Draw good enough to improve S. League lead
GUILDFORD’S blanket defensive tactics cost Weymouth their 100 per cent home record on Saturday as the sides fought out their second successive goalless Southern League encounter at the Rec.
But the loss of the point did not trim the Terras’ narrow lead – in fact with Chelmsford losing at Romford, they stretched it to three points.
A draw was obviously the result Guildford had set for this game.
Outside-right Colfar operated for most of the game as an extra half-back seldom taking part in an attack, while inside-right Burton, too, featured more in defence than attack.
When ever Weymouth mounted pressure, Guildford fell back to mass in their penalty area and Weymouth, with their forwards not moving as fluently as in earlier games, could rarely find a way through,
By adopting these tactics, Guildford were forced to rely on quick bursts from defence for their aggression, but with dangerous centre-forward Stevens magnificently policed by Hobson, they too, rarely looked like scoring.
But if Guildford could look back on the game with satisfaction Weymouth could not have felt much.
For long periods their play was scrappy and uninspired and their moves constantly broke down through an inaccurate final pass.
And they failed to bring their wingers into the game sufficiently, relying too much on moves through the middle which came to nothing against the wall of stripped-shirt defenders which was dominated by centre-half French, who overshadowed Jackson.
Weymouth took some time to settle down, although in the first minutes Hinchcliffe scraped the Guildford bar from 25 yards, and while they were finding their feet, Barrett, the visitors’ lively inside-left, saw a shot rebound from Donnelly’s body.
But generally this half was Weymouth’s and only two brilliant saves by goalkeeper Gill, one from Hannigan and the other from a typical 20-yard Spratt drive, and a goal-line clearance by left-back Fullick of a deflected shot by Sheppard, prevented them taking the lead.
The second half followed much the same pattern with Weymouth holding a territorial advantage, but unable to force it home and Guildford setting up few dangerous raids.
But in one of these, Barrett was only an inch from the winner when his low shot beat Donnelly and bounced off the post into the goalkeeper’s arms as he lay on the ground.
But in the end luck was levelled when referee Edworthy turned down two strong Weymouth handball appeals.
Weymouth: Donnelly, Gulliver, Stocker, Sheppard, Hobson, Hinchcliffe, Hannigan, Spratt, Jackson, Hutchinson, Camp