Duncan Gardner shares his latest installment of Facts of the Match ahead of this afternoon’s big clash against Concord Rangers.
This will just be the fourth game against our Essex hosts. Our most recent encounter was of course just earlier this month. Tom Blair opened the scoring for the Terras but the visitors equalised with thirty minutes to go before completing the turn around in the last ten minutes of the fixture. Our only previous meetings were in our successful National League South playoff winning campaign in 2019/20. In that pandemic-truncated year were lucky to play The Beach Boys twice before lockdown ended the regular season early as both games were played before the end of January.
Our first encounter was at the end of September 2019 when we recorded a comfortable 3-0 home victory. In the return fixture in the new year in Essex we did not have it all our own way. Although we scored just before the break the hosts returned fire just after the break. Luckily it took us just another two minutes to regain the lead and we saw out the rest of the game.
The stellar list of players who have featured for both teams is only Nathan Carlyle and Joan Luque! Obviously, Irishman Nathan is a key member of the current Terras squad in defence having played more than 30 games since arriving last spring. Weymouth is his first permanent club after rising through the ranks of the Millwall and QPR youth systems in London, but he has also featured for Hemel Hempstead on loan but more notably for Concord Rangers in the second half of the 2019/20 season and again in the first half of the 2020/21 campaign.
By contrast, Spaniard Joan Luque’s career-path is unsurprisingly a little more sun-kissed. Born in Barcelona, he played at the famous club as a youngster before turning out for several lower-league teams in the country. He first tried his luck in England with Heybridge Swifts eventually joining Concord for a few months in 2019. Luque joined Weymouth from Maidstone United in January 2021 but the winger moved back to the Kent club after a few months.
Today Ahkeem Rose could mark his 50th appearance for the Terras. Arguably one of the most improved players of this campaign, the Jamaican born striker has scored 12 goals in 30 outings this term.