Terras caught by Bash smash-and-grab
BASHLEY staged a late smash-and-grab at the Recreation Ground yesterday to heap even more misery on to the Terras in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
Weymouth dominated the contest for large periods but they were unable to take their chances and paid the price when a mistake from keeper Simon Evans presented the hosts with an unlikely winner.
Following last Saturday’s woeful performance against Redditch United it was no surprise to see Brendon King ring the changes for the visitors.
Jamie Skinner, Dan Smith and Mark Ford were the fall guys as they made way for on-loan midfielder Jamie Symes, the returning Danny Clay and player/assistant-manager Matt Groves. Ed Palmer and Craig Duff once again missed out through suspension.
Having conceded 10 goals and scored none in three straight defeats, the Terras owed the club a performance but Bashley were never going to be a pushover.
The home side may have started the game in 16th place but they were also coming into it off the back of a 3-0 victory at second-bottom Bed-worth United – a result that had finally put an end to a run of five games without a win.
However, it was the Terras that made the brighter start with Scott Walker’s free-kick causing havoc in the box in the opening minute.
Groves went close to scrambling it home before the second phase of play saw Sam Poole head an effort wide from Stephen Reed’s excellent cross.
The visitors were clearly out to make amends and just five minutes later they were threatening the home goal again. This time, good play down the right, saw Barry McCon-nell fire a ball into the box where Symes set up a chance for Scott Walker, who could only blaze over.
The Weymouth skipper then fired a shot straight at keeper Stuart Moore following excellent play from Ben Joyce, before the hosts eventually replied with an effort of their own.
A fine corner caused confusion in the Terras’ defence but Gary Middle-ton’s goal-bound header was deflected just wide.
Apart from set-pieces though, the hosts looked short of ideas and on 18 minutes it was the Terras that went hunting for the opener once again.
More good work from McConnell and Joyce teed up Reed, who shot wide, before Joyce then saw an attempt tipped over the bar just a minute later.
The Bash just could not live with the Terras’ movement at times and just after the half-hour they were carved open once more.
Again it was McConnell, Joyce and Reed that were at the heart of the move, which ended with Walker seeing an effort fly just wide following a slight deflection.
All that Weymouth were missing was that final finish as Clay was the next to go close with a strike that flew over the bar moments before the break.
That was followed by a quiet start to the second half although Mark Gamble did have to make a crucial intervention on 54 minutes to divert Symes’ cross out for a corner.
Symes was having a good game and moments later he nearly capped it with a goal, only to see his first-time shot fly agonisingly wide.
Weymouth deserved to be comfortably ahead but they refused to let the obvious frustration get the better of them and continued to pile on the pressure.
Groves and Symes both sent further attempts over the bar before a rare break from the Bash saw James Stokoe have a chance but his effort was palmed away by Evans.
Having rode their luck for so long, the hosts were now slowly beginning to grow in confidence and moments later Evans was forced into another smart stop at his near post following an effort from Josh Casey.
Sensing his side needed a lift, King sent on Ford for Groves on 67 minutes and it was not long before the visitors were in the ascendancy yet again.
For the umpteenth time, Joyce and McConnell combined down the right but on this occasion the latter’s fine cross was nodded wide by Walker.
After so many chances a goal surely had to come but unfortunately for King and the visiting fans, it was Bashley who finally got it with just 10 minutes remaining.
Gamble provided the cross and when Evans spilled it there was Ian Richardson to fire the ball home.
In response, Weymouth threw everything at the hosts in the final stages but when Ford raced clean through only to see his shot saved by Moore, it was clear it was not going to be their day.