Dream Start, Daydream Ending
On this glorious September Saturday afternoon, with blue sky and green pitch, the Autumninal colours of Folkestone Invicta trod the hallowed turf of the Wessex.
With Sajic still sidelined through flue and the demise of Martin Barlow to Telford, Michael Dean was offered the chance to re-invent himself and prove that he is a player of quality as he made a rare first team start.
Within a minute Mark Rawlinson had fired a shot at big Dave Wietecha in the Folkestone goal as Weymouth laid out their stall.
Weymouth was dealt a blow after 9 minutes when Lee Bradford was taken off with a knee injury and Hutchinson replaced him, however within two minutes the Terras were ahead. The hard working Robinson picked out Rawlinson some twenty yards out from goal, his well-struck effort was fumbled by Wietecha and Phillips was there to blast in the loose ball.
Weymouth’s joy was short lived as Folkestone equalized from the restart, Alan Tait found himself with is back to goal at the near post after poor Weymouth defending, he turned and shot from the tightest of angles past the helpless Matthews.
Michael DeanMichael Dean was certainly out to prove a point as his incisive passing and vision gave Weymouth the control in midfield and he tried his luck with a scorching drive from 25 yards that Wietecha could only push onto the crossbar.
The best move of the game came on 19 minutes, a controlled build up which saw the ball passed from one side of the park to the other and back and finally a Mark Robinson burst to the by line witnessed his cross pick out Phillips at the far post, intelligently he headed down to set up Hutchinson 12 yards out but, with the goal at his mercy, he scuffed his shot wide.
Weymouth continued to boss the midfield with Matthews having a quiet afternoon as Alex Browne playing as sweeper kept everything tight at the back.
Weymouth were awarded a penalty on the half hour, again after a good build up. Hutchinson burst into the box, but had his heel clipped by Scott Daniels and Hutchinson tumbled. Mr. Hawken pointed straight to the spot.
Rawlinson stepped up and calmly slotted his ball whilst Wietecha dived the wrong way. There was excitement on the visitor’s bench as their burly manager remonstrated with the assistant referee, then went onto the pitch to argue with the referee. His gripe was that a Weymouth player was standing just inside of the box when the penalty kick was taken!
Folkestone had a good shout for a penalty as a Folkestone cross was hit at Simon Browne’s outstretched arm, but unfortunately for the visitors it was witnessed by Mr. Hawken’s blind eye.
With half time looming and Weymouth looking comfortable, scoring chances came and went. Rawlinson, Dean, Ashford, Hutchinson and Giles had kept the Weymouth scoring down through poor finishing and the acrobatics of big Dave Wietecha.
Phillips scored his second. Robinson set him free, but the Cornishman blasted the ball at Wietecha, the rebound fell to Rawlinson whose cross was dropped by Wietecha and there was Phillips to tap home.
So at half time the score was:
Weymouth 3 Folkestone Invicta 1
Weymouth started the second half just like the first with Rawlinson firing at the visitor’s goal from long range, but Folkestone got back into the game, and the driving seat for the next 15 minutes. A Steve Hafner corner on 56 minutes was nodded down and goalwards, but brilliantly parried out by Matthews, unluckily for the Terras straight to the feet of Everritt who gratefully tapped the ball home.
Folkestone equalized three minutes later. Poor defending saw John Ayling’s shot hit the post, Tait slotted the rebound home.
Robinson stepped up another gear out on the right flank. His supply of quality balls fed the Weymouth front line all afternoon. On 66 minutes he set Phillips free. With only Wietecha to beat, Lee tried to round the keeper, but an outstretched hand thwarted his efforts.
Alex Browne (4) battling in the air.Almost immediately afterwards, Hutchinson beat two players out on the left, burst into the box and unleashed a shot that was well held by Wietecha. Phillips again was put through, and again Wietecha stopped him in his tracks, then, from an Ashford corner, Alex Browne headed just over.
Folkestone’s perm haired substitute John Ayling made a direct 35-yard run and unleashed a curling left foot shot that was inches over.
Weymouth desperate for a home win threw on Whiteman in place of Ashford for the last ten minutes.
A Michael Dean corner found Giles, which had Wietecha diving backwards to tip the ball onto his own crossbar.
Rawlinson picked up the ball out on the right flank, played a one- two with Phillips and burst into the box to the bye-line. His cross cum shot skidded along the line, but no one was there to tap it home, and, on full time, Philips was set up by Robinson whose 20 yard shot was just wide of the upright,
So at the final whistle the score was:
Weymouth 3 Folkestone Invicta 3
Top Terra: Mark Robinson
Although it was good to see Phillips back on the score sheet, his bread and butter chances are slipping through his fingers, if he had taken his one on one’s he could have had at least five this afternoon.
It’s all is a matter of is the glass half full or half empty, on BBC the half time round up showed Weymouth 3-1 down, when the final score was announced excited phone calls were being received from those that couldn’t make the game wanting hear of the Terras great fight-back, Hmmmm.
Jason Matthews, Steve Tully, Simon Browne, Alex Browne, Lee Bradford (Ian Hutchinson 9),
Mark Rawlinson 1, Mark Robinson, Ryan Ashford (Marc Whiteman 80), Michael Dean, Chris Giles, Lee Phillips 2.
Subs: Josh Thomas, Carl Mutch.
Goals: Phillips 11, 43, Rawlinson 32pen
Dave Wietecha, Smith, Hafner, Larkin, Daniels, Guest, Chandler, Everitt 1, Dryden, Alan Tait 2, Miller.
Subs: Restarick, Ayling, Hogg
Goals: Tait 12, 59, Everritt 56
Referee: M. Hawken ( St. Austell )