Elam 43, Bound 45
BOGNOR REGIS 0
WEYMOUTH’S Conference South ‘title charge continued with a comfortable win over Bognor Regis.
Lee Elam and skipper Matt Bound’s quick-fire double just before the interval made it ten league games unbeaten for Garry Hill’s promotion hopefuls.
From the moment Elam headed Terras ahead after 43 minutes, victory was never in doubt as the wind and rain-lashed Wessex stadium.
Bognor Regis, missing injured top scorer and former Weymouth player Luke Nightingale, rarely looked like making a comeback as Hill’s side cruised to the three points.
When the Sussex side did fashion a handful of chances, in-form Terras keeper Jason Matthews was more than equal to the task.
The victory puts the Radipole Lane outfit on the brink of going top of Conference South, with three points against Weston-Suprt-Mare tomorrow doing the trick.
Weymouth, with centre half Roy O’Brien in an unfamiliar Midfield role, started brightly on a soaking Wessex Stadium pitch.
For 42 minutes, the first half was as miserable as the Dorset weather with neither side making much impression.
Then came Elam’s opener, quickly followed by Bound’s third thumping free kick of the season put the hosts well and truly in command.
Bognor had a scare on six minutes when keeper Chris May, under pressure by Darren Wheeler, slid to claim a loose ball and was inches from handling outside of his box.
With winger Lee Elam and Wheeler lively early on, the Terras seemed set to build on the the midweek success at Cambridge City.
O’Brien broke from midfield early on but his right-wing cross had too much power on it for Wheeler at the far post.
Weymouth’s best chance during e opening exchanges came when Andy Harris fed Wheeler on halfway.
The juvenated winger, back in the starting line-up after a long spell on the bench, left marker David Piper for dead before his cross was headed just over by Elam.
Mid-table Bognor were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men when David Birmingham dangerously lunged at Kirk Jackson but the defender only received a booking.
The visitors were counting the cost of not having Nightingale available when Dan Beck missed a gilt-edged chance when he fired over from close range on 31 minutes.
Elam, enjoying a roaming role, looked the hosts most likely source and nearly did the damage when his header from Eribenne’s cross was superbly turned away by May moments later.
The clash finally sprung into life in the closing few minutes of the half when the Terras ran riot.
Hill’s full-timers opened the scoring with a delightful move that began with Trevor Challis and Wheeler down the left.
The latter’s cross was ﬂicked on by Eribenne for Elam to plant his header back across goal and into the net.
Elam’s strike seemed to inspire Weymouth and they doubled their advantage in ﬁrst half stoppage time.
Eribenne was felled on the edge of the Bognor box and up stepped Bound to hammer home the resulting free kick with help from a deﬂection off the visitors’ six-man wall.
Suddenly the home side were rampant and it could have been even better for Hill’s side at the break.
Another excellent Eribenne cross found O’Brien but his close-range header drifted just past May’s right-hand post.
With no let-up in the swirling wind around the Radipole Lane venue, both sides struggled to create any meaningful openings for much of the second period.
Weymouth were grateful to keeper Matthews for maintaining their two-goal advantage on 58 minutes.
The keeper made the first of three superb saves when a decent Bognor move created by Chris Beach led to Jamie Howell forcing his way to the byline and crossing for Beck.
The striker took a touch, spun and fired goalwards but there was Matthews to block the effort with his legs.
With the points seemingly in the bag, the Terras lacked any real urgency but were forced to work hard to maintain their lead.
Matthews produced another splendid save moments later, this time diving low to claim Hudson’s angled drive.
Those couple of scares prompted Hill into a double substitution, replacing Eribenne and the hardworking Elam with Craig O’Connor and Shaun Wilkinson.
His changes almost did the trick on 70 minutes when O’Connor nearly added to his tally of goals following coming off the bench.
The striker was released by an excellent Harris pass but his low drive across May’s goal fizzed inches wide.
Bognor continued to enjoy plenty of possession but never really looked like making a comeback.
Hill made his third change on 73 minutes, giving a run-out to Tony Taggart for Darren Wheeler.
O’Connor nearly added a third for Weymouth late on when his stinging goalbound drive was blocked by alert defender Kevin Murphy.
Then in stoppage time came another cracking Matthews save to deny the visitors a consolation.
Hudson’s neat lay-off found Watson just inside the box and the striker cracked a blistering drive goalwards from 12 yards.
But the Terras keeper superbly ﬂung up his right hand to divert the ball behind for a corner and earn his side another clean-sheet.
Terras: Matthews, Tully, Challis, O’Brien, Bound, Harris, Wheeler, Downer, Jackson, Eribenne, Elam.
Subs On: Wilkinson, O’Connor, Taggart.
Subs not used: Wilde, Lee-Barratt.