Hollins sounds rallying call
By Adam Summers
WEYMOUTH manager John Hollins has called upon the club’s fans to turn out in numbers for this Saturday’s local derby with Yeovil Town.
The Terras’ boss made the plea after his side captured a 2-1 win over Exeter City at the Wessex Stadium last night thanks to a late strike from Chris McPhee.
The visit of the Glovers will be Weymouth’s last pre-season friendly and Hollins reckons a big crowd would give his side a huge boost ahead of the start of their Blue Square Premier campaign, which will begin with a home game against Grays Athletic on August 9.
He said: “The crowd was a bit disappointing tonight but hopefully our fans will turn out on Saturday and give the lads a good send off ahead of the start of the season. That, along with another good victory, would set us up perfectly.”A lot of hard work has been put in by the chairman, the chief executive and the rest of the staff over the summer to make each game an event and so far we have enjoyed some entertaining matches.
“We are trying to play exciting football and we are not far off where we want to be. Now it would be nice to see more people turning out to come and see us so they can form their own opinion rather than just finding out through others.”
Hollins handed starts to Scott Doe, debutante Stephen Reed, Josh Webb and James Coutts last night and he was pleased with the result.
He added: “Exeter started with three up front whereas we stuck with our 4-4-2. We were going to change it halfway through the first half but sometimes that can cause confusion so instead we waited until half time.
“We came in with the score 1-1 and we decided to play the same way as them in the second half by putting three in the middle and getting the wingers to push on and that helped us win more of the ball.
“However, we failed to keep hold of it as well as we have done in previous games and that caused us to have indifferent spells.
“When we did knock it around we started to create chances and I thought Chris’ winner at the end was a fantastic finish.
“It is important that that you are able to adapt in games. I like 4-4-2 because everyone knows their role but sometimes you have to change it and that is something we need to learn to be able to do.”
League Two side Exeter included ex-Terras Steve Tully and Richard Logan, former Dorchester Town loanee Danny Seabourne and summer signing Marcus Stewart in their side and they soon went ahead.
Home keeper Danny Knowles got caught stranded clutching at thin air under Ryan Harley’s ninth-minute corner and that enabled Matt Taylor to nod into an unguarded net from six yards.
Seabourne then had a header flicked over the bar by Knowles before Anton Robinson drove into the box and levelled on 22 minutes with an effort that appeared to wrong foot Jones who looked helpless as the ball found the right corner.
Stewart saw a header fall narrowly wide after the break but Weymouth were working extremely hard and on 69 minutes they nearly took the lead when Stuart Beavon shot wide on the turn from 10 yards.
As the half progressed the hosts grew stronger and on 88 minutes McPhee grabbed the winner with an excellent side-footer from 20 yards that found the bottom right corner.
Hollins added: “We looked fit and strong and we are going to need that. Sometimes last season we lost against teams we felt we should have beat and that is all about motivation.
“It is easy to motivate yourself for games like this one tonight but you need to be on it all the time.
“I thought Stephen Reed did well on his debut despite not having played for a while and I also thought Santos Gaia and Scott were excellent at the back.”
Andy Taylor came on as a second-half substitute but fellow trialist Anthony Mason was not in the squad. Hollins said: “Anthony had something else he had to do. I would like to see him again against Yeovil.”