TERRAS: No festive joy as Dolphins dominate

Dorset Echo: REUNITED: Poole old boy Luke Burbidge, left REUNITED: Poole old boy Luke Burbidge, left

WEYMOUTH 0 POOLE TOWN 3

POOLE Town’s promotion push continues to gather pace following a comfortable victory over the Terras at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

A bumper crowd of 1,065 turned out for the local derby and saw the Dolphins record a fifth successive win in the Southern Premier Division, courtesy of goals from Dan Cann, Ekow Elliott and Marvin Brooks.

Weymouth caretaker-manager Jason Matthews made just one change to the side that started the 4-1 win over Bedford last Saturday with Ashley Wells returning from suspension and replacing Barry McConnell.

The latter dropped to the bench where he joined Matt Cafer, Nathan Walker, Carl McClements and Mark Ford.

Poole, who came into the game on a seven-game unbeaten run in the Southern Premier, made three changes to their line-up.

AFC Bournemouth loanee Benji Buchel made his debut, replacing Dan Thomas between the posts, while Keith Emmerson and Brooks came in for the suspended Sam Clarke and Michael Charles.

Having won their last four in the league, the Dolphins were clearly in confident mood but it was the hosts that made the quicker start, carving out the opening chance in the very first minute.

Ex-Poole winger Luke Burbidge made a fine break through the middle and played in Stewart Yetton but his well-struck shot flew wide of the far post.

Matthews was then forced to make a timely interception at the feet of visiting skipper Cann before Brooks saw a header deflect wide off Jake Green, as Poole replied with some pressure of their own.

Former Terra Carl Preston then made some ground down the left and played a beautiful ball across the box to Jon Davies but his effort was weak, allowing Matthews to make a smart save down to his right.

The game then settled down a bit after that but it remained scrappy as both sides closed each other down in typical derby fashion.

A foul on Burbidge on 29 minutes then allowed Scott Walker to deliver a free-kick into the box but somehow the Dolphins managed to scramble it clear, with Sam Poole and ex-Poole skipper Michael Walker both seeing efforts blocked.

The action was certainly frenetic and, on 36 minutes, came that extra bit of quality to break the deadlock.

Substitute Elliott, who had replaced Jon Davies on 28 minutes, crossed from the left and there was Cann to flick the ball up on the turn and volley a fine shot beyond Matthews.

That added even more bite to the game and, just before the break, Danny Clay was very fortunate not to see red for the Terras following an off-the-ball incident with Steve Devlin.

The home midfielder clearly scraped his studs down the Poole man’s Achilles but luckily for him it went unnoticed by the officials.

Weymouth were a little unfortunate to be behind at the break but they only had themselves to blame for Poole’s second, which arrived just two minutes after the restart.

The hosts were caught completely napping from a long throw-in which allowed Elliott to turn in a shot from eight yards following a cross from the right.

The powerful winger was proving a constant threat and just moments later he went close again.

Running at the home defence, he cut inside and tried to curl one into the far corner but, on this occasion, Matthews was equal to the effort.

The Terras threw on Ford for Scott Walker on 64 minutes to try and turn the tide but Poole were looking comfortable and continued to carry the greater threat on the break.

The hosts were now looking weary and on 79 minutes they conceded a third. Carl Preston swung over a corner from the left and there was Brooks to head home unmarked at the near post.

Poole’s extra desire and quality could only be admired and the margin of victory at the end was thoroughly deserved.

As for the Terras, they once again struggled to break down one of the league’s top sides, a problem that continues to blight their season.

Terras: Matthews, Wells, Green, Clay, M Walker, Poole, Burbidge, Winsper, Yetton, Joyce, S Walker (Ford 64). Subs not used: Cafer, N Walker, McConnell, McClements.

Poole: Buchel, Emmerson, Spetch, Martin, Whisken, Pettefer, Davies (Elliott 28), Devlin (Lowes 87), Brooks, Preston (Charles 81), Cann. Subs not used: Byerley, Dibba.

Bookings – Terras: None.

Poole: None.

Referee: Marc Whaley (Plymouth)

Attendance: 1,065

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