Seven-goal thriller at the Avenue
DORCHESTER TOWN 2
Wells 47, Bayston 74
Rose 18, 24, Goodship 39, Ash 60, Bearwish 82
WEYMOUTH won an end-to-end Ridgeway derby 5-2 – but not without Dorchester putting up a fight at the Avenue Stadium.
The signs looked ominous for the Magpies as Weymouth led 3-0 after 39 minutes, Ahkeem Rose scoring twice and Brandon Goodship heading a third.
Former Weymouth captain Ash Wells pulled a well-taken goal back in the 47th minute before Weymouth made it 4-1 through Brad Ash’s flick.
Sam Bayston notched his fifth goal of the summer to reduce the deficit but former Magpie Tom Bearwish scored a late header to uphold the three-goal advantage.
Facing opposition two leagues above them, Dorchester made a decent start in the opening exchanges.
Robbie Herrera’s men were unlucky not to release Bayston into the box early on, as Oakley Hanger’s cross found the forward offside.
By the sixth minute, though, Weymouth began to dominate as Ash smacked a volley against the inside of the post before the striker guided a diving header just wide from trialist Omar Mussa’s cross.
Mussa was pulling the strings early on for Weymouth and his ball teed up Goodship on the left of the box, only for the striker to clip a shot over.
Cashing in on their bright spell, Weymouth grabbed the opener in the 18th minute when Sean Shields jinked back onto his left foot and dinked a cross up for Rose to find the far corner with a header six yards out.
Two minutes later, Walker-Harris took an accidental boot to the face when he intercepted Rose’s low cross, before the sliding Ash caught him with his studs.
After treatment, the stopper continued and was soon thrust into action when Ash’s stumble allowed Shields to fire at goal, Walker-Harris alert to beat the ball clear.
Walker-Harris was powerless to prevent Weymouth doubling their lead seconds later, when Goodship escaped down the left and cut the ball back for Rose to fire home again.
Dorchester suddenly improved after going 2-0 down as Tom Purrington struck a deflected effort over the bar.
Harry Hodges nearly caught Weymouth napping from the corner, only to curl over.
At the other end, Weymouth continued to press and Walker-Harris had to make a reflex save from Ben Morgan’s header before the Terras added a third.
Calvin Brooks was the creator, his swinging cross allowing Goodship to peel off his marker at the back post and nod through the legs of Walker-Harris.
Shields and Ash both went close before half-time as Weymouth led 3-0 at the break.
Terras’ assistant manager Louis Langdown, taking charge on the sidelines with manager Brian Stock isolating due to a Track & Trace app ping, subbed Goodship for Josh McQuoid at half-time.
But it was the Magpies who made the better start as Wells grabbed a superb goal against his former club.
Christos Papakonstantinou made it, his bright run on the left freeing space for Wells to control and slot low past Gerard Benfield.
Walker-Harris was then immediately subbed off for under-23s keeper Craig Taylor, before Hanger’s teasing cross nearly picked out Bayston at the back post.
After a flurry of substitutions, Weymouth had their fourth when McQuoid’s peachy cross was nudged home by Ash.
There was concerning news for McQuoid soon after when he trudged off with a thigh injury, Josh Leslie-Smith coming on for him and Bearwish also joining the action for Morgan.
As the half endured, the match became more open as Robinson screwed an effort wide before sub Cam Murray rattled the bar.
Yet Dorchester claimed a deserved second when Papakonstantinou was superbly denied by Benfield in a one-on-one.
Purrington’s follow-up was blocked but Bayston bent in an accurate finish at the third time of asking to make it 4-2.
Eight minutes from time, another cross did for Dorchester as Harfield picked out the run of Bearwish who slammed a header in from two yards out to complete the scoring.
Papakonstantinou, who had an outstanding game in attack and when tracking back, missed out on a late chance for a goal as Purrington’s hip-height cross proved too awkward to finish.
In the end, a hugely entertaining game came to a close with Weymouth retaining local bragging rights.
Magpies: Walker-Harris (Taylor 47), Hodges, Davidson, Wells, Sa (Calverley 56), Purrington, Burns (Madden 54), Lowes (Symes 87), Hanger (Hughes 64), Bayston (Hewitt 83), Papakonstantinou.
Terras: Benfield, Brooks (Trialist 83), Morgan (Bearwish 60), Cordner, Harfield, Robinson, Trialist (Trialist 78), Rose (Murray 58), Goodship (McQuoid 46, Leslie-Smith 63), Shields, Ash.
Sub not used: Fitzsimons.
Referee: James Durkin