Weymouth find scoring touch at Portland
PORTLAND UNITED 0
McQuoid 54 pen, Williams 60, Trialist 64, Trialist 71
WEYMOUTH earned the second win of their pre-season campaign in straightforward style as Portland United were beaten 4-0 at the Weyline Stadium.
Portland, who play three leagues below the Terras, were unlucky not to take the lead after 45 seconds when Sol Roche’s deflected effort struck the near post, but from there on in Weymouth took complete control.
Only wayward finishing from a gluttony of chances, plus numerous superb saves from goalkeeper Steve Boore, kept Mark Molesley’s men at bay in an entertaining first half.
During a second period in which both sides made wholesale changes, Weymouth finally discovered their scoring touch as Josh McQuoid bagged a penalty before Brett Williams nodded home.
And the rout had gloss applied to it when two trialists slotted home as Portland’s defence tired.
Blues’ substitute Mo Hereka unleashed a rasping drive in the final minute but replacement goalkeeper Tom Rees was alert to make a sharp flying stop, tipping his attempt over on the brink of full-time.
With pre-season focus on performance rather than margin of victory, Weymouth might have been dismayed defensively in the opening minute as Portland threatened.
A long ball over the top was flicked on to Blues’ winger Jamie Beasley on the left and his cut back was slammed towards goal by Jamie Symes before Roche diverted the ball against the near upright via a slight deflection.
Continuing a lively start, Weymouth unleashed Abdulai Baggie on goal in the third minute and the Sierra Leone man aimed just wide of the far post with Boore beaten.
As Weymouth grew in confidence the visitors began to dominate but Baggie’s miss would prove to be a recurring theme as the Terras appeared rusty in front of goal, captain Jake McCarthy firing over.
On 11 minutes McQuoid spun into space and drove low to Boore’s right but the keeper was alert and diverted the ball out for a corner before Jordan Ngalo blazed over in a later phase of play.
Portland had been restricted to Roche’s effort until Beasley then exchanged passes with Ed Bastick before firing over on the counter.
Weymouth continued to press and two marvellous saves from Boore, first to block Williams when clean through and the second to fly to his left and touch Ade Olumuyiwa’s header round the post, kept the hosts level.
McQuoid, Ngalo and Williams all skied presentable chances before the former chipped wide when clean through as Weymouth’s frustration rumbled on.
Another cutting attack culminated with an errant Baggie shot before Boore magnificently denied McQuoid and Jordan Rose headed over the resultant corner prior to half-time.
Ngalo was replaced by a numberless trialist at the break but Weymouth finally broke the deadlock in the 54th minute when McQuoid converted a soft spot-kick given for a tug on Calvin Brooks.
Six minutes later Williams doubled the advantage from six yards, nodding home Baggie’s pinpoint cross from the right wing.
Weymouth made 10 changes on the hour but it was Ngalo’s replacement who scored next, shuffling in from the left and burying a clinical finish into the far corner.
Three goals in 10 minutes had deflated Portland somewhat and the Blues conceded a fourth on 71 minutes when another trialist, wearing number 14, slipped the ball home from an acute angle.
There was still time for Hereka to sting Rees’ fingertips, but Weymouth were excellent value for their win and will be relieved their shooting boots were finally found in the second half.
Speaking to Echosport, Molesley admitted the Terras had been “rusty” but enjoyed what he described as a “good workout”.
“I’m really pleased,” Molesley said. “It was a great workout for us and we got what we needed out of the game.
“We were a little bit rusty but I’m sure as pre-season progresses we’ll improve on that. The work-rate and the attitude of the group has been fantastic.
“We were able to field two different teams again, which was great. The boys are layering up their fitness now and there were a lot of positive signs out there.
“Thanks to Portland for hosting us, it’s a fantastic surface and it was a good outfit to play against. They really worked us hard, so it was a good afternoon.”
Meanwhile, Portland boss Brendon King had only one gripe – his side’s inability to keep possession.
He said: “At this stage of the season, especially in our first game, it’s getting some minutes in our legs and touches of the football.
“In that respect everything was good – our work-rate and shape – I just thought we lacked a bit with the ball and gave it away cheaply at times. We’re better than that but we got a lot out of it, which was good.”
Weymouth visit Cuthbury to face Wimborne Town on Monday (7.45pm) while Portland will hold a training session on Saturday before an away trip to Bridport on Tuesday, July 16.
Portland: Boore (Green 46), Bastick (Godfrey 46), Bessant (Cox 46), Stewart (M Buckler 77), King, Butcher (Clarke 46), S Roche (M Roche 46), Handsford, Symes (Hereka 46), Rowe (Batista 46), Beasley.
Terras: Childs (Rees 61), Brooks (Wells 61), Olumuyiwa (Buckley 61), Rose (Zubar 61), Harfield (#12 Trialist 61), Baggie (Murray 61), Wakefield (Robinson 61), McCarthy (#3 Trialist 61), Ngalo (Trialist 46, #7 Trialist 75), McQuoid (#14 Trialist 61), Williams (#9 Trialist 61).
Referee: Mike Ballard (Lytchett Matravers)