Weymouth denied after Bluebirds hit back
A GOAL from Chippenham Town’s Ollie Taylor forced Weymouth to settle for a point as the Terras and Bluebirds played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Frontman Taylor stabbed just over the line to cancel out Ben Thomson’s first goal in Weymouth colours earlier in the opening period.
There was no Pat Baldwin due to a calf strain or Jordan Copp due to food poisoning in the Weymouth squad meaning captain Stewart Yetton came back in as well as player-coach Chris McPhee, who operated at the heart of the hosts’ defence.
The visitors were without striker Andy Sandell, who they tied up on a two-year deal last week but did hand a start to Taylor, who also struck the winner from the bench on his debut against Merthyr last time out.
After Chippenham’s James Guthrie failed to make the most of his first chance of the evening, the Terras first effort at goal came on eight minutes.
Mark Molesley cut inside to find space and hit a low drive that was comfortably held by Kent Kaupinnen in the Bluebirds’ goal. Ashan Holgate then hit a deflected attempt which fell just over the top of player-manager Jason Matthews’ goal but, just a couple of minutes later, Weymouth drew first blood.
A delightful cross from Dean Evans found striker Thomson and he did the rest to nod home his first goal for the club and put the Terras in front on the quarter of an hour mark.
A searching ball from Jake Wannell then found Yetton, who gathered on the right and fed Molesley, who turned his man cleverly and rifled over the top.
Former AFC Bournemouth midfielder Molesley was in the thick of it. After receiving a caution, he leapt well to flick on for Chris Shephard, who swivelled and struck a crisp shot just wide.
As Weymouth, who had only conceded four league goals in nine games going into the contest, stood firm once again from a Bluebirds’ free-kick, Guthrie entered the book as he brought down Thomson, who had burst forward looking to counter.
Continuing to Thomson then beat Greg Tindle on the right side of the area, his ball was cleared away with Evans rushing in looking to make it 2-0.
Taylor then went in search of an equaliser for the visitors, as he danced around a number of Terras’ defenders but eventually found himself crowded out.
A lapse in the Terras’ back line then saw Matthews have to sprint off his line to smother the ball and thwart Guthrie but soon after that let off for the hosts, Chippenham got their leveller.
A cross from the right was headed at goal and forced a point-blank save from the Terras’ stopper but, despite his best efforts, he could not prevent Taylor scrambling home to make it 1-1 right on the stroke of half-time.
Luke Ballinger then linked up with Taylor on the right soon after the break for the Bluebirds and the former was thwarted by a diving block from Weymouth’s Mark Cooper.
Matthews then palmed away a header at full stretch from Ashan Holgate after Chris Allen did extremely well to dig out a cross.
As the game progressed, Evans then had a glorious opportunity to restore Weymouth’s lead as he arrived to head Cooper’s cross from the right but, unchallenged, he forced the ball just wide.
The Bluebirds then thought they might have won it seven minutes from time when skipper Greg Tindle powered a header home but referee Will Bull ruled out the effort for a push.
That was not the end of Bull’s evening however, as after an attacker had tangled with Matthews inside the box, some afters ensued and Blubirds’ substitute Conor McCormack was sent off five minutes from time.