Weymouth draw blank in Stratford stalemate
WEYMOUTH were held to their third draw in four league matches as they played out a stalemate away at Stratford Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
Despite numerous chances the Terras could not find a way through, with Brandon Goodship, Ben Thomson and Stephane Zubar all going close to breaking the deadlock.
In their last outing on Tuesday, Weymouth lost 1-0 to Larkhall Athletic in the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Weymouth made nine changes to the side that began the Larkhall game, as just Will Dennis and Ashley Wells kept their places.
The Terras were dealt a blow off the pitch on Wednesday as chairman Steve Mills stood down from his role due to personal reasons.
But skipper Jake McCarthy signed a contract extension on Tuesday for the Terras, made his first start for the club since November against Larkhall, and was named on the bench at Town.
The home side made a good start to the match as Edwin Ahenkorah was proving a real threat for the Blues while soon after Zubar blocked a powerful shot from Loyiso Recci.
In the tenth minute a poor back pass from Wells led to Ben Stephens being one-on-one with Will Dennis, who was out superbly to smother the ball.
Three successive corners soon after for Stratford meant that Weymouth had to face some significant pressure but each time they dealt with it effectively.
Soon after they nearly took the lead as a slip from Liam Francis helped Thomson stroll through and his shot forced a great save from Louis Connor in the Stratford goal in the 13th minute.
Less than 60 seconds later Stephens won a free-kick 25 yards out which he sent over the bar.
The Terras had a sustained spell of pressure thereafter as they created several great opportunities in a brisk five-minute period.
Charlie Davis went through one-on-one with Connor before Recci recovered to take the ball away from him.
Weymouth then had a penalty shout as Baggie went down in the box and Goodship rounded Connor in front of goal but missed from a tight angle.
Davis finished off a chances blitz by taking a shot from the edge of the area that smashed into the crossbar as the Terras besieged the Stratford goal.
In the 33rd minute Calvin Brooks earned a corner for the Terras as he ran in from the wing but Weymouth couldn’t convert from the set play.
As the first-half ticked down, Josh Carmichael took a shot which went wide of the post as the teams remained deadlocked into the interval.
At the start of the second-half Stephens was denied by the offside flag after a Stratford attack.
Francis then had a great chance for the Blues from a corner but his headed effort sent the ball straight at Dennis in the Weymouth goal in the 51st minute.
Four minutes later the Terras went on the attack again through Abdulai Baggie but his ball into the box failed to find another teammate.
By now, Weymouth were on top and controlling the game but they were having difficulty breaking down the Stratford defence.
In the 65th minute the Terras mustered another chance as Baggie played an accurate ball in towards Thomson, who hit the bar with a headed effort.
A minute later Brooks went close from distance as Weymouth enjoyed yet another good spell of pressure.
Thomson then broke through the Stratford defence but his shot was deflected wide by Connor.
From the resulting corner Zubar was presented with an opportunity but he headed the ball wide.
From a Terras attack in the 80th minute Thomson took a shot from a tight angle which was dealt with by Connor.
Moments later Stratford captain James Fry curled in a shot which forced Dennis into a save to keep the scores level.
The Terras were then denied by the offside flag as Harry Baker was adjudged to be offside when he put the ball in the Stratford net.
Weymouth did well to restrict the home side despite a flurry of attacks in the latter stages and the match wound to a close as the Terras were left to ponder their missed chances as they picked up their third draw in four league games.
Weymouth are next in action when they face King’s Lynn Town away on Saturday (3pm).
Stratford Town: Connor, Gallinagh, Thomas, Fry, Recci, Francis, Bako (Evans 87), Ahenkorah (Marsden 72), Taylor, Grocott, Stephens Subs not used: Tudorache, Hancocks, Summerfield.
Terras: Dennis, Wells, Sa, Zubar, Buckley, Carmichael, Davis (McCarthy 83), Brooks, Thomson, Goodship (Baker 71), Baggie Subs not used: G. Stewart, Ngalo, Wakefield.
Referee: Darren Wilding