Terras win in Boxing Day classic

We leave Weston-Super-Mare with all three points following a high-scoring classic in which in-form Brandon Goodship scored the winner in a 3-2 victory.

In what would have not looked out of place amongst the well-known 1963 festive matches, Goodship’s goal came after an exhilarating match of end-to-end attacking football.

This now means that our scoring machine now has FOUR goals in his last nine games.

The other goals had all come in the first half, where we had looked to have gone into the break in the lead, had Jason Pope not netted in added time.

Earlier, we had taken the lead after Harry Parsons and Tom Bearwish had helped us come from behind following Dayle Grubb’s 27th-minute penalty.

We then continued to look dangerous in the second half, before Goodship made the final difference, with Sam Avery’s last-minute red card diminishing any chances of the hosts leaving the game with a point.

Whilst we stay 20th, in the National League South table, our win puts us FIVE points clear of Eastbourne Borough, who have played a game more.

In what has been a difficult year for us on the pitch, we can at least take comfort in the fact that we ended 2023 with a well-earned victory.

Bobby Wilkinson made one change after Saturday’s draw against Dover Athletic, bringing Olu Durojaiye back in the midfield.

The match began brightly for both sides, as the team’ goalkeepers made crucial saves within a minute of each other just before the quarter-hour mark.

From then on the game really began to get into gear.

Parsons had the lion’s share of opportunities, and could have opened the scoring after 15 minutes had his low-driven strike not fizzed wide.

This was just two minutes before we somehow didn’t take the lead.

Teddy Howe was the man with the opportunity this time, whipping a thunderous strike toward goal, only to have the ball reach Max Harris’ fingertips.

The Cheltenham Town loanee’s save looked as if it had averted all danger – it hadn’t.

With the ball bouncing against the woodwork, only when the Weston defence managed the hoof the ball clear was when the hosts were finally safe.

The hosts’ let-off, however, unfortunately appeared to spur them on.

First, Gerard Benfield was forced into a brilliant save from James Dodd, before Howe attempted a challenge inside his box.

Dodd, further proving a handful, went down, resulting in a penalty being awarded.

Grubb stepped up and slotted home, giving The Seagulls the lead inside 28 minutes, leaving us trailing in the process.

For about two minutes…

Parsons’ hard work would pay off, as his accurate strike flew beyond the far corner, as both sides were level once more after 30 minutes.

The end-to-end football would not stop there, though, as Grubb came within a whisker of grabbing a second, and would have done so had it not been for a wonderful acrobatic save from Benfield.

Then came another goal 10 minutes later, just before halftime, thankfully at the right end.

Our skipper Bearwish would head home from Howe’s cross, making it 2-1 with little time left.

However, in typical Boxing Day fashion, Weston, just as they looked to head into the break a goal down, somehow bounced back in stoppage time.

Their equaliser came from Pope, whose long-range strike deflected before reaching Benfield, who was left with no chance.

The second half, perhaps unsurprisingly began as hectic as the first, when Goodship found the net just three minutes after halftime.

Our goal machine would have to wait a bit longer before his winner though, as his effort was flagged for offside.

Rutherford would then try his luck just a minute later, when, after a brilliant run, was denied by the ever-busy Harris.

At this point, it looked as if whatever David Aziaya had been fed last week was also given to the Weston shot-stopper.

Benfield would then push away a James Morton free-kick, before denying a goal for Jacob Jagger-Cane three minutes after the hour mark.

Bearwish would have another opportunity with a strike just two minutes later, as the match’s end started to be in sight.

It looked as if we would need something special to help us win the game.

Parsons would have the ball at his feet as he slid through to the in-form Goodship, who only had Harris in his way.

Harris would not be able to keep us out this time, as Goodship slid through the goalkeeper’s legs to make it 3-2, 19 minutes before stoppage time.

Though the game would slow down towards the end, there would still be chances for both sides.

Goodship would come close 11 minutes after his goal, before Benfield managed to tip away a deflected strike from Lloyd Humphries.

Then came the final key moment in the game.

Parsons ran through, looking certain to double our lead, before he was hacked down by Avery, resulting in a red card in stoppage time.

Avery’s dismissal appeared to confirm the scoreline, as we left the Woodspring Stadium with a vital victory.

Match report
by Jack Webb

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