Seagulls stop the rot with home draw

WESTON will concentrate on bettering their 12th place finish of last season after a home draw all but extinguished the club’s play-off hopes.

Although Saturday’s Blue Square South draw against bottom club Thurrock ended a recent run of seven straight defeats, it also left the Seagulls 14 points off the division’s top five.

But manager Craig Laird says the team’s progression will continue and is urging his players to finish in the top half of the table and retain their Somerset Premier Cup crown.

Despite ending their recent run of losses, Weston will have been disappointed only to have only recorded a draw against Thurrock.

The Seagulls made the perfect start to the match with leading scorer Sahr Kabba outstripping the away defence and cutting inside before sending a low shot past goalkeeper David Hughes.

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Weston had the better of the opening 45 minutes, with Jamie Price forcing a good save from Hughes and then having a goal disallowed for offside as he stabbed the ball home after Dayle Grubb’s piledriver had been knocked onto his crossbar by Hughes.

Skipper Ben Kirk then struck the angle of post and bar from Grubb’s corner.

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Weston saw a second goal chalked off, again for offside, after 63 minutes when Kane Ingram cut in from the left and shot, but former West Ham United academy player Lee Boylan equalised on 76 minutes with a 25-yard snapshot.

Five minutes later Price finally got his goal to equalise for the Seagulls when he headed in Grubb’s free kick. But two minutes into stoppage time Boylan, who scored a hat-trick on his debut for the club against Weston last season, grabbed his second to level the match right at the death.

Laird said: “It was a tough match against a team who are scrapping for their lives at the bottom.

“I thought one of the two disallowed goals may have been onside but I thought the other one was a bit dubious.

“But it was good to bring that losing run to an end and get a point under our belt so we can make some progress.”

Speaking of the club’s new objectives for the season he said: “We want to finish in the top half of the table and hopefully finish above where we did last season.”

He added that the team would go all out to retain the Somerset Premier Cup, with Weston facing Brislington in the semi-final on April 3.

He continued: “We’ve come a long way in the past two seasons and we’re always looking to progress. I also think before the end of the season we may try out some new formations and try players in different roles.”

On Saturday Weston will travel to Farnborough looking for a league double having won 5-2 when the two sides met in January.

John Fournier, who has previously held posts at Exeter City, Tiverton Town and Leatherhead, has been appointed as the club’s commercial manager.

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