Weston slip to 12th after narrow defeat
- Credit: Archant
WESTON slipped into the bottom half of the Skrill South after a third straight league defeat.
Tuesday’s trip to Staines Town saw the Seagulls lose 2-1 despite a battling performance which saw them reduced to 10 men in the closing stages,
Centre-back Dan Gregson was handed a debut having signed this week alongside the returning Jamie Laird after serving a three-game suspension, although he would go on to get sent off again after picking up two yellow cards.
Weston started brightly with Callum Laird firing wide in the first minute as the Seagulls tried to improve on a record that had seen them lose five of their last six games in all competitions.
Goalkeeper Luke Purnell denied Bajram Pashaj’s low effort with his legs but Staines took the lead after quarter of an hour.
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A corner taken by Louie Theophanous was knocked past Purnell by Staines defender Luke Neville to hand the Swans the early advantage.
Kane Ingram, Dayle Grubb and Laird again all went close as Weston went into the break behind.
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In the second half Purnell did well to keep the deficit to a single goal when he denied Theophanous as the striker burst clean through.
However Staines went two-up on 64 minutes as neat build up play involving Theophanous and Pashaj saw Louis-Rae Beadle bundle the ball home as Weston failed to deal with a low cross.
Tristan Plummer and Jake Harris were introduced as the Seagulls chased the game, although the latter succumbed to a hamstring injury just minutes after coming on.
The lively Plummer was fouled on the edge of the box allowing Ashley Kington to curl home an excellent 20-yard free-kick through the wall.
One back and with seven minutes to go, Weston pilled forward but were unable to get an equaliser as Staines extended their unbeaten home record, only three days after being thumped 5-0 by Brentford in the FA Cup.
Although the Seagulls have slipped to 12th in the league, they are only four points from the final play-off spot.
Manager Craig Laird said the Seagulls’ limited financial resources - among the lowest in the division - meant injuries and suspensions are always going to have an effect on results because, like bottom club Dorchester Town, there simply is not the money available to keep a big squad.
Weston entertain Tiverton Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) in the FA Trophy as Laird’s side look to return to the same rich vein of form they started the season with.