WEYMOUTH climbed to fourth in the Dr Martens Premier Division with a comfortable victory over relegation-doomed Fisher Athletic at the Wessex Stadium last night.
But they had to plough through near farcical conditions to reach their highest league position since returning to the top flight more than three years ago.
An already heavy playing surface was hit by torrential rain during the half-time interval leading to real fears that referee Keith Jones might call a halt to proceedings.
However, the Bournemouth-based official decided to soldier on despite a pitch scattered with puddles and ankle deep in mud.
And the Terras will be thankful he did with David Laws and Darran Rowbotham (2) netting second-half goals to stretch their unbeaten home league record to seven games.
Both teams struggled to put flowing attacking moves together in the water although it was the Terras who looked the more threatening early on.
Two Michael Dean corners in the first five minutes caused panic in the visitors’ defence, while Darran Rowbotham just failed to control when set up nicely by Lee Phillips on the edge of the box.
But the first of many condition induced mistakes came at the other end on 13 minutes when Weymouth skipper John Waldock had to rob Wayne Grant in the box after he’d pounced on a Ryan Cross clearance that got stuck in the mud.
Terras forward David Laws then missed the best opportunity of an otherwise uneventful opening period with a thunderous close range shot that was saved by Athletic keeper Morris Munden at the second attempt.
The interval deluge led to some comical scenes early in the second period with players slipping and sliding on what resembled Radipole Lake.
Five bookings followed as tackles were repeatedly mis-timed, while under-hit passes led to moments of chaos in the middle of the park.
But once the clouds passed it was the Terras who shone through, although again it was the mud that scuppered Phillips’ plans after Laws had put him through one-on-one with Munden.
The goal that finally broke Fisher’s resistance came on 55 minutes with Dean clipping in a corner from the right which visiting captain Paul Manning failed to clear.
Instead, his half-hearted attempt fell perfectly for Laws who took his chance from ten yards with the minimum of fuss.
The result was never in doubt after that. Fisher might have huffed and puffed a lot but they were never going to score in a month of Sundays.
On 67 minutes Laws turned provider for Weymouth’s second after tearing down the left like a greyhound. And when his fizzing cross was helped on by Phillips, there was Darran Rowbotham to bury neatly into the bottom corner.
And fittingly it was man-of- the-match Dean who was involved in the Terras third of the night after turning in probably his best display ever at the Wessex Stadium.
The former AFC Bournemouth star fed Robinson on the right flank and his cross was met by some frantic pinball before Darran Rowbotham took charge to smash home his 18th goal of the season.
But there was still time for the Terras to almost conceded their first goal in three outings when Waldock’s back pass was completely mis-kicked by gloveman Danny Potter.
On this occasion, however, the mud worked in the home team’s favour with the ball pulling up short just inches from the line.