EIGHT-HUNDRED fans will return to the Bob Lucas Stadium after a 266-day absence when Weymouth host Halifax in front of the BT Sport cameras tomorrow (5.20pm).

Weymouth were last backed in person by their home faithful on Saturday, March 14 when the Terras beat Slough 2-0.

Weymouth went on to secure promotion to the National League via the play-offs but supporters have not yet had the chance to officially welcome new boss Brian Stock.

Speaking to Echosport, Stock is pleased a comeback for fans – and TV cameras – will become a “reality” for the Terras.

He said: “It’s probably why everyone was excited leading into pre-season.

“Playing in front of the fans is now a reality and to play under BT Sport (coverage) is something the players are going to be looking forward to.

“It almost highlights the stage they’re at in the National League.”

From a footballing perspective, the clash brings together the 20th and 21st clubs in the standings, with Halifax ahead on goal difference.

Stock said: “It’s a cliché – all games are big games. But when you’re playing teams in and around you they become a little bit more important.

“(Halifax) have had a very up and down season. Looking at their structure and the format they have going on, they’ll be surprised themselves that they are where they are.

“But the league table doesn’t lie and we fully expect a competitive match.”

Stock is keen to take the ground work from Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Chesterfield into this game.

He said: “It’s been a nervous time with the Covid situation. Our message to the lads was we draw a line under that now.

“I understand how we might be lacking in match fitness, so looking at the positives there were some good individual displays and a few things we’ve looked at.

“There are one or two things we may need to add into our armoury.”

Jack Dickson could return after a long spell out, keeper Gerard Benfield (knee) is a doubt but number one choice Jack Bycroft (finger) is fit. Josh Wakefield (calf) is in contention.

Claret & Blue lottery – November

1. Neil Sowerby, Weymouth – no.14; 2. Kate Berry from Weymouth – no.53; 3. Juliet Reynolds from Weymouth – no.17. A donation to Weymouth FC of £200 brings the total to £1,141 this season.

Christmas draw winners

1. Ralph Ricardo from Dorchester – no.69; 2. Linda Kaile from Weymouth – no.56; 3. Ian J White from Chard – no.4; 4. John Rawles from Weymouth – no. 87.