Sublime strikes put Terras in derby dreamland
DERBY day elation went to the Terras at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, as goals from Billy Lowes and Charlie Davis proved enough to see off a spirited Dorchester Town.
The midfield duo struck stunning efforts to put the Terras into a two-goal lead with just under 20 minutes to go.
And, although Tony Lee’s high-quality free-kick for the Magpies proved unstoppable, it was to be a consolation as Jason Matthews’ men propelled themselves into derby dreamland.
The Terras, who ended a run of two straight defeats with a 1-1 draw at Chesham on Saturday, made a couple of changes from the side that started against the Generals.
Dan Smith returned to the team after a bout of illness, meaning player-coach Mark Molesley dropped to the bench. There was also a return for Chris Shephard following suspension as he replaced Jordan Copp.
For the Magpies, boss Mark Jermyn made one switch from the side that lost 2-0 against Cambridge City last time out. Former Terra Ben Wood was named in the XI in place of Mario Mateus, who was out of the squad all together after appearing to limp out of the warm-up.
Nathan Walker, who scored in the last league fixture between the sides, started up front alongside Tony Lee.
It took just 24 seconds for the first feisty challenge of the afternoon to occur as new Terras’ recruit, Stephane Zubar, on his home debut, brought down Lee.
The first half-chance of the contest came the way of the Magpies with just five minutes on the clock. A long throw from Wood was met by Walker, who flicked the ball just wide of the far post.
Neil Martin, formerly of Weymouth, then found some space on the left to whip a delivery in on the angle, which was headed wide by Eastleigh loanee Lee as the Magpies found themselves on top in the opening 15 minutes.
But, with their first sight of goal, the Terras came closest to opening the scoring. A drilled corner from Shephard found ex-Magpie Davis, who received an unfriendly welcome from the travelling fans. He failed to make contact and Stewart Yetton’s effort was scrambled away at the near post in the aftermath.
A strike from striker Ben Thomson was then deflected wide moments later and visiting player-boss Jermyn was then forced to clear, as Weymouth moved through the gears. Jermyn emphatically smashed away a dangerous ball from Mark Cooper, who had surged forward from right-back.
Shephard was then fouled by Dorchester skipper Jake Smeeton in a dangerous area but, from the resulting free-kick, the Weymouth playmaker shanked the ball wide after being teed up by Davis.
The hosts continued to push for the opener and a snap shot from Dan Smith then worked Shane Murphy in the Dorchester goal before Shephard also forced a save from the county town keeper minutes later.
Then, out of seemingly nothing, the Terras took the lead in incredible fashion on 39 minutes, with an absolute cracker from midfielder Lowes.
After the ball was cleared from a Weymouth corner, the midfielder picked it up from deep, moved into a central area around 30 yards from goal and drilled it into the corner past a helpless Murphy for 1-0. A special moment for the home side.
Following the break, it took the Magpies less than a minute to have arguably their best chance of the contest so far.
Some classy work down the left from Wood allowed him to skip past his man and play in Smeeton, whose stinging effort was blocked by Jake Wannell.
Tempers then flared as Lee looked to latch on to a loose ball and clashed with Thomas, a challenge the Weymouth gloveman did not take kindly to – both were booked as a result.
The Terras’ shot stopper then came to the rescue on 52 minutes as he flew to his left at full stretch to deny Smeeton, whose vicious shot looked to be heading for the top corner.
Jermyn then tried to recreate his heroics from the fixture between the sides at the Avenue 12 months ago with a volley from just inside the box but he never really got hold of the strike and it was comfortably gathered.
Then, cruelly for the Magpies, it was that man Davis, who left Dorchester for Weymouth in the summer who bagged the second on 72 minutes.
After a foul on the edge of the area, he took aim and slotted the ball into the corner past a sprawling Murphy, sending the home fans delirious at 2-0.
Davis was booked for his celebrations against his former club but the party was short-lived as the Magpies got back in the game through Lee just four minutes later. The striker showed his quality over a dead ball with a free-kick which bent into the top corner – a sublime effort Thomas could do nothing about.
But it was not to matter as, despite some late pressure from the hosts, Weymouth weathered the storm to record their first league win in the derby since Boxing Day 2014.