Marc McGregor’s Seagulls side found themselves undeservedly coming away from their rearranged encounter with playoff hopefuls St Albans City, with the visitors netting two late goals to claim all three points on a mild evening down at the Woodspring Stadium.
Weston were very much the side in the ascendency in the first period, playing the ball around and spending the majority of their time in the visitor’s half. Winger Mo Baghdadi, Danny Greenslade and Mo Baghdadi worked the ball excellently which put Kenan Dunnwald in behind, but his shot from an angle was held by visiting keeper Dean Snedker.
Captain Jacob Cane’s inswinging cross was toe-poked into the midriff of Snedker by striker Gethyn Hill inside the box, before Plummer met a low corner from Greenslade at the near post, but his effort hit the head of Hill and went behind for a goal-kick.
Weston’s football continued to push them forward, and came close when Dunnwald slid Harper in on goal, but Snedker blocked with his feet as the young full-back tried to lift the ball over him. On the counter, Cane fed Baghdadi who ran at two defenders, cutting past them onto his left foot but his 18-yard effort was straight into the hands of Snedker for the last action of the half.
Following the interval, St Albans looked to have taken inspiration from whatever Ian Allison had said at half-time when Harvey Bradbury got in behind the Seagulls defence yet his shot was palmed away by Luke Purnell and gathered by Weston’s No.1 at the second attempt.
Just after the hour mark, Weston had their best chance of the evening when a diagonal pass from Cane was perfectly into Harper’s stride, and his cut-back took Snedker out of the game. German Dunnwald swung his foot towards the ball, and it looked to be a certain goal, until Tom Gardiner was back on the line and cleared Dunnwald’s shot from the six-yard box off the line.
St Albans looked to take heart from their scare, and substitute Antonio German went close when he shot on the turn from a corner. Purnell palmed it up into the air and was able to catch on the second attempt.
St Albans broke the deadlock though with 15 minutes remaining. Purnell came out of his area to sweep up a long ball and when he possibly should have put his foot through the ball, he laid it out to a Weston defender. The Weston man in possession was robbed of the ball, but centre-back Jason Pope was heroically back to win the ball and put it out for a corner. From the corner, David Noble’s delivery was glanced on by German to Jamie Sendles-White at the back post, who hammered home for his first St Albans goal.
Zane Banton dribbled past a few on the left, with his resulting effort pushed over the bar by Purnell. A Jarrad Welch free-kick went just inches over the bar as Weston pushed for a late equaliser.
St Albans put the game to bed though as the game ticked into additional time. A ball bounced off a few players and into the path of Percy Kiangebeni 18 yards out. The substitute steered a strike into the bottom corner, leaving Purnell rooted.
There was one more chance for the Seagulls fans to witness inside the stadium, when Baghdadi’s cross was slotted away by Dunnwald inside the box, however the German was dubiously adjudged to be offside.
FT: Weston 0-2 St Albans (Sendles-White 76, Kiangebeni 89)
Weston XI: Purnell, Harper, Greenslade, Cane (C), Pope, Lee, Baghdadi, Dunnwald, Hill, Welch, Plummer (Diallo 66). Unused subs: Parsons, Laird, Kington, Scott.
MOTM: Jason Pope – The ever-consistent centre-back put in a solid display at the back, winning tackles and displaying calmness and composure on the ball to start attacks, whether it be finding a forward player or bringing the ball over halfway himself.