Weston had made a dream start - Laird

Naby Diallo.

Naby Diallo. - Credit: Archant

WESTON have made a dream start to the season according to manager Craig Laird after his side were held by a dogged Whitehawk side.

A second consecutive goalless draw extended their unbeaten run to six games and Laird was happy with a point against the league newcomers, despite their goalkeeper being sent off early in the second half.

Laird said: “The Dover game (where Weston won 2-1 away) was a fantastic result and we’ve built on that with two good draws against Maidenhead United and Whitehawk.

“It’s always difficult to play against 10 men especially away. They organised themselves well and worked hard for their manager.

“We were a bit naïve going forward perhaps but we’re happy to come away with a point.

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“I thought we were the better side even when they had 11 men. I thought we dominated the game.”

The first ever meeting between the sides on Saturday saw Weston start the brighter with Tristan Plummer denied his fifth goal of the season by the upright after just 10 minutes.

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Kane Ingram was then soon denied by Chris Winterton in the Whitehawk goal after Ashley Kington’s free-kick.

The Brighton-based outfit grew into the game as the half wore on and Weston goalkeeper Luke Purnell had to be alert to deny Hakeem Adelshun as the interval approached.

The home side kept the momentum early in the second half with Steve Gargan nodding against the crossbar from close range.

However the game turned when Winterton was dismissed with 35 minutes to play for deliberately handling outside the penalty area.

Having missed the home side’s best chance for a goal, Gargan took over the goalkeeping duties and performed admirably to keep the game scoreless.

Jake Harris, signed by the Seagulls this week after being released by Hereford United, was denied in the closing moments by Gargan after coming on as a late substitute.

The point keeps Weston third in the Skrill South table and extends the club’s unbeaten run to six matches.

Laird said he could not have dreamt of a better start to the league campaign.

He said: “We have raised expectations which means we must be doing something right but there’s still another 30-odd games to go. Championships aren’t won at this time of the season.”

Weston begin their FA Cup adventure this week with a tricky trip to Basingstoke Town on Saturday afternoon in the second qualifying round of the historic competition.

The Hampshire club sit four points behind Weston in the league with a game in hand and will provide stern opposition according to Laird.

Late fitness tests will be given to Dayle Grubb and Pete Monks who missed the Whitehawk match, while skipper Jamie Laird will miss the cup tie as ironically he is on a FA course.

The Seagulls will need to win three games to reach the first round proper and if Saturday’s match ends in a draw, a replay will be held at the Woodspring Stadium on Tuesday night at 7.45pm.

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