Weymouth will have to combat the threat of Gary Thorne if they are to stretch their unbeaten record to six games against Bath City at the Wessex Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
That’s the prediction of boss Geoff Butler who rates the Roman’s skipper as one of the most dangerous throwers in the non-League game.
He said: “Gary Thorne has an incredible throw and Bath use it as one of their most potent weapons. What he tends to do is launch it in at the near posts where players like the very talented Paul Milsom look to get ahead of the defenders for the flick-ons. I watched them when they drew 1-1 with Chippenham on Boxing Day and it’s a tactic that worked really well.”
He added: “Having Thorne against us means that every time we concede a throw-in in our own half it’s like conceding a free-kick or a corner. If we’re going to beat Bath we’ve got to deal with that threat, but it won’t be easy.”
Despite highlighting Thorne and Milsom as the main dangers, Butler will warn his players of a few other aces up the Romans’ sleeves.
“They’re a good side,” he admitted. “They like to throw players into the opposing box whenever they can and both their wing backs are very effective. Andy Williams and Frankie Bennett can both be a real handful and Jason Eaton will always score goals.”
Eaton was one of City’s scorers in their excellent 2-1 success at high flying Crawley Town on Saturday with Dan Cleverley also on target.
“That was a cracking result for them,” added Butler, “and they’ll obviously be on a high coming here. But we’re in pretty good shape after Saturday’s great win over Grantham and so it should be a cracker to get the New Year off and running.”
Weymouth hope to have Mark Robinson (groin) and skipper Alex Browne (knee) available for selection, but it’s unlikely that Butler will want to tamper with a winning line-up.
“Anyone who lost their place after Saturday could consider themselves very, very unlucky,” he explained. “But when quality players like Robbo are available, you have to think about making changes. However, there’s no guarantee that either him or Alex will be fit and so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
The visit of Alan Pridham’s Romans is being eagerly anticipated by three current Weymouth stars in particular.
Matthew Hale, Danny Bailey and Toby Redwood all spent the closing stages of last season at Twerton Park and played a big part in helping Bath escape relegation on the last day of the campaign.
Meanwhile, returning to his old stomping ground is Elis Wilmot, who played for the Terras on loan from Bristol City three years ago, while Stuart James makes his first appearance on the south coast since turning down a move to the Wessex Stadium from Newport County back in November.