IT’S MEN AGAINST BOYS IN WESSEX MASSACRE
WEYMOUTH 8 (Browne 6, Claridge pen 30, 53, 54, Phillips 56, 81, pen 84, Philpott 90)
Dorchester TOWN 0
RAMPANT Weymouth sent their fans into dreamland by hammering pitiful Dorchester Town 8-0 in the most one-sided derby ever between the two Dorset rivals.
Steve Claridge’s table-toppers ran riot sending the majority of a bumper 3,734 Wessex Stadium crowd into a frenzy and making it a Christmas to forget for the ten-man Magpies.
In truth, the Terras were so superior they could easily have notched double figures as they ripped Mark Morris’ shell-shocked outfit apart at will.
Claridge and strike partner Lee Phillips did most of the damage, helping themselves to hat-tricks, as Weymouth gave a near perfect display.
The hosts made an absolute mockery of the old adage that local derbies are supposed to be tight affairs as they created chance after chance.
It was men against boys as Claridge’s charges extended their lead at the top of the Dr Martens Premier Division – title contenders Hinckley United and Nuneaton Borough lost ground after sharing a 1-1 draw at Middlefield Lane.
Weymouth had their visitors on the back foot right from the off in near monsoon conditions at Radipole Lane.
Just 16 seconds in, they almost went in front when Magpie Andy Harris made a hash of a headed clearance to let Phillips run down the right flank.
He streaked away and crossed for Claridge, who missed his kick only for Lee Philpott’s goalbound shot to be cleared off the line by former Terra Alex Browne on a afternoon the former Weymouth skipper won’t want to be reminded off in a hurry.
That was a sign of things to come and it took Weymouth only another six minutes to take the lead.
Philpott whipped in a vicious corner from the right and there was Simon Browne who climbed above Ormerod to head the Terras 1-0 up.
The home side continued to make all the running as Dorchester struggled to get out of their own half.
The Magpies, who had a decent shout for an early penalty after a shove on Matt Hann was turned down, too often relied on aimless long balls forward.
But it was the power and pace of Phillips that caused the visitors no end of problems and it was one of his trademark runs that won Weymouth a penalty on 30 minutes.
The Cornishman sprinted into the Dorchester box before going down under a challenge and up stepped Claridge to make no mistake from the spot.
Martin Barlow drove narrowly over before the visitors almost pulled one back before the break when Harris crashed a header against the top of the bar.
Weymouth lost the services of Buckle at the break to a calf strain but that setback certainly didn’t affect them and they continued to exploit the gaping holes in the Dorchester defence to the maximum. It was 3-0 after 53 minutes when Barlow sent Phillips streaking away.
The 23-year-old lost possession to Ormerod as he rounded the keeper, but there was Claridge to side-foot home.
Home supporters hardly had time to catch their breath before they were celebrating again when the Magpies offside trap failed and Claridge ran through to coolly slot home and claim his hat-trick.
Things got even better 120 seconds later when the Claridge and Phillips double act combined again for the latter to chip over the despairing Ormerod into an empty net.
Realising they were on the end of a Christmas stuffing, Dorchester’s frustrations spilled over.
Combative midfielder Jamie Brown received his marching orders from referee Royston Mitchell for a second yellow after a late tackle on substitute Mark Robinson – he was lucky not to have been sent packing midway through the first period for a horrendous two-footed lunge at Luke Nightingale.
Harris was fortunate not to follow his team-mate shortly after for a challenge on Barlow that caused the midfielder to be carried off with knee injury.
Despite being five goals to the good, Weymouth showed no mercy for their sorry opponents and pressed further.
By now, all the party tricks were coming out with the chief tormentor Claridge who could even afford to miss a sitter from close range after which he hid beneath his shirt in shame and mouthed the word ‘sorry’ to the masses behind the goal.
The Terras truly rubbed Dorchester’s noses in it by adding a further three in the last 10 minutes.
Phillips was on in the right place at the right time to head home his second and Weymouth’s sixth on 81 minutes.
Then, just when it couldn’t get any worse for the Avenue Stadium faithful, Magpies defender Carl Poore gifted them a seventh when he needlessly handled Nightin-gale’s cross.
Claridge allowed Phillips to take the responsibility for the penalty who hammered home the spot-kick to claim his third of the afternoon.
Those Dorchester fans who bravely stayed throughout the rout had to endure even more punishment when Philpott deservedly got his name on the scoresheet in stoppage time.
The midfielder curled home from 25 yards to leave Terras supporters itching for the return leg of this Battle of Dorset in the county town on New Year’s Day.
Weymouth: Jason Matthews, Steve Tully, Luke Nightingale, Martin Barlow, Simon Browne, Jamie Impey, Paul Buckle, Ian Hutchinson, Steve Claridge, Lee Philpott, Lee Phillips.
Subs: Scott Partridge, Kevin Gill (for Barlow, 66), Mark Robinson (for Buckle, 45), Scott Dennis (for Tully, 67), John Lamb.
Dorchester: Mark Ormerod, Carl Poore, Andy Harris, Mark Rawlinson, Alex Browne, Michael White, Jamie Brown, Matty Holmes, Danny O’Hagan, Matt Hann, Mark Jermyn.
Subs: Matt Groves, Martin Shepherd, Stuart Cooper, Michael Walker, Stuart Langrish.
Bookings: Weymouth: Robinson, 68 (foul). Dorchester: Brown, 26 (foul)
Sent off: Brown, 60 (second yellow card)
Referee: Royston Mitchell (Portland)
Photo: Idris Martin