HUNGERFORD TOWN 2 WEYMOUTH 1
TERRAS’ boss Jason Matthews knew his side were in for a tough test away from home at Bulpit Lane on Saturday and eventually, Weymouth succumbed to a gut-wrenching defeat against Hungerford Town.
Going into the weekend’s encounter, the hosts boasted the credential of being one of the most in-form teams in England at present and Weymouth were well aware that they had to be at the peak of their powers to claim all three points.
And when Stewart Yetton found the net once again for the Terras on 23 minutes, all was going to plan for Matthews’ men.
Yetton’s strike, a remarkable ninth goal in as many games for the forward, meant the Terras
led for a total of 46 minutes before Hungerford’s own prolific frontman Stefan Brown made his mark on the contest and substitute Harry Goodger netted the hosts’ winner 10 minutes from time.
Matthews, who had named the same team for four league games in a row, was forced into making one change as Charlie Holland replaced Ashley Wells, after he was ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury.
It was Hungerford that took the early initiative. After a barrage of early corners that were defended well by the Terras, Brown, who had scored in his last five league outings prior to kick-off, fired an early warning shot at Matthews on four minutes.
As both sides traded early blows, loanees Jacob Jagger-Cane and Isaac Vassell then combined well as they have done in recent weeks, with the latter striking the ball straight at the goalkeeper.
And as the Terras were beginning to ruffle the feathers of the hosts, it didn’t take too much longer for Yetton to get in on the act and put his stamp on proceedings.
Playing with an ankle problem picked up against Hitchin last weekend, the skipper still had enough class to break on to a ball from deep and lob the ball over Paul Strudley in the visitors’ goal to put his side ahead.
Vassell then saw his free-kick hammered into the wall after Hungerford’s Matt Day was booked for handling on the edge of the area on the half-hour mark, and things seemed to be fairly comfortable for the Terras.
Hungerford’s Alan O’Brien, who has played in the Premier League for Newcastle United and represented Ireland at international level, then showcased his pedigree as he delivered a troublesome corner which was eventually stabbed off the line by the Terras’ defence.
Minutes later, the pacey winger was at it again as he surged down the flank and delivered a devilish ball which Brown couldn’t quite get on the end of, as the sides went in goalless at the interval.
A nasty clash of heads then occurred just short of the hour mark between Charlie Holland and Hungerford’s Dean Stow, leaving both men unable to continue and the Terras defender needing stitches on a fierce gash on the back of his head.
Hungerford then made two more replacements minutes later, and it was this that was the catalyst to change the entire outcome of the encounter.
Stow’s replacement James Clark delivered a pinpoint corner which found the head of Brown, who glanced a header unchallenged past Matthews to level things up on 71 minutes.
Another Hungerford replacement Harry Goodger then made his impact on the contest in more ways than one.
He seemed to lunge in on Terras’ defender Jake Hutchings, much to the chagrin of the visiting supporters, but more misery for the Weymouth was to come courtesy of the substitute.
After Terras’ Scott Walker thought the ball was a Weymouth throw-in, the linesman gave the decision the other way, allowing the Crusaders to quickly break forward with men over.
And although Matthews val-iantly saved the first shot at goal, Goodger was on hand to bury the rebound and end the Terras’ unbeaten league run.
Matthews advanced forward himself for a corner in the dying moments in search of an equaliser, but it wasn’t to be for the Terras as they drop one place to 10th in the Southern Premier League table.
Hungerford: Strudley, Hughes, John, Horgan, Dan, Rees, Stow (Clark 57), Brewer (Goodger 62), Brown, Draycott, O’Brien (Webb 62). Subs not used: Hopper, Boardman
Terras: Matthews, Holland (S Walker 57), Green, Colwell, Hutchings, Richards, Kelly (Ford 81), Jagger-Cane, Yetton, Rigg, Vassell. Subs not used: McConnell, M Walker, Sharpe
Bookings: Hungerford – Day, 30 (deliberate handball) Terras – Rigg, 83 (foul)
Referee: Mark Lucie