Elam 1, Jackson 44, Bound 90
SUTTON UNITED 1
WEYMOUTH warmed up for Nottingham Forest in style by conquering Conference South leaders Sutton United at the Wessex Stadium.
Garry Hill’s merry men will travel to the City Ground in ﬁne heart this Saturday after another formidable display in front of the biggest Radipole Lane crowd of the season.
The in-form Terras, still unbeaten at home since Hill’s arrival in March, made it ten games without defeat thanks mainly to a superb first half showing.
Lee Elam and Kirk Jackson ﬁred the rampant hosts into a two-goal interval lead before the division table-toppers hit back.
Craig Watkins pulled one back seconds after the restart as John Raines’ side threatened to grab a share of the spoils.
But Weymouth skipper Matt Bound thumped home a stoppage time free kick to seal the crucial win for the full-timers.
Hill called on his players to forget the first round tie at Forest, and they certainly heeded his message in the opening quarter.
Sutton must have wondering what hit them after being simply blown away by the Terras who made one change with midﬁelder Shaun Wilkinson in for Brian Dutton.
Only four minutes were on the clock when the excellent Elam steered the home side ahead.
Andy Harris’ long throw was ﬂicked on at the near post-by Jackson for Elam to slam home from close range.
The Terras looked eager to wrap up the points early as seconds after the restart Wayne Purser nearly made it two from Jackson’s cross.
Jackson, Purser and Elam were running the show and the home dominance continued when Harris’ long-range effort was scrambled away by Sutton keeper Phil Wilson.
But the leaders were not about to roll over and began to show why they have reached the league’s summit.
Luke Cornwall nearly capitalised on some hesitancy between Trevor Challis and keeper Jason Matthews.
Then the leggy striker warmed the palms of Matthews following a 20-yard run, with Lewis Gonsalves also blazing an intricate free kick well over.
Weymouth’s high-tempo play continued to cause problems and Jackson was inches. away from connecting with Steve Clark’s first-time dangerous cross.
Purser was crowded out by a couple of defenders when about to shoot midway through the half.
At the other end, Sutton’s bold approach of three strikers was forcing Bound and company to keep on their toes.
Lively Eddie Akuamoah, Danny Ekoku and Cornwall all had efforts go close before the break.
But after Bound’s header from Wilkinson’s corner was tipped over by keeper Phil Wilson, Weymouth made it two on 44 minutes.
Elanrs stunning slide-rule pass sent Jackson away and the striker coolly slotted home despite Wilson’s best efforts.
Half-time, two up, the points should have been in the bag for the Terras.
But Sutton turned the game on its head inside 60 seconds of the restart.
Cornwall and Akuamoah combined down the left to cross for the unmarked Craig Watkins to tuck away from close range.
Suddenly, as Wessex Stadium public address announcer Duncan Stewart says, it was game on.
After that, it was all one-way traffic as the visitors continually threatened and seemed certain for at least a point.
But they were denied through a combination of sloppy finishing and determined Terras defending.
Ekoku wasted a great chance when he fired well wide after beating markers Steve Tully and Roy O’Brien down the left.
Then Challis was forced to clear after Watkins won a loose ball which keeper Matthews was attempting to shepherd out.
Weymouth struggled to repeat their ﬁrst half performance, often failing to retain possession.
But there was the occasional opening, Purser planted his six-yard header straight at Wilson on 73 minutes.
Sutton continued to press for an equaliser late on as Ekoku blazed high and wide after a good run, to the frustration of his team-mates in the centre awaiting a cross.
With time running out, the hosts defending came ever more desperate and they survived another scare when captain Bound’s headed clearance denied the lurking Cornwall.
And with just seconds late, the skipper was the hero at the other end of the pitch after Dutton was crudely felled 20 yards out by last man John Scarborough.
Consistent Bound capped another good performance by crashing his left-footed rocket through the six-man wall, past the helpless Wilson and into the net to seal victory.
Weymouth: Matthews, Tully, Challis, O’Brien, Bound, Harris, Clark, Wilkinson, Jackson, Purser, Elam
Subs: Eribenne, Dutton, Taggart