After the clear the air “meet the manager” session Thursday last, the supporters’ view was that we lacked muscle in midfield and someone up front. Under fire boss Geoff Butler responded by snapping up former Exeter hard man Danny Bailey and striker Sean Adamson.
On a bowling green pitch, Weymouth nearly shot themselves in the foot in front of vociferous local support. Matthews and Alex Browne left the ball for each other and Adam Wilde slipped in, but shot wide. From that point on Weymouth enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession through what had previously been lacking, passion and determination.
Hutchinson fired in a screamer with less than 5 on the clock that inched wide as the Terras took control. Weymouth’s new found aggression was evident as Rawlinson was booked on nine minutes by the pernickety Mr. Newell.
Matthews was called to earn his crust on the quarter hour to deny Darren Middleton with a full length save. Further enthusiasm was rewarded with a booking for Simon Browne on 19 minutes.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Weymouth had a glorious chance to go ahead when the hard working Phillips sent in a cross that beat Keeper Danny McDonnell. However, Matt Hale at the far post blasted wide when scoring was easier. Phillips, working his butt off, made another dashing bye-line run down the right flank, his cross to the penalty spot was met by Tully and Hutchinson, both failed to control with their feet and Hutchie’s handiwork was penalised by the ref.
The lively Middleton worked himself into space on the left flank, Holmes met his cross, but Matthews was up to the task and saved brilliantly.
Weymouth continued to push and harry the league leaders, but with little goal scoring chances for the remainder of the half.
So at half time the score was:
Weymouth 0 Worcester City 0
The bruised Rawlinson was replaced by Mark Robinson for the restart.
An Ian Hutchinson corner was met by the ascending head of the inspirational Waldock but the ball flashed wide.
Julian Charles, who was quiet in the first half, was a revelation in the second. He turned his marker inside out on the right flank and, from 20 yards, sent a dipping shot just over the bar.
Worcester tried to get themselves into the game on 58 minutes, Holmes raced onto a long punt upfield, but his thunderous shot was blazed well wide.
This was a rejuvenated Terras side with no quarter being given and the Terras faithful responded positively.
Although the Terras controlled the game, the table toppers showed that they were a potent strike force when for ten minutes or so they took the game to their hosts.
A Steve Tulley cross was headed well by Charles straight at the keeper on 70 minutes. Waldock and the Browne brothers had a never say die attitude in defence as they kept Worcester at bay and, with Matthews on top form, there was no way that the visitors would score today.
Charles beat Paul Carty for pace out on the right after being set up intelligently by Bailey, he cut in and let fly but again was wide of the target.
Lee Phillips was the next to beat the visitors’ offside trap, beating his man he was hauled to the ground, but Mr. Newell was not in a mood to appease the Terras.
Sean Adamson replaced Julian Charles on 77 minutes just to freshen things up and his first touch of the ball was a header from 18 yards that was well held by the keeper.
With Weymouth’s constant harrying, Worcester had to be quick and this was noticeable in the amount of sliced shots and clearances that they produced, none more so than on 85 minutes when Carl Healy nearly hit the corner flag when he realised that half a ton of prime Dorset beef was converging on him.
Adamson failed miserably one minute later when, after a great Tully cross he drifted in at the far post to head weakly wide. Worcester should have bagged all the points at the death but for a great cover tackle by Alex Browne and another brilliant save by Matthews that earned him the man of the match award from the sponsors.
So at the final whistle the score was:
Weymouth 0 Worcester City 0
Sponsors “First Thought Consulting” Top Terra: Jason Matthews
If only we had started the season with the amount of passion shown here today, we would most probably have still been in the FA Cup and in the very top half of the table. The fight back started here. All credit to Worcester, they contributed to what has been the best game of the season so far here at the Wessex.
Jason Matthews, Steve Tully, Simon Browne, Alex Browne (c), John Waldock, Mark Rawlinson (Mark Robinson 46),
Matthew Hale, Ian Hutchinson, Danny Bailey, Julian Charles (Sean Adamson 77), Lee Phillips.
Subs not used: Ryan Ashford, Michael Sajic
Danny McDonnell, Allan Davies, Paul Carty, Carl Heeley (c), Daniel Jones, Jon Holloway,
Darren Middleton, Pat Lyons, Adam Webster, David Holmes, Adam Wilde.
Subs: Mark Owen, Duncan Willetts, Asa Charlton, Mark Shail, Paul Wyatt.
Referee: Andrew Newell (Bristol)
Assistants: Warren Atkin (Crawley), John Coleman (Portsmouth)