By Alfie Lumb
Second half heartbreak saw Weymouth undone by Concord Rangers in a rollercoaster of a game, with the visitors travelling back to Canvey Island with 3 points after beating the Terras 2-1 at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Terras had the first chance of a game in the 3rd minute. A set piece on the far side of the pitch was swung into the box and headed on towards Brendan Willson. The debutant, brought into the squad for his second spell on the South Coast rose highest but his looping header bundled over the cross bar.
Great tenacity from Xander McBurnie saw the Terras midfielder win back possession on the near side in the 5th minute. McBurnie danced past 2 defenders on the left flank before squaring a pass to Ahkeem Rose who teed up Tom Bearwish who was waiting for there ball behind Rose. The Captain took on the shot first time but Mitchell Beeney did well to deny the strike with his feet. The resulting corner was put into the mixer, but only as far as David Sesay who took on a volley from the edge of the area which fizzed over the crossbar.
Play was dominated by the Terras in the opening stages, with Ash given a golden opportunity to break the deadlock in the 11th minute. McBurnie lofted a ball over the top for the striker, who broke past his last man to be through on goal. Ash tried to catch Beeney off his line with a dinked effort but the keeper was aware to save the ball.
Concord Rangers had their first attempt in the 17th minute against the run of play. A cross from the left came to Mohamed Kamara who was free at the back post. Kamara touched the ball down to wind up a shot but Zaki Oualah came off his line with pace to clutch the ball at the strikers feet.
Sesay was looking alert in the opening 25 minutes and forced Beeney into punching the ball awkwardly over the bar following a ferocious curling shot from 20 yards out.
The Terras took the lead in the 30th minute following a dangerous set-piece. Tom Blair put in the corner from the near side which came to Nathan Carlyle at the front post. Carlyle was trying to force the shot with what looked like a scrum on the line but it was poked away before being lashed in again by Ash. The ricocheted ball landed kindly to the feet of Blair who took the shot on with a first time finish with his right foot, catching Beeney unawares with the keeper rooted to the spot.
Blair almost went from scorer to provider 4 minutes later, finding Ash with a low driven cross from the left flank into the near post. Ash tried to turn the ball in but the chance went the wrong side of the post.
The game soon heated up, with Kamara and Sesay going into the referees book in the 36th and 38th minute for fouls on Blair and Tosun Popo respectively.
Both sides were battling it out for possession at the start of the second half, with Ash having the first attempt of the second period for Weymouth after cutting in from the left. Ash got the shot away but the effort went wide.
Concord equalised in the 59th minute after a short spell of dominance. Ben Williamson lofted a deep ball from the half way line down the right flank to Ricky Modeste who took a perfect touch before finessing an effort around the gloves of Oualah with his left boot.
The visitors could have turned the game on its head in the 72nd minute when Modeste missed the chance to score his brace after a driven cross from Ola Ogunwamide. Modeste got his footing wrong with the ball passing over the striker.
Weymouth turned defence into attack and had a guilt edged chance of their own on the counter. The ball had worked its way into Concord’s final third. Rose tapped the ball through to Bearwish who just tried to keep the ball going, trying to guide it with a subtle poke, but the ball drifted inches wide.
Weymouth conceded a penalty in the 83rd minute after Rees fouled Modeste in the area. Mohamed Bettamer stepped up to take the spot kick. Oualah guessed correctly, diving left, pushing the ball to the right- however Bettamer got the better of Oualah, being first to the ball to tap in the goal.
Bobby Wilkinson’s side were now looking for an equaliser with 5 minutes to go looked to Ash whose snapped shot with his left foot in the area was parried away but only as far as Blair. The winger crossed the ball in from the right which was headed goal bound by Ash again but punched away by the keeper.
The Terras put the ball in the net early into the 6 minutes of added time but fans were left disappointed after the linesman called offside. Carlyle hooked a ball over to Ash who struck the ball sweetly passed Beeney before the flag was raised.
Weymouth were given a chance to draw level with the last kick of the game, but Ash’s free kick from outside the box was straight into the gloves of Beeney.