Weymouth win snatched away by controversial late goal
EASTBOURNE BOROUGH 2
Weymouth will be wondering how they dropped two points against a spirited Borough side who struck a controversial equaliser seconds before the final whistle through Charlie Walker who most considered was very fortunate to still be on the pitch having cleaned out Abdulai Baggie moments earlier.
Walker was on hand to stab home an unlikely equaliser five minutes into added time after second-half strikes from Abdulai Baggie and Jake McCarthy looked to have secured the three points.
The first half had seen the dominant Terras fashion a number of openings but still managed to go into the break a goal down after Greg Luer had netted with Sports’ only attempt of the half.
There were three changes to the hosts’ starting XI from the side that lined up for the midweek defeat at Havant & Waterlooville.
Josh Wakefield, Stephane Zubar and Josh McQuoid all dropped to the bench, replaced by fit-again Calvin Brooks, Ade Olumuyiwa and Yemi Odubade.
The first exchanges brought a very early booking for Shaun Hobson inside two minutes but the hosts were soon on the front foot in a positive first half-hour.
A minute later, the Vanarama National South player of the month for January, Abdulai Baggie, dribbled an effort wide of the near post after cutting inside.
Soon after the same man saw a drive deflected over after Tom Whelan’s first corner of the game was half-cleared by Sports.
Baggie was in the thick of the action again as he rounded keeper Franco Ravizzoli but his squared ball across goal was cut out.
It was all Weymouth at this stage and all that was missing was a shot on target as efforts from Jake McCarthy and an Olumuyiwa header flew over the bar.
At the quarter-hour mark Sports briefly threatened when Luer found a free route to goal but, dallying, Ward was able to come out and smother the ball before the striker could shoot.
After that close call, the Terras registered their first effort on target in the 17th minute. Odubade cut the ball back for Baggie whose drive was gathered by Ravizzoli.
Sadly, the hosts then had to make an enforced change when Jordan Ngalo pulled up with what looked a hamstring injury and on came Brett Williams.
Then, against the run of play, the visitors stunned the Bob Lucas Stadium when they opened the scoring with their first attempt of the game.
Skipper Kane Wills split the home defence right down the middle with a fabulous ball that was seized on by Luer who, keeping his composure, neatly tucked the ball past Ward from 15 yards.
After that, the shell-shocked home side were knocked out of their stride with Williams’ unconvincing volley that was lashed wide the only further effort mustered before the break, although Baggie just failed to get on the end of a teasing Brooks’ centre.
Having registered just one attempt on target in the first half it was clear that Weymouth needed to at least work the keeper much more after the interval.
Six minutes in Shaun Hobson saw his header from a Tom Whelan corner easily collected by Ravizzoli just before Whelan himself had two cracks at goal from 20 yards – the first was blocked while the second was saved.
Moments later though the Terras were level at one apiece when Baggie cut inside from the left to unleash an absolute beauty from nigh-on 30 yards that curled into the far corner.
The hosts were back on their game and two minutes later Brooks and Odubade combined down the right but the former’s drive was blocked out once more by Sports’ stubborn backline.
Later Odubade pulled the ball back once again from the byeline to be met by Williams whose first-time effort lacked any real purchase to trouble Ravizzoli.
However, it looked only a matter of time before Weymouth would grab a second and it came in the 82nd minute when McCarthy stroked a free-kick inside the near post from 25 yards for what looked to be a richly deserved winner.
Borough were not going to lie down though for the remainder and they fired a warning of intent two minutes on as James Ferry’s snapshot had to be turned around the post by Ward at full stretch.
In between bookings for Ben Thomson and Wakefield there was a big flare-up when Walker scythed down Baggie.
Amazingly the Sports’ midfielder was only shown a yellow card by referee Rob Ellis-Massey and then, to the home fans’ disgust, it was Walker who popped up right at the death to make it 2-2.
That was the last meaningful kick of the game, leaving most of the crowd aghast at what looked like a push on Brooks before the ball entered the net.
Terras: Ward, Harfield, Ngalo (Williams 20), McCarthy, Thomson, Baggie, Odubade (Zubar 90), Olumuyiwa (Wakefield 70), Whelan, Brooks, Hobson.
Subs not used: Childs, McQuoid.
Eastbourne Borough: Ravizzoli, Domi, Wills, James, Cox, Luer, Skinner (Gbolahan 79), Walker, Ferry, Hanson (Olusemo 90), Gayle.
Subs not used: Hadler, Gharbaoui, Kay.