Yemi strikes late to earn Weymouth a point
BRAINTREE TOWN 1
An 80th-minute goal from substitute Yemi Odubade enabled Weymouth to stretch their unbeaten league run to six matches just as it began to look as if a spirited performance from the lowly home side could bring it to an end.
Braintree had gained only four points from their previous 11 matches but the addition of some loan players from Football League clubs in the last couple of weeks has stiffened their back bone and they were much harder to contain than the visitors expected.
The game had begun with a flurry of action.
Callum Ward had to tip the ball over the bar in the second minute to thwart a dangerous looking diagonal shot from Charley O’Keefe and had to go full length three minutes later to keep out a shot from Jacob Gardiner-Smith.
In between those saves, Abdulai Baggie had a great chance to put the Terras into the lead when he outpaced the home defence and slipped the ball past keeper Billy Johnson, who had advanced beyond his penalty area.
But the home defence had assembled in numbers and snuffed out the chance.
Weymouth should have gone ahead in the 36th minute after another slaloming Baggie run ended with him being upended in the area.
But Josh McQuoid’s penalty was superbly saved by 20-year-old Johnson.
For much of the match, though, the midfields cancelled each other out.
Braintree’s tigerish young guns were largely neutralised by the Terras’ more measured approach and while the game was played at a pace, chances were limited.
Braintree took the lead five minutes into the second half when a cross from Liam Smyth was scrambled clear, only to be recycled to Smyth, whose shot was deflected past Ward.
The goal spurred Weymouth into action and Johnson had to be alert to kick away a cross from Calvin Brooks.
Shortly afterwards a cross bounced off the defence but Odubade pulled his shot wide.
At the other end Jordan Chiedozie broke round the back of the visitors’ defence to meet Smyth’s cross but his effort hit the outside of the post.
Then came the equaliser.
Josh Wakefield worked his way down the right flank and completely wrongfooted the home defence with a hard-driven cross that found Odubade in a pocket of space. He had time to ruminate on his options before placing the ball wide of Johnson’s left hand.
It was a reward for the pressure that Weymouth had gradually increased as the half wore on.
But they knew they had been in a fight.
Weymouth: Calum Ward, Ollie Harfield, Josh Wakefield, Jordan Ngalo, Jake McCarthy, Josh McQuoid (Calvin Brooks 60), Abdulai Baggie, Adeoye Olumuyiwa, Tom Whelan (Yemi Odubade 64), Brett Williams, Shaun Hobson.
Referee: Ben Atkinson.