Fleetwood hits a hat-trick as Weymouth get off to a dream start under new manager Mark Molesley
Fleetwood 38, 45, 76 Thomson 55
NEW Terras’ boss Mark Molesley got off to a dream start in his first game in charge after securing a comprehensive victory over promotion-chasers Leamington at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
With their new manager in place, the Terras cruised into the summer break in style aided by a hat-trick from striker Stuart Fleetwood, to give Molesley victory just hours after being unveiled as the new man in charge.
Weymouth made four changes to their starting XI for the encounter with the Brakes, following a poor defeat at struggling Cirencester last time out.
That meant Billy Lowes, Dean Evans, Jake Wannell and Dom Panesar-Dower dropped out of the side and in came Charlie Davis, Fleetwood, Sean Stewart and captain Stephane Zubar.
Around an hour after the majority of Weymouth players found out Molesley had been given the job on a permanent basis, Weymouth almost got their new boss off to a blistering opening on four minutes.
A teasing ball from Charlie Davis just evaded skipper Stephane Zubar, who had advanced from the back.
The Terras continued to see more of the ball against a Brakes outfit destined to finish second in the league and head into the play-offs, and the home side should have been a goal up on 28 minutes.
Striker Fleetwood sprung the offside trap and latched on to a through ball from Stewart, but the experienced hitman saw his effort at goal saved by Tony Breeden in the away goal.
But, after that squandered opportunity from the striker, he produced a moment of class to put Weymouth a goal up.
He brought down a lofted through ball on 38 minutes and struck an inch-perfect lob over Breeden to make it 1-0.
The home side then had their tails up and went in search of a second. Calvin Brooks crossed for Zubar, who attempted an audacious back heel which was somehow scrambled away.
Weymouth did double their lead however, and it was that man Fleetwood who was at it again.
He shifted the ball onto his left foot and struck a blistering effort into the top corner to send the home fans wild.
The away side made a change at the break with Callum Gittings coming on in place of former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore.
But it was Weymouth hitman Ben Thomson who got in on the act to give the home side a three-goal lead.
He brought the ball down, shrugged off his man and smashed the ball into the bottom corner – a crisp finish to put Weymouth in cruise control.
Fleetwood was not to be outdone however, as he sealed his hat-trick on 76 minutes.
He raced on to a ball played into the box once more and slid the ball into the bottom corner past Breeden.
And the hat-trick hero was given a warm ovation when he was taken off with just a minute remaining, having helped Weymouth start what is a new era for the club on a high note.
Terras: Thomas, Wells, Sa, Zubar, Cooper, Brooks, Davis, Stewart (Evans 67), Fleetwood (Panesar-Dower 89), Thomson, Rodriguez (Copp 74). Subs not used: Lowes, Wannell
Leamington: Breeden, Taundry (George 82), James, Edwards, Mace, Magunda, Revan (Baker-Richardson 72), Goddard, Moore (Gittings 46), Gregory, Gregory, Thompson-Brown. Subs not used: Gudger, Obeng
Referee: Lee Roberts
|22nd April 2017||3:00 pm||Evo-Stik Southern League Premier||2016/17|
|Bob Lucas Stadium|
|Hampshire Rd, Weymouth DT4, UK|