Bath City hit back to frustrate Weymouth


Hartridge og 5


Harvey pen 58

WEYMOUTH collected a first point at home in the Vanarama National League South as Bath City came from behind to frustrate the Terras in a hard-fought clash at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

An Alex Hartridge own goal in the fifth minute gave Weymouth a bright start but Josh McQuoid missed two sharp chances in a dominant opening period.

McQuoid blazed over Weymouth’s best second-half chance in the 49th minute but Tyler Harvey deservedly levelled from the spot after goalkeeper Calum Ward felled sub Adam Mann.

Neither side conjured a clear chance thereafter in a busy finish, a point lifting both sides to four points from two games.

Weymouth boss Mark Molesley made one change to the starting line-up from the remarkable 2-1 over Maidstone United as Brett Williams was replaced by returning captain McQuoid.

Williams dropped to the bench at the expense of centre-back Jordan Rose, who was the only absentee from the victory in Kent.

Weymouth were chasing a second successive win and the hosts got off to a dream start with a goal in the fifth minute.

McQuoid was the catalyst, his fierce drive stinging the palms of City keeper Harvey Wiles-Richards, who was a late replacement for Romans’ captain Ryan Clarke.

There was nothing Wiles-Richards could have done about the goal as Hartridge, crouched on the floor and unsighted, had the misfortune of deflecting the ball over the line with Terras’ defender Stephane Zubar lurking.

Bath were dealt a display of Weymouth’s physicality and desire to win every ball when Zubar leapt into an aerial duel with Ross Stearn, the diminutive winger coming off far worse.

Stearn was treated by medical staff and, although he returned to his feet, looked extremely groggy and was replaced by Mann in the 12th minute.

Weymouth were dominating the Romans at this stage and a curving run from Jordan Ngalo along the visitors’ byline culminated in a cross that was just too strong for McQuoid to poke home.

Seconds later, Bath’s Tom Smith turned and shot well wide in what was to prove City’s only meaningful attempt at goal of the half.

The Terras were content to keep possession in the face of Bath’s busy midfield pressing and their patience nearly paid off as a flowing move ended with Ollie Harfield jinking inside and fizzing a shot at Wiles-Richards.

A subsequent sharp move saw Calvin Brooks slalom past several challenges and feed McQuoid who rifled a shot narrowly over the right-hand angle of post and bar.

Weymouth were briefly troubled at the back when Zubar misjudged a bouncing ball but fellow centre-back Callum Buckley was quickly in to tackle striker Harvey.

Hartridge’s miserable half was complete when the defender picked up a yellow card for a late trip on Ben Thomson.

If Bath had been quiet in the opening period, the Romans charged out of the blocks in the second mustering several corners in a statement of intent.

However, it would be Weymouth who created the first big chance – one which should have doubled their lead.

Baggie, who was a constant problem for Bath, stormed into space on the counter and his drag back from the right presented the unmarked McQuoid with a glorious chance, only for the forward to blaze over from 15 yards.

Bath continued their resurgence and might have scored from a corner had Hartridge not chested the delivery limply out of play.

Two minutes later, the Romans were awarded a penalty after the unfortunate Ward brought Mann down.

Seconds earlier, Ward had produced a magnificent save to deny Tom Smith but the ricochet fell to Mann who was brought down with his back to goal.

Harvey duly stepped up to send Ward the wrong way, caressing a confident finish into the bottom-left corner in the 58th minute.

Bath immediately won possession from the restart and sent Smith careering down the right, only for Mann to fluff a volley from his cross straight at Ward.

Weymouth were forced to work hard to resist Bath’s improvement and gradually settled, Molesley introducing Yemi Odubade and Cameron Murray for Ngalo and McQuoid respectively.

Gaps opened as both sides chased the victory and, after Bath won a corner, a clever routine involving a flick to the byline created a chance for Hartridge, who side-footed well wide of the near post.

Molesley made a third change, replacing man-of-the-match Baggie with Williams on 87 minutes, but despite plenty of endeavour neither side could force a winning goal, both teams deserving of a point.

Terras: Ward, Brooks, Harfield, Zubar, Buckley, Ngalo (Odubade 74), McCarthy, Robinson, Thomson, McQuoid (Murray 71), Baggie (Williams 87). Subs not used: Childs, Wakefield

Bath: Wiles-Richards, Rayne, Riley-Lowe, T Smith, Watkins, Harvey, Stearn (Mann 12), Bower, Richards, Hartridge, H Smith. Subs not used: Harper, Simpson, Hamblin

Referee: Richie Watkins (Nuneaton)

Attendance: 1,615

Dorset Echo

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