Terras earn hard-fought draw

RESOLUTE Weymouth earned a deserved share of the spoils following this hard-fought goalless draw in the Dr Martens Premier Division against in-form Worcester City at St George’s Lane.

But despite neither side being able to break the deadlock the game was far from a bore-draw with a number of openings being fashioned at both ends.

And Terras boss Andy Mason can take heart from his side’s solid showing, particularly in the opening period, when they caused City – who have been on a rich vein of form – a number of problems with keeper Danny McDonnell having to be at his best to deny Mark Robinson, Mark Gammon and the impressive Simon Browne.

However City can also point to a few chances spurned, mainly from seventeen-goal striker Mark Owen, who was well-marshalled throughout by the Weymouth rearguard. But in truth a draw was probably a fair result between two sides who matched each other stride for stride – the first-half belonged to the Terras and after the break it was the hosts who took charge.

Mason was boosted by the return of Ryan Cross to the starting line-up and the ex-Magpie produced another excellent display at the heart of the defence alongside John Waldock and Mathew Hare to help contain Worcester strike duo Owen and Micky Cotter.

And popular super-sub Martin Underhay, fresh from last week’s two-goal blast against Tamworth, was handed a deserved start in place of out-of-form David Laws.

Weymouth started like a house on fire and they almost took the lead within three minutes when Gary Funnell and Mark Gammon combined to set-up Mark Robinson but the midfielder’s effort from close range was well-blocked by McDonnell at his near post.

Terras keeper Danny Potter then did well moments later to save from Cotter before midway through the opening period a quick clearance from the sharp Potter found Underhay in space and bearing down on McDonnell’s goal.

But with the livewire striker seemingly about to pull the trigger, Carl Heeley was able to make a superb tackle to deny him. Darran Rowbotham then had a long-range effort go into the side-netting before Cross saved Weymouth’s bacon on 39 minutes with a brilliant last-ditch tackle to prevent Owen firing one in on goal.

The end-to-end action continued and just a minute later Rowbotham set-up Gammon for the wing-back to have a pop from 20 yards only to see McDonnell do well to tip it over the bar.

After the interval the hosts looked livelier and they signalled their intentions just three minutes after the restart when the impressive Ian Reed’s cross found substitute Paul Carty in space but his glancing header flashed across goal.

Browne, who excelled in midfield, then had a header from Robinson’s cross go close for the visitors before he unleashed a 25-yard thunderbolt on 62 minutes which went inches over the top.

The hosts then began to pump high balls into the Terras box in a desperate search for an opener and they were almost successful when Reed’s shot was blocked following a goalmouth scramble on 80 minutes.

City turned the screw in the closing stages, and the Weymouth defence had to withstand some relentless pressure. It looked like danger-man Owen was set to strike yet again in the 85th minute but he uncharacteristically failed to hit the target.

Nathan Jukes’ looping cross from the left flank was met by the unmarked Owen at the far-post but the striker’s header sailed over the bar much to the frustration of the home fans.

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