WEYMOUTH 1 HEREFORD 1
By Brian Copp
HEREFORD, widely tipped to become champions of the Southern Premier League, nearly lost both points at the Rec on Saturday. Many will claim that Weymouth scored twice – through Trevor Allen and Gary Townend. But when Townend placed the ball solidly into the back of the Hereford net, the referee said “No” – a decision disputed by the Weymouth players.
Townend netted after 25 minutes, making a tremendous effort and scoring what appeared to be a perfect goal. He beat Billy Tucker, the Hereford centre-half, went around Fred Potter, the visiting goalkeeper, and drove the ball home.
Then came the referee’s whistle, and the awarding of a free-kick to Hereford. I assume that he ruled off-side. But I couldn’t see it. Neither could the Terras’ players and many others.
It wasn’t long after this that Weymouth gave Hereford a shock, taking the lead through Trevor Allen, who was easily their best forward. He was persistent, cool and forceful.
When Roy McArthy crossed a high ball from the right-win and the Hereford defenders were slow in cutting it out, the alert Allen showed great ability in slipping around full-back Peter Timms and giving Potter no chance with a well-hit shot.
Weymouth had gradually piled on the pressure, and fully deserved to have gone ahead. Indeed, had Townend’s effort been allowed and Weymouth had gone two up, I feel that John Charles’ men would have been in bad trouble.
But Hereford came back – and again Weymouth had bad luck. Goalkeeper John Clarke slipped up in allowing Billy Meadows the chance of grabbing an equaliser in the 54th minute.
John Bird, the Hereford right-back, lifted the ball into the goalmouth from a corner kick, and Charles jumped to head the ball high into the air. Clarke left his line near the far post, and went up with Meadows. In the next instant the ball was in the back of the net with the back of head.
Clarke told me later that he had changed his mind. He had attempted to catch the ball, and then tried to punch it clear.
Ironically, it was just about the only time that Charles had made his presence felt. The big man of Welsh International and Italian football fame had worn the No. 11 jersey and played all over the field.
He was in defence one moment, and then in attack. He was a threat, but nowhere near the big danger which had been expected.
The goal was Clarke’s only slip. During the rest of the match, he was his normal self. Twice he had left his line to make great saves at point-blank range from Meadows and Dudley Tyler.
Tyler was extremely lively, but all credit must go to Tony Rounsevell, the strong Weymouth defender, who policed him well.
The Weymouth defence again had a fine match, with Tony Hobson showing up well in the middle of the back row, and again proving to be an inspiration to his colleagues.
For long periods, it was Weymouth who called the tune, having a firm grip at the back and in midfield.
The second-half developed into a stalemate affair in which defences dominated, but twice Weymouth almost made it.
Dave Bennett went close with a powerful drive, and during a melee in the Hereford goalmouth in the 72nd minute, following a corner Mick McLaughlin cleared from his line.
Weymouth tried hard against a team expected to give them much more trouble. If they play like this against Bideford in the F.A. Cup next Saturday they should have little to worry about.
Terras: J Clarke, T Rounsevell, B Glover, D Barry, T Hobson, R Bumstead, R McCarthy, P Kearns, T Allen, G Townend, D Bennett
Sub: R Adams