Best display of the season lifts the Terras to seventh place
Gammon, Mason, A Browne, Adcock
NEWPORT COUNTY 2
WEYMOUTH got their promotion challenge back on track with a sensational performance against high-flying Newport County at the Wessex Stadium.
The previously unbeaten Welshmen were ripped to shreds by a home side oozing new-found self-belief under player-manager Andy Mason.
A season’s best display in front of an encouraging 745 spectators puts the Terras up to seventh place in the Dr Martens Premier Division table, just four points behind leaders Boston United.
Having survived a couple of early scares, one of which saw skipper Alex Browne hooking Danny Hill’s header off the line, the Terras began to knock the ball around like a bunch of internationals.
Mason himself emerged as the main architect in midfield and it was his awareness and vision which set up a glorious opener on 16 minutes.
A scintillating 40-yard ball out of defence fell at Mark Gammon’s feet on the edge of the penalty box and he made light of the situation by smashing first time into the roof of the net.
Weymouth upped the tempo with some fantastic flowing football and Stuart Heath almost added a second following some sharp work by the outstanding Paul Adcock, although they eventually doubled their advantage on 27 minutes – albeit in bizarre circumstances.
Mason delivered a dangerous free kick in from the left, which Gammon just failed to reach with his head. But with County keeper Andy Fisher committed by the wing-back’s run, the ball simply hit the deck and bounced up into the unguarded goal.
In pre-Mason times the hosts would probably have been content to sit back on their lead, but these days it’s all attack, attack, attack.
Newboy Ellis Wilmot – on loan from Bristol City – drove an effort inches over the bar, and Gammon came agonisingly close after a defence splitting back heel from Adcock. Ian Hutchinson then narrowly missed the target with a shot from range.
But Newport were thrown a life-line three minutes before the break when Gary Kemp fell flat on his face to earn a somewhat dubious spot kick.
His theatrical tumble followed John Waldock’s innocuous challenge with Andy Mainwaring stepping up to send Claxton the wrong way.
But their joy was to be short-lived – thanks once more to dead-ball specialist Mason.
This time he swung in a free kick from the right, which Alex Browne met with a tremendous header at the far post that rocketed past the bewildered Fisher.
Weymouth came under some immense pressure at the start of the second period but the defensive wall of Waldock and the Browne brothers held firm in front of a highly capable Claxton.
But they still continued to go forward at every given opportunity with Adcock, Gammon, Mason and Heath all getting their sights on goal.
Those who make a habit of leaving games early missed a terrific climax, which began when Newport substitute Carl Dale made the most of some hesitancy in the home defence to convert clinically with two minutes to go.
However, the Terras’ response was immediate with Matthew Hale skipping two challenges before cross from the right to find Adcock at the near post with his back to goal.
He turned his marker and rifled against the keeper’s legs, but when presented with the rebound, the pint-size striker made no mistake.
Terras: Claxton, Gammon, Hale, A Browne, Waldock, S Browne, Wilmot, Hutchinson, Adcock (Hare 81), Heath, Mason.
Subs not used: Bradford, Nicholson.