City head to the seaside in desperate need of points

City looking to get back to winning ways at Weston

ST ALBANS City make the long arduous journey to Weston-super-Mare this Saturday in desperate need for three points.

ADDRESS: Woodspring Stadium, Winterstoke Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 9AA

Tel: 01934 621618

THE LOWDOWN: Weston-super-Mare are currently enjoying their best season for years under the guidance of manager Craig Laird.

Laird is currently in his first season at the Woodspring Stadium and has conducted a major overhaul of the playing staff bringing in a number of players from his previous club Bridgewater Town.

Weston are currently in a bit of a dip having lost four of their last six games including clashes with struggling sides Dartford and Dorchester Town. However in their last home game the Seagulls recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over Bishop’s Stortford.

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Weston’s biggest win this season saw them put seven unanswered goals past Bromley but they have also suffered big defeats at Boreham Wood (6-3) and Braintree (4-0).

THE MANAGER: Craig Laird has gained a growing reputation as one of the most promising managers in non-league football.

Laird enjoyed four successful seasons at Bridgewater Town having served his apprenticeship with a six year spell as the club’s reserve team boss.

Laird, who has also coached Plymouth Argyle’s youth teams, narrowly missed out on promotion with Bridgewater last season before accepting the vacant manager’s position at Weston where he was joined by sons Craig and Jamie.

Laird Snr’s other son, Scott, is a former England C international currently playing for npower League 2 side Stevenage.

THE SQUAD: Lloyd Irish has made the number one jersey his own this season racking up 35 appearances after arriving at the club in the summer.

Right-back Jamie Price is one of a number of players to have followed manager Criag Laird from Bridgwater Town this season and is part of a settled defence.

Captain Craig Rand is one of the few players to have remained at the club following Laird’s arrival and has continued to be a mainstay at the heart of the Weston defence alongside Jamie Laird.

Formerly with Bridgewater, Jamie has also gained experience playing in Sweden and Norway and has gained over 20 caps representing Scotland at Youth level.

Weston-born left-back Martin Slocombe has plenty of experience of life in Blue Square South after spells with Bath City and Weymouth having originally started his career as a trainee at Bristol City.

Justin Porter is an accomplished midfield player and another of the former Bridgewater brigade who has also spent time playing in the United States.

Porter is joined in midfield by Ben Kirk, another summer arrival, who has weighed in with three goals this term.

The main source of goals from midfield has been Kane Ingram who has found the back of the net seven times in 29 appearances. The attack minded midfielder has also kept referees busy racking up 10 yellow cards and one red.

Dayle Grubb has also chipped in in the goals for column with four strikes. The 19-year-old, like Rand, is one of the few existing squad members to have remained under the new regime.

The Seagulls leading marksman this term is Marcus Duharty who has scored eight goals this season. The 25-year-old played under Craig Laird at Bridgewater and has also turned out for Cadbury Heath, Mangotsfield and Bristol Rovers.

Sahr Kabba scored two of his four goals this season at Clarence Park, instigating Weston’s remarkable recovery. The pacy forward has found goals hard to come by this season but has still managed 34 appearances for the club.

Another option available to Laird is Nabi Diallo who could feature after a loan spell at Bridgewater. Since his return from that temporary stay at Weston’s Somerset neighbours Diallo has featured regularly but he has yet to break his duck for the club.

LAST TIME: Saints fans will not want to be reminded of the time the two sides last met as Weston came from 2-0 down to win 4-3.

Mark Peters and Jean-Michel Sigere fired City into a comfortable lead but that advantage evaporated as strikes from Marcus Duharty and Sahr Kabba drew the visitors level.

Inih Effiong’s strike 60 seconds later looked like saving City’s blushes but Weston had other ideas with Kane Ingram and Kabba again netting.

REFEREE (subject to change): A J Newell assisted by A W Ricketts & S Brown.