Weymouth bulldozed by Hereford
A BUMPER 1,518 crowd saw Weymouth overcome 2-0 by a classy Hereford outfit whose high-pressing game had the Terras penned in their own half for long periods as they went on to suffer their second home defeat of the new season to a goal in each half.
The Bulls, roared on by a huge, raucous following, were more than good value for their single-goal first half lead when John Mills exploited some indecision from home keeper Mark Travers to score the opener on 22 minutes and then the win was completed midway through the second half when a screamer from the game’s star performer James Bowen beat the young keeper all ends up.
Weymouth showed a lot of spirit and enjoyed numerous chances to get on the scoresheet after the break but it was a day of near misses with Brandon Goodship unlucky on several occasions not to score after missing a 72nd minute penalty.
The only change in the home side’s starting eleven saw Antonio Diaz given the nod to make his debut in place of suspended Calvin Brooks who was sent off against Chippenham in the FA Cup tie. The bench dropped from seven to five replacements and there was room this time for fit-again Josh Wakefield and Tiago Sa.
The hosts got off to a decent enough start with two early left-side crosses causing early problems for the Bulls’ rearguard.
First, a threatening centre from Brandon Goodship was just intercepted by the arms of keeper Martin Horsell, and then, seconds later, another cross saw Mark Cooper unable to steer a shot goalwards on the stretch.
However, the action then switched to the other end of the field where it was to remain for most of the opening period as the visitors took complete control of proceedings.
The Terras conceded three early corners and were to sustain concerted pressure each time which set the tone for the rest of the half.
From one of those taken by Keyon Reffell the ball fell at the back post for unmarked dangerman Mills whose snapshot was superbly blocked by Travers.
Then, on six minutes, Refell cut inside just outside the area to fire a 20-yarder at Travers who collected cleanly just before a rare attack from the hosts ended with a daisy-cutter from McCarthy that was easily gathered by Horsell.
Once again the Terras were to find themselves under seige from the Bulls at two more corners and then, unsurprisingly, further pressure saw them find the opener midway through the half following a moment’s hesitation from Travers.
Mike McGrath chipped a ball towards Mills who managed to get the faintest of touches that deceived Travers who had looked favourite to collect the centre but then checked back as the ball rolled past him.
Even allowing for the dominance of the visitors, the manner of the goal was still a bitter pill to swallow for the Terras who, undaunted, kept battling and were rewarded with their first corner on 28 minutes following a fine run by McCarthy.
Sadly though the ball fell to Goodship from this set-piece and he could only thrash an effort wildly wide but at least Weymouth were starting to make some in-roads on the away goal and Goodship fired over the bar again in the 39th minute.
However, in between those two Goodship strikes, the Bulls really should have gone 2-0 ahead after a run from Reffell ended with a blocked shot that fell to Mike Symons who was able to stand the ball up for Mills who really should have netted with a close range header and the goal at his mercy.
The Terras had been far too passive and shown their visitors too much respect, reminiscent of the season opener with St Ives, in the first 45 minutes, but they found themselves just a single goal behind going into the second period.
Attacking towards their own fans, Hereford’s Bowen was causing nervous moments for the Terras’ defence as he twice cut in from the left direct at goal in the early exchanges where the hosts were firmly camped in their own half.
Substitute Harry Baker, who had replaced a limping Ben Thomson at the break, managed to get the ball in the net nine minutes in but the goal was ruled offside seconds before the same striker went agonisingly close with the Terras’ best chance of the game so far.
A fabulous ball from McCarthy sent Baker clear and with Horsell stranded at the edge of his box, Baker went with the lob that only just cleared the bar.
On the hour mark the rampant Bulls looked set to wrap up the points with a second goal as they launched a succession of raids.
A low drive by skipper Jimmy Oates was pushed away for a corner by Travers at his near post and then the keeper had to save with his feet moments later as Symons brushed aside Carmichael before firing towards the other upright.
But the relentless pressure was to finally reap its rewards in the 63rd minute when Bowen seized on a short corner from Garyn Preen and, without hesitation, smashed a thunderbolt home from 30 yards in off the underside of the bar.
Further chances came for the Bulls to add lustre to the scoreline but Symons strained to head over at the back post, a Calvin Dinsley shot was deflected over by Baker before Reffell headed another opportunity wide.
So, it was completely against the flow of the game that the Terras were handed a lifeline 20 minutes from time when the marauding Antonio Diaz was completely wiped out by Bowen on the right side of the area for a certain penalty.
Goodship looked confident enough as he stood over the ball but his spot kick was easily parried out by Horsell diving to his left and the brave stopper was quickly on his feet to turn over Goodship’s follow-up attempt.
It was a missed opportunity for the hosts but, to their credit, they kept pressing and within seconds Goodship was denied by Horsell for a third time at point-blank range, Carmichael fired a scorcher inches clear of the bar and Toby Down’s header had to be pushed away by Horsell.
On 75 minutes Symons was adjudged offside when he thought he had fired the Bulls’ third before substitute Sean Stewart, on for Goodship for the last ten, was presented with another great chance for the hosts to get at least a goal on the board but he skewed horribly wide as he latched onto a fantastic squared ball from Diaz.
There was one more clearcut chance for the visitors in the 90th minute when substitute Lance Smith found himself clean through but sent his shot inexplicably well wide while Ashley Wells nearly conjured a last gasp goal but Baker couldn’t quite get on the end of his looped ball to the back post.
Weymouth: Travers, Cooper, Buckley, Wells, Down, Carmichael, Davis (Wakefield 64), McCarthy, Thomson (Baker 46), Goodship (Stewart 81), Diaz. Subs not used: Sa, Prodomo.
Hereford: Horell, Oates, Bowen, Dinsley, Green, O’Shea, Preen (Page 79), McGrath, Mills, Reffell, Symons (Smith 76). Subs not used: Purdie, Harris, Deaman.