Joyce’s treble joy for Terras
WEYMOUTH’S wait for an Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division win, just like last season, was ended at the fourth time of asking with a polished display of attacking football.
Ben Joyce finally netted his first competitve goal for the Terras in his eighth league outing shortly after Ellis Laight had stunned the home fans with a well-worked opening goal for a Bideford side still looking for their first points of the new season.
And it got much better for Joyce as the former Kettering striker went on to complete a terrific hat-trick.
He also turned provider for Weymouth’s third goal netted by Craig Duff, as the hosts turned up the heat early in the second period to put the game beyond the Robins, who did grab a consolation strike through skipper Matt Hockley midway through the half.
Brendon King had demanded a higher tempo in the final third during the half-time break and the Weymouth boss was delighted that his char-ges did exactly that during the first 20 minutes of the restart to storm ahead.
He said: “We said at the break that we had shaded the first half but we really needed to make it count up top.
“In the final third we needed to pass it quicker, pass and move, not take too many touches and get behind them and we would score goals.
“We know that when we do stuff with pace, with our quality front lads and clever midfielders, we will score and for the first 20 minutes of the second half that was us at our best – we need to just do more of that now.”
The only change to the Weymouth line-up from Saturday’s 4-2 upset at St Neots was the return of left-back Scott Dixon, who swapped places with Alex Jeannin who was included among the substitutes, while there was a familiar face in the Robins’ squad, in former Terras midfielder Richard Groves, who began on the bench.
Largely against the run of play it was the visitors who took a shock lead with their first purposeful attack of the game after 18 minutes.
Following a quickly taken free-kick a delightful ball behind the Terras’ defence caught out Kyle Critchell, who was desperately trying to cut out the threat of the surging Laight.
Keeper Simon Evans came rushing out and Laight was able to sneak between the pair of them and hook a shot into an empty net from the edge of the area to stun the hosts.
Within two minutes Critchell atoned for his error with an expertly-timed sliding tackle on Jack Furzer as the Robins threatened again.
The hosts then levelled matters in the 26th minute, also with their very first attempt on target. A pin-point left-sided corner from Dan Smith found Craig Duff 10 yards out and his nod down was sweetly hooked home on the spin by Joyce for his first competitive goal for the Terras.
The Robins’ slick passing movement was still causing anxiety in the home rearguard and Sam Poole was forced into a lunging challenge to deny Sean Downing just before the half-hour mark and, later, Danny Clay was alert to thwart Laight with another timely intervention.
However, the hosts ended the half very much in the ascendancy and a cracking ball in from the left by Smith found the head of Duff, who could not find the target.
And then just before the interval Duff had a shot charged down seconds before Scott Walker’s fierce corner to the near post had to be punched claer by keeper Paul Hider.
A rip-roaring second period began with a foul after just five seconds by Critchell on Sean Downing that earned a booking for the Weymouth man and then, moments later, the former Dorchester defender was replaced by Jeannin as a precautionary measure to protect a slight groin problem.
Five minutes after the restart the hosts edged in front following a delightful passage of play between Duff and Joyce.
The former surged down the right side, cut in and played a incisive wall pass with Joyce before producing a composed finish with a neat dink over the keeper.
Straight from the centre, Bideford charged forward and space opened up for Matty Andrews to drive purposefully at goal. But the effort just sailed over Evans’ bar before the Terras took full charge of the game.
Within three minutes of that scare the home side were 3-1 to the good as a long clearance from Evans allowed Joyce to storm into the box, torment captain Hockley and then fire low through Hider into the net.
Seconds later Hockley earned a richly deserved caution for a high challenge that flattened Clay and then the hosts bagged a devastating fourth goal, again through Joyce who was oozing confidence and class.
Another polished piece of swift passing in the final third down the left ended with Stephen Reed supplying a delightful threaded ball that was left by Smith, allowing Joyce to speed towards the goal, leave Dominic Rivans on his backside before lashing home inside the near post from close range.
Despite their dominance it took everybody in the ground by suprise when, from a Steve Orchard corner that skimmed Dixon’s head, Hockley was on hand to turn in beyond Evans for 4-2.
And the Weymouth stopper was alert three minutes later to beat away a piledriver from Orchard as the Robins threatened a comeback.
However, that was as good as it got for the visitors and there was still time for two more late chances for the Terras to add further gloss to the scoreline.
First, Reed’s 20-yard howitzer was tipped over by Hider, and then the gloveman just regained control of the ball as Mark Ford flew in after Walker’s daisycutter had been partially spilled.