Weymouth earn point at packed Dulwich Hamlet
DULWICH HAMLET 2
Hunte 21, Smith 56
Ainsworth 40, Odubade 49 pen
WEYMOUTH claimed a 2-2 draw from a ding-dong MANarama National League South clash with Dulwich Hamlet in front of 2,906 fans at Champion Hill on Non-League Day.
In truth, neither side deserved to lose this contest, played out in sodden conditions in south London.
Connor Hunte put Dulwich 1-0 up midway through the first half, only for Lionel Ainsworth to scorch a volley home just before half-time.
A Yemi Odubade spot-kick handed Weymouth the lead but Dulwich were only behind for seven minutes as Christian Smith swept home for a share of the points.
Weymouth made three changes to the starting XI that began the 4-1 victory over St Albans City last weekend.
Andy Robinson (ankle) was replaced by Jordan Ngalo, while Ainsworth was preferred to Cameron Murray.
Jake McCarthy, whose partner gave birth in midweek, was absent meaning centre-half Stephane Zubar came in to assume the captaincy.
Weymouth could name just four players on the bench, including Callum Buckley who was recalled from his loan spell at Hayes & Yeading United one match early.
At a packed Champion Hill, it was Weymouth who made the strongest early strides forward as Ben Thomson went to ground in the Hamlet area, only for referee Richie Watkins to wave play on in the third minute.
Less than 60 seconds later, Terras’ goalkeeper Calum Ward was worked by Dulwich captain Danny Mills, the striker nodding straight at goal.
Weymouth’s second unsuccessful penalty appeal in nine minutes then came when Calvin Brooks, who burst through into the box, drew a tackle but referee Watkins again continued play.
Ainsworth, still searching for his first Weymouth goal at this juncture, unleashed a shot at Hamlet goalkeeper Charlie Grainger but the winger was denied by a smart save.
After riding out Weymouth’s good start, the hosts scored in fortuitous circumstances as a defensive mix-up allowed Hunte to tuck past Ward in the 21st minute.
Zubar was then forced to come off five minutes later for Buckley before Ward superbly kept Weymouth in it with a sprawling stop on the half hour.
The Bournemouth loanee’s save proved invaluable as Ainsworth opened his Weymouth account with a glorious goal.
Watching the ball plummet from high, the former Plymouth winger connected with a sweet volley that fizzed past Grainger five minutes before half-time.
Starting the brighter in the second half, Weymouth finally won a penalty at the third time of asking and, with almost 3,000 fans baying for a miss, Odubade kept his cool to roll the ball past Grainger for 2-1 in the 49th minute.
Odubade’s third goal in two games prompted a fine response from Dulwich who saw Ade Yusuff head over when unmarked inside the Terras’ area.
Dulwich pressed on and deservedly equalised in the 56th minute when Smith finished from six yards following a crisp move.
Ward made another top save on the hour to keep Dulwich at bay before a flurry of substitutions from both sides, including Weymouth captain McQuoid’s introduction.
Having defended well in the face of Dulwich pressure in the second half, Weymouth nearly edged ahead when Odubade was denied by a quick save from Grainger at his near post 11 minutes from time.
Terras’ boss Mark Molesley then hauled Odubade off for Murray in a like-for-like change as Weymouth refused to settle for a point.
That approach almost brought Dulwich a winner in the 84th minute when a teasing cross along the Terras’ box rolled agonisingly out of reach of a home forward.
Weymouth were able to see out the remainder of the match as the visitors went an eighth game unbeaten in all competitions.
Due to respective 3-1 and 1-0 wins for immediate rivals Slough and Dorking over Billericay and Hungerford, Weymouth slipped to sixth in the table.
Weymouth next host Dover Athletic in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday (3pm).
Dulwich: Grainger, McCoy, Connors, Chapman, Taylor, Smith, Barnes, Vose (Ijaha 70), Mills, Yusuff, Hunte (Clunis 81). Subs not used: Splatt, White, Monlouis.
Terras: Ward, Harfield, Wakefield, Zubar (Buckley 26), Ngalo, Thomson, Baggie, Odubade (Murray 81), Brooks, Ainsworth (McQuoid 73), Hobson. Sub not used: Williams
Referee: Richie Watkins