WEYMOUTH manager Mark Molesley was delighted to have resisted the “added pressure” of an FA Cup third qualifying round tie by comprehensively beating St Albans City 4-1 at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
As a result of the financial rewards available to the Terras, who collected an additional £11,250 for winning, Molesley said the contest had “a lot riding on it”.
But goals from Josh Wakefield and Jake McCarthy plus a Yemi Odubade double either side of Zane Banton’s deflected consolation, handed Weymouth an excellent victory which places them one triumph away from the first round.
Speaking to Echosport, Molesley praised the Terras’ first-half display in particular.
“We started really well, created a lot of chances and were unlucky not to score a couple early on,” Molesley said.
“We finally got our breakthrough and it was a really good first-half’s work. We got the second before half-time with a penalty but 2-0 is a bit of a dodgy scoreline.
“If anything, we didn’t want the first half to end because we were going to score more.
“Yemi had a great chance at the end of he first half where normally he’d tuck that one away and it would be 3-0 which makes it a little more comfortable.
“But it being a cup game and St Albans with experienced management, we knew it was going to be a difficult second half.
“They made it a lot tougher for us and there’s a lot riding on it. There’s added pressure on the game because financially it’s such a big reward for non-League clubs.
“The boys handled that well and we didn’t quite groove the gears as well as we did first half but with us being in the ascendancy we needed to make sure we got the job done.
“We clicked into gear once or twice and got the goals when we needed to.”
Molesley highlighted a “job well done” despite the manner of St Albans’ goal.
“It’s unfortunate to concede, that’s a bitter blow,” he said.
“We also lost Andreas Robinson in the process to an injury so that’s a down point of the game, losing a player injured and conceding a goal which we felt was a foul in the build-up.
“Nevertheless we should’ve dealt with it a bit better but on the whole, 4-1 at home and into the next round it’s certainly a job well done.”
Weymouth’s game management also pleased the former Bournemouth midfielder.
He said: “With it being a cup game we had to manage the game well. We couldn’t be too offensive, we had to make sure we had good balance behind the ball because we were in the lead and we needed to make sure we got the win.
“We managed the game really well. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted us to be a little bit more clinical but I have to say in the second half we created enough chances, scored another two goals and, quite frankly, missed a couple of open goals as well.
“We could’ve scored more but we’re happy with the performance and happy to get into the next round.”
After conceding a series of penalties earlier in the season which Molesley deemed to be soft, the Terras were awarded one of their own after Solomon Nwabuokei looked to have fairly tackled Ben Thomson in the box.
Molesley also felt aggrieved at the officials’ failure to spot a perceived handball from a Cameron Murray header.
He said: “I think we got the wrong penalty. The first one was blatant.
“Cameron’s had a clear header and the bloke’s hand-balled it. He’s jumped up and hand-balled it, stopped a goalbound header.
“That beggars belief, especially if you link it to the couple we’ve had against us.
“The second one, he’s taken Thommo and he looked like he got he ball as well from where I was stood.
“But you’ve got to take them with the luck we’ve had against us. That evened itself out.
“We were definitely due one of the two, we got one, so we were grateful for that and you’ve got to take your chance when it comes along.”
Asked for his preference on final qualifying round opponents, Molesley hinted at arch-enemies Yeovil.
He said: “It’s lap of the Gods, I suppose. A home tie would be great and we’ve got some neighbours down the road that would be good.
“I’m sure everyone would like that one but we’re in the next round, we’ll see who we get and take each challenge as it comes.”
The draw for the final qualifying round takes place on Talksport at lunchtime.