Russe 57

WEYMOUTH fell to a tame 1-0 loss at home to relegation rivals Chippenham Town.

The Terras failed to deliver on the promise of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Dartford, with Ahkeem Rose spurning two good chances and Brad Ash volleying over against his old club.

In a game that lacked quality, Luke Russe’s 30-yard screamer deserved to win any game, his effort flying into the top-left corner.

Weymouth’s response was limited as the Terras could not force a serious chance, typifying a display that will concern boss Bobby Wilkinson.

READ MORE: Weymouth 0-1 Chippenham Town - report

The ex-Wealdstone manager had named an unchanged side for the second time in succession.

However, Ben Thomson made his return from a problematic ankle injury to make his first appearance in the squad since re-joining the Terras from Salisbury in November.

Thomson was joined by Scott Rees, Matt Buse and winger Keelan O'Connell on a bench full of attacking options.

Rounding off Wilkinson's substitutes was new signing Archie Procter, a centre-back from Dorking who has joined Weymouth until the end of the season.

Reading duo Nahum Melvin-Lambert and David Nyarko had no place in the squad.

Weymouth started assertively and should have taken the lead in the second minute when Brad Ash’s persistence won him a free-kick on the near side.

Tom Blair swung in a deep cross and Rose timed his run perfectly at the back post only to flick a header wide.

At the other end, Terras’ keeper Zaki Oualah clattered into the post to keep out a mishit Joe Hanks cross.

Ash, up against his former club, fired wide after a stepover before both teams fell into a 15-minute period of failing to keep possession, befitting of their league positions.

Blair broke the lull in shots with an ambitious 25-yarder straight into keeper Will Henry’s gloves.

The backpeddling Oualah was then called upon to tip over Craig Fasanmade’s sliced cross and the keeper mis-punched the resulting corner with Town’s cries for handball in the area waved away.

Chippenham had the last half-chance of a forgettable first half when Hanks’ free-kick was nodded just wide by Matt McClure.

Weymouth began the second half as they did the first, full of energy and creating chances.

Their first opportunity came when Blair raided down the left before cutting inside and dallying on the shot before winning a corner that came to nothing.

Weymouth pressed on and Rose scampered through only to be forced wide and allowing Henry to make the save.

Rose was found in a good position again on 51 minutes, this time by the low cross of Harvey Slade, but the stretching striker could only prod over.

With the match needing a moment of quality, Chippenham were the side to deliver six minutes later.

Former Weymouth winger Alefe Santos saw his cross only half cleared to Russe, who had time in midfield to nudge the ball forward and pump a vicious 30-yard shot into the top-left corner.

Weymouth’s response was limited to fleeting chances as Ash connected sweetly with a volley that flashed over the bar when he should have hit the target.

Ash had another shot deflected behind and manager Wilkinson then called for Thomson as the expense of Nathan Carlyle, drawing one of the biggest cheers of the night.

His impact was almost immediate as he bustled past Will Tizzard and found Ash at the back post, only for the ball to get caught in his feet before fluffing an attempted backheel.

Weymouth began to push numbers forward and Town looked dangerous on the counter, sub Joe Parker rifling a 30-yarder at Oualah before fellow sub Caine Bradbury cracked an effort against the bar on 87 minutes.

Meanwhile, Ash could only send a weak left-footed shot at Henry as the officials granted seven added minutes due to continued time-wasting from the Bluebirds.

Chippenham continued to carved out chances of their own as Tom Mehew drilled at Oualah but Weymouth were bereft of ideas when they needed them most, falling to a flat defeat.

The Terras are now four points from safety after Cheshunt won 3-0 at Dover.

Terras: Oualah, Sesay, Kyprianou, McBurnie, Bearwish, Blair, Slade, Willson, Carlyle (Thomson 78), Rose, Ash (O’Connell 67). Subs not used: Procter, Buse, Rees.

Chippenham: Henry, Jones, Hamilton, Richards, Santos, Mehew, McClure (Parker 68), Fasanmade, Hanks (Bradbury 74), Tizzard, Russe. Subs not used: Heal, Bray, Walker.

Referee: Lewis Sandoe.

Attendance: 821