|Bromley blast Terras
By Ky Capel
STEVE Claridges homecoming failed to have the desired
effect as the Terras went down to a heavy defeat at the hands
of Bromley at the Wessex Stadium.
The hysteria surrounding the 43-year-old former Premier League
strikers return, almost five years after his sacking
as player-manager, appeared to pay immediate dividends as
David Obaze headed the hosts in front inside two minutes.
Bromley though, against the run of play, hit back with two
goals in the space of five minutes. And from there the Terras
capitulated, seeing the Lilywhites run riot before securing
a 5-1 victory which puts Weymouth back into Blue Square Souths
Terras boss Matty Hale made three changes from the
agonising defeat to Havant & Waterlooville last Monday,
dropping himself for the returning Claridge, and recalling
Matt Townley and Dean Smith in place of the injured Andy Harris
and Jordan Rose.
The arrival of Claridge clearly had the home side fuelled
with adrenaline and they raced out of the blocks.
Jake Reid charged forward from the kick-off and won a free-kick
in a dangerous position just 25 yards from goal.
The effort from Josh Klein-Davies was poor but just seconds
later the Terras earned a corner from which they opened the
Martin Slocombes pin-point delivery was met by the
head of Obaze and the former Southend United defender bagged
his second goal of the season giving Weymouth the lead
after a mere 85 seconds.
Claridges first contribution was to set up Chris Allen
for a 20-yard effort in the 10th minute, unfortunately the
latter fired high and wide under pressure.
The pulsating start subsided and a subdued period followed,
but a free-kick from Allen raised the atmosphere inside the
ground once again.
Bromleys Dwane Lee wrestled Matt Groves to the ground,
some 25 yards from his own goal, and from the resultant set-piece
Allen beat the visitors wall but saw his effort come
back off the crossbar with keeper Gareth Williams punching
the rebound clear of danger.
Allen set Groves free down the left nine minutes later and
the winger cut the ball back for an unmarked Claridge, who
was hovering on the edge of the Bromley box.
The veteran striker set himself well before sending a curling
effort just wide of the far post.
Sixty seconds after Claridge unleashed his first shot of
the afternoon, the away side levelled matters with their very
Ryan Dolby picked up possession on the right-hand side and
then cut in on to his left foot before blasting the ball beyond
home gloveman Ryan Harrison.
An equaliser was somewhat harsh on the Terras and they were
left scratching their heads again just five minutes later
as the Lilywhites took the lead.
Warren McBean somehow managed to dig out a cross from inside
the Weymouth penalty, despite the attentions of two home defenders,
and strike partner Gareth Williams was left with the simplest
of headed finishes.
Reid could have got the Terras back on level terms soon after
but was unable to direct Groves cross on target.
Weymouth though, almost found themselves two goals adrift
in the early stages of the second period. Ryan Halls
20-yard strike was spilt by Harrison, who made up for the
blunder by saving Gareth Williams follow-up. The offside
flag spared the Bromley strikers blushes.
Townley then saw a header cleared by a visiting head from
in front of keeper Gareth Williams, and to make matters worse
the away side went straight up the other end and extended
Hall picked out Dolby and the latter beat Harrison courtesy
of a slight deflection off Slocombes boot.
The rot continued for Weymouth and McBean added another two
goals inside five minutes.
First, the predatory striker fired between the legs of Harrison
from Dolbys pull back, before waltzing past the entire
Weymouth backline and then rolling an effort into the far
Dolby could have heaped even more misery on the bewildered
Terras but missed the chance to notch his hat-trick by firing
into the side netting.
Predictably the match petered out and the Terras were left
to reflect on another drubbing at the Wessex as well as seeing
their goal difference plunge to minus 16.