Seagulls rescue point at home to Sutton
WESTON snatched ‘a draw from the jaws of defeat’ against Sutton United according to manager Craig Laird, but the result means the team has now extended their unbeaten run to three games.
The Seagulls scored a penalty in the third minute of injury time in the Blue Square South match at the Woodspring Stadium on Saturday to tie the match 1-1.
Although it was unfortunate on the visitors, who had controlled the game, Laird says he is pleased with his side’s never say die attitude.
Weston were missing several key players for Sutton’s visit, with skipper Ben Kirk suspended and full-backs Jamie Price and Martin Slocombe both out.
They were replaced by Pete Monks and 18-year-old Callum Laird, who made his debut at right-back.
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Despite a bright opening for Weston, Sutton broke the deadlock with their first attack on 10 minutes.
Michael Abnett found space on the right and crossed for Harry Beautyman to beat Lloyd Irish from close range.
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The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Weston and allowed Sutton to take charge, with Irish keeping out Reece Jones and Abnett in the first-half.
Sutton had more chances to double their lead in the second half through substitute Stefan Payne, but it was Weston who were awarded a penalty and the chance to level the scores as the match neared its end.
Away skipper Jamie Stuart, recently brought in from AFC Wimbledon, felled Seagulls substitute Chris Young and Ross Stearn beat Sutton keeper Tom Lovelock from the penalty spot.
But that was not the last drama of the match, as Weston centre-back Mat Villis handled the ball on the edge of his area.
Sutton’s Tommy Kavanah took the kick in a dangerous area but fired over to end the match.
Speaking after the match, Laird said: “I thought we grabbed a draw from the jaws of defeat, it felt more like a win to us than it would have done to Sutton, that’s for sure. Your luck evens out a bit over the course of the season. We’ve had some matches where we deserved more than we got so perhaps this evened it out a bit.”
Laird said he was pleased with the attitude his team had in still trying to get a result in injury time.
The Seagulls are expected to welcome back Kirk, Price and Slocombe for the trip to Chelmsford on Saturday.
Weston will also find out who their opponents will be in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, as Frome Town and Larkhall Athletic played out their first round replay as the Mercury went to press.
Weston’s match against the winners of that tie will take place on September 22.
Weston have also paid tribute to club chaplain Preb Heather Williams, who also helped on match days at the ground with fund-raising activities. She died on September 4, and a minute’s silence was observed before the match against Sutton.