Weston bring entertainment to the Woodspring as Ben proves clever addition
WESTON’S new signing proved a clever addition to the squad as he scored a debut goal in a comfortable win over Boreham Wood on Saturday.
Ben Cleverley was signed from Paulton Rovers less than 24 hours before the match, but justified manager Craig Laird’s faith in him as he came on to score a superb free-kick with the eventual scoreline 4-1 to the home team.
That result sent the Seagulls into seventh, and with crowds improving at the Woodspring Stadium, the boss says both his team and fans are enjoying their football at the moment.
Craig shuffled his forward line on Saturday, with Chris Young and Mike Mackay spearheading the attack, and Young was first on the scoresheet after 19 minutes, beating ‘keeper Michael Jordan from eight yards.
Although Weston ‘keeper Lloyd Irish was tested by Boreham’s Sam Hurrell on 23 minutes, Weston maintained good pressure on the visitors’ goal, Kane Ingram forcing Jordan into a diving save to keep out his rasping shot.
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A melee broke out between the two teams at the beginning of the second half, with Irish pushed to the ground by Boreham’s David Bryant as he tried to return the ball for a free-kick.
Referee Lee Swabey and his two assistants were forced to wade in to stop the fracas, with Bryant and team-mate Mark Jones lucky to escape with yellow cards.
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Ben Cleverley, now starting his second spell at the Woodspring after spending the second half of the 2009/10 season with Weston, replaced Mackay after 67 minutes, and only four minutes later curled a stunning 25-yard free-kick inside Jordan’s near post.
With Weston clearly in the ascendancy, Ingram saw a goal disallowed for offside and substitute Sahr Kabba tested Jordan with his first touch, before Boreham grabbed an undeserved consolation after a mix-up at the back led Irish to lose possession and allow Bryant to score from 20 yards.
Weston had the last laugh though, striking twice in five minutes of stoppage time. First Jamie Price headed in Dayle Grubb’s free-kick, before Grubb added the gloss after a fine solo run from half-way.
Craig was delighted with Cleverley’s impact, saying: “At 29 he’s probably our oldest player now, but I think he’s shown today that he can fit right into our style of playing.
“We’ve played some good football, we’ve been reasonably successful on the pitch and the crowds are obviously responding to that as they have been getting higher as more people are coming along to be entertained, and that’s exactly what we have been doing recently.”
Speaking of Weston’s league position, which sees them only two points behind second placed Woking, he continued: “We’ve had quite a good start to the season, and I think we played our best football of the season so far in the first 20 minutes on Saturday.
“But just like in the game, we mustn’t get complacent – we’ve got no divine right to be where we are and must keep our heads down and keep working, and then there’s no limit to where we could end up in this division.”
Craig also revealed that 19-year-old midfielder George Booth is likely to leave the club on loan for a couple of months to gain experience, but no agreement has yet been made with a club.