TON PENTRE 1
Iannone, Doherty, P Rogers
WEYMOUTH safely emerged from their trip to the Rondda Valley on Saturday to quality for today’s first round proper draw in the F.A. Cup.
But after the Terras had achieved their 3-1 victory over Ton Pentre – and chalked up their eighth away league and cup success of the season – their manager, Brian Godfrey, revealed how worried he had been throughout the week over the fitness of key attacker Tony Agana.
“He gave us a big scare and almost missed the match,” said Godfrey. “He pulled up in training on the Monday with thigh trouble, but we kept quiet about it. He only did light training after this and had treatment from our physiotherapist, Bob Lucas, right up until the last moment.”
Agana played with a thigh heavily strapped. He didn’t score – this was left to Anniello Iannone, Mick Doherty and Peter Rogers – but he certainly played a prominent part in the Weymouth attack. He was always prepared in to run at the homedefence, he did not shirk anything.
Godfrey was full of praise for his performance and also gave a special word of thanks to the fans. “They were behind us all the way,” he told me. They made themselves heard and it was much appreciated by us all.
“We more than deserved our victory. In fact, we could have won by six or seven goals. We knew it was going to be hard, but we showed again that we had a lot of character.
“For Ton Pentre this was a big one. They went all out. But we matched them and battled. And now we have what we wanted – a place in the first round proper.
“But I want to get through to the second round and, logically speaking, draw the worst club left at home. This will give us a chance of making the third round and picking up a big prize – like Manchester United or Spurs.”
Agana apart, Weymouth had other battlers to rely on for this important match on the small Ynys Park ground at the foot of a towering hill – the entire back row of Gary Borthwick, Paul Arnold, Martyn Rogers and the never-say-die Iannone, for example.
When Ton Pentre threatened to come back into the game – and they certainly did from time to time – these defenders stood firm, with Ashley Coombes, Peter Rogers and Ashley Doidge also toiling long and hard in the midfield.
With Ton Pentre pulling back a goal and Weymouth missing a number of chances, the Welshmen were in the game far too long with the opportunity of forcing a replay.
I have no hesitation in nominating joint men of the match in Iannone and Martyne Rogers. They provided great examples with their sheer enthusiasm and determination.
It was this pair who combined to give Weymouth another wonderful start, Iannone out-jumping the home defence in the first minute to reach a dropping free-kick from Martyn Rogers and heading the Terras into the lead.
And when Doherty pounced to make it 2-0 in the 22nd minute, I thought it was all over. Kevin Davies, the home right-back, passed to nowhere in particular, and Doherty stepped up to take possession, beat another defender, and shoot into an unguarded net.
However, within five minutes, Ton Pentre’s youngsters pounced back with a goal.
Dean Jones fought hard for possession on the right-flank and lifted over a centre which Len Bond, in the Weymouth goal, pushed clear. The ball was headed back by Colin Williams, and Micky George was on hand to score from close range.
Weymouth could not afford to relax after this, although they enjoyed the lion’s share of play. The trouble was that they could not turn this dominant play into goals.
Doherty missed a great chance 90 seconds into the second-half, when Clive Southern headed the ball through. The Doc was clear, but fired straight at the home goalkeeper Richard Mullens instead of wrapping the game up.
Agana got through the middle, only to be thwarted by a brave save at his feet by Mullens, and Doidge might have done far better with a close-range header instead of sending the ball over the bar.
An Agana-Doherty move left Southern with a downward header, but Mullen punched the ball aside. Then Davies cleared from the line when Southern made another late attempt.
Ton Pentre definitely flagged over the final stages as the Teerras kept the pressure on and five minutes from the end, Peter Rogers sealed it for the Terras with a close-range header after a Borthwick throw-in had been flicked on by Doherty.
Weymouth: Bond Borthwick, Arnold, Iannone, M Rogers, Doidge, Coombes, P Rogers, Southern, Doherty, Agana.
There was a brief flurry of fighting between some Ton Pentre supporters and some Weymouth fans behind a goal towards the close, which concluded almost as quickly as it started.
This was the only incident which marred the game, although in the street outside the park Tom Payne, the driver of one of the three supporters’ coaches from Weymouth, had what he described as “an awkward moment.”
Five young men boarded his coach while he was on his own waiting for the Weymouth supporters to return. “They looked quite aggressive,” he said, “but I managed to get them off the coach and they ran away.”