TERRAS 2 BASHLEY 0
THE Terras came up against spirited resistance from a youthful Bashley outfit with nothing to lose, something which made for an intriguing and more competitive contest than expected on Saturday.
The New Forest outfit are struggling to field a side at present with many of their players plucked out of the Wessex League and receiving only matchday expenses.
To underline their current woes, they could only find two substitutes on the day but their youngsters’ exuberance and determination to impress was clear for all to see, particularly in an even first period.
However, the hosts’ extra quality finally shone through in a dominant second half where a fine headed goal from debutant Jamie Richards and a close-range finish from top scorer Stewart Yetton earned Jason Matthews’ charges victory in the first of a double-header with the Bash over four days.
Matthews made three major changes to the starting line-up, bringing Richard, his snew loan signing from Plymouth Argyle, straight into the centre of defence, while Adam Kelly, who had missed the last two games, came back into the XI with Jake Green.
Luke Winsper dropped to the bench but there was no place in the matchday 16 for either Barry McConnell or Sean Zima who both began the 4-1 humbling at league leaders Hemel Hempstead the previous Saturday.
Bashley began with a head of steam, trying their luck from range with three attempts in the first three minutes, the best of which saw Matthews hold a drive from Lewis Blackmore.
Jacob Jagger-Cane’s fourthminute free-kick was easily headed away at the other end, and it wasn’t until 12 minutes later that the game’s next opening arose when Kelly cut in from the right before flicking a shot with the outside of his boot that required a finger-tip save from Nic Jones.
Midway through the half, Kelly won a free-kick in a central position 20 yards from goal but skipper Yetton fired straight into the wall before volleying the rebound well wide.
Moments later, Ashley Wells hit a desperate effort from 35 yards nowhere near the intended target before the visitors, clearly growing in belief, fashioned a great opportunity of their own after 26 minutes.
Young skipper Jack Odam neatly threaded a through ball for Blackmore and it took a top-drawer save from Matthews with his outstretched left arm to keep the scores level.
However, within 60 seconds the Terras very nearly edged in front when Kelly, picking up a long downfield punt from Matthews, cut inside from the right before unleashing a left-footer from 20 yards that smashed against the right post.
The home side then saw Steve Colwell’s 25-yarder pushed wide by Jones and, with the last real chance of the half, Yetton’s left-foot volley from a Jagger-Cane corner cleared the bar.
However, it took just eight minutes after the restart for Weymouth to finally make the breakthrough.
This time, Kelly took a corner from the right instead of Jagger-Cane and the switch made an instant impact as Richards looped a header over Jones from 12 yards.
Just past the hour mark, Green headed over a centre from Yetton before Matthews had to be alert to tip over an intended cross from Brad Strickland.
Unsurprisingly, the Terras dominated the final 20 min-utes with a number of chances created to kill the game off.
Yetton, teed up by Green, clipped the outside of a post and then, on 79 minutes, Ben Joyce lifted a lob onto the bar after keeper Jones had raced out to the edge of his area to head clear.
The second goal did arrive just seconds later following a Jagger-Cane corner that fell to Green on the left edge of the six-yard box.
Green’s first touch took him wide but the young winger was able to flash the ball across the face of goal and there was Yetton to get the vital touch just two yards out.
Weymouth then had two further chances to add a little gloss to the scoreline.
Joyce fired wide after good work from substitute Winsper and then, three minutes into injury-time, late substitute Isaac Vassell, the second new loan signing from Plymouth, wasn’t able to mark his debut with a goal as both he and then Yetton contrived to miss from close range.
Terras: Matthews 7, Hutchings 6, Wells 7 (Holland 80, 6), Colwell 7 (Winsper 76, 7), Richards 7, Walker 6, Kelly 7 (Vassell 64, 6), Jagger-Cane 7, Yetton 7, Joyce 7, Green 8. Subs not used: Powell, Poole.
Bashley: Jones, Rolls, Flint, Ansell, Marden, Bulpitt, Roberts, Strickland (Manders 68), Joyce, Odam, Blackmore (Brooks 74).
Bookings: Weymouth – none
Bashley – Flint (foul, 29), Roberts (foul, 46), Marden (foul, 83)
Referee: Iain Parsons (Salisbury)