Wonderful Weymouth hold League One side Southend
Baggie 13, McCarthy 75
SOUTHEND UNITED 2
Humphrys 24, Hutchinson 41
WEYMOUTH earned a fully-deserved 2-2 draw against Sky Bet League One side Southend United with an eye-catching display at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
A sensational strike from Abdulai Baggie, flicking home with the outside of his right boot, set the Terras into a 13th-minute lead before a powerful free-kick from Stephen Humphrys and a six-yard finish from Isaac Hutchinson propelled the Shrimpers into a half-time lead.
However, Weymouth captain Jake McCarthy touched home a corner to restore parity.
Much of the pre-match talk had been of striker Brandon Goodship’s return to Weymouth and the Southend marksman should have notched a late winner when unmarked six yards out, but for a sprawling stop from goalkeeper Mark Childs.
Weymouth are now well into pre-season, with the contest being their fourth of the summer, and the signs are that their preparations for life in the National League South have been fruitful.
Weymouth bounced back from a nervy start which saw Southend’s Michael Klass curl well wide from inside the area after 25 seconds when latching onto a stray backpass.
Klass was proving the main danger for the Shrimpers with a couple of surging runs from midfield, but it was the Terras who struck first with a genuine moment of quality.
The returning Ben Thomson was the catalyst with a typically strong piece of play to bully Southend off the ball.
From there, Weymouth worked some intricate passes and a delicate flick round the corner set Baggie into the box before his audacious finish nestled in the far corner to rapturous applause.
Southend responded when Humphrys miscued a volley, leaning back and aiming wide of the far post.
However, the striker soon got on the scoresheet when he slammed home a 25-yard free-kick low through the outstretched paw of Childs to equalise in the 24th minute.
Undeterred, the bright Brett Williams, who enjoyed an excellent game, twice went close three minutes later.
The striker robbed Bishop of possession and curled just wide from beside the byline before stinging the England Under-20 goalkeeper’s fingertips with a rasping, rising drive.
Weymouth continued to grow in confidence and Ollie Harfield was next to try his luck, unleashing a venomous drive that Bishop beat away using more chest than glove.
Southend’s runners from midfield were causing Weymouth grief but the hosts breathed a sigh of relief when Emile Acquah drifted into the box and fired wide of Childs’ near post from 15 yards.
Southend would take the lead four minutes before the break when a faked shot from Humphrys deceived Stephane Zubar, allowing the striker to pick out Hutchinson who did not miss his attempt at an open goal.
Weymouth might have been excused for becoming deflated but the Terras managed to frighten Bishop heavily in the closing stages of the half.
Williams and Calvin Brooks linked up superbly just outside the box before the right-back tested the gloveman with a low shot across the face of goal.
Seconds later a two-on-two break saw Williams sprint past his man and fire at the far corner, only for Bishop’s outstretched leg to deny the marksman.
Klass again wasted a good chance in the first minute of a second half which saw five Weymouth changes, one of whom, McCarthy, saw a deflected strike fall into the grateful arms of the impressive Bishop.
Southend then made nine switches, including Goodship, while Baggie and Jordan Ngalo came off for Yemi Odubade and Ashley Wells.
And the substitutions did little to hinder Weymouth as they deservedly levelled with their third corner in a row, McCarthy fighting off his marker to prod low past Bishop in the 75th minute.
Southend searched for the winner in the dying embers of the fixture and should have claimed it but for Childs’ brilliance.
Sub Andy Robinson was caught hesitating on the right and Southend suddenly had men over inside the box, Goodship lurking six yards out, but Childs was quick to smother the former Terra’s shot, cueing huge cheers from the home faithful.
Weymouth broke upfield immediately and saw a trialist, wearing the number 19 shirt, blaze over in the last action of a game which will heighten the Terras’ belief heading into their next pre-season clash at home to Poole on Tuesday, July 23.
Terras: Childs, Harfield, Wakefield (Robinson 46), Zubar (Olumuyiwa 46), Ngalo, (#19 Trialist 83) Thomson (#10 Trialist 46), Baggie (Odubade 64), Murray (McCarthy 46), Brooks (Wells 70), Williams, Rose (Buckley 46). Sub not used: #13 Trialist.
Southend: Bishop, Howard (Bwomomo 58), Acquah (Yearwood 58), Kiernan (Lennon 58), Hutchinson (Mantom 58), Humphrys (Goodship 58), Taylor (White 32), Clifford (Jordan 58), Phillips (Blackman 58), Klass (Milligan 58), Kelman (McLaughlin 58).
Referee: James Durkin