WEYMOUTH manager Mark Molesley backed goalkeeper Calum Ward after the teenager’s glaring mistake led to Dover Athletic’s winning goal in the Terras’ 2-1 FA Cup fourth qualifying round loss on Saturday.
Ward, 19, is on loan from Premier League club Bournemouth and is largely held to have enjoyed a superb season so far, winning man-of-the-match in the 2-2 draw at Dulwich Hamlet prior to Weymouth’s cup exit.
However, Ward hesitated under a cross and was caught in two minds, neither punching or catching, allowing Dover’s Anthony Jeffrey to score a six-yard sitter in the 87th minute.
Terras’ boss Molesley admitted making mistakes is a character-building exercise for goalkeepers and insisted Ward would learn from the harrowing experience.
He said: “That’s what he’s here for, he’s here to learn his trade. He’s a great goalkeeper with a bright future if he continues to learn.
“Unfortunately, young goalies have got to go through these moments because these are the ones that make them.
“You only learn in life through your own mistakes. But that happens. He’s made some great saves and done some really good things.
“It’s tough because you always look at your goalie. He’s been fantastic for us this season.
“He just got caught in two minds – ‘should I catch it or punch it?’
“In the end he’s got a little knock from the centre-forward as he’s gone to punch it and didn’t quite get enough on it.
“These things happen and we win together and lose together. There’s no finger-pointing or witch hunt.”
Referencing a potential foul for the nudge on Ward, Molesley said: “(Ward) felt he was knocked as he was about to punch it and it took him out of the line of the ball.
“I don’t know, these things are always up for debate. It’s happened now and there’s nothing we can do about it.”