Clevedon Town 1
WEYMOUTH’S miserable end of season form continued unabated against relegated Clevedon Town at the Wessex Stadium last night.
An opportunist goal by Danny Haines early in the second half was enough to condemn the out of touch Terras to their third Dr Martens Premier Division defeat in four matches.
And for player-boss Andy Mason, who ironically received his March Manager of the Month award before kick off, the summer holidays just can’t come quick enough.
He said: “Five weeks ago I remember saying that we were on such a good roll that I just didn’t want the season to end. But it’s a different story now and I think everyone will just be glad when the final whistle blows against Tamworth on Saturday. Quite why our fortunes have changed so dramatically are a mystery to me, although certainly the recent catalogue of injuries hasn’t helped our cause.
“There were players out there tonight like John Waldock, Mark Robinson, David Laws and Lee Phillips who weren’t fully match fit and, in normal circumstances they wouldn’t have played. But the sheer volume of games at this time of year just hasn’t allowed players the time to rest and recover properly from their injuries and it’s had to be a case of patch them up and send them out again.”
He added: “But I can’t make excuses for general bad play and tonight we were again disappointing. Their goal was down to a lapse in concentration in our defence but, to be fair, I couldn’t really see us scoring, could you?
“Obviously tonight was important because two wins from our remaining two fixtures would have guaranteed us third spot in the table and that would have been a terrific achievement. It’s something that’s still achievable, although we’re going to have to rely on others making a slip up.
“What we’ve got to do now is shake ourselves down and get focused for the visit of Tamworth. It’s our final game of the season in front of our own fans and so we’re absolutely determined to put on a good show.”
The evening began on a bright note for the hosts with striker Phillips returning to action following a nine-match lay off because of a knee injury.
But that was about as good as it got for the Terras’ second lowest league gate of 551, who were then forced to suffer a mind-numbing encounter between a shapeless Weymouth and a hit and hope Avon outfit.
Phillips and Michael Dean can claim half chances early on although neither goalkeeper was seriously tested during the opening 45 minutes.
Phillips then came close to finishing off the Terras best move of the game a minute after the break, but his close range effort was charged down by defender Matt Coupe.
The only goal came on 56 minutes following Coupe’s huge punt forward, which led to Haines outpacing a flat-footed Terras’ rearguard before lashing home beyond Danny Potter’s despairing dive.
Four minutes later Ian Harvey almost doubled the score with a snap shot that came rebounding off the post and Weymouth owe a debt of gratitude to Simon Browne whose outstanding defending saved them on more than one occasion.
The Terras almost salvaged a point when Darran Rowbotham’s ten-yard blast was miraculously blocked by Haines, but even Potter’s attacking role for a last minute corner failed to produce the desired effect.
But having seen both David Laws (hamstring) and Mark Gammon (ankle) limp off for early baths, emergency centre half Mason seemed glad to hear the final whistle.
“It’s frustrating”, he said, “especially when you look up in the stand and see players like Ryan Cross, Gary Funnell, Anthony Tilley, Martin Underhay, Jason Rowbotham and Alex Browne.
“But let’s forget this one shall we and look positively towards the weekend.”