Match Report: Weymouth 1-1 AFC Wimbledon – FA Cup First Round
By Alfie Lumb
Ahkeem Rose made sure the Terras were in the hat for the second round of the FA Cup as his free-kick heroics earned Weymouth a replay with AFC Wimbledon, following a 1-1 draw at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The hosts looked nervy which saw the Dons take advantage, snatching a goal in the 5th minute. A long ball was launched up the pitch for Ayoub Assal to chase. Dan Matsuzaka tried to play the ball towards his goalkeeper but Assal had the legs to get on the end of the pass and chip the ball over Zaki Oualah.
Weymouth were getting back in the game and had their first chance in the 14th minute. Teddy Howe swung a ball into Harry Kyprianou. The left-back couldn’t make connection with the ball seeing the Dons clear at the second time of asking.
Five minutes later, Weymouth were in again, this time from the left. Bradley Ash played Ahkeem Rose through on goal, but his shot at the near post was collected by Nikola Tzanev.
The Terras were looking resurgent down either wing with Teddy Howe taking the game to the Dons, cutting in from the right wing before travelling through Wimbledon defenders, etching a shot away with his left foot. The ball bobbled but was an easy claim for Tzanev.
Weymouth were dominating the ball and just 5 minutes into the second half, they had their next chance. A cutting free-kick was sent into the area, with Matsuzaka rising the highest to meet it. The towering centre-backs directional header was palmed away on the line and frantically cleared behind for a corner.
This gave Weymouth the confidence to keep pressing, this time with Rose. The forward came into the area on the far side before sliding the ball across to O’Connell, but the midfielders shot blazed over the crossbar.
Three minutes later O’Connell returns the favour, poking the ball into the path of Rose. The striker took on a shot from a tight angle but could only hit the side netting.
Wimbledon managed to survive the storm, but Weymouth were patient, building up play after play. In the 61st minute, Bearwish put in a cross to the back post. The ball floated in the air, giving O’Connell the chance to make contact. The winger headed the ball towards the bottom far corner, but Tzanev plucked it out of the air to make the save.
The Terras pressure paid off in the 70th minute when they were awarded o free-kick from 25 yards out. Both Blair and Rose were stood over the ball. The referee blew his whistle which saw Blair run up and over the ball before Rose ran to the strike a low free kick. The ball went through the box, with the power too much for Tzanev as, although the keeper got a touch to the ball, he cushioned it into the goal. With that the stadium erupted in jubilation as Weymouth drew level.
A nervy final 20 minutes ensued, with the Terras coming close to a winner in the 89th minute. O’Connell picked the ball up in midfield before fizzing in a shot from range which needed a last ditch save from Tzanev, who parried the chance away to his right.