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Woeful Weymouth Ruin Captain’s Big Day

by: theterras

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Alex Browne will remember his 500th appearance in a Terras shirt for all the wrong reasons.

It was supposed to be a special day for the man they call Captain Marvel, but it went pear-shaped against nine-man Tiverton Town at the Wessex Stadium, yesterday.

The fact that Weymouth turned in one of their worst home displays for years was bad enough for the skipper, without suffering the indignity of deflecting past his own keeper to put the visitors in front.

Not that Browne could have avoided connecting with Scott Rogers firmly hit cross-cum-shot on 34 minutes, although there was no excuse for what was a shocking display by the hosts.

Having scored a magnificent 2-0 victory at Dover Athletic 48 hours earlier, the Terras followed up with a woeful performance, that lacked quality, passion and commitment.

But what made it galling for the majority of the 808 crowd spectators was that Tivvy were rarely troubled following the dismissals of defender Steve Peters on the hour, and forward, James Mudge, just three minutes later.

Two-nil down with a two-man advantage, everything was in place for a great Weymouth comeback. However, those sort of recoveries require a touch of magic and there was just nothing spell binding about the Terras late tactics which played right into the hands of their opponents.

With frontmen Lee Phillips and Chris Giles craving service from the flanks, the Dorset outfit instead hoofed endless long balls down the middle that were easily dealt with by Tiverton’s giant rearguard.

Weymouth began well enough with Robinson firing an early shot into the arms of visiting keeper Steve Collis and new loan signing, Giles, trying his luck from range.

However, it was Tivvy who carved the first meaningful opening when gloveman Jason Matthews had to get down to his left to save Rogers’ drive from the edge of the penalty area.

The Terras pressed forward again and Robinson’s header from an Ian Hutchinson centre just lacked the power needed to beat a rooted Collis. Then on 27 minutes Alex Browne did manage to get some beef behind his nodded effort, but the experienced Paul Chenoweth was well placed to chest clear on the post.

However, it all went horribly wrong for Weymouth’s leader in the 34th after Chenoweth and Phil Everett had combined to set Rogers away down the left. The former Bristol City midfielder smashed a hopeful ball across the face of goal which cannoned off the captain’s midriff and into the back of the net.

Matthews then made a stunning stop after Anthony Lynch raced through on goal and the ex-Yeovil Town gloveman came to the rescue again when he sped off his line to punch clear Nathan Rudge’s rocket header from a Jason Rees corner.

The hosts almost got themselves back on level terms in first half injury time, but quick reactions from Collis at the other end denied Giles’ from nodding an equaliser.

Tiverton’s second goal seven minutes after the break was one of those speculative strikes that really could have gone anywhere. James Mudge picked up a loose ball some 20-yards out and he held off a couple of challenges before firing left-footed beyond Matthews and into the top corner.

Having let a number of Tivvy’s more physical challenges go unpunished – and having missed others altogether – referee Guy Beale raised a few eyebrows by sending Steve Peters for an early bath

after he appeared to accidentally clip the heels of Giles as the lanky striker made a bee-line towards goal. Three minutes later, Martyn Rogers saw his team’s numbers reduced further when Mudge was shown a straight red card following an off the ball incident that left Mark Kenway rolling in agony on the ground.

Butler threw midfield substitutes Michael Dean and Ryan Ashford into the fray, but it was Town who should have wrapped things up on 73 minutes. A mix-up between Martin Barlow and Matthews left Nathan Rudge with an open target to hit, but the big centre half somehow blazed over from barely ten yards.

Frustration was the name of Weymouth’s game for the remainder of the contest with anything that did get past Town’s back line, being comfortably dealt with by the safe hands of Collis, including Phillips’ last gasp header from three yards.

If there’s any justice in the world, a recount will reveal Alex Browne has only played 499 times because Captain Marvel deserved better than that on his big day out.

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