Weston boss rallies supporters ahead of key month
WESTON manager Craig Laird has issued a New Year rallying cry to the club’s supporters as his team face a month that could make or break their season.
Four out of the Seagulls next five games are at home, and Craig is urging the team’s fans to turn out en masse as they aim for a concerted play-off push.
Weston gained instant revenge for their 1-0 Boxing Day reverse at home to Truro City, beating the Cornish team with a late own goal on New Year’s Day.
The team welcomed back Jamie Price and Kane Ingram from that defeat, and an even first half ended with Nat Pepperell’s fizzed cross escaping the touch of his strikers to go out for a goal kick.
An ambitious lob from Kane Ingram hit the angle of post and bar immediately after half-time, before he forced home keeper Tom Brooks into a good save.
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But with the game looking likely to end in a stalemate, giant Truro defender Arran Pugh, under no pressure, tried to affect a clearance, ballooned the ball over his head and out of Brooks’ reach to give Weston the points.
It was the least Weston deserved after Truro won the previous week’s reverse encounter a week with their only effort on goal.
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Speaking of the result, which launched Weston up to eighth spot in the Blue Square South, Craig said: “It would have been devastating not to have gotten three points; we should have had six from the two games, but at least we have got three.”
Although Weston sit in eighth, seventh-placed Dorchester – only a point above them – have played four games more, and the Seagulls are only four points away from the playoff positions.
The team play home matches against Farnborough, on Saturday, Basingstoke, on Tuesday, Welling and Bromley over the next month and Craig is hoping the Seagulls can use the month as a springboard to launch themselves into the top five.
He continued: “If we can get as much as we possibly can in these games then we could end the month in the playoff positions – the skill then would be staying there.
“As I’ve said all season, our aim is to be in touch at the top by the end of the season, and so far we’re on track.
“The fans are very important to how the team does, both home and away, and we need their support over the next month – they have been fantastic so far.”
Weston will face Farnborough at the Woodspring Stadium with Marcus Duharty back in the side, fresh from scoring five goals in a loan spell at Mangotsfield Town, but will be without Dayle Grubb, who has a broken finger and will be out for two to three weeks.