The battle of the new boys may have gone the way of Weymouthâ€™s Steve Johnson but despite the severity of the Saints latest defeat at Clarence Park, their third by three clear goals in the last four Nationwide South matches, there was plenty to be learnt for new St Albans City manager Stuart Cash.
Seeing his side in action for the first time the former Aldershot Town assistant manager will have witnessed for himself just how adapt the Saints are at failing to turn clear chances into goals at one end of the pitch while possessing the destructive ability to switch off at the other and present opposing sides with embarrassing amounts of space in which to add to Cityâ€™s bottom of the table woes.
The biggest Clarence Park crowd of the season greeted the dawning of a new era but this was due in the main to an excellent away following for the Dorset club but sad to say it was still the second smallest Weymouth have played in front of this season.
The match, played on the first really cold day of winter, was lively from the start with Weymouth looking the better side during the opening 45 minutes although City created the clearer openings. Inside the opening 30 seconds Ben Walshe, possibly the most exciting left-sided player City have had since the days of Jimmy King ten years ago, played a pass inside to Matt Hann whose driven ball towards the back post was bravely gathered by the Terras impressive goalkeeper Jason Matthews just as the towering Tom Beech clattered into him.
City had a let off on four minutes when Terras skipper Paul Buckle freed Lee Phillips who looked to be fouled in the penalty area by Miguel De Souza although a spot kick was not forthcoming. Both sides were playing at a high tempo although a crunching tackle by Saints skipper Dean Hooper earned the first yellow card of the day and briefly laid low Weymouth captain Buckle.
A spell of Weymouth pressure saw Saints keeper John Armand make an excellent save from Lee Phillips at the cost of a corner while Martin Barlow glanced a header across the face of the City goal. Weymouth took the lead on 33 minutes when Adam Wilde intercepted a Hooper pass on the edge of the Saints penalty area before advancing and firing a left-footed shot to Armandâ€™s left.
By then City had already lost their tall central defender Ben Martin with a knee problem, but his replacement, Chris Seeby, who has most recently been used in midfield, did his future prospects no harm during the remaining hour when stepping in alongside Miguel De Souza.
That vital first goal came at a time when City were starting to control the game and indeed the half ended with Weymouth under some considerable pressure. De Souza missed a clear header following a Ram Marwa corner and after Martin and Lee Clarke got in each otherâ€™s way with the goal at their mercy Hann returned the ball to the middle where De Souza this time headed over.
Beech controlled an Adam Parker cross at the back post only to fluff a weak shot gently wide before an excellent move down the City left involving Walshe and Scott Cousins ended with the letters crisp drive being well beaten out by the diving Matthews.
Weymouth had a remarkable escape on 43 minutes when neither De Souza nor Clarke could force home another fine Marwa corner, Walshe drilled the ball back into the goalmouth where Beech also failed to turn it in but the clearance only went as far as De Souza whose fierce low drive was superbly blocked on the line by Steve Tully.
Moments later Matthews quite brilliantly tipped over Beechâ€™s clever shot on the turn from 20 yards and before the interval Matthews and his defence again excelled to block point blank efforts from De Souza and Hann after Beech had troubled the keeper at a Walshe cross.
City began the second half less convincingly but a sweeping move involving Beech, Walshe and Hann ended with Clarke getting the ball down smartly only to muck up his shot. That miss proved costly a minute later, the 54th, as Wilde swept a pass out to Lee Phillips whose perfect back post cross found two Weymouth players unmarked and it was left to Buckle to do the needful as he headed beyond the exposed Armand.
St Albans suffered a second blow at that point with the influential Walshe substituted having battled for much of the game with a knee injury. Six minutes later the disappointing Beech was replaced by Matt Nolan as the on-loan Peterborough United striker made his City debut.
With a two-goal cushion Weymouth now bossed the play although Matthews did have to make another good save to smother Clarkeâ€™s well placed downward header from a Hooper cross. The woodwork came to Cityâ€™s rescue as Nathan Bunce, following a cross from Shaun Wilkinson, headed against the crossbar.
Weymouth cemented their biggest win of the season 13 minutes from time when Phillips played the ball out to Wilde on the Terras left before running into the box to collect the return and flick it past Armand into the York Road goal from close in.
Marwa almost notched a consolation goal for the Saints on 82 minutes when he rose with a defender and Matthews to send a glancing header across the goal and against an upright.
Report by Dave Tavener