Ford fires Terras to victory
MARK Ford returned to the starting XI on Saturday and inspired the Terras to a superb victory in their final home game of the campaign against high-flying Barwell.
The club’s leading scorer took his tally for the season to 24 goals in all competitions and also played a part in Barry McConnell’s opener as his side went on to record a 2-1 success.
Having lost their last three at home and with club legends including Graham Roberts, Shaun Teale, Tony Hobson and Anni Iannone in attendance, the Terras were clearly keen to put in a performance.
Young stopper Chris Povall kept his place between the posts despite Simon Evans’ return to fitness, while Ford replaced Matt Groves up front in the only change to the side that drew 1-1 at league leaders Leamington.
Joining Evans and Groves on the bench were Stephen Reed and Supporters’ Player-of-the-Year Ashley Wells, who was presented with his award just prior to kick-off.
With Barwell still looking to secure a play-off spot, it was no surprise to see a frantic opening to proceedings with Ben Joyce firing wide for the Terras and David Barnett replying with a header that flew just over the top.
However, it was the hosts that were playing the better football and on 20 minutes they got the goal their efforts deserved following a great break from Dan Smith down the left.
The fleet-footed winger nipped past Scott Lower’s desperate lunge before cutting into the box and picking out Ford, whose attempted shot was turned in by McConnell at the far post.
The Terras were now full of confidence but just four minutes later they almost got caught on the break when visiting stopper Liam Castle claimed a corner and launched a huge kick downfield.
The bouncing ball caused panic in the home defence but Luke Barlone could only blaze wide after shrugging off Danny Clay with relative ease.
The tempo then slowed a little before Weymouth added a second just two minutes before the break.
This time an incisive pass put Ford in the clear and he did the rest by nudging the ball past the onrushing Castle and going on to finish despite Jamie McAteer’s best efforts to get back at him.
After the break, Smith continued his impressive display by firing just wide from 18 yards before Barwell made three substitutions in nine minutes in a desperate bid to turn the tide.
Richard Lavery volleyed a corner harmlessly wide moments later but it was Weymouth that continued to look the more likely side to grab another with Craig Duff and Joyce both seeing efforts saved from Castle.
It looked like the Terras were in complete command but on 75 minutes the visitors grabbed one back against the run of play when Daniel Newton took advantage of a misjudgement by Ed Palmer to poke the ball past Povall.
The Kirkby Roaders followed that up by pouring forward in search of an equaliser but after being reduced to 10 men due to an injury to Scott Hadland, their attempts eventually petered out, much to the Terras’ relief.