Weymouth left frustrated after late drama
LATE drama at the Bob Lucas Stadium saw Weymouth remarkably have to snatch a point at the death against rock-bottom Burnham.
Four goals and a red card ensued in a frantic final half hour, and it was left to Tim Sills to hit a leveller with virtually the last kick of the contest for what, in all honesty, seemed like a defeat for the home side.
Weymouth made two changes from the side that lost at Paulton Rovers last time out with Chris McPhee and Ashley Wells coming in for Steve Colwell and Callum Laird, who was unavailable to take his place in the squad.
That meant a space on the bench for Jamie Beasley, who was called up from the Terras’ reserves.
The Blues, who knew anything less than a win would see them relegated, also handed a start to goalkeeper Brendan Hazlett after he signed from Beaconsfield SYCOB earlier in the week.
And the gloveman could do nothing to stop Weymouth inside 90 seconds of his debut as Wells found the net for the hosts.
After Chris Shephard and Adam Kelly linked up neatly on the right flank, the ball eventually came out to the right-back on the edge of the box and he drilled across goal into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 before the Blues could even blink.
But just as you thought Weymouth’s blistering start would settle any nerves, their advantage was soon lost, as a defensive lapse cost them just five minutes later.
Sam Poole’s misjudgement let Blues’ skipper Carl Davies in on goal, and he made no mistake in smashing the ball home on the half volley from a tight angle.
Some acrobatics from Sills saw him feed Kelly after Poole’s long ball forward, but the midfielder’s effort on goal was charged down as Weymouth looked to restore their advantage.
The Terras’ offside trap was then beaten as Davies fed strike partner Adam Dicken, but Jamie Laird was able to cover for the hosts.
The visitors continued to threaten on the counter as Davies then ran through and rifled a strike into the back of the Weymouth net to display his finishing credentials once more, but he was flagged offside in the build-up.
And Jason Matthews’ men were then left to thank goalkeeper Joe Wollacott for some heroics just short of the interval.
After Poole brought down Dicken with a risky challenge that earned him a caution. Dicken’s free-kick eventually fell to Davies, who forced a good stop from the young Weymouth keeper down to his left.
With a draw not suiting either side, the Terras started the second period with good intent.
A sweeping ball from McPhee found Kelly, whose cross was blocked, and after a foul by Burnham full-back Victor Ocansey, Sills headed just wide from the resulting free-kick.
Goalscorer Davies, who had caused problems against the Terras’ back four throughout, then had to hobble off just short of the hour and Burnham’s only substitute Danny Gordon came on in his place.
Weymouth left-back Neil Martin then burst forward and whipped the ball into the arriving Kelly, who looped a header on to the roof of the net.
Jordan Copp was then introduced by Matthews in place of Martin in a like-for-like change, and he almost made an instant impact.
Having scored against the Blues’ earlier in the campaign, he let fly with two efforts within seconds of coming on.
Burnham’s hopes of avoiding the drop then took another blow as they were reduced to 10 men.
Defender Joseph Oseyemi lunged in on his opposite number Laird right in front of the Terras’ bench, and referee William Bull had no choice but to send him off with just over 20 minutes to go.
Dicken then fluffed his lines on the break with no support inside the Weymouth half, but from then on, Matthews’ charges piled forward.
And as the hosts threw everything at a weary Blues’ backline, it was Sills who stepped up to the plate.
He linked up with Stewart Yetton inside the area and although his shot clipped a post and rolled tantalisingly across the goal, the ball eventually crossed the line for 2-1.
But nobody could have predicted what happened in stoppage time.
After replacement Gordon raced through and fired home for the Blues to make it 2-2, another mix-up in the Terras’ backline saw Wollacott miss-kick, and it was Dicken who gathered the ball and prodded home to stun the home team.
Sills then struck once again at the death to snatch a point for the Terras with a well-placed shot, but the frustrated striker did not even celebrate as Weymouth’s push for the play-offs continued to stutter.