Second-half slump costs Seagulls
All seemed to be going to plan for Weston-super-Mare against St Albans City at Clarence Park. A confident first half produced a volume of quickfire breakaways culminating in Scott Wilson breaking the deadlock with 36 minutes played.
The move that brought the opener was fluid, an embodiment of the Seagulls footballing philosophy. Joe McClennan stretched the play on the right wing, linking with Tristan Plummer who rolled his man before squaring for Wilson who finished off from no more than six yards.
At the other end, Luke Purnell was relatively untested, coping comfortably with the crosses that came his way.
As the teams went in at the interval, it appeared Weston were on their way to a significant result in their season, stepping closer to safety.
The reality was far different. A weak, passive display was given in the second period, devoid of aggression and confidence.
The Seagulls were penned in, unable to establish meaningful possession but the heroics of Purnell, who mustered the most miraculous of double-saves, gave the feeling that Weston might get away with it.
It was the introduction of another striker to the mix that proved the secret ingredient for the home side. 20 minutes were remaining, and within 30 seconds of coming on, substitute Michael Thalassitis got in front of his man and sent a thumping header into the bottom corner – the Weston defence were caught napping, appealing for offside allowing Louie Theophanous time to deliver a perfect cross.
There was a sense of inevitability that a second goal would arrive for Saints, but the fashion in which it came was totally avoidable. Jamie Edge and Purnell seemed to get their wires cross, allowing Theophanous to steal in and prod home – Edge, in hindsight, will regret not sticking the ball on the adjacent train tracks.
The reality was it was ‘do or die’ for St Albans, a result that keeps them alive. The Seagulls still control their destiny, but the eminent feeling is they could have done with compatible commitment in the second half.
Final score: St Albans City 2-1 Weston-super-Mare
Weston XI: Purnell, Keary, Edge, Ingram, Pope, Fortune (c), McClennan, Plummer (Withey), Wilson, Wring (Byrne), Camper (Cane).
Substitutes not used: Llewellyn, Varouxakis.
Match report written by Sam Frost