BATH CITY 1
WEYMOUTH produced a devastating finish at Bath last night to storm through to the third round of the General Motors Acceptance Cup.
Four late goals in a remarkable ﬁve-minute spell – three for Weymouth and one for Bath – left the home side ﬂoundering.
The Terras stretched the scoreline from 2-0 to 5-1 and qualiﬁed to receive either Harrow Borough or Dagenham.
It was Bath’s heaviest defeat of the season before their lowest crowd so far of 368 — and Len Bond, the former Weymouth ‘goal-keeper, has now conceded 13 goals in three successive games.
But if the ﬁnal stages were a nightmare for Bond, what about Everton Carr’s ordeal?
Carr, who left Weymouth to play in the Bath defence earlier this season, miskicked to let in Weymouth’s star forward, Steve Claridge, for the ﬁrst goal after 22 minutes, and then handled to concede a penalty from which Paul Compton scored.
Claridge scored a second, and Andy Rowland and Morgan Lewis were also on target.
The match ﬁnished with the home fans jeering their team and manager Bobby Jones.
Watching was Weymouth’s immediate past boss, Brian Godfrey, who managed Bath in 1977-78, when they won the Southern Premier League title.
Currently manager of Gloucester City, he has been a frequent visitor to Twerton Park lately and it’s my guess that if the job of manager at Bath should become vacant, Godfrey will be well in the running for it.
Bath, who are bottom of the GM Vauxhall Conference, did not look a good side, but this cannot detract from the performance of the Terras, who still had to score their goals and at one time did not look like ﬁnishing such convincing winners.
Weymonth were quick to take advantage after Carr miskicked. Lewis pounced to send in a shot which Bond parried, but Claridge followed up to score.
I made Claridge the man-of-the-match. Back to his best form, he had the Bath defence running all ways, and on the half-hour staged a brilliant break down the left-flank, beating Carr and Mickey Hendy before laying on a great chance from which Steve Pugh headed over the bar from close-range.
Never spectacular, but always in control, Weymouth increased their lead in the 67th minute through Cornpton’s well struck penalty. It was his ﬁrst goal for the Terras – and well deserved for the effort he put in at the back.
In the 81st minute Claridge kept cool in running clear to side step Bond and steer the ball into an empty net.
Two minutes later, Peter Conning burst clear to cross perfectly, and Rowland dived to glance the ball into the net from a header.
A minute after, Paul Bodin, pushed up into the Bath attack, pulled back a goal for the home side, but in the 85th minute Claridge became a goal maker, Lewis sweeping his accurately placed cross past a bemused Bond.
This was a ﬁne success for Weymouth, whose manager Stuart Morgan said: “We have been threatening to win by a big score for some time.
“I was pleased to see chances created going in to back up our defence, which has a record second to none in any divisions in the whole country.
“If this continues, I feel sure that we shall be in running for honours at the ﬁnal reckoning.”
And I reckon there will be a thousand extra on Saturday’s gate for the home match against Stafford Rangers after last night’s performance.
Weymouth: Guthrie, Pugh, Gibson, Teale, Compton, Conning, Dawson, Claridge, Rowland, Burman, Lewis