Tim’s on target in priceless victory for Weymouth
TIM Sills came off the bench to give the Terras arguably their most vital three points of the season, as they closed the gap on play-off rivals Hungerford Town.
The experienced hitman and player-assistant was introduced in place of Ben Thomson during the interval at Bulpit Lane to ensure Weymouth sealed a priceless win over the Crusaders.
The Terras went into the contest six points off the play-off places in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, and six points off fourth-placed Hungerford, who had gone into the game in hot form.
The hosts had won five out of their last six fixtures, including a 2-0 win at Stratford Town on Saturday.
Nat Jarvis, who scored against the Terras in the reverse fixture between the two sides in September, was listed on their bench.
Terras’ boss Jason Matthews made a couple of changes to his starting side by bringing Jordan Copp and Billy Lowes in for the experienced duo of Mark Molesley and Stewart Yetton, who dropped to the bench.
Pat Baldwin was named among the replacements after a knee injury kept him out against Slough on Saturday. In the opening exchanges, former Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland international Alan O’Brien earned the home side a free-kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the Terras’ box but Hungerford failed to capitalise on the early opening.
Weymouth’s Jake Wannell, who had a solid game at centre-half in Baldwin’s absence at the weekend, then made a goalmouth clearance to deny the lively O’Brien and keep the score at 0-0. At the other end, Weymouth striker Thomson struck wide on the angle minutes later.
The Crusaders continued to probe however. Winger James Clark then crossed for Scott Rees, who could only glance a headed effort wide of the post.
But it was the Terras who came within inches of finding the opener midway through the opening period. Dean Evans latched on to a devilish delivery from Chris Shephard and headed against the crossbar.
Weymouth were growing into the contest and went agonisingly close yet again before the break, as George Rigg’s powerful strike was well saved and Wannell hit the woodwork once again with a ball across goal moments later.
The Terras then made a change at the interval as player-assistant Sills was brought on in place of Thomson up front.
And five minutes after coming on, the former Aldershot man made his mark on the contest by netting the opener. He headed home a cross from Copp to put Matthews’ men in the box seat.
The hosts then freshened things up from the bench in a bid to find a leveller but it was the Terras who were left frustrated as the match official pulled play back for a free-kick when it looked as if Shephard was in on goal.
Then came the pressure from the Crusaders and substitute Jarvis came off the bench to head narrowly off target.
And while Hungerford looked to grab a share of the spoils in the latter stages, Weymouth held firm to seal the win.