STEVE Johnson hailed Weymouth’s never-say-die spirit after his side clinched a dramatic last-gasp victory over ten-man Basingstoke Town.
Danny Byrne’s stunning free kick deep into stoppage time lifted the Terras above their hosts into sixth place in Conference South.
The goal capped an incident-packed clash at Camrose in which home keeper Scott Tarr was sent off for handling outside his area.
Johnson – who dropped Steve Tully after the defender claimed Weymouth were not good enough to win promotion – said the win was a great way to end a turbulent week.
He added: “I’m thrilled to bits with the lads. It was an incredible end to a game we fully deserved to win.
“With the spirit and determination my players showed today, I can’t see how anyone can question the progress we have made.
“The reaction of the players and the fans at the end said it all, we have people at this club who really care.
“No longer have we got people being paid £800 a week.
We’ve got a group of kids, aided by three or four experienced pros, who will give everything for the cause.
“We had a handful of excellent chances to see off Basingstoke and it would have been criminal if we had come away with a draw.
“But then up pops Danny in injury time to score another of his trademark free kicks.”
Until Byrne’s winner, Weymouth’s most likely source was striker Ludo Cadima who is now set to be offered a long-term deal with the club.
“I wasn’t too sure about Ludo initially which is why he was only on non-contract terms but I’m sure now,” Johnson said.
“He was a constant threat and we should have had three penalties after his pace got him through.
“The referee was poor to both sides but justice was done when Danny scored from the free kick.”
He added: “Other results went our way and the win puts us up to sixth.
Now. we’ve got to aim to get that fifth place which will put us in the play-offs.
“More determined performances like this and I’m sure we can do it.”
Meanwhile Johnson is refusing to close the door on wantaway defender Tully following his out-burst last week.
“I took the decision to leave Steve Tully out and give Mark Boyce a chance at right back.
“But that does not mean it is the end for Tully, because now it is up to him to get his head down, work hard and try and impress.
“We spoke about what he said but I’ve got to be fair to the lad because he didn’t have a long face around the dressing room and wasn’t disruptive.
“He wished the lads well but now it’s up to him to prove his worth if he wants other clubs to sign him.”
• Yeovil Town defender Roy O’Brien is set join Weymouth as player- coach on an 18-month contract today.
Johnson said: “Roy asked if he could enjoy Yeovil’s big day in the FA Cup at Charlton on Saturday which we were fine with.”
He wanted to say good-bye to his team-mates there and, fingers crossed, everything will be sorted out today.”