WEYMOUTH manager Sluart Morgan promised that last night’s testimonial for Derek Courtney and Bryan Lawrence would be a night to remember.
And he was proved right, with the Terras really turning on the style to beat Chelsea, the leaders of the Second Division.
Weymouth’s victory was no fluke. No doubt encouraged by the skill of their star guest, Bobby Moore, who was immaculate in his role of sweeper, the Terras played some excellent football and certainly gave their famous opponents plenty to think about.
Chelsea didn’t over exert themselves in a game of few fouls and free-kicks. But they didn’t want to lose, and for a period in the second—half they tried hard to put Weymouth under pressure.
Steve Chalk, in the home goal, twice rescued the Terras with superb saves from Tommy Langley, the England Under-21 international and leading marksman for Chelsea over the past two years.
But the big hero was Anny Iannone, Weymouth‘s Player of the Year, who hit the two first-half goals which saw the Terras through to victory.
The crowd of more than 5,000 who must have really enjoyed themselves, gave him a deserved applause.
Courtney and Lawrence me: “It was all tremendous. We were overwhelmed to get so much support from all sides.”
They showed their appreciation for the efforts put in on their behalf by Stuart Morgan by presenting him with a silver goblet. “He has been really great,” they said.
A fit looking 38-yea-r-old Bobby Moore told me: “This is my ﬁrst visit to the Weymouth ground. I am very impressed. I enjoyed playing. It was a pleasure turning out for Weymouth. They produced an exceptionally good standard of play.
Steve Dyer, the Weymouth central defender’, commented: “It was really something playing alongside Bobby. He exerted a controlling inﬂuence on the scene.”
Weymouth showed great determination throughout, and must have surprised Chelsea with some of their footballing moves.
And within ten minutes they thrilled the crowd by taking the lead, Iannone striking a ﬁne shot past Bob Iles, the former Weymouth goalkeeper, following a cross from McCafferty.
Cameras ﬂashed all-round the ground, and Moore strolled majestically through the game at the heart of the defence, pushing Weymouth forward.
Weymouth’s second goal, after 30 minutes, came from a defensive error on the part of Iles, who was sold to Chelsea for a reward £10,000 two years ago. He mishandled a cross from Gerry Byrne, and Iannone pounced to guide the ball into an empty net.
Clive Walker broke clear to beat Chalk with a well-controlled low shot a minute later. But Walker, who scored twice at Stamford Bridge against Preston North End on Saturday to send Chelsea to the top of the table had a few other chances, although he missed a sitter later when he shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Both sides made several changes in the second-half, but the game kept flowing smoothly from end to end.
Chalk distinguished himself with an aerobatic dive to turn aside a shot from Lee Frost, and also did well to narrow the angle and save at point-blank range from Langley.
But Weymouth kept hitting back at every opportunity, with Paterson and Dove both showing up well in such good company, while Lawrence and Byme were always prominent in a defence which worked hard for the full 90 minutes
Courtney produced several neat flicks with his head, and went close to scoring late in the game when a shot was deflected for a corner by a defender.
In keeping with the character of the Weymouth players last night, Graham Roberts made a great tackle in the dying seconds to check a run by Frost, and when the ﬁnal whistle went, the fans again showed how much they appreciated what they had seen with more deserved applause.
Weymouth: Chalk, Lawrence, Byrne, Dyer, Moore (Arnold 69th minute), McCafferty, Iannone, (Paterson 46th minute), Courtney, Robertts, Dove, Johnson (Hawkins 46th minute).
Chelsea: Iles, Locke, Sparrow, Bumstead, Nutton, Chivers, Britton (Hales 46th minute), Fillery, Johnson (Frost 46th minute), Walker (Langley 45th minute), Harris (Gould 46th minute).