WEYMOUTH will await the outcome of a pitch inspection before setting off for their Dr Martens Cup first round tie at Newport Isle of Wight tonight, ko 7.45.

More heavy rain overnight has cast doubt on the fixture with an island-based referee is due to check the the Georges Park surface at around midday.

Terras boss Andy Mason explained: “Newport’s secre- tary rang us last night to say things didn’t look too good and that they planned to inspect prior to us leaving at 2pm. “Add to that the rain we’ve had overnight and my gut feeling is that the game is unlikely to go ahead.” He added: “But we live in hope. I’m sure Newport are as keen as we are to get the match played and so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for good news when the call comes.”

Assuming the contest does go ahead, one man who’ll be keen to impress is fomer Terra Steve Tate. The veteran striker crossed the Solent for £4,000 earlier this year after arriving at the Wessex Stadium from Havant & Waterlooville for a similar fee in January. “Steve did a great job dur- ing his brief spell at Weymouth”, said Mason, “and it was unfortunate that a change of personal circum- stances meant he had to move on. He proved a big hit with both the players and the fans, but it would nice to put one over on him tonight.”

Meanwhile Mason is forced to make two changes from the side that beat Hitchin Town in the FA Umbro Trophy on Saturday with both wing- backs Mark Gammon and Matthew Hale unavailable.

“It doesn’t happen very often”, explained the manager, “but it’s just one of those occa-sions when both lads have got important work commit-ments. “They’ve explained the cir-cumstances to me and I have agreed to release them from duty. But it does give others an opportunity to come in and make their mark and we’ll be travelling to Newport with the strongest side availa-ble.”

But if Weymouth are to set up a second round encounter away to Dorchester conquer- ers Bashley, they’ll need to work hard against the sev- enth-placed Dr Martens Eastern Division outfit. n Terras fans planning to go to the game are adviced to check whether the match is on before travelling by calling Newport IOW FC on 01983- 525027.

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