Stearn boosts Weston by snubbing transfer

Stearn joined Weston from Chippenham Town last summer

Stearn joined Weston from Chippenham Town last summer - Credit: Archant

WESTON have been handed a major boost with the news that key player Ross Stearn has snubbed a lucrative offer from a rival Blue Square South side.

The winger turned down Bath City to stay at the Woodspring Stadium for the rest of the season, with that good news following an impressive 2-0 away win at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.

Manager Craig Laird was laid low by the flu which caused Brett Trowbridge and Matt Villis to miss last week’s 4-2 home loss to Eastleigh, and assistant manager Marc McGregor and coach Bob Boyd took charge for Saturday’s game.

Weston controlled the first half, with a Chas Hemmings goal on 16 minutes the reward for their early dominance.

The home side never got near the Weston penalty area in the opening half, and Kayne McClaggon’s first goal for the Seagulls doubled their advantage on 40 minutes.

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Although Eastbourne improved slightly in the second half, a Sam Coles header in the 89th minute was their only effort on target.

The result, their sixth away win of the season, has seen them climb to sixth in the league after Farnborough, who were above them on goal difference, were docked four points for a league infringement.

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Speaking after the result, McGregor said: “I thought we played really well. After the Eastleigh game we talked about taking the lead and then controlling the game, and that’s exactly what we did on Saturday – it was a very professional performance.”

Stearn, who played 86 minutes on Saturday, had been approached by Bath over a proposed transfer, but he announced on Tuesday that his immediate future remains at Weston.

He said: “I am very happy at Weston at the minute and think the style of football we play suits me well. The lads and the gaffer have played a major part in my decision to stay.

“Obviously I am flattered with the attention of other clubs coming in but I have spoken to the manager and will remain loyal to the club and then revise the situation at the end of the season.

“I’m glad to be enjoying my football and sometimes that is more important than a financial package. I hope my decision to stay can prove positive with a play-off push from now until the end of the season.”

Although Stearn will be in the squad for Saturday’s visit of fourth-placed Dover, Laird has doubts over several players.

Saturday’s goalscorers, Hemmings and McClaggon, may miss out with back and hamstring injuries respectively, and the manager has admitted he may have to dip into the loan market to strengthen the squad.

Saying he hoped to add a centre-back on loan, and potentially another striker, he said: “We always try to bring in players who would be with us in the long-term, but I will have to turn to the loan market.

“We desperately need an experienced centre-back, and we’re also looking short up front at the moment.”

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