Weymouth in dreamland after derby-day victory
By Dan Rose
|IT was derby-day delight for Weymouth as they sent Dorchester Town back up the Ridgeway with nothing to show for their efforts, in a convincing 2-0 victory for the home side.An early Chris Shephard strike followed up by Jamie Laird’s second-half header proved enough for the Terras to claim three priceless points over their bitter rivals.
Weymouth stuck with the same XI that secured a point on Saturday, with Tim Sills available to take part after patching up a nasty head wound picked up after just two minutes of his home league debut.
Midfielder Shane Krac also returned to the bench after illness to replace goalkeeper Joe Prodomo.
Magpies’ captain Nathan Walker went straight back into the heart of the Dorchester defence to replace Oakley Hanger, after missing the 4-1 loss at Biggleswade.
Former Weymouth man Ben Joyce was also named among the Dorchester Town replacements following his recent hamstring problem.
And although both sides were desperate for local bragging rights in their first competitive derby since New Year’s Day in 2010, both sides were searching for much needed league points after struggling in recent outings.
With just more than a minute gone, Adam Kelly was looking to replicate the early strike he found the net with against Hitchin, and he came close as his low drive fizzed just past the post.
But after an early warning, Weymouth soon drew first blood when Shephard pounced on a mistake in the visitors’ back four and slotted the ball past Alan Walker-Harris in the Dorchester goal to make it 1-0.
Looking for an instant response, some neat work from lone striker Dan Cann saw a chance fall to Nick Crittenden, the only man to play in the last competitive derby, but his effort was denied by a last-ditch challenge that was well timed in the Terras’ box by Laird.
Another former Weymouth man Dan Smith then had an opportunity to put his new club level.
After Cann held the ball up well, the frontman played a neat through ball to find the swift Magpies’ winger, but he could only smash the ball into the stand where the Weymouth fans were situated, and they let him know just what they thought of the effort.
Kelly then continued to cause the visitors problems as he was the main architect in what the Terras thought was their second goal.
The midfielder jinked away from two defenders and slid a pass into Stewart Yetton, who found the back of the net, only for the strike to be ruled out for offside.
Yetton then had another shot blocked away for a corner, which was bent fiercely to the near post of Walker-Harris, who had to be alert to scramble the delivery away.
Shephard then stung the gloves of Walker-Harris once again as he cut inside on his left foot, but the Magpies’ stopper was comfortably up to the task.
Dorchester defender Steve Walker was then given the first caution of the clash in first-half injury time, after he upended Kelly as Weymouth searched for a swift breakaway.
Within seconds of the restart, Cann fired a dipping effort just over the angle of the goal and George Rigg tried his luck with a long range attempt for the hosts that fell wide.
Magpies’ man Crittenden then seized on Ed Palmer’s misplaced pass to chip the ball to the back post and find Will Agbo, who couldn’t quite control his effort and failed to hit the target from six yards out.
Kelly had a golden opportunity to put daylight between the two sides as he somehow missed with the goal gaping, after he was allowed a vast amount of space at the back post.
The Magpies then started to look more of a threat on the counter, and it was then their turn to have a goal disallowed.
Cann’s header rebounded back off the post and fell to him again to strike home, and thinking he had levelled it up, he was enraged when he looked over to see the linesman’s flag up for offside.
Moments after, the Terras hit the bar at the other end from Shephard’s cross come shot, and Weymouth’s cries for a handball were waved away by referee Sam Ogles as Nathan Walker blocked another Rigg effort.
But if the Terras felt hard done by, minutes later it was all forgotten as Laird put the hosts in dreamland by doubling their lead on 65 minutes.
In what was a relatively routine corner, the defender leaped above his man and headed the ball through a number of Magpies’ defenders and into the net.
Palmer had to limp off late on for the hosts in stoppage time, but that was the only downside to an otherwise memorable and successful derby victory.