Toothless Weymouth sunk by the Waders
WEYMOUTH’S unbeaten home league record went up in smoke as Sam Merson’s second half strike proved enough for Biggleswade Town to claim all three points in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
Merson popped up to score with his first touch just two minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, in what was a fairly uninspiring contest for the home side.
Nine changes were made to the Terras’ team that progressed at Wimborne Town in the Red Insure Cup in midweek, as boss Jason Matthews reverted to a much more familiar looking Terras’ starting XI.
Matthews himself returned between the sticks and club captain Stewart Yetton, who was rested on Tuesday evening, also came back in to take the skipper’s armband.
There was however no Mark Molesley, who was ruled out with a calf injury picked up at Wimborne and Adam Kelly could not recover in time from his ongoing hamstring problem.
Biggleswade went into the encounter off the back of two consecutive wins in all competitions, scoring six goals in the process.
And the Waders had the first real chance to add to their scoring tally through striker Tony Burnett with eight minutes gone.
He cut inside and hit a low drive straight down the throat of player-manager Matthews in the Weymouth goal. Both Mark Cooper and Billy Lowes then struck efforts well off target for the home side on their return to the Terras’ starting XI.
Frontman Burnett showed his threat once again as he shrugged off his man and hit a stinger from 20 yards out, which was well tipped over by the home keeper and, after a corner from either flank, powerful centre-half Gavin Hoyte saw his strike on goal charged down.
In what was a quiet opening 25 minutes, Weymouth midfielder Dean Evans then did his best to spark the game into life.
He nipped in to win the ball in midfield and, after surging forward, his powerful attempt at goal flew into the stand behind the visitors’ goal.
The Waders then came within inches of breaking the deadlock with 35 minutes gone.
Lewis Hilliard’s dangerous delivery from a corner was not gathered by Matthews and, looking to hook the ball into the net through a sea of bodies, Ian Rees put the ball over the bar.
Visiting midfielder Rees had another opportunity to put his side ahead when the ball fell kindly to him on the edge of the box but the Terras’ boss, the busier of the two glovemen throughout the opening period, was on hand to beat away the shot to draw what was a poor first half to a close.
Following the break, Calvin Brooks then got the hosts out of trouble.
He put in a good challenge to prevent the Waders from bounding in on goal, then took the ball well out of harm’s way himself.
Good work from Chris McPhee then gave the Terras arguably their best opening with 54 minutes on the clock. The player-coach slid in to win the ball and find Jake Wannell.
His well-weighted through ball found the run of striker Ben Thomson, only to be denied by a last-ditch challenge from Hoyte.
At the other end the Terras escaped a scare when Lowes brought down Biggleswade’s Callum Lewis on the edge of the box. Hilliard’s free-kick, which looked to be finding the top corner, was headed for a corner by defender Pat Baldwin.
Weymouth then had the ball in the net from a Shephard corner, but the ball was adjudged to have gone out of play.
Burnett, who had the best of the Waders’ chances throughout, then went close once more as he latched onto Hilliard’s knockdown and stabbed over the top.
And, just two minutes after entering the field replacing Hilliard, substitute Merson was the Waders’ hero.
A rare defensive slip in the Terras’ box allowed Burnett to cut the ball back to the substitute, who finished calmly past Matthews with his first touch of the game.
The first real shot on the away side’s goal then came through Evans with 10 minutes to go, but the chance proved bread and butter for goalkeeper Jamie Head.
After getting some game time under his belt in midweek, Weymouth then through caution to the wind by introducing striker Tim Sills in place of full-back Wannell.
Fellow substitute Jordan Copp then almost put his stamp on proceedings with a curling effort that was tipped over.
And with Sills dragging his low effort past the post, the Terras had to succumb to their first home loss of the league campaign.