Davis holds his nerve to seal a point for Weymouth at Leamington
A DRAMATIC late spot-kick converted by Charlie Davis ensured the Terras took a point in a hard-fought clash at Leamington.
Davis held his nerve from 12 yards to fire home his third league goal of the campaign, cancelling out Ryan Rowe’s 19th-minute opener, meaning Weymouth are now unbeaten in four games in all competitions.
Boss Jason Matthews once again decided to shuffle the pack from the starting XI that helped the Terras progress against Paulton Rovers in the FA Cup in midweek.
Weymouth welcomed back Calvin Brooks, Dean Evans and Stewart Yetton for Tiago Sa, Mark Molesley and Dan Smith respectively.
There was still no place in the visitors’ squad for Jordan Copp. Ashley Wells and Chris Shephard, who had suffered recent knee problems, were fit enough to make the bench.
While the Brakes came into the game third in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division pile, they had been dumped out of the FA Cup at the hands of Highgate United 3-1 last Saturday – a display boss Paul Holleran described as “one of the most disappointing days” in his time at the club.
Speaking to the Leamington Courier before their contest with the Terras, Holleran also added: “Weymouth are always going to be a big threat, they’ve got big players and big ambitions.
“It’s a good game to bounce back at.”
Brakes’ full-back Connor Gudger was not included in the hosts’ squad due to suspension but they did name debutant Zak Lilly in their line-up who had sealed a one-month loan deal from AFC Telford United.
After a relatively quiet opening in terms of chances, the Terras’ first sight of goal came through midfielder Billy Lowes. He let fly after picking up a pass from Aaron Rodriguez, but drilled straight at Leamington keeper Tony Breeden from 20 yards out.
A free-kick to the Brakes then sailed over the bar from a dangerous area but the Terras did eventually fall behind on 19 minutes.
A defensive lapse from Matthews’ men allowed Ahmed Obeng to burst forward, skip past his man, and tee up Leamington striker Ryan Rowe, who capitalised with a confident finish into the corner to give his side the lead.
Lowes then struck at goal again but, moments later, Obeng then came close to making it 2-0 but he was denied by Weymouth keeper Dan Thomas.
The hosts were in control at this point and, on 35 minutes, they came agonizingly close once more. A neat give-and-go between Lilly and Rowe, culminated in the former hitting the bar.
Ben Thomson then scuffed wide for Matthews’ men, who went in trailing at the break.
Thomson was in the thick of it just three minutes after the interval however, as he looked to put his side back on level terms.
His shot, which seemed to be soaring into the corner, was thwarted by a cracking save from keeper Breeden.
Rodriguez then looked to add to his first Weymouth goal scored in midweek, but his attempt failed to hit the target. Defender Brooks then saw his header stabbed off the line as the visitors ramped up the pressure.
Playmaker Shephard was then introduced in place of Lowes with just more than 15 minutes left as boss Matthews looked for an impact from the bench.
A double change was then also made by the Terras as Smith and Sam Jordan came on for Rodriguez and Thomson.
Davis then dragged an effort wide of the post but he was not to be denied late on as Weymouth were then awarded a dramatic late spot-kick – Brooks the man brought down.
It was to be Davis, who missed against Paulton in midweek, to step up once more.
He smashed the ball into the top corner to ensure Weymouth claimed the draw with just one minute left on the clock.
Some late heroics from Thomas in the dying moments then ensured the away side picked up a valuable point.