Weston boss vows to make team hard to beat

SEAGULLS boss Craig Laird says his team will endeavour to become one of the hardest teams to beat in the league after conceding a last-minute goal in their last match.

Weston held out until the 93rd minute of a tough away match at Dover Athletic on Saturday, before a goal in the dying moments snatched a priceless point away.

And ahead of another trying trip, to fourth-placed Dartford on Saturday, Craig said his team are putting in extra work on the training ground in a bid to stop conceding soft goals.

Weston were good value for at least a share of the points at the Crabble Athletic Ground, as the impressive Dayle Grubb saw a free-kick come back off the home team’s woodwork, while Kane Ingram and Grubb saw other efforts saved.

But the all-important goal came in the third minute of added time, when Barry Cogan’s low drive beat Weston keeper Lloyd Irish from 25 yards.

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The team had little time to dwell on the result though, as they kept up the defence of their Somerset Premier Cup crown on Tuesday.

Facing Toolstation Western League side Bristol Manor Farm, Weston started well but could not find a breakthrough until the 44th minute, Matt Huxley beating keeper Lee Ballard from close range.

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Dayle Grubb then scored a second a minute later.

Although Manor Farm tested Weston’s defence with some promising attacks, Seagulls substitute Marcus Duharty, in his first appearance of the season after a loan spell at Mangotsfield, used his pace to get behind the home defence and cross for Grubb to turn in his second.

Jamie Price’s fourth saw Weston through to the quarter finals, with the draw yet to be made.

On Saturday Weston will look to avenge a 4-0 defeat to Dartford on the opening day of the Blue Square South season, and Craig says extra work is being put in behind the scenes to improve his team’s defensive record.

He said: “We’ve conceded some soft and silly goals which have cost us recently, and we want to curb the cavalier attitude to defending our players sometimes take.

“We’ve looked at the goals we’ve conceded and (assistant manager) Jon Haile and I have talked to the players about their roles. Defending is an attitude, and one we need all our players to have.”

Aside from Brett Trowbridge, who is doubtful with an ankle knock, Weston have a fully-fit squad to choose from, although Duharty may return to Mangotsfield to continue his loan spell.

Craig said: “We played well against Dover and were very unlucky to lose in the end. We want to return the complement to Dartford after they beat us earlier in the season, and our lads are more than up for it.”

Weston will then entertain Staines Town on Tuesday in a re-arranged league fixture.

In the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy Weston have been drawn away to fellow Blue Square South side Salisbury City on November 26.

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