JASON Matthews hailed the impact of both of his long-term loan signings at both ends of the pitch, following his side’s 6-1 win at Basingstoke Town.

While Stuart Fleetwood continued his impressive run of scoring form, Matthews also heaped praise on fellow keeper Tom McHale, who pulled off some vital saves at key moments during the clash at the Camrose Stadium.

With both players recently extending their deals with the club until the end of the campaign, Matthews expressed his delight in their respective weekend displays.

“Tom made three great saves on Saturday and I feel safe with him in goal. As for Fleets he is taking his chances and that’s a good thing,” the Weymouth manager told Echosport.

“He is a great lad is Fleets and, like I said in his early days, he has had a great impact in the changing room and now he is doing the business on the pitch and that, for me, is great.

“He is a lovely lad so you wouldn’t begrudge him that at all. It’s a nice position for me to finally get a striker that’s scoring goals.”

He continued: “Both him and Tom (McHale) have had a big impact in the turnaround in our season, credit to both of them.”

One sour note came for the visitors in Saturday’s clash, as Chris Shephard was forced off with an injury in the first half.

Asked for an update on the playmaker’s condition, Matthews replied: “It’s a muscular problem and we will monitor it. Charlie Davis has got a dead leg as well and Chris Allen is struggling with his groin, so we are the walking wounded a little bit.

“But Coops (Mark Cooper) and Thommo (Ben Thomson) are nearing fitness, so we will see over the next couple of days.”

The victory means Weymouth are still 14 points adrift of the play-off places in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.

Having seen his team move up to 11th in the table, Matthews remained realistic when asked about the Terras’ top-five hopes, but was not ruling anything out.

He added: “We can definitely have a say but it’s a big order. Our next two games our Slough and Hitchin, if we can take points from them, who knows?”

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