A grinning Geoff Butler proclaimed the dawn of a new era after watching Weymouth stretch their unbeaten record to five games with a 3-1 success over Grantham Town at the Wessex Stadium.
Second-half goals by Matthew Hale and Lee Phillips did the damage after Gingerbreads defender Darren Dye had cancelled out Ian Hutchinson’s early opener for the Terras.
“The club’s turned round and this is the start of something new,” he said. “In fact I think the club’s come further than the results over the past couple of months. The attitude, spirit and camaraderie of people has changed for the better but up until today, we just haven’t been getting the right results. Against Hinckley the other day we went two in front and then showed our edgy, nervous side and gifted them a couple of goals and then almost conceded a third. Today we went ahead and did the same again and sure enough, Grantham equalised. But this time we came back from it and scored two more ourselves and that was the big difference. This time we showed character and resolve and picked the game up again and I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve done it at last, especially in front of supporters.”
With Mark Robinson failing to recover from a groin strain, Butler turned to youngster Marc Whiteman to partner Lee Phillips up front. And the Channel Islander responded with an outstanding display, which earned him the sponsor’s man of the match award.
The manager said: “Marc Whiteman was superb. He’s got great pace, two quick feet and a decent engine. He basically had a hand in all three of our goals and was unlucky not to score himself. I thought both he and Lee Phillips were magnificent. Both got a battering all afternoon but they just kept coming back for more. My only criticism of Marc would be that he’s a bit naive at times but then you expect that from a 20-year-old. But he’s shown what he can do when given the chance and he just needs to believe in himself a bit more. But I was delighted when he was announced man of the match and I’m sure that will do his confidence the world of good.”
Another replacement player to earn praise from his boss was Mark Kenway who again deputised at the heart of the defence for injured captain Alex Browne.
“Kenners, Toby Redwood and John Waldock were as solid as you like,” added Butler. “They kept a clean sheet against all the odds up at Stafford last week and they’ve defended well as a unit again today. Alex and Simon Browne must now be wondering how they’re going to get back into the side and that’s what I want every player to be thinking if he happens to lose his place for whatever reason.
“Finally I’ve got a squad of players to work, not just a bare 13 or 14, and that’s something that’s been lacking all season.”