Weymouth have won their first game of the month after deservedly beating Eastbourne Borough 3-1 yesterday at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Though Bobby Wilkinson’s team had not been on the losing side in the league for four games before Saturday, they had not found the luck needed to be the victors since early September, when Ezio Touray netted twice in a 3-1 win vs Dover Athletic.
The in-form forward was on the scoresheet again yesterday, adding his side’s second inside the box with a low-corner finish.
Missing Weymouth’s previous match with a burst ear drum, the marksman’s return was most certainly noticed.
Skipper Tom Bearwish and Dan Roberts were the other difference makers that afternoon, the latter rounding goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski at the very last kick of the game.
Though the visitors were able to pull one back in the second half when substitute Fletcher Holman headed in from close range just after the hour mark, they never looked likely to snatch a point.
This was perhaps best shown with Roberts’ last-minute goal, which had come after The Sports had thrown all their players forward in search for an equaliser.
Wilkinson said last Wednesday that he wanted his side to take the scoring opportunities they got; yesterday’s scoreline appears they did just that.
TERRAS CAUSING TROUBLE IN FIRST-HALF
The Dorset outfit, much like last week, welcomed a newcomer in goal, 19-year-old Hugo Fisher making his debut after signing on-loan from Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.
Also fresh in the team were returnees Touray, Olu Durojaiye and David Sesay, all back in the squad after battling their own injury concerns.
The changes nearly proved dividends as soon as the match started, Roberts almost scoring a header identical to his equaliser against Eastbourne after a succession of corners for The Terras just three minutes in.
However, The Sports came even closer four minutes onwards, Olarewaju firing his effort against the post with a similar headed opportunity.
That would prove to be one of the visitor’s best chances of the entire half.
After Olarewaju’s effort came an abundance of openings for Weymouth, many of which came as a result of some impressive fast, attacking play.
One of such chances could have ended in an opening goal from Touray, who had been presented with a through ball from Durojaiye.
The Terras would keep knocking at the door, however, and when Bearwish scored in the opener inside 24 minutes it was arguably little surprise that they were in front.
Unable to score from close-range after Roberts’ mazy run less than 10 minutes earlier, the pair were at the forefront again, the captain this time being able to fire Roberts’ low cross past Dudzinski into the back of the net.
But, despite Weymouth’s early promise, Eastbourne should have perhaps made the game level just five minutes on.
After Zak Emmerson’s through ball, it looked likely that Shiloh Remy was to get the equaliser for his side.
However, the winger somehow fired his effort wide, despite being through on goal.
The visitors would rue their missed opportunity after in-form Touray’s shot found the bottom right-hand corner 10 minutes on.
Roberts was at the centre of play again, the forward being the player picking out Touray on the edge of the 18-yard box.
With the Weymouth top-scorer’s finish being the last goal of the half, the hosts went into the break having had the lion’s share of opportunities.
EASTBOURNE’S IMPACTFUL CHANGES
With Mark Beard’s side 2-0 down, he made his first substitution before the second half, Dan Quick coming on in place of Imran Uche.
The change very nearly paid off, Quick firing his header just wide of the post.
Though the missed chance came just three minutes after the break, the remaining half would prove much quieter than the first from both sides.
In fact the next big chance of the game would end up being Holman’s goal, the fellow sub heading in from close range three minutes beyond the hour mark.
After being comfortably in the lead for much of the game, it now looked as if The Terras would be up against it for the remaining half hour.
However, The Sports would do little to test newcomer Fisher, whose next big task would involve tipping Olarewaju’s effort over the bar 11 minutes on.
In fact, it would be The Terras who presented themselves with the next best opportunity just five minutes before stoppage time.
Substitute Harvey Slade’s low effort fired just wide of the post after being picked out by Elliot Bolton.
Then came the final goal of the game.
At the very last action, Roberts was able to run through on goal after virtually all of the opposition were surrounding the 18-yard box, leaving only Dudzinski between him and the back of the net.
In perhaps typical fashion of his stand-out performance, Roberts coolly rounded the keeper right before the referee blew the final whistle.
Wilkinson said after the game that he urged his players to go out and enjoy themselves; judging by their performance they appeared to do just that.
The Terras now find themselves five games unbeaten in the league, before facing rivals Yeovil Town.
Match report by Jack Webb