Weymouth hit for four by the Dolphins
|THE Terras’ title hopes were dealt a monumental blow as hosts Poole Town ran riot in the second half at Tatnam, to return to the league summit and leapfrog their Dorset rivals.Steve Devlin set the ball rolling for the Dolphins from the penalty spot just past the hour mark, and they added three more to their tally with a Richard Gillespie brace coming either side of Luke Burbidge finding the net against his former employers.
Weymouth boss Jason Matthews made two changes from the team that overcame Chesham at the Bob Lucas Stadium in midweek, with George Rigg and Ashley Wells coming back into the side.
Wells’ inclusion meant that Sam Poole dropped to the bench and Calvin Brooks slotted back in at centre-half. Jamie Reid was also left out of the XI.
In a swift start for the visitors, Adam Kelly fired the first warning shot.
The former Dolphins’ man, a league title winner at Tatnam, cut inside and drilled the ball just wide of the post with Poole keeper Nick Hutchings diving to his right.
A frantic start saw both sides struggling to keep possession, and there was certainly no brotherly love between the Brooks family early on.
As Poole’s Marvin pounced on a loose ball and surged forward, Terras’ defender Calvin cleaned his brother out, much to the disgust of his sibling.
AFC Bournemouth loanee Joe Quigley hit a tame effort at Matthews, after ex-Terra Burbidge’s delivery caused some confusion in the Weymouth area.
Former Dorchester Town midfielder Devlin then spotted Matthews off his line and attempted an audacious lob from a free-kick which the Terras’ boss comfortably gathered.
The Dolphins then, quite frankly, should have drawn first blood.
Devlin’s corner was flicked to the back post, and from around three yards out, unopposed, Quigley fluffed his lines and somehow nodded the ball wide at the back post, much to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.
The Cherries’ youngster then tormented the Weymouth defence on the left flank, as he moved inside the box and flashed just wide.
And a rare opportunity for the away side then came along just short of the interval.
After ex-Terra Michael Walker fouled Weymouth skipper Stewart Yetton on the edge of the area, Chris Shephard lined up a free-kick from a dangerous area, but his effort was all too easy for stopper Hutchings.
Moments after the break, Weymouth were given a further let-off.
Failing to deal with another Devlin corner, the Dolphins must have thought they had broken the deadlock when the ball was turned goalwards from close range during a melee inside the area, but a covering Weymouth defender on the post cleared off the line.
Poole skipper Jamie Whisken then drilled the ball just wide of the mark as Weymouth found themselves on the ropes.
The home side, sensing an opportunity, then got their opener.
As Burbidge’s cross from the right fell to the back post, Ashley Wells was adjudged by match official Daniel Leach to have felled Portsmouth loanee Ben Close inside the area, and pointed directly to the spot.
Up stepped Devlin, who made no mistake in making it 1-0 to the Dolphins on 62 minutes.
And as Weymouth looked to respond, the hosts nearly doubled their lead on the counter through Burbidge.
The wide man steamed forward after Walker headed clear to set up the break, and Matthews was quickly off his line to thwart his former team-mate.
Controversy then struck when Kelly went down in the Poole area with two men breathing down his neck, but despite clear protests from the visitors, the match official had no interest awarding the spot-kick.
Alec Fiddes and Reid were then introduced as Weymouth searched for a leveller, and they almost got it when Kelly volleyed just past a post.
But an inspired substitution from Dolphins’ boss Tom Killick put the game beyond doubt with around 15 minutes left.
As Poole won a corner, veteran marksman Gillespie replaced Lewis Lindsay, and with his first touch, he popped up to nudge the ball home from close range.
Burbidge, who was superb throughout the afternoon, then broke clear four minutes from time and there was nothing Matthews could do on this occasion, as the winger drilled the ball into the far corner and wheeled away in celebration.
And to rub salt into the Terras’ wounds, Gillespie was in the right place once more to add a fourth late on and condemn Weymouth to a crushing defeat.