Smith treble stuns league leaders Weymouth
Smith (1, 36), Laird o.g. (12)
Date: Saturday, January 17th 2015 | Competition: League | Attendance: 328
Man Of Match: Edward Smith
Match Sponsor: Steve Chapman
Starting Line Up
- Luke Williams
- Sean Fraser
- Ryan Parsons
- Guy Hollis
- Billy Jeffreys
- Reece Yorke
- Ben Edwards
- Adam Martin
- Scott Harris
- Edward Smith
- Jake Parsons
Striker Ed Smith claimed a first-half hat-trick as Slough Town blew away league leaders Weymouth at Holloways Park.
In Slough’s first match since New Year’s Day due to postponements, Adam Martin made his third debut for the club in midfield, whilst new goalkeeper Luke Williams made his first appearance between the posts after having his registration ratified by the FA in midweek.
Weymouth, on the back of a surprise home defeat against Paulton Rovers in midweek, responded by signing Exeter City duo Connor Riley-Lowe and Jamie Reid on one-month youth loan spells, and also brought back Calvin Brooks on loan from Yeovil Town.
All three started for the visitors, but they made the worst possible start. Supporters had barely had a chance to take their spectating positions before Ed Smith looped a header across player-manager Jason Matthews and into the far corner to give Slough the lead after just 19 seconds.
Weymouth understandably seemed stunned by this, and the visitors were never really allowed to get a foothold on the game by a resolute, determined Slough side.
George Rigg scuffed a shot well wide in Weymouth’s first real attack of the game. But on 12 minutes, the Rebels doubled their lead.
The excellent Jake Parsons crossed in from the left with the outside of his right foot, and Smith did well to get his head to the ball to try and divert it goalwards, only for defender Jamie Laird to head the ball into his own net as he climbed with Smith. The Slough claimed the goal, but it was later credited to the Weymouth defender.
Slough were in control of the match by this point, and Adam Martin produced a simple save from Matthews. A Slough breakaway almost produced another shooting chance, but Sean Fraser’s cross was well blocked as he looked to pick out Scott Harris in the middle.
Weymouth, denied the services of dangerous wide player Chris Shepherd through suspension, looked disjointed and rarely threatened. Slough, playing a 3-5-2 formation, did well as a unit to snuff out the threat of prolific striker Stewart Yetton, Billy Jeffreys blocking a fierce shot from the bearded frontman, who was wearing headgear to protect a wound sustained against Paulton.
Yetton was shown a yellow card later in the half after claiming he was brought down inside the box; referee Lee Forrester disagreed and decided that the striker had thrown himself to the floor to try and win a penalty kick.
Reducing the arrears to just one goal would surely have made for a different game, but shortly after, Weymouth’s day went from bad to worse when Smith claimed his hat-trick.
The goal owed a lot to the determination of Ben Edwards, who chased back to win possession, before Guy Hollis played a defence-splitting pass through to Smith. The Rebels striker got to the ball before Matthews and stretched to loft a wonderful finish over him and into the far corner, putting his side into a comfortable position.
Before the half time whistle, Luke Williams made a good stop low at his near post, and James Reid whipped a free kick an inch over Williams’ crossbar.
Smith could well have grabbed another goal just before the half time whistle, but Matthews rushed off his line and turned the ball wide after Smith found himself through on goal from a long ball forward from Williams.
Perhaps predictably, Weymouth started the second half more brightly as they looked to get back into the game, but Williams easily held a Tim Sills header at goal before doing well to turn over another headed effort from a corner.
At the other end, Ryan Parsons, revelling in his wing-back role along with Sean Fraser on the other side, surged forward as space opened up for him, and forced Matthews to turn behind his fierce strike at the near post. From the resulting corner, Reece Yorke’s header back across goal caused mayhem, but the visitors got the ball clear.
Chris McPhee headed a cross wide of Williams’ post, but that was as close as the visitors came to scoring, with Slough content to soak up pressure and hit their opponents on the counter-attack. Substitute Johnnie Dyer almost capitalised on a heavy touch from Matthews, and later dispossessed the keeper in his own area, but saw his effort fly over the bar from a tight angle.
Slough held firm and comfortably claimed all three points, with the visit of bottom side Burnham to come on Tuesday evening.
Weymouth: Jason Matthews, Ashley Wells, Connor Riley-Lowe, Chris McPhee, Jamie Laird, Calvin Brooks, Steve Colwell, George Rigg, Stewart Yetton (c), Tim Sills, James Reid. Subs: Jamie West, Joe Prodomo, Alec Fiddes, Adam Kelly, Jordan Copp.