CHESTERFIELD 1

Whelan 38

WEYMOUTH 0

TOM Whelan haunted old side Weymouth by blasting Chesterfield to a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Technique Stadium.

Akwasi Asante hit the post in the fifth minute for the fast-starting hosts, who dominated a first half in which Weymouth struggled for momentum.

Substitute Pierre Fonkeu hit the bar in the second period for an improved Weymouth, but despite mounting severe late pressure on the home goal an equaliser was not forthcoming.

It means Weymouth boss Brian Stock will have to wait to add to his side’s tally of two away victories after he made one change to the starting XI from the 4-0 win over Wealdstone.

READ MORE: Chesterfield 1-0 Weymouth - how it happened

Jordan Ngalo came back in to the side at the expense of Andreas Robinson, who was absent from the squad entirely with a muscle injury.

Cameron Murray was the only new addition to the squad, replacing Ngalo on the bench.

He was joined in the dugout by Gerard Benfield, Josh Wakefield, Fonkeu and Ben Thomson.

Chesterfield made two changes as Whelan – who was sold by Weymouth to the Spireites before Christmas – and Nathan Tyson came in for James Rowe's side.

Dorset Echo: Ollie Harfield had to chase off two pigeons in the first half Picture: MARK PROBINOllie Harfield had to chase off two pigeons in the first half Picture: MARK PROBIN

Weymouth took the lead in the reverse fixture before going on to lose 2-1, but Chesterfield ensured there would be no repeat at the Technique Stadium.

Rowe’s men quickly asserted dominance of the game, with Whelan and Tyson miscuing shots inside four minutes.

Chesterfield had Weymouth slightly rattled with their energetic start and soon the woodwork was also rattled when Ethan Ross got down well to tip Akwasi Asante’s low 20-yarder onto the post.

Whelan took a tumble in the box with appeals for a penalty waved away, before Weymouth’s first attack broke down with a foul in the box.

Josh McQuoid had won possession and put Andy Dallas into space but the officials spotted a minor infringement in the box and the move fizzled out.

After Whelan shot tamely at Ross, the Terras settled into their work and took the sting out of the game, Sean Shields winning a corner with a lovely delivery as Curtis Weston was forced to head behind.

The hosts defended the set-piece well but centre-back Laurence Maguire – brother of Manchester United captain Harry – was soon replaced by Josef Yarney courtesy of a hamstring injury.

Jake McCarthy then saw an effort blocked on the edge of the area before Jacob Mensah was booked for holding up the powerful Asante, who was causing the Terras all sorts of problems.

At the other end, Ross was called upon to push clear Asante’s skidding shot, but the Spireites would eventually take a deserved lead in the 38th minute.

Aston Villa loanee Dom Revan was the latest Weymouth defender to encounter problems marking Asante, conceding a free-kick.

After a double deflection, the ball landed at Whelan’s feet and the ex-Terra lashed home a volley in off the post and refused to celebrate in a respectful gesture to his old side.

Dorset Echo: Tom Whelan, centre left, shot through a crowd of bodies to score the winner Picture: MARK PROBINTom Whelan, centre left, shot through a crowd of bodies to score the winner Picture: MARK PROBIN

Whelan and Asante nearly combined to make it 2-0 before a Shields corner was headed clear by a impenetrable home defence.

In response to an underwhelming first half, Stock brought on Fonkeu and Thomson for McQuoid and Mensah.

It meant Dallas shifted to number 10 with Thomson up top, Calvin Brooks at right-back and Brennan Camp into centre-half.

And the alteration almost reaped dividends in the 54th minute as the substitutes both went up for a header, Fonkeu looking to get the final touch.

His attempt crashed down off the bar, leading to strong appeals for a goal from the Weymouth players and bench, although the officials gave nothing.

Dorset Echo: Pierre Fonkeu, top, crashed a header against the bar Picture: MARK PROBINPierre Fonkeu, top, crashed a header against the bar Picture: MARK PROBIN

Chesterfield replied when Ollie Harfield was forced to smuggle the ball off the line.

An improved Weymouth, led by the bright Fonkeu, caused Rowe to make two further changes as Marcus Dinanga and Liam Mandeville replaced Tyson and goalscorer Whelan.

Weymouth patiently built play in search of an equaliser but faced a robust, well-drilled Chesterfield side who have only conceded two home league goals in the Rowe era.

After soaking up the pressure of a Weymouth move, the hosts broke at pace and Mandeville dragged a shot well wide with Asante calling for service.

Dallas, who only had scraps to feed on all game, then won a free-kick by the touchline which Brennan Camp headed wide with three minutes remaining.

Weymouth turned up the heat in stoppage time as Thomson won a free-kick, allowing Ross to go up.

Dorset Echo: Ben Thomson, right, was heavily involved as Weymouth pushed for a point Picture: MARK PROBINBen Thomson, right, was heavily involved as Weymouth pushed for a point Picture: MARK PROBIN

Shields took the delivery and his cross caused havoc in the area with home keeper Grant Smith claiming at the third attempt.

There was still time for Thomson to latch onto a threaded pass near the byline, but his flighted cross was too close to Smith as Chesterfield stood firm to claim victory.

Weymouth stayed 20th but King’s Lynn claimed an impressive 2-1 win over Eastleigh to regain the three points they lost after Dover Athletic’s results were expunged.

The Terras return to action on Good Friday at home to Maidenhead United.

Chesterfield: G Smith, Carline, Kerr, Hollis, Maguire (Yarney 25), Whittle, M Smith, Weston, Whelan (Mandeville 71), Tyson (Dinanga 59), Asante. Subs not used: Rowley, Yussuf.

Terras: Ross, Camp, Ngalo, McCarthy, McQuoid (Fonkeu 46), Brooks, Dallas, Mensah (Thomson 46), Revan, Harfield, Shields. Subs not used: Benfield, Wakefield, Murray.