Seagulls set for welcome break after hard-fought point
WESTON will go into a well-earned break after a hard-fought away trip saw them return to the Woodspring Stadium with a point.
Having been knocked out of the FA Trophy the team are without a game this weekend, and following the 1-1 tie at Havant and Waterlooville manager Craig Laird said knocks and bruises picked up during a tough recent run will be allowed to heal.
The Seagulls have been left depleted in recent weeks, and were only able to name three substitutes on the bench for Saturday’s match, with midfielder Nabi Diallo drafted into the defence.
But it was Weston who started the strongest, and forced a breakthrough after 34 minutes, as striker Chris Young saw a fine header parried away by keeper Lyall Beasley.
But the ball dropped to Brett Trowbridge, who scored having only just returned to the starting line-up after five matches out through injury.
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Despite their dominance, the Seagulls were unable to capitalise and paid the penalty on the stroke of half time, Leon Cashmen rising at the far post to head Havant level.
The home team picked up the pace in the second half, with the Weston back four defending admirably and keeper Lloyd Irish being kept busy throughout the half, but the Seagulls held out for a valuable point.
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Speaking after the match, Craig said: “I thought we played well first half, as well as we have all season. We could’ve put ourselves a couple up but didn’t capitalise.
“They made it very hard for us in the second half, and a draw was probably a fair result. I think both sides were a bit apprehensive of each other.”
Referring to the Seagulls’ growing away support, he added: “It was great to see a good away turnout again this week, and it speaks volumes on the progress we made when they left disappointed with the point away at Havant.
“In a year our expectations have grown a lot. We would have all been delighted with a point away at Havant last year.”
After Weston were knocked out of the FA Trophy by Salisbury City last week, they are without a game until another away trip, to Eastbourne Borough on December 17.
Craig concluded: “Having no game on Saturday will help strengthen the squad again, we have a number of injuries so it will be good to get them back to match fitness.
“With the injuries and suspensions we’ve had recently, it’s a credit to the whole squad that we have continued to perform so well.
“We’re also going to use the opportunity to try out a new formation, as we don’t want to become predictable, and want to be able to respond to different situations.”