Weymouth move to second after late McQuoid winner
Baggie 30, McQuoid 87
HUNGERFORD TOWN 1
Da Silver 18
Report by: Georges Harrison
Weymouth took on Hungerford Town in their 18th game of the Vanarama National League South season at the Bob Lucas Stadium. The Terras looked to extend their unbeaten run by moving up to second in the league if Slough Town and Havant & Waterlooville failed to gain points in their next fixtures.
Hungerford had been on and off in their last five fixtures, losing three and winning two matches, before facing a strong Weymouth side who have turned their home into a fortress.
Weymouth manager Mark Molesley released a side with only two changes from their previous match against Hastings United. Josh Wakefield returned to the starting eleven and Brett Williams was back after a 3 game ban.
Weymouth kicked off and looked positive in the first 15 minutes, with attacks mainly coming down the left-flank by Abdulai Baggie who constantly looked to penetrate the defence with his speed and tricky ball control. The Sierra Leone man had a very good chance in the 8th minute when Calvin Brooks did an overlapping run to give him space to strike but hesitated and had Weymouth’s first big chance of the game blocked.
However, in the 19th minute, Hungerford scored with forward Jose Maturino da Silver heading the ball past Calum Ward before he could claim the cross. Weymouth were left stunned for 10 minutes or so after they conceded a goal completely against the run of play.
Molesley’s team started to play better football by the 30th minute when Baggie delivered a wonderful cross to Williams, but the striker failed to use his experience in being clinical with the free header. A few minutes later, Williams brought the ball down for Baggie as he fooled the defenders with his body feints and then followed it up with a powerful finish past the Hungerford keeper’s right to make it 1-1.
Weymouth took back control of the game after Baggie’s goal. A couple of great chances were created by Josh Wakefield and captain Josh McQuoid to take the lead, but Weymouth failed to capitalise on the momentum they had before the referee blew the whistle for half-time.
Five minutes into the second-half, Baggie was back at it as his cheeky flicks and one-twos with Brooks and Williams led to him having a clear opportunity on goal, but he was closed down quickly by the opposition defence.
The game died down from the 50th to the 70th minute as the Terras controlled the possession, thanks to Brennan Camp and Shaun Hobson being rock-solid in defence, they cleaned up most attacks by Hungerford. McCarthy also dominated the middle of the park alongside Wakefield, winning possession back and moving the ball smoothly across the pitch to find an opening.
Hungerford then created a golden opportunity to take back the lead, with Zidan Akers having a shot at Ward who was unable to parry the ball out for a corner, the loose ball landed for Hungerford’s skipper and centre-half to tap in, but he failed to get the shot on target, blazing over.
That opportunity gave the visitors hope, as their fullbacks seemed to have been instructed to move up the pitch a lot more frequently in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Molesley decided to make the first substitute of the day, bringing on Yemi Odubade for Ngalo, who had been quiet on the day.
The pace of the match changed quickly as Weymouth looked relentlessly for another goal with waves of attacks.
The first significant chance came from a corner routine where the ball was passed into the penalty spot area with McCarthy making a cutting run away from the Hungerford defence to strike the ball. The ball was hit clean and powerfully, but a Hungerford body blocked the shot on the line.
McQuoid almost put Weymouth in-front after a curling shot from just inside the box glided over the bar. A couple of minutes after, Baggie picked up a loose ball in the box and was taken out, which led to an angry response from the crowd after it was a strong penalty shout.
The attacks bombarded the Hungerford defence until, in the 87th minute, Brooks went on a beauty of a run and cut it back to a poaching McQuoid who fired it home to make 2-1 to the Terras, sending the Bob Lucas Stadium into utter pandemonium!
Calum Ward was then called on to make a fantastic save in the dying minutes of the game.
The referee added on 4 minutes, but Weymouth professionally saw out the match by holding onto the ball in the opposition half before the referee blew the final whistle.
Weymouth have moved up to second place, tied on points with Slough Town and two points ahead of Havant & Waterlooville (who have two games in hand) while going unbeaten in 11 matches.
In his post-match interview, Mark Molesley has said he now looks forward to playing Poole Town in the Dorset Senior Cup. He suggests he will put out a rotated Weymouth side as the Terras approach a “mammoth week” and to keep the “balance right” with fitness in their three away games coming up.
Terras: Ward, Harfield, Wakefield, Camp, Ngalo (Odubade 75), McCarthy, McQuoid (Wells 90), Baggie, Brooks, Williams, Hobson.
Subs not used: Rees, Zubar, Suraci.
Hungerford Town: Bradley-Hurst, Johnson- Schuster, Tomlinson, Olomowewe, Rusby, Akers, Mi Jones (Smith 88), Ma Jones (Lynch 88), Odimayo, Da Silver, Bailey.
Subs not used: Halliday, Dunstan, Klukowski.