Weston boss praises team’s ‘bravery’

WESTON manager Craig Laird praised the bravery of his players as they battled back to claim a point against Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday.

Laird said the Seagulls were involved in a ‘classic’ match at the Woodspring Stadium, although the 2-2 result has left them down in 15th place in the Blue Square South.

Weston beat them 3-0 in September, a result which cost manager Stuart Richie his job, and new boss Lee Bradbury has overseen a revival in their fortunes.

Weston were pinned in their own half for the opening 10 minutes, but goalkeeper Lloyd Irish was never seriously tested.

The Seagulls got into the game and Havant faded as an attacking force, with Chas Hemmings hitting the away crossbar.

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The home side came out strongly again in the second half but it was Havant who broke the deadlock on 49 minutes, when a flowing move involving Steve Ramsey and Ollie Palmer set up Ryan Moss to score.

Weston battled back and scored on 71 minutes when Ashley Kington scored from close range after Havant goalkeeper Clark Masters dropped a Ross Stearn cross.

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But the Seagulls fell behind again on 77 minutes when Moss grabbed a second goal from Porstmouth loanee Dan Butler’s pass.

And in a breathless finale Chas Hemmings grabbed Weston a point, bundling in Jamie Price’s low cross, before former Seagulls favourite Sahr Kabba missed an open goal in the dying seconds.

Speaking after the match, Laird said: “It was a good game – I think the people who paid �10 for a ticket really got their money’s worth.

“It was too scary as a manager, anyone could have gone on to win it. It turned into a bit of a free-for-all at the end.

“I think the players showed great bravery to come back twice after going behind.

“I would like to be involved in a game of football like that every week, I said to the players after that it’s great to be involved in a classic match like that.”

Laird added that he hoped crowds would improve as the Seagulls fought to gain promotion from the division, adding: “It was a great advert for non-league football, but it’s a shame that more people don’t come down and see it. There’s a high level of football right on their doorstep.”

Weston were due to face Dover Athletic in Kent on December 4 in the league, but as both sides have been knocked out of the FA Trophy they will now play the game on Saturday.

Brett Trowbridge is the Seagulls’ only doubt with a knee injury.

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