Blues sunk by Ford
A LATE brace from in-form striker Mark Ford finally broke Portland’s stubborn resistance to earn Weymouth a passage into the semi-finals of the Dorset Senior Cup.
But all credit must go to the Blues who were never really out of this contest and, after Alex Halloran had stunned the hosts with an equaliser early in the second half, could have nicked a replay with a flurry of late chances.
As expected, the Terras bossed the early exchanges with Dan Smith going close in the 16th minute with a snapshot that flew just wide of a post.
Four minutes later the visitors were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal and Ross Doidge went close with the ball flying just a foot wide of Simon Evans’ near post.
There were precious few clear-cut chances in a disappointing opening period for the Terras but they finally edged in front when Craig Duff was adjudged to have been fouled by referee and former Terra Martin Underhay for a fortuitous penalty.
Smith neatly tucked home the spot-kick in the 38th minute and the meagre crowd were probably expecting the floodgates to open.
However, the Blues came out fighting for every ball in the second half and, when former Terras’ midfielder Halloran audaciously lobbed Evans for an unlikely equaliser just four minutes in, they began to believe in themselves.
Indeed, it was not until the 67th minute that the Terras went 2-1 in front when that man Ford cut in neatly from the left side of the box before rolling the ball beyond Ashley Weeks.
The Blues were still creating chances though at the other end and, 10 minutes later, substitute Chris Reader glanced a header wide from Joe Toghill’s centre when he should really have scored.
In the 80th minute, Weeks pulled off a top-drawer reaction save to deny Matt Groves, seconds before Lewis Whyton attempted to find a team-mate with a header 12 yards out when he could have gone for goal himself.
The action was now coming thick and fast with Stephen Reed booked a minute later for a trip on Halloran who, with momentum, would have preferred to have kept surging towards goal.
Sixty seconds later, Adam Linaker thrashed a shot straight into Evans’ chest as the Blues continued to look for a leveller but Ford was to have the final say with a decisive third goal for the home side.
Five minutes from the end, Weeks was forced to tip over from Ford who had burst into the box, but just two minutes later the livewire frontrunner wrapped up the tie with a tidy lob over the advancing Weeks.
Even then, Portland kept going and they should have been rewarded with a penalty a minute from time when Ed Palmer clearly handled in the box but it was not to be.