WEYMOUTH were undone by a freak St Ives goal as Mark Molesley’s men suffered a 1-0 defeat in their opening Evo-Stik Southern League Premier game at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

A corner from the right, taken by Lewis Hilliard, floated straight into the net with just seven minutes remaining to give the Cambridgeshire side a precious first win of the season. 

In truth, it was a poor performance from the Terras, who had offered so much hope in pre-season with a series of impressive displays against higher-league opposition. 

But Weymouth were flat throughout and struggled to create clear cut chances, with St Ives’ defence largely comfortable for the duration of the match. 

St Ives matched up well against the Terras, who opted for a 5-3-2 formation with Ashley Wells in a familiar sweeper role flanked by Josh Carmichael and Callum Buckley. Tiago Sa and Calvin Brooks were deployed as wing-backs either side of that three-man centre-back partnership.

Weymouth fashioned the first chance of the game after three minutes, owing much to a delightful ball from Callum Buckley. 

His cross from the left was met by two Terras’ players at the far post, but neither could control the ball and Barnet loanee goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle safely gathered. 

At the other end, St Ives looked dangerous on the counter and a nervy spill by Nick Thomas from an inviting Phil Draycott cross almost presented the visitors with a chance but new club captain Ashley Wells cleared before a St Ives intervention was possible. 

Draycott was quickly becoming the stand-out performer in a slow start to the game, his runs down the left causing trouble for Calvin Brooks and Josh Carmichael. 

Terras’ forward Brandon Goodship was at this stage the hosts’ liveliest player and he almost opened the scoring when a surging run ended in a powerful drive, but found McKenzie-Lyle equal to the task. 

On the half hour mark, Josh Wakefield earned a free-kick after a high boot from Jordan Jarrold but Charlie Davis could only send a tame shot into McKenzie-Lyle’s arms in a microcosm for the game so far. 

Terras goalkeeper Nick Thomas was almost guilty of presenting St Ives with a chance, taking two attempts to punch clear from a corner, but on the stroke of half-time he had his bar rattled.

Callum Buckley was robbed by Hilliard, who had his shorts tugged back for a free-kick which Draycott fired magnificently against the woodwork from 25 yards as St Ives went into the break unlucky not to be ahead.

Weymouth began brightly in the second half as the previously lacklustre Terras’ players injected more purpose into their game. 

Tiago Sa raided down the left and delivered a high cross to the right side of the area, which Brooks struggled to get on top of and could only head over. 

Moments later St Ives responded when striker James Hall blazed a side-footed shot over the bar, wasting what was a good move by the Cambridgeshire side. 

While Weymouth were struggling to create clear opportunities at one end, St Ives were threatening on the break and Hall again fired over before a Hilliard cross was deflected into the side netting. 

Terras’ captain Jake McCarthy then set about creating his own chances, producing a neat drag back and a pacey drive that skimmed off a St Ives defender for a corner, before he drove forward and struck a heavy shot into McKenzie-Lyle’s midriff. 

Both sides applied pressure going forward in search of a winner but, when the deadlock was broken on 83 minutes, it was St Ives who profited. 

Hilliard’s inswinging cross evaded everyone and Thomas’ anxious day worsened when he could do nothing to intercept the trajectory of the ball, which nestled into the right-hand side of the net. 

St Ives substitute Danny Kelly had a goal disallowed for offside, while the lively Hilliard should have doubled St Ives’ lead in stoppage time but mystifyingly elected to square the ball rather than shoot when well placed to score. 

Terras: Thomas, Brooks, Sa, Wells, Buckley, Carmichael, McCarthy, Davis, Thomson, Goodship, Wakefield (Baker 65)
Subs not used: James, J Prodomo, Stewart, Rodriguez

St Ives: McKenzie-Lyle, Longden (Chaffey 90), Jarrold, Farrell, De’Ath, McGowan, Hilliard, Clark, Hall, Hartley (Kelly 67), Draycott (Seymour-Shove 79)

Attendance: 665

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