Weymouth hit back with a vital victory over Cirencester
By Dan Rose
|GOALS from Chris McPhee and George Rigg gave Weymouth their first win in four league outings, in a closely-contested battle at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The duo both found the net inside the final 15 minutes as Jason Matthews’ side came alive late on to shake the Centurions.
The Terras’ boss, who admitted the past week had been a test of his mental strength in the build-up, made two changes to his starting XI that was brushed aside at Corby on Wednesday night.
Rigg and Jamie Laird were recalled to the line-up, with Ashley Wells and Steve Colwell both making way.
In a cagey opening, the Centurions did have the ball in the net early as Matt Liddiard stroked home on the turn, but referee Iain Parsons had blown for a Weymouth free-kick long before he put the ball away.
On his return to the side, it was Rigg who came close to making an impact for the hosts with their first opportunity.
He gathered a loose ball and let fly from all of 25 yards to force a diving save from Cirencester gloveman Glyn Garner.
At the other end, some panic in the Weymouth defence began to creep in.
Operating at right-back, Calvin Brooks had drifted inside to deal with a ball forward and almost flicked his clearance into his own net. Weymouth then nervously dealt with a number of set-pieces from the Centurions.
A low corner from Rigg was then drilled into the path of Yetton, who blazed over, and Brooks saw his ball across goal stabbed away after advancing into the Cirencester area.
Brooks was then needed defensively and did well to keep up with the lively Jacob Davidge as the away side broke down the left.
He forced a comfortable save from Weymouth player-manager Matthews, who got down well to his left to keep hold of the strike.
The Centurions started the second half the brighter of the two teams and, after claims for a handball in the hosts’ box, midfielder James Mortimer-Jones rifled a fizzing attempt at goal, which clattered into the advertising boards.
That came as part of a spell of dominance from visitors after the break and skipper Yetton retreated into the midfield to voice his frustration.
Chris Shephard then showed great technique in what was a lively moment for Matthews’ men.
He sweetly volleyed at goal and was denied by a superb reflex stop, and from the resulting corner, Yetton hit the ball marginally over.
New signing Dean Evans was then handed his debut just past the hour mark, as McPhee was thrust into a more advanced role.
Yetton must have then thought he had scored when his shot at the back-post from a looping cross was well saved by Garner, and McPhee and Adam Kelly saw their attempts on the follow up stabbed off the line.
But as the Terras continued to probe, McPhee didn’t have to wait too much longer to break the deadlock.
On 76 minutes, he brought down a long ball with a sublime touch, took the ball past the goalkeeper and tapped home into an empty net, much to the delight of the Terras’ faithful behind the goal.
A long ball at the other end then caught the hosts napping, but Cirencester full-back Ellis Dunton failed to sort his feet out and scuffed wide in search of a leveller.
Moments later, Dunton left a leg out inside the area and caught Shephard, who had cut inside on the right wing. Referee Parsons had no hesitation in pointing to the spot but up stepped McPhee to blaze the ball into the stand and squander a chance to put the game to bed.
But as the Centurions pushed forward in search of a point, a slick breakway move wrapped the win up for Matthews’ men.
Introduced in place of Yetton with five minutes to go, Alec Fiddes charged down the left on the counter and picked out Rigg, who finished clinically to seal the game in stoppage time.