Weston play-off bid hit by Dover loss

Westonv Dover.

Westonv Dover. - Credit: Archant

A WEAKENED Weston side slipped three points off the play-offs after suffering a second consecutive home defeat.

The Seagulls were without suspended pair Matt Villis and Jamie Price while Brett Trowbridge missed out through injury, as they lost 3-0 to promotion-chasing Dover Athletic.

Manager Craig Laird bemoaned losing three key players before kick-off and goalkeeper Lloyd Irish picking up a thigh problem in the warm up.

He said: “I was really pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result.

“We controlled big parts of the game. On another day I think we could have had a better result.”

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Ricky Modeste, who scored in Weston’s 3-1 defeat in Dover back in November, again tormented the Seagulls’ backline with two goals.

He opened the scoring inside 10 minutes after being allowed a free run against Irish and had no trouble in finding the back of the net.

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Former Millwall striker Ben May nearly doubled Dover’s lead in the 12th minute but headed narrowly wide from a corner.

Weston failed to heed the warning and conceded a second, eight minutes before the interval.

A half-cleared corner was played back into the six-yard box where Dover skipper Ian Simpemba got the merest of touches and the ball squirmed from Irish’s grasp and into the net.

Weston grew into the game and shortly after they had a penalty appeal turned down, Nabi Diallo’s provided the Seagulls’ first shot on target when his effort was saved by Walker in the 44th minute.

But Weston were fortunate not to be further behind at the break, with Irish pulling of a good stop to deny May from another Dover corner.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Modeste sealing the win on 53 minutes.

When a low free kick came back off the post, the winger got their first to prod home the rebound.

Weston saw a second strong penalty shout turned down when substitute Callum Laird fell in the box.

In the final moments Dover almost scored a fourth goal as Irish was beaten by Calum Willock’s effort, only for Jamie Laird to scramble the ball off the line.

The result leaves Weston in seventh spot, while Dover have climbed to third.

Laird thanked the fans for their continued support and said the result could have been different had ‘two definite penalties’ been given by referee Richard Hulme.

Weston welcome top of the table Welling United to the Woodspring Stadium on Saturday, before making the trip south to face bottom side Truro City on Tuesday evening.

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