GILLINGHAM TOWN 0
(After extra-time, 0-0 after 90 minutes)
A POWERFUL header from defender Stephane Zubar meant the Terras claimed their third straight Dorset Senior Cup crown, in what was player-manager Jason Matthews’ final game in charge of the club.
The former AFC Bournemouth defender, who scored twice at St Ives on Saturday, popped up with the winner in extra time to ensure the Terras retained their title and overcame the spirited Gills in the final for the second season running at the Avenue.
The whole of the contest from a Weymouth point of view centred around player-manager Matthews, who named himself in goal for the encounter on what was his final game for the club.
He also captained the side on the night, and was clapped on to the pitch ahead of the game by his coaching staff and substitutes.
As well as it being Matthews’ last game in charge of the Terras, there had also been some drama for the Gills over the previous week.
The club announced on a statement on their website last week that they would be dropping out of the Western League at the end of this season, with an eye on a return to Dorset Premier League level next term.
The first real chance for the Terras came on seven minutes.
A cross from the right was flicked on by former Gillingham Town man Ben Thomson, and Mark Cooper volleyed well over the bar unchallenged.
Another former Gill in Aaron Rodriguez then struck at goal for the Terras from all of 25 yards, an effort which was saved by Jamie Beale in the Western League outfit’s goal.
On 15 minutes, it was then Gillingham’s turn to attempt to break the deadlock. A corner swung to the back post found Elliot Bevis and his effort on the angle was charged down.
Bevis then had another sight at goal when he curled a free-kick just over Matthews’ bar, the Terras’ keeper did not seem too worried however.
At the other end, Thomson then had the chance to score against one of his previous clubs but failed to keep the ball down after Calvin Brooks nodded the ball down from a corner, as the sides went in goalless at the break.
Following the interval, the Terras looked to set the contest into life. A corner half-cleared by the Gills eventually found its way to Zubar, who hit a tame effort at Beale. Rodriguez then steered a shot from distance just wide soon after.
Brooks then clipped the outside of the post just short of the hour mark as Weymouth continued to push forward but the Gills were standing firm.
The Terras then looked to the bench to freshen the contest up as Mark Molesley replaced Charlie Davis with 25 minutes left.
And it was almost the player-coach who made the difference just three minutes after coming on.
He skipped away from his man and hit a curling strike which Beale managed to parry to safety. Zubar then headed wide unmarked from the resulting corner.
Matthews, who spent a lot of the second period as a spectator, then must have looked on in disbelief as Terras’ striker Stuart Fleetwood missed from all of five yards after a dangerous cross found its way to him at the back post.
Ashley Wells then headed at the keeper and Fleetwood spurned a one-on-one – that came before Gillingham could have won it themselves.
A strike from substitute Haydn Hodges fell just wide of the post before the referee blew for full-time signalling the extra period.
Thomson was then replaced by Sean Stewart for Weymouth, before Fleetwood saw another glorious chance go begging. He took a touch and struck a covering defender with his strike from close range.
Sean Stewart was then introduced five minutes into the extra period and, just eight minutes after coming on, he surged through but failed to keep his attempt at goal down.
Gillingham’s Buddy O’Shea then lost his footing at the vital moment when he was played in on goal, before the decisive moment cruelly came for Gillingham just a minute later.
A ball stood up from just outside the box was met by Weymouth centre-half Zubar, who headed home what proved to be the winner.
Terras: Matthews, Wells, Cooper, Zubar, Wannell, Brooks, Davis (Molesley 65), Lowes, Fleetwood, Thomson (Stewart 95), Rodriguez (Panesar Dower 86). Subs not used: Sa, James
Gillingham: Beale, White (Smeeton 106), Filkins, Montacute, Hewlett, Pike (Hodges 81), Baker, Clarke, Thomson, Chainey, Bevis (O’Shea 100). Sub not used: Locke
Bookings: Terras – None
Gillingham – Bevis, White, Thomson
Referee: Lee Rutter