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TERRAS: Weymouth ease to opening day victory
ST NEOTS TOWN 0 TERRAS 2
THE Terras got their season off to a flying start with an away victory at St Neots thanks to a solid all-round display.
They set up the win with two goals in the first 12 minutes and despite their best efforts the hosts made little impression on the visiting defence in which Nathan Walker and Sam Poole were outstanding.
Town’s much-changed side, with only one survivor from their final line-up of last season, looked shapeless and unbalanced, while the visitors looked well-drilled with Ben Joyce dropping back into midfield in the absence of Kyle Critchell and Jamie Symes.
Simon Evans and Michael Walker also missed out for the Terras.
With St Neots down to 10 men with Ola Sogbanmu receiving treatment to an early ankle injury, Weymouth went ahead after six minutes.
Home keeper Daniel Heath made a fine save to push a Stewart Yetton shot onto the crossbar but Mark Ford followed in to head home the rebound.
Seven minutes later the Terras then went two ahead when Heath brought down Ford in the area.
The stopper was lucky to escape with just a yellow card but he was given no chance with the resulting spot-kick which Scott Walker tucked away in emphatic style.
St Neots then tried to reply but a Bobbie-Joe Taylor shot was scrambled for a corner and Jason Matthews saved well from Lewis Hilliard.
Weymouth played some attractive football, frustrating many of the home side’s approach moves and all too often St Neots were reduced to playing the long ball out of defence.
Paul Rodgers did well to block a close-range effort from Ben Wood and St Neots had a shout for a handball in the box waved away following a corner.
Hilliard then went close with a free-kick that went just the wrong side of a post, but overall Weymouth looked pretty good value for their half-time advantage.
Clearly needing a different approach, St Neots made two early second-half changes, sending on Ryan Sharman in midfield and restoring Hilliard to his more favoured wide role, and substituting Karl Safee for Sogbanmu, who had never looked mobile enough after his early injury.
That double switch resulted in a bright 10-minute spell in which Hilliard had a goal-bound header blocked and Taylor saw his follow up effort deflected for a corner.
Another penalty appeal was then turned down before Safee fed Joe Benjamin whose effort rose high over the bar.
Safee then just failed to reach an accurate Taylor cross but as the wind began to get up the brief St Neots momentum faded.
Weymouth came back into the game and Yetton was only inches wide then Scott Walker brought a good save from Heath with a stinging free-kick.
Ford then beat the keeper only to see his shot rebound off a post and as a last throw of the dice St Neots brought on Andy Palmer to play with just three at the back.
However, the late efforts all came from the visitors with Heath pulling off two fine saves to deny Ford and Scott Walker, who almost scored direct from a corner.
Overall it was a great start to the season for the visitors.
St Neots: Heath, Rodgers, Adjei (Palmer 78), Sear, Crowie, Steer, Taylor, Hilliard, Benjamin, Sogbanmu (Safee 49), Fuller (Sharman 46). Subs not used: Wood, Conroy.
Terras: Matthews, McConnell, S Walker, Clay, N Walker, Poole, Burbidge, Ford, Yetton, Joyce, Wood. Subs not used: Wells, Groves, Chainey, Winsper, Greeno.
Bookings – St Neots: Sear, Heath, Hilliard.
Terras: Clay. Attendance: 354
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