Have Weymouth Found The Whiteman For The Job?
Weymouth’s injury woes continued as Mark Robinson failed top recover from his groin strain and Michael Dean’s recurring hamstring injury flared up again, so Mark Whiteman who was a breath of fresh air at Stafford a week earlier made a rare first team start.
Marc WhitemanIt was Whiteman that had the first chance on goal with a speculative 15-yard strike after 8 minutes, but his effort screwed wide. Whiteman caused the Gingerbreads all sorts of problems with his jinking runs and with a quarter hour gone he was sliced down on the edge of the box, Hutchinson’s curling free kick was well gathered by Ziccardi in the visitors goal, within a minute Whiteman was hacked down again, the lenient Mr Ebbage awarding a free kick on the right hand edge of the box. Hutchinson stepped forward and his well-flighted ball was headed into the side netting by Toby Redwood making his Terras home debut.
Big and strong, the ghastly bright orange gingerbread men looked dangerous on the counter and Stuart Wilson was put into a good shooting position by Gary Bull but he blazed wide.
With the Terras using both flanks Hale and Hutchinson linked well to provide Mark Kenway with a glorious chance after he had run in from deep, the ball crashed inches over.
Danny Bailey tried to grab a bit of glory in front of goal on 26 minutes, with a crowded goal mouth the ebullient mid fielders shot caught the unsighted Ziccardi off his guard but the ex Nott’s Forest keeper recovered well and gathered.
With over half hour gone Gary Bull had the ball in the back of the net for the visitors but Mr Ebbage had blown up for offside well in advance.
Weymouth took a deserved lead after 33 minutes, after a crazy goal mouth scramble following a Hutchinson cross from the right, the ball pinged out to Hutchinson almost on the corner flag, he curled the ball back into the mixer, but Seamanesque it went behind Ziccardi and into the net.
The visitors strong arm tactics began to get woefully bad, but My Ebbage was content in keeping the game going at the expense of Weymouth players who were having lumps kicked out of them. None more so than Phillips and Whiteman, Phillips was twice bought down after turning his man and Whiteman received a four arm smash to the throat and was later stamped on resulting in a turned ankle, which may keep him out of the big New Years day clash with Bath City.
Stuart Wilson cross to Lee Marshall followed a great pass from deep by skipper Brendon McDaid, Marshall’s stinging drive flew past the upright on 40 minutes.
Michael Sajic was having a quiet game, but still threaded a beautiful ball through to Phillips who burst goalwards, rounding the keeper his goal bound shot was cleared off the line by Darren Dye.
So at half time the score was
Weymouth 1 Grantham Town 0
With barely a minute on the clock for the restart Lee Marshal slipped behind the Weymouth rearguard but Jason Matthews thwarted the big number seven with a stunning save.
Weymouth got back into the groove with Whiteman breaking from the halfway line, he beat his marker and raced down left flank, but his bye line cross was poor.
Grantham equalised on 56 minutes, a free kick way out on the left by Dominic Hallows received the slightest of touches from Darren Dye to wrong foot Matthews.
Here we go again sighed the claret and blue army expecting an English cricket type collapse which has been the hallmark of the Terras this season, however with the likes of Danny Bailey to rally the troops the mood in the camp was full of resolve as the Terras looked to regain the lead. Michael Sajic’s last kick of the game came on 69 minutes when, with the ball bouncing free on the edge of the box he ran in to drive home, only for the ball to be blocked by Danny George.
Ashford came on for the lanky youth with the host’s really bossing the game.
Grantham Keeper Ziccardi was lucky to be on the pitch after 73 minutes, Whiteman raced after a well weighted touchline pass from Steve Tulley, the Lincolnshire gloveman came rushing out of his area and took out Whiteman and then gathered the ball in his arms, with the ground baying for a red Mr Ebbage showed his true colours and produced the yellow.
Three minutes later another storming run down the right flank this time by Tulley was intercepted by Ziccardi, again he bought down the Weymouth player but Mr Ebbage ran from the scene like a startled cat, Weymouth however had the last laugh, from the cross, the most vertically challenged player on the park, Matthew Hale, slipped in at the back and headed home, he went err!. mental.
With Whiteman white hot, he ruled both flanks, and from another of his searing runs down the right flank his cross found the sliding shape of Lee Phillips who gratefully pushed the ball home, this time the crowd went mental and the noisy travelling support fell silent.
Lee Phillips bursting with confidence fired a great shot on the turn right on the edge of the box deep into injury time but Ziccardi saved and the Terras celebrated as Mr Ebbage blew for full time.
So at the final whistle the score was:
Weymouth 3 Grantham Town 1
MOM sponsors ‘Gilbert Curry Industrial Plastics’ Top Terra: Mark Whiteman
Another great performance by a very under strength Terras, but this time we have found the net, held our nerve and deserved the spoils. Mark Kenway was outstanding and I think would have been chosen as the top Terra if he effort in the first half had gone in.
Jason Matthews, Steve Tully, Matthew Hale 1, Mark Kenway, John Waldock (c), Toby Redwood,
Marc Whiteman, Ian Hutchinson 1, Danny Bailey, Michael Sajic (Ryan Ashford), Lee Phillips 1.
Subs: Simon Browne, Mark Rawlinson, John Lamb.
Mario Ziccardi, Ian Wilkins, Darren Dye 1, Brendon McDaid (c). Danny George, Jon Hawley,
Lee Marshall, Gary Bull, Stuart Wilson (Dominic Hallows), Rick Ranshaw, Paul Miles (Tony Simmonds).
Subs not used: Wayne Hallcro, Matt Hodgkin, Steve Wenlock
Referee: Mr. Ebbage ( Waterlooville )
Assistants: G.A. Colwill ( Barford St. Martin ), B. Lingard ( Birmingham )