Potton pain for low-key Terras
JAMES Potton ran the show as Chesham United made light work of a subdued Terras outfit at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
With both teams vying for the play-offs in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, a close-fought contest looked on the cards but the Generals proved the stronger outfit from start to finish.
Weymouth did have their chances early on but as soon as Potton secured his brace just six minutes before half-time, the result was never in doubt.
Following the 5-0 debacle at Stourbridge the previous weekend, it was no surprise to see Brendon King make a couple of changes to the Terras’ starting XI, with Danny Clay and Dan Smith coming in for Jamie Skinner and Craig Duff, who both dropped to the bench.
That hammering at the War Memorial Athletic Ground ended a run of five successive victories for the Terras, who were clearly out to make amends. And having won their last four on home turf not many people would have bet against them.
However, Chesham came to town boasting an unbeaten run of nine games, including six victories in their previous seven, so a tough battle was always in prospect.
A minute’s silence in memory of Terras’ supporter Nick Davies was followed by a quick start by the Generals, who saw Inih Effiong fire wide inside the opening two minutes.
Effiong and Simon Thomas, both standing at 6ft 4in tall, provided a huge physical threat up front for the visitors but it was Weymouth that created the next chance.
Smith broke into the box and when his cross was miskicked by Scott Walker at the far post, Mark Ford latched on to the loose ball, only to blast it over the top from close range when he should have done better.
A superb clearing header from Chris Watters then denied home full-back Barry McConnell before the Generals silenced the Terras’ fans by taking the lead on 18 minutes.
Toby Little provided the cross from the left and there was Potton to take the ball down and fire a superb half-volley into the far corner of the net.
Potton’s untracked run into the box had clearly caught the Terras ball watching, but they did have an opportunity to equalise moments later when a defensive error gave Ben Joyce a clear sight of goal.
The in-form forward struck his shot well but visiting keeper Shane Gore made a good block with his legs before the ball was eventually hacked to safety.
The hosts were struggling to get their passing game going but that had as much to do with Chesham’s solid organisation and physical presence as anything else.
In fact, the away side were looking good value for their lead and on 39 minutes they grabbed another.
Dave Fotheringham hooked a high ball over his shoulder and once again Potton timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and apply another emphatic finish.
The Terras looked second best all over the pitch and unfortunately the pattern continued in the second half.
King got a slight reaction from his men immediately after the break but when the unmarked Simon Thomas nodded home Potton’s cross on 54 minutes it was pretty much game over.
Duff and Skinner replaced Clay and Reed on 62 minutes but, for the rest of the game, the Terras huffed and puffed without looking threatening. Then, to make matters even worse, home skipper Walker received his marching orders with two minutes remaining following a collision with Potton.
Referee Lewis Price brandished the red card after consulting with one of his assistants and it left the Terras livid.
Walker went to turn sharply and caught the Chesham midfielder on the ankle.
It was more accidental than malicious but the officials clearly deemed it as reckless and felt they had no other choice.
The Generals have now leap-frogged Weymouth into fifth position where they also hold a game in hand.