Weston-super-Mare secured their National League South status on Saturday afternoon, overcoming Maidenhead United by two goals to nil at the Woodspring Stadium.
The Seagulls posed the greater attacking threat throughout, picking off the visitors, who mustered very little production from ample possession.
The three points means Weston maintained their National League status with a week to spare, avoiding a potential nail-biter at Havant & Waterlooville next weekend.
Defeat brought an end to Maidenhead’s playoff chase.
The opening to the game was tense, both sides aware of its importance at both ends of the league table.
The Seagulls were able to soak up the pressure applied to them in the first half and began to break with speed and verve. Joe McClennan and Dayle Grubb, twice, were repelled by Carl Petney in the Magpies’ goal.
Following those first-half misses, the counter-attack proved to the source of both goals after the break.
Seven minutes into the second stanza, Scott Wilson and Tristan Plummer cleverly exchanged possession on halfway – the latter charged through on goal, only to be felled inside the area by Dean Inman.
Wilson stuttered and fainted, before nonchalantly rolling into the bottom corner with the ‘keeper bamboozled to give the Seagulls the advantage.
Not settling for one, Plummer was once again at the heart of a breathtaking breakaway. Grubb’s clearance found the diminutive forward in the centre circle, holding the ball up with the physicality you’d expect of a bruising centre forward.
Plummer then found Grubb busting a gut to charge into space in the left channel, and as he does with such regularity, the Captain bought a yard in the penalty area and arrowed into the bottom corner with 13 minutes remaining.
More goals might have followed, but subsequent sightings were squandered. Nevertheless, the job was done. Safety was secured.
After significant player turnover, and a nightmarish start to the campaign, the Seagulls have recovered to establish a nucleus of talent and a foundation to build upon. What is achieved from here will be how the management team and squad are ultimately judged.
Final Score: Weston-super-Mare 2-0 Maidenhead United (Wilson pen 52, Grubb 77).
Weston XI: Purnell, Simpson, Llewellyn (Withey), Cane, Keary, Fortune, McClenan, Plummer, Wilson (Mawford), Grubb (c), Edge (Ingram).
Substitutes not used: Barnes, Varouxakis.
Man of the Match: Clayton Fortune – Once again displayed his class, nicking possession, distributing the ball with quality and reading the game like a true professional. Largely nullified Maidenhead’s attacking threat.
Match report written by Sam Frost