WALDOCK WOWED BY WESSEX SALUTE
WEYMOUTH fans and players turned out in force to honour one of their favourite adopted sons at the Wessex Stadium last night.
Popular defender John Waldock brought his testimonial year to a
climax in a fittingly entertaining encounter with Coca Cola Championship newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion.
Two second half goals from last season’s top marksman Leon Knight and a rasper from Congo international Maheta Molango overturned Steve Tully’s opener for the Terras.
Waldock, who has made over 350 appearances in nine loyal years with the club, was pushed up front for the final half hour.
Although he didn’t get a goal to crown what is expected to be his final appearance, the 28-year-old north-
easterner left the field to a
standing ovation from the 900-strong crowd.
He told Echosport: “I really enjoyed it. It was good workout, a very competitive game and both sides took it seriously.
“Playing 89 minutes was a bit of a shock to the system. I got through the first half alright but tired later on, and I can guarantee in the next couple of days my body will start to scream.
“It was mentioned in the dressing room that we didn’t concede while I was playing at the back, but there was a lot of tiredness in the second half and a lot of changes created the uncertainty.
“I appreciated what Mark McGee and Brighton did. I remember when I
used to stand on the terraces at St James’s Park watching him playing
for Newcastle and I had a good bit of banter with him before the game.
“It’s just another chapter in my time with Weymouth Football Club. I’ve learned a lot under Steve Claridge and it’s a pleasure working with him.
“He was trying to get me to score at the end. It would have been nice to play up front with him because as a young lad I used to see him on television, but it was a great way to put a close on my career.”
Boss Claridge said he decided to put Waldock up front to give him a taste of life as a centre forward.
He added: “I just wanted to make him appreciate what hard work it is playing up front. He only wanted me to play alongside him so that I would do all his running!”
Claridge gave a first start to
centre back Matt Bound and was pleased with another good workout for his players.
“The three teams we’ve played in the friendlies have given us good games.
“We swapped things around a bit
and played a few players out of position. But we were always in it until we made the changes and lost a bit of shape.
“I’ve been pleased with everyone so far. Matt Bound did very well and just tired a bit towards the end,” he said.
John Waldock Testimonial
Wessex Stadium : Weymouth : ko 7.45pm
Weymouth : Tulley
Brighton & Hove Albion : Knight (2) – Molango
Attendance : 903