Townsend 2, Bennett
IT was an impressive Weymouth who beat Bideford by a convincing three-goal margin in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup at the Rec on Saturday. But the Terras, who had battled courageously to reach the first-round proper again, paid a heavy price for their success.
Yesterday morning the treatment room at the ground resembled a casualty ward as players limped in with a variety of painful injuries. Tony Hobson, who was pulled out of the match with eight minutes still to go and the Terras two goals up, has a badly swollen foot.
The skipper twisted it midway through the second-half, but played on in pain. He couldn’t get his shoe on after the match. He went home wearing an old football boot about three sizes too big. Today, he was attending hospital for a check-up.
Centre-forward Trevor Allen left the ﬁeld ﬁve minutes before the interval with a cut near an eye. He came back to show as much courage as his skipper in the second-half, but few could have realised how deep a gash Allen had under the plaster he wore.
Immediately after the game he was rushed to hospital, where he had four stitches inserted in the wound.
Trainer Sammy McGowan was also kept busy in giving attention to full-back Dudley Barry, who limped in yesterday with a large bruise under his left foot. Barry took a hard knock early in the game, and later twisted an ankle.
John Clarke, who made a couple of ﬁne saves at a vital stage of the game in the second-half when the visitors attacked strongly, became a victim of groin trouble. He strained a groin late in the ﬁrst-half and was unable to take goal kicks.
Weymouth have another cup match on Wednesday, when they are at home to Andover in the second leg of a ﬁrst round tie in the Western Counties Floodlight League Cup. But with Rod Adams also on the injured list with a sore ankle, manager Stan Charlton might ﬁnd himself hard-pressed to ﬁeld a strong team.
Yet, despite Weymouth’s heavy casualty list, the match itself was not a dirty one. Bideford played it hard from the back, but fairly, and the spectators were treated to an entertaining game.
In many other ways things went right for Weymouth against a team who provided brave opposition.
An example was Allen’s long throw-in late in the game to pave the way for Weymouth’s second goal. He has tried this several times before, and the ball has been cleared. But this time the move worked out just right. Bideford were not expecting such power and they were completely deceived.
A player who did expect it, however, was Weymouth’s Gary Townend, who flicked the ball on from an acute angle over the head of Trevor Morris, the Bideford goalkeeper.
The ball crossed the goal line by the far post, with roaming Winger Dave Bennett chasing it into the net.
Bennett said later: “It was Gary’s goal, but I had to chase it into the net to make sure.”
Weymouth took the lead in the 25th minute following smart work by Townend and a mistake by the visiting goalkeeper.
Townend showed almost slide-rule precision in slipping a perfect pass around right-back Anthony, and Bennett ran on to take the ball in his stride and bring Morris to his knees.
Then came the mistake. Morris lost possession. The ball squeezing out of his grasp, running under his body and trickling over the line.
Substitute Dick Flay was sent out to take over from Hobson eight minutes from the end and paved the way for a surprise goal with his ﬁrst touch of the ball.
Flay broke strongly down the right ﬂank, steered an accurate pass into the middle, and Townsend followed up to beat Morris for a third time.
Bideford were well and truly beaten. But Weymouth’s players would undoubtedly be the first to admit that the Devon side had not bowed out of the Cup Without making a fist of it.
Russell Peterson, a opportunist leader, had Clarke saving at blank range. Clarke used his ﬁsts to fend off a ﬁerce effort from Winger Colin Rowe. Later in the game he was well beaten by a shot but the ball cannon back off the bar.
Bideford, second in the Western League table have only been beaten once before. In my view, the win is as good as a number of Southern League ones.
They were both countered and skilful. Unfortunately for them, however, Weymouth would not allow them to take advantage of these qualities.
This was only the Terras sixth victory of the season. But it was not without effort. And it does sound encouraging.
Weymouth: Clarke, Rounsevel, Glover, Barry, Hobson, Bumstead, McCarthy, Kearns, Allen, Townsend, Bennett.