Weymouth win keeps home play-off hopes alive
WEYMOUTH remain in the hunt for a home play-off semi-final tie after a dramatic 3-2 win at Kings Langley in the Evo-Stik Souther Premier Division.
Brandon Goodship scored twice either side of a late Jorell Johnson leveller, and there was still time for sub Harry Baker to score in stoppage-time, before Steve Ward grabbed a last-gasp consolation for Lango.
Victory moves the Terras level on points in third with Kettering after their 4-1 loss at champions Hereford, although the Poppies have a game in hand with second and third place gaining home advantage in the play-offs.
Weymouth made three changes to the starting XI that began the 2-0 loss at Kettering on Thursday.
Ashley Wells missed out completely with a swollen foot, while Josh Carmichael and Baker dropped to the bench.
Top-scorer Goodship and Abdulai Baggie were recalled to the starting line-up after beginning on the bench against the Poppies, while Charlie Davis also started.
Jordan Ngalo was the only new presence on the bench for Mark Molesley’s men, who came into the game knowing that a home tie in the play-offs was still a mathematical possibility.
The Terras needed to win and hope that one or both of King’s Lynn and Kettering slipped up – the Linnets drew 1-1 with St Neots – to maintain their aim of a play-off tie at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
And Mark Molesley’s men made an encouraging start, patiently building an attack and playing in Goodship, who struck a firm shot at Lango keeper Martin Bennett, who parried the ball out. Weymouth were able to keep the pressure on as the rebound fell to Ben Thomson, but the striker’s follow-up shot was directed wide of goal.
Kings Langley constructed their first major attack on goal within 60 seconds of that big double chance for the Terras, but keeper Will Dennis was equal to a 20-yard attempt, saving smartly.
With the hosts marginally on top at this stage, Lango provided the next shot at goal as Louis Collier picked up the ball in midfield before driving forward at pace, only to lash his shot wildly from 20 yards, handsomely clearing the crossbar.
Weymouth were struggling for fluency in the middle of the first half, despite some crisp passing in midfield, as they could only muster a couple of half-chances.
Firstly, the away side earned a corner but saw their headed effort fail to trouble Bennett, before Baggie crossed for Stephane Zubar who narrowly missed failed to connect as Lango captain Jorrell Johnson cleared.
With chances at a premium in front of either goal, Weymouth had little to do in defence as Dennis easily dealt with two balls into the box, the second being an authoritative punch to negate a whipped Mitchell Weiss cross.
But in first-half stoppage-time Weymouth took a fortuitous lead when Goodship’s powerful shot took a wicked deflection, looping over Bennett for his 36th league goal of the season.
Just as he did in the first-half, Goodship registered an early shot at goal in the second as he tested Bennett after cutting inside, but the Lango stopper was able to save with his feet.
Lango’s Gareth Price then went down in the area but was booked for simulation, before Zubar earned a booking for a challenge on Ward in a fractious restart.
Weymouth looked dominant after the resumption and, after Goodship shot wide from range, Baggie was played clean through but could only drag his shot weakly across goal from an angle.
Davis then drove well over for Weymouth, before Thomson was denied by an outstanding Bennett stop after being put through.
But, in a madcap finish to the game, Lango equalised on 77 minutes when Johnson finished smartly past Dennis after a superb run from Kieran Turner.
With five minutes left, Baker replaced Davis and within 60 seconds Weymouth re-established their lead when Baker’s flick enabled Goodship to lash home off the underside of the bar, giving Bennett no chance.
Baker still had time to notch his 19th goal of the season, running through and nutmegging Bennett in injury-time, before Lango grabbed a late consolation from Ward, who unleashed a crisp strike past the flying Dennis.
But despite the late concession, Weymouth were good value for a win that preserves their hopes of a home play-off tie.