Terras boss Geoff Butler was making no apologies after his hot-potch side went down 2-0 to a near full-strength Dorchester in last night’s Dorset Senior Cup final at the Avenue Stadium.
Butler fielded only three of his senior players and his men were comprehensively out-played by Mark Morris’ Dr Martens Eastern Division promotion-chasers who won with second half goals from Matt Groves and ex-Terra Martin Shepherd.
But today Butler said he had no regrets over the decision not to risk injuries to key men in the light of a continuing battle against relegation which was made even closer by wins last night for fellow strugglers Grantham and Hinckley.
“I discussed it with the chairman and vice-chairmen on the way back from Hednesford on Saturday and we all agreed we could not afford any more injuries to senior players.
“I am sure there are quite a lot of Weymouth supporters who will be disappointed that we played the side we did.
“They want Weymouth to win every game, especially when they are playing Dorchester in a cup final and I can understand their frustration.
“But if there are people who are critical of our decision all I would say to them is what would you have said if we won the Senior Cup and then lost the next four games and got relegated because we were without several key players?”
Magpies boss Mark Morris was delighted his gamble on playing all his fit first-teamers had paid off.
“We couldn’t afford any injuries either and fortunately the only downside was a slight hamstring injury to Mark Ormerod which will hopefully improve by the weekend,” said Morris.
“Winning is a habit and I wanted to keep our run going which is why I decided not to change the side too much.
“We know Weymouth were under-strength tonight, but I can remember taking a weakened side down to their place two years ago and winning, so we had to be careful not to be left with egg on our face.
“I thought we imposed ourselves on the game and did a good professional job. We won comfortably and didn’t have to waste too much energy doing it. In the past our cup games against Weymouth have been blood and guts affairs, often going into extra time – but tonight was much more relaxed and we played well within ourselves.”
Butler agreed the result was a fair reflection of the game.
“The better side won and there would be something wrong if they hadn’t,” he said. “We couldn’t have any arguments with the result because we didn’t cause too many problems to their goal .”