By Alfie Lumb

The Terras were held to a goalless draw with 5th placed Saint Albans City on Saturday at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Coach Bobby Wilkinson made four changes from the mid-week 2-1 defeat to Hemel Hempstead, bringing in Kyprianou, Rose, Nippard and Egan for Buse, Tom Blair, McBurnie and Melvin-Lambert.

St. Albans had a chance to put the ball in the area in the 2nd minute after Chay Cooper fed the ball through to Devante Stanley on the overlap. Brendan Willson did well to cut up the danger but his touch gave the ball back to Stanley who tried to put in another low cross. This time it was David Sesay who was alert to the danger with the wing-back clearing the ball down the line to Bearwish.

The visitors looked comfortable in possession in the opening stages, and tried to fashion a goal in the 4th minute after some well-worked passing. Zane Banton played the ball to Cooper on the left side of the pitch. Cooper tried to feed Shaun Jeffers, who already has
23 goals this season, but Zaki Oualah rose above the towering striker to collect the ball in the air.

With the opening so frenetic, the first yellow card of the game went to Bobby Wilkinson after challenging the referee on a possible penalty following an alleged handball by Joy Mukena in the 9th minute.

Two minutes later the Saints were in with another chance following a long throw from Devante Stanley. Cooper chased and was under the ball to take a strike on the volley, which was straight into the gloves of Oualah.

The Terras were turning defence into attack well with Rose, who found himself on the far side in the 12th minute. The Terras Talisman laid the ball up for Bearwish who put in a dangerous ball towards the front post. Nathan Carlyle found himself in the area to receive the cross at the front post, but he turned the ball just over the cross-bar with his effort.

A minute later Weymouth were in again from a long ball. This time, a slip from a St.Albans defender allowed Rose to touch the ball down. The striker still had work to do, pushing off his second marker, Riccardo di Trolio, before turning the ball onto his right and striking for goal, with his shot rolling inches wide of Michael Johnson’s left post.

The chances kept coming for both sides, this time the visitors had an opportunity to take the lead from a corner. Zane Banton rolled in a short corner to Jerffers who found himself in open space. The forward, like Carlyle earlier, tried to turn the ball in with his first touch but the shot was tame and collected easily by Oualah.

Jeffers then put the ball in the net from a threaded pass a minute later, but the assistant referee had raised his flag, with the chance ruled offside.

Weymouth had a gilt-edged chance to take the lead in the 28th minute. Bradley Ash charged down a short back-pass to Johnson in goal and won a throw-in. The striker took it quickly, throwing it out to Rose, who, instead of shooting, picked out Nippard with a pass across the box. Nippard took on the strike first time, trying to guide the ball into Johnson’s bottom left corner, but the keeper did well to make the save.

Within the same play, the side in Blue and White led a counter on the near side, with Devante Stanley driving down the right side before unleashing a fiery effort from the edge of the box. The ball, swirling in the seaside wind looked as though it was going to smash through the far corner of the net, but kept travelling, with the ball just over the bar.

Stanley was looking electric with a great understanding of his midfielders, maintaining a one-touch passing relationship for much of the first half.

The Saints were lacking something in the final third and couldn’t break the deadlock in the first half. Banton picked out Jeffers in space. The striker looked up and took a touch before firing, showing Oualah where he was looking to put the ball, giving the keeper an easier save.

Weymouth could have led at the break following a chance in added time. The visitors were struggling to clear their lines from set-pieces allowing Ash to raffle off a shot from the edge of the area. The ball bounded awkwardly into the air, which was headed by Kyran Wiltshere who nearly put the ball into his own net.

The opening of the second half was more calm, with neither team establishing themselves bar a half chance from Kyprianou 10 minutes in. A clearance floated its way to the wing back on the edge of the box who struck the ball ferociously on the volley

The second half got going in the 65th minute when Weymouth were awarded a penalty after Michael Clark scythed down Tom Bearwish in the penalty box. Ash stepped up to take the penalty, but the keeper judged correctly, diving to his left and getting both hands behind the ball.

Late corners in the 89th minute for the Terras gave them hope, with their second within a minute, swung in by Kyprianou towards the back post to Ahkeem Rose. The striker held off the challenge before finding Nathan Carlyle. The defender took the chance on, but the ball went wide.

Four minutes of added time were met with a roar from Weymouth fans urging their side on, but the final ball was eluding them. Ahkeem Rose ended up with the ball at his feet in the final third with a minute on the clock, brushing off Saints defenders before making his way into the area and taking a strike on in effort to catch Johnson out at his near post, but the ball instead ruptured the side netting.

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