Seagulls look for cup run after disappointing defeat

WESTON’S manager is hoping the team’s first foray into this season’s FA Cup can help reignite their form after a disappointing defeat on Saturday.

The Seagulls slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Hampton and Richmond, who climbed off the bottom of the Blue Square South table as a result of their first win of the season.

But despite the poor result, which saw his side slip to seventh, Craig says his time can recapture their form when they take on Dorchester, who they beat 3-1 last week, in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

With Jamie Price missing out, Jack Martin replaced him in the only change from the win against Dorchester.

And despite Weston starting brightly, Hampton hit the crossbar and then went ahead after Nathan Collier’s cross was deemed to have been handled by Kane Ingram, leaving James Simmons beat Irish from the spot.

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The Seagulls suffered another blow after 34 minutes when Martin Slocombe was forced off through injury with Ben Cleverley replacing him, and Matt Villis was replaced by Sahr Kabba after a clash of heads with Hampton’s Dan Thompson.

And the team’s defensive uncertainties were exploited only five minutes after the break, with Dave Tarpey beating Irish with a superb 30-yard lob, before Simmons soloed through to add a third.

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Although Weston improved, they were only able to grab one consolation goal in the 90th minute, when Dayle Grubb beat ‘keeper Rodney Chiweshe with a 30-yard drive that went in off a post.

Craig admitted his side were poor on the day, but added that he had not been helped by the defensive changes, with full-back Martin forced to slot in at centre-back alongside Jamie Laird and midfielders Nabi Diallo and Ben Cleverley slotting in as replacement full-backs.

He said: “It was a poor performance, Hampton deserved to win and nothing really went right for us.

“I just hope that we got all the bad stuff out of the way in that match, I won’t complain if we have that kind of result once every ten matches.

“It was really difficult for us to work without three of our first-choice back four, and I think that in the end that was key. We still had enough chances to draw, but it just wasn’t our day.”

Despite Saturday’s injury problems, Craig says he expects to welcome back as many players as he will be missing as his side will look to kick off a cup run at Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium.

Centre-back Villis is expected to recover from his head injury, while Jamie Price and Ben Kirk should also return. Martin Slocombe will miss out, while Brett Trowbridge is still a week away from returning to first team action and Kane Ingram will serve a one-match ban after picking up five cautions.

Craig continued: “I don’t think we’re quite strong enough to win the FA Cup, but we’ll certainly give it our all and prove that the weekend was just a blip.

“A cup run would be fantastic for the club, it would bring in finance and give the supporters something to cheer about.”

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