WEYMOUTH assistant-manager Paul Maitland felt Chelmsford City were “hanging on” at the end of their 2-1 FA Cup third qualifying round victory at Melbourne Stadium.
A Chris Dickson brace had given the Clarets a 2-0 lead on 80 minutes, but Harry Baker’s late goal set up a nervy climax to the match for the hosts, who eventually progressed to the next round.
Speaking to Echosport after the game, Maitland said he would “take a lot of heart” from his side’s display against the National League South side.
“It shows that we have gone to a National League South side and they’ve held the ball up in injury-time – they were hanging on.
“It was a better performance and we take a lot of heart from it, but it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t bring them back to Weymouth on Tuesday. We can concentrate on the league and other trophies now,” he said.
“The boys are in good spirits, they’ve done well. It’s nice that the supporters were there, they were brilliant again. It was just a shame that we didn’t get what we deserved but we’ll be ready to go again next week,” Maitland added.
Goalkeeper Mark Travers was a stand-out performer for the Terras, making numerous saves to deny Chelmsford hitman Dickson in the first half.
On the Irishman’s performance, Maitland said: “He did what we expect all good goalkeepers to do which was to make good saves, he came for his crosses.
“They like to get the ball in the box and he dealt with that very well, and so did the defence.
“It was a bit of a gameplan that we’d not succumb to the early pressure, but they scored in the second half. He was very good, but he was one of 14 that were very good.”
And the Weymouth number two had no “arguments” with the officials’ decision to award Dickson a penalty for the Clarets’ opener.
He said: “I’ve seen it back and I don’t think we have too arguments with it. His movement off the ball was really good. Ashley had gone to close him down and referee has made a decision.
“It’s unfortunate. Games can hinge on decisions and we were on top before that. The penalty was a nice finish. We got into the ascendancy again and they’ve scored a wonder goal which was gone into the top stanchion.
“The consolation was nothing more than we deserved, but we didn’t score early enough to put pressure on them.”
Maitland believes the main positive for the Terras is having watched them play “near” to their best football.
He said: “We got near to playing some of our best football again. We did pass the ball well in the second half and again we had that never-say-die attitude which has become a firm part of our philosophy.
“In our league it’s such a tough league that having that mental strength to go to the end is absolutely vital.”
Defender Toby Down was the only major absentee for Weymouth, meaning captain Jake McCarthy played at centre-back having played in midfield for the majority of the season.
Maitland said: “Jake can play at centre-half. We thought that we needed to be a bit better at using the ball from the back.
“Jake’s captain of our side and he was more than happy to play there and I thought he applied himself very well.”
Commenting on substitute Baker’s goal, boosting his tally to four FA Cup goals this season, Maitland was pleased with how the striker took his opportunity.
He said: “He took his chance really well. He played well on Tuesday but we tactically changed the shape a little bit so he was unfortunate to miss out.
“He got a long ball and he lifted it over the keeper. It was similar to the one with Hereford. He’s settled in really well and he’s a player we have high hopes for going forward.”