Grays' pre-season form counted for nothing as they were washed away in windswept Weymouth where they were never able to utilise their sleek pasing game.
Grays couldn’t have wished for a better start. In the fifth minute a well-worked move saw Ishmael Welsh sweeping the ball across the area for Mark Molesely to slot the ball home from close range.
Weymouth bounced back and in the 10th minute Rob Gier failed to cut out a cross-field ball and was lucky Ryan Williams couldn't make more of his chance.
Grays were reliant on the counter attack and Stuart Elliot hit a blinding shot in the 12th minute which the keeper did well to tip over.
However, the Terras equalised in the 15th minute. Loose marking with three midfielders far too high up the pitch gave Anton Richards time to aim his shot and fire as it went off the post and in.
Jamie Taylor and Danny Kedwell worked hard up front but the midfield just couldn’t communicate with them.
In the 33rd minute worse was to follow. The ball came loose from a corner. Matt Bodkin rushed to tackle but was simply side stepped by Steven Reed and the debutant shot home to put Weymouth in the lead The second half didn’t improve. Stuart Elliott had a chance to put in a good free kick but instead it sailed out for a throw and he was soon replaced by Barry Cogan.
Danny Kedwell continued to make himself a nuisance as his deflected shot from close range was parried away well by the keeper. He then looked more than annoyed at being substituted soon after.
Grays held the balance of play but Weymouth continued to sweep on the counter.
A conceded corner in the 55th minute after a terrible mis-hit by Adam Gross summed up the distribution of the defence.
Welsh continued to show flashes, combining well with Cogan and earnign a number of free kicks that were sadly wasted.
Grays' tackling was clumsy and they started to give away a raft of free kicks. Keeper Steve Arnold did well to parry away a fine free kick from Steven Reed in the 69th minute.
Clear cut chances became a rarity for Grays but Charlie Ide missed a sitter when beating the offside trap, his header landed weakly in the hands of the Weymouth keeper.
The match was put beyond doubt in the 78th minute when the otherwise reliable Jon Ashton was caught in possession by Ryan Williams whose shot was spilled by Steve Arnold. Chris McPhee took no time to put the ball in the net and claim the three points.
Manager Mike Woodward said: “Aldershot lost their first game of the season last year and looked how well they did. I’m disappointed with the team, they seemed too deep at the back. There will be changes and we will bounce back.”
Report by Michael Casey
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report