Phillips strikes as Weymouth are knocked off the top
By Dan Rose
|FORMER Terras’ frontman Lee Phillips returned to strike a huge blow to Weymouth’s title hopes, as he bagged a late winner for Chippenham Town at the Bob Lucas Stadium.After coming on as a 67th minute substitute for the Bluebirds in place of Jordan Roberts. Phillips, who originally joined Weymouth in 2001, latched on to Luke Ballinger’s cross at the back post with a minute to go to seal all three points for the Wiltshire side, and condemn Weymouth to their third defeat in four league outings.
An injury to Terras’ midfielder Chris McPhee in midweek ruled him out of the encounter completely, meaning Steve Col-well came back into the midfield to replace him in the only change from the Terras’ XI that beat St Neots Town last time out.
In a contest which took until the 89th minute for the deadlock to be broken, Weymouth were almost a goal down early on.
A hopeful punt forward from Chippenham keeper Kent Kaup-innen evaded defender Jamie Laird, and Ballinger, who scored in the reverse fixture between the two sides in September, headed wide when he could have brought the ball down unchallenged.
As Matthews’ men failed to get going in the opening exchanges, Ballinger was then played in on the right-hand side of the area and cut the ball back across the six-yard box, which deflected off Laird for a corner, with Alex Ferguson unable to connect alongside him.
The first spark to the Terras’ performance then came midway through the opening period.
Adam Kelly and Stewart Yetton combined well inside the Chipp-enham box, but with a sea of bodies in front of them, the duo failed to create an opening and the ball eventually fell into the clutches of Kauppinen.
Ashan Holgate’s hooked ball across goal on the half-hour mark then fell to James Guthrie, who had most of the goal to aim at, but volleyed against the stanchion behind, much to the disbelief of his team-mates.
Kelly the powered an effort at goal which was blocked by the visitors after the break, and the ball then fell to Exeter loanee Connor Riley-Lowe, who found the target, but failed to beat Kauppinen in an attempt to record his first goal for the club.
And after Matthews was quick off his line to deny Ferguson once more, Kelly was again the architect for the hosts as his searching pass found Yetton, but he failed to make the most of his opportunity and was well challenged by Guthrie, who tracked back to cover.
You would have then backed the Terras’ top scorer to break the deadlock as Yetton shifted the ball on to his left foot inside the box, but blazed well over the bar with arguably Weymouth’s best open-ing of the encounter.
And when it looked as if both sides were going home with a point, up popped Phillips to heap misery on the home fans and nod home the only goal of the game from point-blank range at the death.