Weston make one of their shorter trips this campaign to the Black Gold, the home of National League South strugglers Poole Town.
Weston will be looking to get back to winning ways following a 1 – 2 loss at home to Hampton & Richmond last weekend, despite going ahead through Dayle Grubb. With the play-off places just five points away, the Seagulls continue looking up following a strong past couple of months. The fixture also marks Jacob Cane’s return to his former club, having played a part (on loan from Exeter City at the time) in Poole’s Southern League Division One South & West triumph in 2012-2013, as well as a loan period during the 2013-2014 season. Weston’s central midfielder made 19 appearances for the Dolphins spanning two seasons.
Poole currently sit in 20th place, just inside the relegation zone on goal difference, and have been struggling for consistent form all season. The Dolphins have four league wins this campaign and have no league wins coming at home this season (the worst home record in the league behind Whitehawk).
Weston will be fancying their chances come kickoff, Poole head into the clash with a squad that is missing key players. Marvin Brooks and Richard Gillespie’s sendings-off in a 0 – 1 loss to Dartford last Saturday sees them unavailable. Luke Roberts and Michael Walker have been ruled out through injury, as well as Abdulai Bell-Baggie’s departure and Tony Lee’s loan out at AC Totton not helping the Dorset side.
Assistant Manager, Rob Boyd, commented ahead of the fixture, “Heading in to todays game we are looking to start another winning run and push forward in to the busy festive period. The team have made a steady ascent of the table with their recent performances and are hungry to push on, putting last weeks match behind them.”
This fixture is the return of the season’s opening day, a 1 – 2 loss for the Seagulls. Ash Kington and Jack Dickson went close for both sides, before Luke Burbidge had a goal disallowed for offside. In the second half, Jake Reid saw a goal chalked off debatably for offside with Tristan Plummer receiving his marching orders 15 minutes before the final whistle for handball. Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain (now at Oxford City on loan) and Jake Smeeton put the Dolphins ahead late on. Reid grabbed a late consolation for the Seagulls, nodding home Grubb’s cross deep into injury time.