Weymouth put the brakes on high-flying Leamington
WEYMOUTH sealed a well-earned point at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium, as they battled out a goalless draw with high-flying Leamington.
Chances fell to Jordan Copp, Mark Molesley, Chris Shephard and Jake Wannell for the visitors, the first of that quartet striking a post in the opening period.
The Terras were given a shake-up before even kicking a ball in their clash with the Brakes as the team news saw club captain Stewart Yetton drop to the bench.
He was replaced by former Frome Town man Ben Thomson and Chris McPhee also made way for Shephard, who was now deemed fit to take part from the start.
That meant the skipper’s armband for the afternoon was given to influential defender Pat Baldwin, who led the back four well throughout.
There was no place on the bench for Josh Grant as he was set to take a month-long spell to get game time at Bideford.
The Leamington starting XI was unchanged from the side that bowed out of the FA Cup on Tuesday evening.
With Baldwin taking the captaincy, he marshalled the Weymouth back four through a solid first 20 minutes where chances were limited, as Thomson operated as the figurehead of the Weymouth attack with Copp and Shephard on the flanks.
The Brakes were awarded a free-kick with around 25 minutes gone, and, after a dangerous delivery, the Weymouth defence did well to scramble the ball away.
Leamington marksman Ben Mackey was then put through one-on-one for the home side but failed to gather the ball with just more than half an hour on the clock.
As the half went on the Terras began to grow into the game and came closest to opening the scoring when Copp tried his luck with a snap shot.
Further chances then fell for Molesley, whose strike was charged down, and Shephard saw an attempt on goal comfortably saved by Brakes’ goalkeeper and captain Tony Breeden, as the sides went in goalless at the interval.
Leamington started the second half strongly. Joe Magunda put his effort on goal just over the top and Jack Edwards volleyed wide of the mark after a poor defensive header from the away side.
Mackey was then once again thwarted by a last-ditch challenge as the Terras swapped Shephard for Adam Kelly on the hour mark.
Jake Wannell then advanced forward for Jason Matthews’ men and got behind the Brakes’ defence, only to see his effort denied by Breeden, who did well at his near post.
And, with around 20 minutes left on the clock, it was time for Yetton as he came on in place of Thomson.
Soon after, Weymouth’s Dean Evans was booked for an alledged foul on Leamington replacement Will Green.
Molesley then found himself bizarrely blocked by the match official as he tried to start an attack.
And although both sides put the pressure on with corners and free-kicks late on, the Terras were left to settle for a well-earned point in what was a resilient goalless draw.