crossbar.
After conceding an early corner in the second half, Weston had a good spell with Grubb having his free kick turned behind by Worgan, Nat Pepperell forcing another corner and Diallo forcing a diving save by Worgan, the former Wales Under-21 international keeper.
Later, Price with a run down the right, forced another corner. In a random Tonbridge attack, the Weston defence had plenty of time to make a clearance, but decided to play across the edge of their penalty area, resulting in the league’s top scorer Collin nipping in and beating Lloyd Irish to restore their lead.
Weston came back strongly with Grubb just off target and Duharty firing into the side netting. But they did better on 71 minutes when Grubb put Ingram, who had replaced Diallo, through to beat Worgan.
Goals:Weston, Duharty (35), Ingram (71). Tonbridge, Piper (1), Collin (62).
Shots on target: Weston 5, Tonbridge 5.
Shots off target: Weston 6, Tonbridge 7.
Corners: Weston 5, Tonbridge 7.
Offsides: Weston 3, Tonbridge 11.
Free kicks conceded: Weston 9, Tonbridge 14.
Referee: Adam Bromley (Plymouth). Excellent game.
Bookings: Tonbridge, Piper.
Weston squad: Irish, Price, Slocombe, Trowbridge, Villis, Laird, Grubb, Kirk, Duharty (Kabba 80), Diallo (Ingram 63), Pepperell. Subs (not used): Cleverley, Young, McGregor.
ON Saturday, Weston play their final away Blue Square South game when they travel to Staines, looking for a league double, having beaten the Londoners 2-1 back in November, with goals by Dayle Grubb and substitute Sahr Kabba.