McCarthy Double Inspires Terras
Jake McCarthy struck twice from range to set the Terras on their way to another convincing home victory in the Manarama National League South, extend their unbeaten league run to seven games and so climb up to fourth place in the table.
After surviving an early onslaught from Braintree, McCarthy struck home a 30-yard free-kick midway through the first period and then doubled the lead with another shot that caught out a somewhat embarrassed keeper Michael Johnson with 20 minutes remaining.
Late on Ben Thomson fired home a third to complete a wretched afternoon for the Iron’s gloveman and lift the mood inside a wet and windy Bob Lucas Stadium following last week’s FA Cup disappointment.
Weymouth started with virtually the same side that narrowly lost that cup tie to Dover last weekend.
The only change on the team sheet saw AFC Bournemouth’s Brennan Camp begin a second loan spell with the club coming into central defence for Stephane Zubar (groin), while the bench remained the same bar the omission of departing Lionel Ainsworth.
the visitors enjoyed an encouraging opening spell and as early as the second minute a shot cum cross from lively wing back Cameron Green skidded in from the left side and home keeper Calum Ward had to get down well to block the danger at the expense of a corner.
Moments later Adam Mills had two attempts to beat Ward before the keeper kept out a third attempt from Remi Akinwande after a dangerous low centre from Jack James caused chaos in the home area.
However, the hosts slowly got into their stride over the second ten-minute period of the game where they forced five corners and nearly scored from the third of those when a firm side-footer from McCarthy had to be cleared off the line following Josh Wakefield’s low centre.
Then, in the 18th minute, Josh McQuoid embarked on a powerful run from the centre circle but his final shot was parried by Johnson and Yemi Odubade couldn’t find the target as he pounced on the loose ball.
Next, Camp and Brooks linked up well and the former’s centre had to be beaten out by Johnson just before McCarthy took the opportunity to fire in another sighter when teed up by McQuoid, only to see the keeper gather.
Then a big chance presented for the Terras in the 24th minute when a clumsy foul by Jake Hutchins on Jake McCarthy gave them a free-kick 30 yards from goal.
Having already tried his luck twice it was then no surprise to see McCarthy pick himself up and drill a low shot across the wet surface that whizzed past the wall and, despite getting hands on it, Johnson was beaten inside his his left hand post.
Following the goal the Iron were briefly on the front foot but Camp superbly blocked a drive from Akinwande and from the resulting corner the home side were able to break quickly only for Abdulai Baggie to misplace the final pass.
The chances were still coming thick and fast though and Odubade span onto a loose ball ten yards out but couldn’t get the purchase necessary to beat Johnson before the visitors very nearly levelled when Ward pushed a shot wide from Josh Urquart and, fortunately, Mills was adjudged offside as followed up with an effort that came back off the far post.
Late in the half there was another gilt-edged chance for the hosts when Thomson showed all of his usual endeavour as he linked up with McQuoid whose tame side-footed effort was never going to trouble Johnson and Weymouth had just the single goal lead to take into the second period.
There were far fewer openings created after the switch and, with their first effort on target, the Terras were able to extend their advantage.
Again Johnson was found wanting as McCarthy hit a shot out of the blue from the edge of the box that somehow managed to squirm through the body of the visiting keeper and into the net much to the delight of the home fans.
Moments later it should have been 3-0 following a fine run by Brooks down the right that ended with his low centre conjuring up three attempts on goal, with the final one by substitute Cameron Murray wastefully hit high over the bar.
In response the Iron’s best chance to begin a fightback came in the 80th minute when Akinwande smashed in a 30-yard free-kick that was well held onto by Ward and then the hosts wrapped up the points with a killer third four minutes later.
A quick break ended with Baggie teeing up Thomson on the left side of the area, and the burly striker somehow managed to squeeze a shot between the keeper and his near post to add deserved polish to a comprehensive victory.
Terras: Ward, Wakefield, Camp, Ngalo, McCarthy, Thomson, McQuoid (Murray 51), Baggie, Odubade (Williams 70), Brooks (Wells 86), Hobson. Subs not used: Rees, Molesley.
Braintree Town: Johnson, James, Green, Urquart, Hutchins, Clark, Lawrence, Christian-Law (Richardson 71), Morrell-Williamson (Cerulli 86), Akinwande, Mills (Fitzpatrick 79). Subs not used: Barker, Skubich.