Seagulls slump to the league leaders

FOR the second successive week, Weston’s Blue Square South game against the league leaders was spoilt by some controversial refereeing decisions.



FOR the second successive week, Weston’s Blue Square South game against the league leaders was spoilt by some controversial refereeing decisions.

Craig Hicks, from Sutton in Surrey, awarded 41 free kicks and booked five players and also showed red to Weston’s Jamie Price, leaving them to play out the final 22 minutes with 10 men.

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With so much interference by the official, the game was lost as a spectacle, but Braintree managed to cement their top of the table position.

In a scoreless first half, Braintree created the better chances with Sean Marks wide with an overhead kick on five minutes and Kenny Davis also off target with a distance effort on 27 minutes. Six minutes later, Braintree forced their first corner when Weston keeper Lloyd Irish did well to tip Mark Jones’ goal-bound distance shot over his crossbar. From the resultant corner kick, an effort ricochetted off the Weston crossbar and was cleared to safety.

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Weston’s only effort of the half fell for Justin Porter, who fired wide when set up by Dayle Grubb on 40 minutes.

The deadlock was broken two minutes into the second half when Marks, the division’s leading scorer, netted from close range when Weston conceded a needless free kick just outside their penalty area. Four minutes later, Braintree struck again when Weston skipper Craig Rand, normally a most dependable defender, lost possession, allowing Jai Reason to cross for Scott Shulton to score from a rebound after Irish saved the first effort.

Weston brought on Marcus Duharty for Dean Grubb and Ben Kirk for Jake Mawford, who was in for Kane Ingram, serving a one-game suspension for picking up five bookings.

Braintree struck again on 72 minutes when Price, who had been previously cautioned, was shown a second yellow card, followed by red, for a challenge on Nicky Symonds which resulted in a penalty and Marks sent Irish the wrong way from the spot.

Despite being a man down, Sarh Kabba forced a smart save from home keeper Nathan McDonald, before giving way to Nat Pepperell on 78 minutes.

Marks completed his hat-trick and his 12th strike of the season on 82 minutes from substitute Dave Bryant’s cross.


Goals: Braintree, Marks (47, 72 (penalty), 82), Shulton (51).

Shots on target: Braintree 7, Weston 2.

Shots off target: Braintree 5, Weston 2.

Corners: Braintree 2, Weston 2.

Offsides: Braintree 3, Weston 1.

Free kicks conceded: Braintree 20, Weston 21.

Referee: Craig Hicks (Sutton, Surrey). Erratic.

Bookings: Braintree, Jones, Paine. Weston, Price (2 yellow), Trowbridge, Kabba.

Weston squad: Irish, Price, Laird, Rand, Villis, Porter, Mawford (Kirk 61), Dayle Grubb, Kabba (Pepperell 78), Trowbridge, Dean Grubb (Duharty 52). Subs (not used): Slocombe, Cureton.

WESTON have a busy time next week as they entertain bottom side Lewes on Saturday (3pm) in the Blue Square South and on Tuesday (7.45pm) travel to Bishop Sutton for a second-round tie in the Somerset Premier Cup.

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