Dorset Echo: BACK IN ACTION: Ashley Wells, left, will make his first competitive outing for the Terras since breaking an ankle

THE Terras will be without defender Ashley Wells for tonight’s trip to AFC Totton (7.45pm).

The fleet-footed full-back (above, left) has been thriving in a sweeper role of late but a pre-arranged trip across the Channel has left Weymouth facing a defensive reshuffle.

Boss Brendon King told Echosport: “Ashley is away in France for a couple of days. It is something he asked if he could book a couple of months ago before the Totton game was rearranged.

“It is a bit of a blow because he has been key to the way we have been playing, particularly away from home, but it gives someone else a chance to come in and stake a claim.

“With Mark Ford and Scott Wal-ker still out as well we are beginning to get a bit of short of numbers but it is what it is and we just have to get on with it.”

One man looking to profit from King’s lack of first-team options at present is youngster Matt Morley, who has been impressing of late for the reserves.

King added: “Matt has been in good form recently. Jake Richmond has been impressed with him and when I watched him the week before last I thought he did very well indeed.

“As a result, he has earned his chance and will be in the squad this evening, which is further evidence for young players out there that if they do well here they will get their opportunity.”

Totton currently have the second best home record in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division behind leaders Leamington after picking up 29 points at the Testwood Stadium from a possible 36.

However, Weymouth will not be duly concerned by that as their away form is pretty special too. The Terras have lost just one of their last seven on the road, picking up five victories in the process.

King went on to say: “Totton have been pretty formidable at home this season so it is going to be tough, but if we can make life difficult for them and show a bit more quality in the final third than we did at Gosport on Saturday, we will stand every chance.

“Normally both teams like to take it to each other and hopefully that will be the same again and we can come out on top.”

The previous five meetings between the two clubs have served up a total of 23 goals and with just one place separating the two sides in the table, another classic could well be on the cards.

Weymouth currently sit 10th in the league, one point adrift of the Hampshire outfit, who are also unbeaten in their last four games.

Terras (from): Evans, Povall, Poole, Palmer, Critchell, McConnell, Clarke, Clay, Reed, Skinner, Duff, Smith, Morley, Groves, Joyce.