Tigers show teeth to see off Terras
By Dorset ECHO
|WEYMOUTH’S hopes of securing a play-off place now hang in the balance after a 2-0 reverse against promotion rivals Truro City today.Cody Cooke and Jake Ash were on target as the hosts won in front of the biggest crowd seen at Treyew Road this season.
It certainly wasn’t a game for the purists and both of the home side’s goals came from corners, one in each half.
Nevertheless, the result leaves the Terras fifth in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, one point above St Neots, the team currently sitting just outside the play-offs.
Boss Jason Matthews made four changes to the Weymouth side that started the 3-3 draw with Burnham.
Chris Shephard, Dean Evans, Jamie Laird and Tim Sills were replaced by Jordan Copp, George Rigg, Calvin Brooks and Steve Colwell.
And, as expected, it was a frantic start to a game involving two sides who could well be meeting each other in the play-offs at the end of the season.
Truro’s Cooke was on the wrong end of one particularly tasty challenge in the opening few minutes, while Copp had the first glimpse of goal only to be denied by a defender’s block.
Copp then fired over the top from a free-kick but with 20 minutes gone neither keeper had really been tested.
And while both sets of players demonstrated plenty of endeavour, the ball spent a lot of time in the air, meaning there wasn’t much quality on show.
But if anyone looked more likely to score first it was the Terras and Rigg went close when he saw an effort deflected for a corner.
However, despite a decent start, the visitors went behind on the half hour.
A corner taken by former Terra Shane Krac reached Matt Wright, he headed the ball back into the danger zone and Cooke smashed a shot into the roof of the net.
An element of frustration began to creep into the Terras’ game and Copp received the first booking of the afternoon for dissent.
Joe Wollacott needed to be on his toes to stop Truro doubling their lead, denying Ryan Brett before Wright headed wide.
A clumsy foul two minutes into the second period then resulted in Brett having his name taken by referee Paul Johnson.
Another ex-Weymouth man, Isaac Vassell, had already tested Brooks’ defensive skills in the first half and the visitors’ centre-half was up to the task again just after Brett’s booking.
Several of the goalscoring chances in the match emanated from set-pieces and Ed Palmer, another ex-Terra, forced Wollacott to tip a scorching strike over the bar following a Truro free-kick.
Yellows followed for Cooke and Rob Farkins before both sides made substitutions.
Scoring opportunities were again at a premium as the half wore on. The visitors saw appeals for a penalty waved away, while at the other end Krac forced a save from Wollacott.
Things became more and more tense the closer the clock got to 90 minutes and Matthews threw youngster Conor Jevon on for the closing stages in the hope of finding a leveller.
But as the Terras pressed forward they were caught out at the back, and for the second time in the game the hosts scored from a corner.
On this occasion, Brett swung in the cross and captain Ash rose highest to make it 2-0.
Brooks was off target with a header of his own late on and that pretty much summed up Weymouth’s day.
Even though Weymouth hold a game in hand over St Neots, the number of points Matthews’ men have recorded in their last seven league fixtures stands at five.
Having gone from a side that looked set for possible automatic promotion at Christmas, the Terras are now struggling to hold on to one of the four play-off berths.
And when you look at their run-in, staying in the top five could turn out to be a very tricky task indeed.
For as well as matches against Banbury and Biggleswade they have to face both Corby and Poole, the two sides challenging for that one automatic promotion spot.
Meanwhile, next up for St Neots is a trip to Weymouth’s neighbours Dorchester, so a helping hand from the Magpies is just what Matthews and his troops will want at the weekend.