Payne 57 pen

Match Report: Alfie Lumb

Weymouth were handed their first defeat in pre season, losing 1-0 to Ebbsfleet United at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Saturday. This was their final pre season game before their arranged curtain raiser in the Vanarama National League against Altrincham next week.

Brian Stock had named four changes from last week’s 4-2 away win at Slough Town, with Whelan, McCarthy, Murray and Trialist replacing Ngalo, Robinson, Brooks and Olumiyawa.

The Terra’s first chance came within the first eight minutes as Ollie Harfield delivered the ball into the area. Cody Cooke was put under pressure by Fleet goalkeeper Tom Hadler and the connection was off target.

This gave Weymouth the confidence to push up the field more, with Captain Josh McQuoid sliding the ball through to Tom Whelan in the box. The Terras midfielder unleashed a shot with his right foot, however Hadler had palmed the ball away from his near post. The resulting corner led to another chance. Harfield played the ball low to Jake McCarthy who did well to keep the ball in play and return it to the left back. The defender lobbed the ball into the area and Trialist latched onto the end of it, his effort however, cleared the post.

Whelan had the next shot on goal. The midfielder ran through the opposition midfield and was brought down as he unleashed his shot, the attempt was central to the goal and easy practise for Hadler.

The chances kept falling to Weymouth. This time, McCarthy struck from thirty yards out, forcing Hadler to parry the ball in dramatic fashion before Fleet defenders could clear away the ball.

Ebbsfleet almost found the opening goal against the run of play in the thirty third minute, as Rakish Bingham rifled a shot with his left foot from range, which had crashed against Jack Bycroft’s crossbar. Weymouth could not find a way to play out from the back and the ball returned to Bingham. The number nine had time to shift the ball to his left foot but Bycroft got down quickly to make the save.

McCarthy tried to break the dead lock before the break, however was denied again by Hadler, as a curled effort with his left foot was parried away to the goalkeeper’s left.

Neither team had made any changes after the break, which is the first time Stock had not looked to the bench during pre season.

The visiting side started the brightest following the restart, as Bingham played in Fleet danger man and Captain Lee Martin in the box. The former Manchester United and Millwall player struck the ball first time, with Trialist deflecting the effort back into Bingham. The attacker found Taylor on the left who had fired the ball first time on target. Bycroft parried the ball away with the linesman flagging for offside.

Ebbsfleet made their pressure count in the 55th minute as they were awarded a penalty when Martin collided with a Terras defender in the area. Payne stood over the ball and his strike with his right foot sent Bycroft the wrong way, with the ball going to the goalkeepers top right side.

Fleet nearly doubled their lead as Paxman played the ball through to Martin, who then found Bingham with his first touch. The tricky winger drove the ball into the area, but his attempt across goal was inches to the right of Bycroft’s post.

Weymouth were being exploited on their left side by long balls as Taylor received the ball and found space to push into the area. He slid the ball towards Martin, who was arriving in the penalty area to tap in the second. Just as the Captain was about to fire away the shot, Brennan Camp, who had tracked Martin’s run from the other side of the pitch provided a vital interception.

Camp was called into action again. Harfield was beaten by the pace of Bingham, who had squared the ball towards Martin, who was free in the area, but Camp had read the ball and cleared it away.

The Terras were looking shaky and almost conceded another. A dangerous ball from a set piece was met by substitute Will Wood, although he lost his footing and the shot went wide from just ten yards out.

Ben Thomson was brought on to partner Cooke, and this nearly payed off immediately as a headed effort from Cooke was just over the cross bar.

Ebbsfleet were happy to slow the game down to frustrate Weymouth within the last ten minutes, with Weymouth finding no way into the final third.

The final score was 1-0 to Ebbsfleet.

Terras: Bycroft, Harfield, Trialist A, Anderson (Brooks 65), Camp, Whelan (Ngalo 65), McCarthy, Wakefield, Murray (Pearson 65), McQuoid (Thomson 76), Cooke.

Subs not used: Benfield, Leslie-Smith, Hoey, Burns.

Ebbsfleet: Hadler, Adebayo-Rowling, Taylor, Kahraman, Goodman, Payne, Bingham, West, Martin, Paxman, Chapman.

Subs: Holmes, Wood, Egan, Dobson, Mekki, Allen, Cundle, Grant, Trialist B

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