Seagulls enjoy successful season

Weston Football Club celebrate their most successful season in their history.

THIS past season has been the most successful in Weston’s history in the Blue Square South League, but they also captured the Somerset Premier Cup for the first time in their 64-year history.

What a transformation from the previous season. For the third successive season they finished in the relegation zone, having won just five and drawn eight of their 42 games. However, Salisbury City were relegated by two divisions for financial problems and Weston were saved again.

By that time Craig Laird and John Haile had been recruited as the new management team from Bridgwater Town, along with a squad of players from two leagues below, the only senior player to be retained was Craig Rand, all in readiness for life in the Zamaretto Premier League.

With the news that Weston were reprieved from relegation, some diehard supporters feared the worse as the squad would be competing in a high-class league.

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How wrong we were. From day one, when they beat newcomers Boreham Wood 2-0, the squad showed great determination and a will to succeed. In the first month of August they picked up excellent away points against Havant and Waterlooville and Eastleigh as well as another win at home over Basingstoke Town.

In September, Weston picked up another valuable point at home to eventual play-off side Chelmsford City, their only league success of the month, while in October they beat Welling United and drew with Hampton and Richmond at home as well as recording their first away win at St Albans City.

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In November, they had home wins over Thurrock and Maidenhead United and in December had their biggest-ever win in the Blue Square South, trouncing high-flying Bromley 7-0, this after losing 6-3 four days earlier to Boreham Wood away.

Weston began January with a win over Dorchester Town at home and picked up points at Basingstoke and Bishop’s Stortford away and Havant and Waterlooville away.

February began with their second away win, at Dover Athletic, and then beating Bishop’s Stortford at home while March began by completing a league double of St Albans City and their third away win at Hampton and Richmond as well as a home win over Ebbsfleet United.

They finished their league season in April by beating Staines Town and then in what the Woking club described as one of the best games ever seen on their ground, they beat Weston 4-3. On the final day, they beat league champions Braintree.

In the FA Cup, Weston beat Gloucester City 2-0 on Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road ground, but in the next qualifying round went out away to Salisbury City. In the FA Trophy, they went out at Dorchester in the third qualifying round.

They enjoyed their greatest result in the Somerset Premier Cup, beating Bishops Sutton and Taunton Town away and overcoming Radstock Town at home and in the final seeing off a strong Yeovil Town outfit at Huish Park to pick up the trophy.

Top scorer was Kane Ingram with 13 in all competitions, followed by 11 from Nat Pepperell, six from the penalty spot. Marcus Duharty had eight; Sahr Kabba had seven, along with Dean Grubb, no longer with the club; Ben Kirk six; Craig Rand and Dayle Grubb, five each; Jamie Price four; Simon Gilbert and Simon Porter three each; Martin Slocombe and Brett Trowbridge two each; and Craig Laird, junior, one.

Of the 49 games played, goalkeeper Lloyd Irish made 48 appearances, missing only the Somerset Premier Cup game against Bishop’s Sutton.

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