Matthews’ troops seal dominant win over Basingstoke Town
WEYMOUTH cruised to a comfortable home league victory at the Bob Lucas Stadium to leapfrog Basingstoke Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
And if any visiting scouts from FA Cup opposition Kidderminster Harriers had come along to cast their eye over Jason Matthews’ side, they were treated to one of Weymouth’s most assured displays of the season, against full-time opposition.
The Terras made one change from the side that drew 1-1 at Top Field against Hitchin last time out.
Full-back Jake Wannell failed to get over a hamstring injury and dropped to the bench, meaning Mark Cooper was back in the side on the left of the back four.
There was no Aaron Rodriguez in the matchday squad for the hosts which meant Conor Jevon, who scored a hat-trick in the League Challenge Cup against Wimborne Town a week previously, was back in the first-team.
An early injury concern to Terras’ midfielder Dean Evans was soon dealt with by the home medical staff before Dragons’ defender Joe Gater also picked up a knock in what was a stop-start opening five minutes.
But, with the first chance of the contest, the Terras got off to the perfect start.
After some good work down the left by Cooper, the ball eventually fell to Ben Thomson on the turn and he fired into the bottom corner, leaving Alex Tokarczyk in the visitors’ goal with no chance.
Weymouth’s next opportunity then came as a half-cleared ball fell to Evans was held and, at the other end, Romone Rose looked to carry on his impressive scoring form with a strike which just flew over the bar from 30 yards out.
After Weymouth’s Calvin Brooks received treatment for a knock, there was then huge chances for both sides. Cooper’s ball in found Terras’ midfielder Charlie Davis at the back post but he could only fire into the side netting.
Just a minute later, Brooks was beaten by Dragons’ striker Rose, who shot past Weymouth keeper Thomas, only to be denied by a clearance off the line by Stephane Zubar.
Basingstoke then went close once against as Hallahan, on his return to the side, got in behind the Terras’ back four on the right.
His low drive on the angle to the far post was pushed round the post by Thomas.
But, while Basingstoke showed their threat, it was Weymouth who got a second on 26 minutes, with great striker’s instinct
displayed by skipper Stewart Yetton.
He latched on to a strike at goal from Evans to wrong-foot Tokarczyk in the away goal and tap home.
Basingstoke were then given a glorious chance to get back into the contest when Thomas was penalised for handling outside of his box on the angle, but Sam Deadfield’s free-kick was dealt with by Zubar.
As the game ebbed an flowed, Davis then came close to adding a third for the hosts. His drilled free-kick forced a strong save from Tokarczyk, who flew to his right having seen the ball late.
A flashpoint then ensued just short of the break as Jordan Copp went down clutching his face after after an altercation with visiting striker Rose, but referee Lee Rutter calmed things down and did not even show a caution.
It did not take the Terras too long to add a third to their tally after he break as Billy Lowes got in on the act on 47 minutes. He pounced on a defensive mistake by Gator, and smashed the ball into the bottom corner to put Weymouth in cruise control at 3-0.
Thomas then saved from winger Nana Owusu to keep his clean sheet intact before Thomson fired at Tokarczyk.
Both the Terras’ front two of Thomson and Yetton were then replaced around the hour Mark by Sam Jordan and Jevon, with Saturday’s cup clash at Kidderminster in mind. Davis was then replaced by Dan Smith, who returned for the final 15 minutes after a calf injury.
With the hosts looking for a fourth, a devilish ball in from the right was struck sweetly by substitute Jordan who was unmarked inside the area, but his effort smashed against the bar.
But it was not to matter as Matthews’ men comfortably saw the clash out for three points.