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Terras silence the Saints
WEYMOUTH 2 ST ALBANS CITY 0
AN early two-goal blast saw the Terras record a fantastic victory over St Albans City at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
With the race for the play-offs still wide open this was very much a six-pointer and Wey-mouth hit the ground running from the start with Kyle Crit-chell and Mark Ford both finding the net in the opening 16 minutes.
After that, the hosts were always in full command and limited the Saints to very few chances in a game that eventually ambled to the final whistle following an extremely quiet second half.
Critchell and Craig Duff both returned for the Terras with the former replacing Jamie Skinner in the only change to the starting line-up.
Having won three out of their last four, Weymouth were clearly full of confidence ahead of kick-off but they were facing one of the form sides in the league, with the Saints having picked up 13 points from their last five.
Unsurprisingly, the opening ex-changes were fairly frantic but just seconds after Ben Joyce was denied by a fine point-blank save from visiting keeper Nick Jupp, the hosts took the lead.
Barry McConnell supplied the pinpoint cross from the right and there was the onrushing Critchell to neatly flick the ball home.
With just six minutes having elapsed on the clock, it was the perfect start for the Terras but St Albans soon responded with skipper James Comley firing a volley just over the top at the other end.
It was the hosts that were playing the better football though, and after seeing a couple of good moves breakdown in and around the Saints’ box, they eventually grabbed a second on 16 minutes.
This time Mark Ford showed great desire to nick the ball past a couple of opponents on the edge of the box before blazing a shot across Jupp and into the far corner of the net.
The Terras looked in full control but the Saints were still carrying a threat on the break with Chris Henry getting the better of Ashley Wells on 27 minutes, only to slice his effort wildly off target.
Henry then took an exaggerated fall in the box in a desperate bid to claim a penalty moments later but referee Marc Whaley was certainly not buying the theatrics and immediately waved play on.
Weymouth’s intensity had definitely dropped a level since the opening 20 minutes but with Critchell dominating the midfield battle in front of the back three, they still looked comfortable and nearly went on to grab a third.
Dan Smith and Stephen Reed both tried their luck from long range before Sam Poole rose highest to meet a corner, only to see his header hacked off the line by Richard Graham with Jupp completely beaten.
The Saints were clearly getting frustrated and it nearly boiled over at the half-time whistle when Graham tangled with McConnell on their way down the tunnel. The incident caused a minor scuffle but Whaley saw no need to take any action.
After the break the visitors looked a little brighter but they were still struggling to break down the Terras, who continued to carry a threat themselves without getting any real shots away.
In fact, the only real opening of the half came on 80 minutes when some neat interplay found Critchell in space on the edge of the box, but unfortunately his final pass ran too far for Ford, allowing Jupp to gather.
Although St Albans were poor throughout, the Terras were extremely well organised and thoroughly deserved their victory, which has now taken them above the Saints into fifth spot.
Terras: Evans, Palmer, Poole, Wells, McConnell (Skinner 65), Critchell, Reed, Clay, Smith (Duff 74), Joyce (Groves 84), Ford. Subs not used: Povall, Walker.
St Albans: Jupp, Seeby, Eadie (McGovern 63), Urquhart (Dove 78), Wharton, Bruce, Graham, Wadkins, Ngoyi (Keenleyside 63), Comley, Henry. Subs not used: Kaloczi, Taylor.