Thomson fires Weymouth to the top
BEN Thomson ensured the Terras’ came away from their 125th anniversary fixture with three points as the hosts did enough to beat Bedworth United at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Thomson applied a neat finish into the roof of the net 11 minutes from time to ensure Jason Matthews’ men extended their unbeaten league run to six games and, with results going their way elsewhere, Weymouth now top the pile after 13 games.
The hosts lined up for a commemorative picture in their one-off strip an hour before kick-off, on what was special day for the club.
But it was all business as they got to it against the Greenbacks, who had come into the game off the back of an impressive victory against King’s Lynn in midweek.
The Weymouth starting XI remained unchanged from the side that was highly impressive against Cirencester in a 3-0 triumph on Tuesday.
Weymouth were also boosted by the inclusion of Pat Baldwin on the bench, the influential defender was named among the substitutes in place of goalkeeper Steve Boore.
But, after a re-shuffle in their ranks and with only three substitutes to pick from, Bedworth started the game solidly and midfielder Alex Naughton’s low drive was the first half-chance of the contest on three minutes.
The Terras then fashioned their first effort after what was a tame opening spell, as skipper Stewart Yetton managed to wriggle away from his man and fire a well struck-effort, which Bedworth gloveman Denham Hinds got down well to save to his left.
Greenbacks’ Daniel Creaney then linked up nicely with Richard Wesley, who had moved forward to drive inside the box. His effort flew just wide.
A slick move from the visitors then saw Naughton try his luck from range once more to no avail. Adam Kelly then moved in support of Yetton at the other end, who flicked a neat ball through to the latter to volley straight at the keeper.
The Terras then started to apply further pressure and carved out a glorious chance to take the lead. Thomson, enjoying a rich vein of form at present, hooked a precise ball into the path of Yetton but he failed to keep his strike down.
Former Frome hitman Thomson, who also scored in midweek, then came within inches of adding to his goal total for Weymouth with the last kick of the first half.
He combined well with Mark Cooper on the right flank, cut inside and curled a precise effort which rattled the frame of the goal.
The visitors then made a change at the interval, with Jordan Archer making way for Elliot Parrott.
Weymouth’s Dean Evans sliced a shot well wide of the mark and a neat spin from Kelly then found Billy Lowes, who powered over the bar.
The home side began to carve out numerous chances and, around five minutes after the break, they should have really been a goal up.
Lowes surged forward and slid in Kelly down the left, his cross fell to Yetton, who headed straight into Hinds’ arms.
The Greenbacks’ gloveman was then called into action moments later as he somehow clawed out a looping effort from Kelly, who must have thought he had scored.
Chris Shephard was then introduced in place of George Rigg just past the hour mark as Weymouth looked for a winner. Yetton then blazed over once again after a neat cutback.
Kelly then burst forward but pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem, he was replaced by Jordan Copp with around 20 minutes to go.
And, on 79 minutes, after dominating the second period, Weymouth got their lead.
Following neat work from Shephard, a ball across goal found Yetton, who nodded into the path of Thomson, and he hooked a volley into the roof of the net for what proved to be the winner.
Shephard then crafted a devilish free-kick into the path of Yetton but again, he failed to hit the target and put the game to bed.
And the Terras were nearly pegged back five minutes from time when Greenbacks’ substitute Harry Walker-Donovan sent a dangerous strike across goal, only for the shot to be stabbed off the line as Weymouth held out to reach the summit.