In-form Weymouth go second with win at Merthyr Town
WEYMOUTH secured their third win in a week as they overcame a well-organised Merthyr Town 3-0 at Penydarren Park in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
After a cagey opening, Weymouth opened the scoring through Harry Baker’s 11th league goal of the season on 34 minutes.
The Terras then added a second through Josh Carmichael on 65 minutes before Brandon Goodship buried his 25th league goal of the season late on.
Merthyr did strike the post through Ian Traylor deep into normal time but Weymouth were good value for their win and clean sheet.
There were two changes to the Weymouth starting XI that began the 2-1 win over Royston Town on Tuesday night.
Manager Mark Molesley had been hopeful that Ben Thomson would recover from a tight groin in time to face Merthyr, but the forward was ruled out of the squad completely, so Baker started after overcoming an illness that had rendered him bed-bound.
Carmichael came in to replace Josh Wakefield in the other switch by the Terras.
Coming into the game, Merthyr were placed in 18th, a whopping 15 positions behind Weymouth.
But in an even first 10 minutes, neither side could obtain an advantage on a 3G pitch that was untouched by the recent bad weather across the country.
That was until Weymouth took the first meaningful effort on goal, courtesy of Charlie Davis.
Picking the ball up in midfield, Davis surged forward and tested Martyrs’ keeper Oliver Davies with a low shot that the home keeper was equal to as the scores remained level.
The hosts had little to challenge the Terras with in the first quarter of the game and, in a rare foray forward, were thwarted by the robust Weymouth defence who headed clear a threatening Adam Davies cross.
Davies’ brief probing of the Weymouth rearguard seemed to spur Merthyr on and they created their best opportunity of the half to date when talisman Traylor’s pinpoint cross was headed over the bar by Ashley Evans, with Will Dennis remaining untroubled.
But Weymouth’s response was telling as they conjured the biggest chance of the game. As the ball fell to Goodship, the striker looked destined to score but for a brave block by Kyle Patten, before keeper Davies saved from wing-back Calvin Brooks on the rebound to prevent the Terras from going ahead.
However, on 35 minutes Weymouth took a lead that, on balance, they had merited based on chances created.
The tricky Abdulai Baggie picked up the ball in a wide position and curled an accurate cross to Baker, who headed home past Davies with aplomb to hand Weymouth the initiative.
Looking to reinforce their lead, Weymouth almost doubled their tally when in-form Goodship, who had scored five goals in four games prior to kick-off, fired just wide – lengthening his wait for a 25th league goal of the season.
It was Merthyr who ended the half on the front foot though as Adam Davies worked Dennis into his first serious action of the half. As it was, the Terras’ goal could not be breached and the visitors held on to a 1-0 lead into the break.
Merthyr continued their momentum into the second half and, were it not for a wayward header, might have equalised.
From there, Weymouth took advantage of the widening gaps on the pitch as Merthyr opened up in search of a leveller.
Carmichael was the man to make the crucial second breakthrough as he latched on to a cross from Goodship before slamming home a shot into the bottom corner on the half-volley.
Weymouth were content to be patient in the latter stages of the game but with eight minutes left Merthyr forced Dennis into a superb save to preserve his clean sheet.
The Terras then added a killer blow after that big chance as Goodship finally notched his landmark goal. Brooks was the creator, delivering an inviting cross for Goodship to bury a header past Davies to register his sixth goal in five games.
Martyrs’ dangerman Traylor then struck a free-kick against the post but Weymouth preserved their clean sheet to move into a lofty second place after Kettering were defeated 4-3 at Royston.