Cirencester sunk by a Terras’ treble
WEYMOUTH will fight for a play-off spot until the final day of their season, after they kept their cool to see off Cirencester Town in a pulsating clash at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
That means Jason Matthews’ men will go to Chesham United on Saturday, still needing snookers, but still with the hope they could sneak into the top five.
For the clash with the Centurions, Matthews made one change to his starting XI from the side that beat Merthyr Town on Saturday.
Jake Wannell was fit enough to reclaim his place in the hosts’ starting XI in place of Pat Baldwin, who dropped to the bench.
Cirencester went into the contest having lost against Weymouth’s play-off rivals Leamington on Saturday, Alex Dinsmore scored his first goal for the Centurions’ in stoppage time during the 2-1 reverse.
After a slow start from both sides, the Terras looked to try and zip the ball around on their own surface, and after some neat onetouch passing, Chris Shephard was able to spread the ball out wide for Mark Cooper, who miscued a cross from the left which went out for a goal kick.
Cirencester’s Zak Kotwica then looked to surge forward and make something happen for the visitors, but, as he was tracked by Weymouth’s Calvin Brooks into the Terras’ box, he went down and was booked by match official Alex Blake for simulation.
Kotwica then tangled with Terras’ full-back Cooper shortly after and the latter was awarded a booking.
With so much at stake for the hosts, you could almost excuse some nerves, but the Terras were moving the ball around well and their first shot on goal came on 17 minutes. Shephard struck straight at Centurions’ keeper Josh Langley after the ball was cut back from the left flank.
But, after having one sighter at goal already, Shephard took his chance from the penalty spot to put the Terras in the driving seat on 28 minutes.
The former Exeter City man, who signed a new one-year deal with the club at the weekend, calmly converted to make it 1-0 after George Rigg was brought down inside the box.
The hosts then really upped the intensity and went for the kill.
Terras’ frontman Ben Thomson went close to adding a second and Mark Molesley attempted to place a shot into the top corner, which fell off target.
But, only a goal down, the away side provided Weymouth with a slight scare 10 minutes before the break, as Adam Connolly’s snapshot, following a cleared corner, forced a sharp stop from Matthews.
Weymouth went in at the break knowing one Cirencester goal could kill their play-off hopes but they gave themselves some breathing room by making it 2-0 just three minutes after the break.
Shephard’s strike cannoned off the inside of a post when he must have thought he’d scored but it was not to matter, as Molesley was on hand to drill home the rebound and send the home fans wild.
Party time was short-lived however, as Cirencester stunned the Terras by pulling one back.
A cross from the right found the head of veteran frontman Charlie Griffin, who made no mistake in nodding home unmarked to make it 2-1.
With the Centurions boosted, Griffin then almost levelled it up with another header, which, luckily for the Terras, sailed over the bar.
If Cirencester were to get anything out of the game however, they were going to have to do it with 10 men as Kotwica was given a second booking when he hit the deck once more. Referee Blake showed no hesitation in giving him another yellow card for simulation and sending him off.
For the second time in as many games, Shephard was given a huge ovation as he was replaced by Billy Lowes. Stewart Yetton was then introduced in place of Cooper as Jordan Copp switched to left-back.
Dean Evans then almost sealed it with a spectacular strike which Langley somehow kept out and Yetton’s shot was comfortable for the keeper.
But it was Thomson who put the game beyond doubt as his looping effort from the edge of the box found the net and ensured Weymouth will keep pushing for a play-off spot on the final day of their campaign.