Weymouth edge past unlucky Hampton & Richmond
McQuoid 52, Thomson 54
HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH 1
FORTUNE favoured Weymouth throughout this pulsating Manarama National League South clash against a resurgent Hampton & Richmond Borough outfit who were always in the game but, ultimately, were undone by two goals against the run of play inside three second-half minutes having not taking full advantage of some gilt-edged chances of their own.
The visitors were edging the contest through a goalless first half where Jake Grey went closest when he volleyed a beauty onto the bar but the Terras struck twice on the counter through Josh McQuoid and Ben Thomson in a frantic three-minute spell after the break, and although ex-Terra Jefferson Louis quickly pulled one back the hosts were able to manage the last half-hour to gain all three points.
There were just two changes for the hosts in their starting XI from the side that drew 1-1 away at Eastbourne.
Ollie Harfield returned to the left-back role while skipper McQuoid was promoted from the bench. Making way were Yemi Odubade and Cameron Murray who took up places amongst the substitutes.
Following a very low key opening 10 minutes it was the visitors that enjoyed the first real sight on goal when Ryan Hill burst through on goal. The slight front runner raced from the halfway line but Calum Ward made himself big to block his shot at the expense of the first of seven first-half Hampton corners.
Weymouth’s first attempt of note arrived five minutes later when Jake McCarthy zipped a ball into Thomson who, with his back to goal, teed up Abdulai Baggie whose deflected effort was easily gathered by keeper Dan Lincoln.
Then, Ward dealt well with a free header by Charlie Wassmer at the back post from Hill’s corner.
Seconds later Calvin Brooks pulled back a great ball for Thomson who could only hook wide of the far post and, as the game really began to ebb and flow, McQuoid snatched at another good chance as he screwed the ball wide.
The Beavers then came inches away from breaking the deadlock as Grey thundered in a volley that cannoned off the bar and, luckily for the hosts, Louis was adjudged offside in the scramble as the ball came back out.
Action was now coming thick and fast as McCarthy had a volley blocked, Hill had an effort deflected for another corner before Sam Deadfield sent in a devilish square ball that was fortunately cut out.
Hampton were really growing into the game towards the end of the half while the Terras’ frustrations were rising, especially when Jordan Ngalo’s left-side centre fell nowhere near a home shirt.
In the last five minutes two more low crosses from the visitors caused some panic but, from the second of those, Weymouth were able to go on the counter and Thomson charged forward, and cut across the area only to hit a weak left-footer that was food and drink for Lincoln.
The last action of the first half saw Hampton on the offensive again as 20-yard drives from both Hill and Soares were parried by Ward before Thomson struck another limp effort seconds before the whistle.
There was to be no let-up in the fast-paced action in the second period and the Terras, somewhat against the run of play, were grateful to find themselves going in front just seven minutes in.
Another lightning-quick counter from a Beavers’ corner saw Thomson pick the ball up from Josh Wakefield and tear forward before slipping the ball out wide to McQuoid who was able to cut in and curl a beautiful drive inside the far post from the edge of the box.
Then, moments later, the hosts were to survive a huge scare before going straight up the other end and nicking a second to stun Borough.
A frenetic three-minute period of play continued when Deadfield shot across goal and Ward did well to flick the ball away.
However, Louis was lurking at the back post but somehow contrived to hit the underside of the bar and the Terras, able to break quickly, found a second goal as the rampaging Baggie pulled the ball across for Thomson to neatly slot home.
Despite the goals the visitors appeared undaunted and they were soon back on the front foot with Donaldson’s low drive from 20 yards having to be turned round the post by Ward.
Seconds later though Borough finally grabbed a richly deserved goal for their endeavour when a long throw from Donaldson right by the corner flag missed a series of players on the line and there was Louis to stab home from two yards at the back post.
From there Weymouth had to endure the odd nervy moment as they never really looked like getting a killer third goal.
The impressive Wassmer caused a few hearts to flutter as his teasing low centre slid through at the back post in the 83rd minute while at the other end Baggie slipped in Ngalo whose fierce strike had to be beaten away by Lincoln.
Then, in five minutes of added time, Baggie’s powerful run ended with a drive to the near post that was well gathered by the keeper before, right on time, Thomson hit one last effort that sailed over the top.
The home side were able to hold on fairly comfortably for three more valuable points whilst extending that fabulous unbeaten league run to nine games.
Terras: Ward, Harfield, Wakefield, Camp, Ngalo, McCarthy, McQuoid (Murray 77), Baggie (Zubar 90), Brooks, Hobson.
Subs not used: Childs, Wells, Odubade.
Hampton & Richmond Borough: Lincoln, Young, Farrell, Ruddick, Wassmer, Donaldson (Lewthwaite 68), Deadfield, Grey, Louis (Orsi-Dadomo 68), Hill, Soares (Skinner 84).
Subs not used: Cox, McAuley.