DERBY days, huh?

There is never a dull meeting when Weymouth and Yeovil Town lock horns.

Both sets of fans detest their counterparts and back their respective clubs in numbers.

For their latest renewal of hostilities, some 4,712 supporters crammed into the Bob Lucas Stadium to witness the latest episode in this mouth-watering rivalry.

READ MORE: Weymouth 1-0 Yeovil (match abandoned) - how it happened

The attendance figure beat that of three League Two clubs on the same day.

Harrogate (3,133), Sutton United (3,630) and Newport County (4,643) all recorded smaller gates, with Morecambe coming within 167 fans of being beaten, too.

This, in the sixth tier of English football.

Astonishing, but was it surprising?

Weymouth’s much-improved social media team had done a brilliant job of advertising the fixture.

The Terras’ board, no strangers to making a quick buck these days, afforded Yeovil as many tickets as they dared without surrendering numerical and home advantage.

Also, given the history of these two clubs and a passionate Yeovil following that has already twice broken the National League South attendance record this season, a crowd in excess of 4,000 was expected.

Yeovil deserve huge credit for turning up with more than 2,000 who traversed the 30-mile distance between the sides.

Some had even made a weekend of it on the south coast, happily posing for photos by the Jubilee Clock despite chiming in with disparaging songs about the seaside town come matchday.

Yeovil were of course massing in Weymouth with the title very much in their grasp.

They knew six points in their remaining games would guarantee promotion as champions, while a win for Dover against Chelmsford coupled with a win at Weymouth would also do the trick.

And so the build-up to this fixture was every bit as compelling as that of the FA Cup replay between the sides in October 2021.

There were flares set off in the town centre, green smoke drifting around the streets, Yeovil fans being turned away from pubs. The so-called ‘Green Invasion’ was here.

Weymouth eventually outnumbered the Glovers due to their customary late influx of sales. The Terras had only sold around 1,000 tickets by Thursday evening.

Some fans had turned up nearly three hours before kick-off, and there were still so many outside the ground approaching 1pm that the start time was pushed back 15 minutes.

Just enough time, then, to unveil Mark Molesley’s expected return as Weymouth manager. As if there wasn’t enough hype surrounding this game already?

Molesley’s entrance to the Bob Lucas Stadium turf was greeted vociferously by the Weymouth faithful, with whom he has rich currency after back-to-back promotions in 2019 and 2020.

However, as loudly as Weymouth’s cheers for Molesley were heard, so too were the deafening boos from Yeovil’s fans, who had quickly turned the away end into its best impression of the Thatchers Stand at Huish Park.

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Now it was time for the football to begin.

Weymouth were chasing their first win over Yeovil in more than 35 years.

Yeovil were hunting the title.

Mindful of everything at stake, a pedestrian start by both teams was understandable.

Promisingly for Weymouth and alarmingly for the Glovers, though, Yeovil’s slumber continued for much of the half.

Joel Rollinson then deftly nutmegged Yeovil captain Matt Worthington and drew a rash tackle from Brooklyn Genesini for the game's first yellow.

Rollinson looked like a man possessed. Was this really the same player who on Friday had missed an open goal in the 89th minute at Bath?

Later, Weymouth saw two chances for skipper Tom Bearwish come and go but the Terras were full of beans and a 1-0 lead was deserved.

It came when Dan Roberts surged through a chasm in the Yeovil defence, collected a diagonal pass and fired home ruthlessly beyond keeper Joe Day to ignite the home faithful, shushing the Yeovil fans for good measure.

Dorset Echo: Dan Roberts, left, celebrates in front of the Yeovil fans after scoringDan Roberts, left, celebrates in front of the Yeovil fans after scoring (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Weymouth could have made it two, but for Day’s agility when stooping low to repel Charlie Rowan’s firm header.

Yeovil only stirred themselves towards the end of the half, when Charlie Cooper blazed a good headed chance over after a fine cross by Brooklyn Genesini.

The league leaders were expected to turn up the heat in the second half and manager Mark Cooper left little to chance, introducing ex-Terras winger Sam Pearson for Olly Thomas at half-time.

Some Glovers fans felt Cooper had somewhat jinxed the anonymous striker, after claiming pre-match he had Premier League potential.

Yeovil did at least compete with more vigour in the second half and nearly equalised after a frenzy in the Weymouth goalmouth.

Chance survived, Weymouth still carried a big threat, Brandon Goodship earlier curling a free-kick into the green wall and Leo Hamblin shooting at Day.

With Yeovil having gained a foothold, it was only 25 minutes from full-time that Cooper’s men finally found their attacking verve, slick feet from Frank Nouble sending him one-on-one with Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Up to then, Weymouth’s goalkeeper was such a spectator that few could have blamed him if he had stood in the home end, swirled a claret and blue scarf above his head and watched the game.

He therefore deserved huge credit for not only remaining concentrated with so little to do, but for coming out on top against the imposing Nouble, flicking his leg out to deflect the ball for a corner.

Yeovil’s fans jeered for a penalty but this was undoubtedly another example of high-quality goalkeeping from the Bristol City loanee, who two weeks previously had the temerity to save a Braintree shot with his head on his way to recording a clean sheet.

Weymouth interim boss Jason Matthews made two changes in response to freshen up his attack as Ezio Touray and Keelan O’Connell replaced Goodship and Roberts.

At the same time, a rush of fluorescent yellow around the Yeovil end hinted that all may not have been well.

In the 77th minute, with stewards beckoning referee Liam Corbett to the touchline, the match was halted.

Weymouth would not get to see the potential impact of Touray and O’Connell, the duo who so memorably had inspired the Terras to victory against Hemel Hempstead and Havant already this season.

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But that was beside the point.

Football did not matter at that time as the gravity of the situation unfolded amid a medical emergency.

One steward close to our media position described the unfortunate lady’s condition as “very, very serious” and an air ambulance was called for.

Many of us in this pandemic-to-endemic era will have a heightened appreciation for our medical experts, emergency services and those who work in the NHS.

It took just 15 minutes for the air ambulance to arrive, circle the ground, stalk its chosen spot on the Bob Lucas Stadium pitch and land safely.

Dorset Echo: An air ambulance lands on the Bob Lucas Stadium pitch after the Weymouth v Yeovil derby was paused in the 77th minuteAn air ambulance lands on the Bob Lucas Stadium pitch after the Weymouth v Yeovil derby was paused in the 77th minute (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Quite rightly, given the tight confines of the stadium and with floodlights towering into the sky in all four corners of the ground, the air ambulance and its medics were applauded by nearly 5,000 fans after negotiating the hazards.

The casualty was quickly tended to and the air ambulance skilfully took off for what was presumed to be another landing spot close to the ground, possibly allowing the game to continue after the person affected had been transferred by road ambulance to the air ambulance.

Hope was raised for the derby’s completion when an official announcement was made, intimating that the final 13 minutes would play out once the casualty had been airlifted to hospital.

Weymouth’s players were then seen gathering in the tunnel but it soon became clear that play could not continue.

After a 42-minute stoppage, both sets of players and staff came out to thank their respective fanbases.

The abandonment was overwhelmingly the correct decision for reasons including, but not limited to, crowd safety, logistics and compassion.

And that’s before we even take into account the health of the poor woman concerned, who remains very much at the forefront of our thoughts at the time of writing.

While this was very much a day of non-League football to celebrate, the sport comes a very distant second to life itself.

Football gives us so much pleasure and is often one of the positive headline-makers in a world so often dominated by news of the opposite kind.

But when matters become this serious, there should be no second thought about postponing a game.

Under FA rules, the fixture looks set to be replayed and early whispers of Tuesday, April 16 have been mentioned.

There is a precedent this season as another game in this division extended beyond the 77 minutes seen here at Weymouth before being abandoned and rescheduled.

We are just lucky to have witnessed the latest gripping chapter of this biopic, this fabled antagonism between Dorset and Somerset footballing breeds.

Best of all, we should get to watch another 90 minutes later this month.

Maybe then, we’ll have a greater understanding of what football means to us in this life but, more importantly, that life has a deeper value than football ever will.