Seagulls’ season ends with shock resignation of their manager

Callum Laird.

Callum Laird. - Credit: Archant

Weston finished their Skrill South campaign in a comfortable 11th spot, but the season ended with the shock news of the resignation of the manager Craig Laird.

ALTHOUGH Weston finished their Skrill South campaign in a comfortable 11th spot, the season ended with the shock news of the resignation of the manager Craig Laird and both the coaches, Marc McGregor and Bob Boyd.

It is understood the club held a board meeting recently and details of the playing budget for next season were announced to the manager.

Unfortunately, there was a cut in the amount available to finance the team which resulted in the resignations, as they felt unable to keep up the standard of play they set.

It is down to the lack of support given to the club. They need an average attendance of approximately 1,000 at every home league game to maintain a squad capable to challenging for promotion, not an impossible figure given the size of the population, but unfortunately they can attract only less than 300, despite the quality of football being served up.

The board has tried hard to attract new investment without significant success and add to that the cost of travel, with the club having one of the largest travel bills in the league.

The new manager will have to hit the ground running, as the first home pre-season friendly is scheduled for July 9 and the season starts on August 9.

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Of the 42 league games played, Weston won 16, drew nine and lost 17, and they scored 50 goals, but conceded 55.

Weston recorded league doubles over Dorchester, Chelmsford City and Dover Athletic, while they lost twice to Eastbourne Borough, Bromley and Staines Town. Their biggest win was 5-0 over Concord Rangers at home, and their biggest defeat was also at home, losing 6-0 to Ebbsfleet.

One highlight was a first-ever win over Eastleigh, the eventual league champions, in almost 20 meetings between the sides.

In the FA Cup, Weston began with an away win over Basingstoke, but in the next round, they lost disappointingly at home to Brislington of the Western League, which resulted in a potential big financial loss.

In the FA Trophy, they overcame old rivals Tiverton Town away in a replay after a home draw and in the next round, they gave a sterling performance away at Premier side Aldershot Town, with the home side equalising in injury time, but were beaten 5-2 at home in the replay.

In the Somerset Premier Cup, Weston began with an easy 5-0 win over Chard Town and in the next round, away to a strong Yeovil Town side, they lost 4–1. In the next round, Yeovil pulled out of the competition, and Weston should rightfully be reinstated, but were not.

Leading scorer in the league was Ashley Kington with nine, including three penalties, followed by Dayle Grubb with six. Tristan Plummer, who was transferred to Aldershot, scored five, including two penalties, and Chas Hemmings also scored five times.

Other scorers were Naby Diallo (4), Alec Fiddes (3), Bradley Ash and Syd Camper (2 each), Kane Ingram (2, one penalty), Kane McClaggon (one penalty), Jamie Laird and brother Callum (one each).

In all cup competitions, Tristan Plummer scored three, as did Ben Kirk and Jake Harris, and other scorers were Ashley Kington (2), Naby Diallo (2), Kane Ingram (2),Chas Hemmings and Callum Laird (1 each).

Final league table, all played 42 games:

W D L Pts

Eastleigh 26 8 8 86

Sutton United 23 12 7 81

Bromley 25 5 12 80

Ebbsfleet 21 11 10 74

Dover Athletic 20 9 13 69

Havant & W 19 12 11 69

Bath City 18 12 12 66

Staines Town 18 9 15 63

Concord Rangers 17 10 15 61

Eastbourne Borough 16 10 16 58

WESTON 16 9 17 57

Gosport 16 7 19 55

Boreham Wood 14 11 17 53

Basingstoke Town 15 8 19 53

Bishop’s Stortford 13 13 16 52

Farnborough 15 5 22 50

Chelmsford City 14 7 21 49

Maidenhead United 12 10 20 46

Hayes & Yeading 13 6 23 45

Tonbridge Angels 9 13 20 40

Dorchester 6 7 27 31

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