Two defeats dent Seagulls promotion push

WESTON suffered two away defeats to promotion rivals in three days as they slipped eight points off the play-off places this week.

The Seagulls have lost four consecutive games following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Tonbridge Angels and 3-2 loss to Chelmsford City.

The league’s decision to play the re-arranged Chelmsford game just 48 hours after an equally tough trip to Tonbridge angered Seagulls boss Craig Laird who said it would have been ‘unfair’ to ask professional sides to play two matches in such quick succession.

He said: “It’s a massive amount to ask people to travel so far. I’m disappointed with the league because we had four or five players missing on Monday because they are part-time and couldn’t get the time off work.”

The congested fixture list did not help Weston, but Craig refused to blame it as his side slipped to seventh in the table.

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Weston conceded three second-half goals to Tonbridge on Saturday after failing to convert several chances.

Conference South topscorer Fannie Collin opened the scoring after keeper Lloyd Irish allowed his 40-yard freekick to slip through his grasp.

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Craig said: “Lloyd made his first mistake in two years and it changed the game as it got their tails up.

“You see professional keepers make similar mistakes but we probably could have been three goals up at that time.”

Weston’s weakened squad – hit by injuries, suspensions and withdrawals – were unlucky at Chelmsford on Monday night not to get a result.

Crowd favourite Sahr Kabba’s 11th goal of the season gave Weston a half-time lead but three Chelmsford goals in 30 second-half minutes changed the game.

Nat Pepperell stroked home a consolation penalty in added-time minutes after Nabi Diallo was sent-off.

Craig said the Chelmsford first goal, which came from a deflected free-kick, showed his side were not having any luck at the moment and robbed the Seagulls of a deserved result.

But with Jamie Price returning for the weekend’s trip to fifth-placed Sutton United and Marcus Duharty facing a late fitness test, Craig is hopeful of getting the side back to winning ways.

But he admitted if the side were to keep their promotion dreams alive, they needed to avoid defeat to stop the eight-point gap to Sutton growing any bigger.

Although he added Weston had made considerable progress this season and to be able to still talk about promotion in late February was a great achievement.

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