Brandon Goodship strikes brace in crucial Weymouth win
BRANDON Goodship scored a crucial double as Weymouth collected a priceless 2-1 win at Royston Town in a pulsating Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division encounter.
Goodship’s 23rd and 24th league goals of the season came after John Frendo’s looping header put the hosts ahead on 18 minutes, but the scoreline could have been kinder to Weymouth after they dominated large parts of the game, particularly at the beginning of the second half.
The win moves Mark Molesley’s men into third after Hereford lost 3-2 at King’s Lynn, who went top.
Weymouth made one change to the starting XI that began the 6-0 thrashing of Farnborough on Saturday, with the ill Harry Baker replaced by Abdulai Baggie.
There was no place in the matchday squad for Baker, but midfielder Josh Carmichael returned to take his place as one of four subs on the bench alongside defender Tiago Sa, goalkeeper Steve Boore and manager Molesley.
Royston came into the game with nine wins in their past 10 home league games and their confidence was apparent as they registered the first shot of the game after just three minutes.
Rohdell Gordon was the Crows player responsible, his shot forcing the Weymouth defence to clear over the bar. Town then earned a second corner that Weymouth cleared easily but their resulting counter-attack came to nothing.
The Terras then had a corner of their own cleared three minutes later, but Gordon was proving a handful early on. His well-struck low shot brought an excellent save from Weymouth goalkeeper Will Dennis and the visitors were able to clear the following corner.
But on 18 minutes Royston capitalised on their promising start through Frendo’s header, which came after good work from Stuart Bridges, who offloaded to Crows’ top scorer Adam Marriott, with Frendo placing his effort from the cross just over the scrambling Dennis.
Marriott then shot wide as Royston pressed for a second, but they were the forced into an early substitution as Daniel Brathwaite was replaced by Sam Gaughran through injury.
The change did nothing to stop Royston’s momentum though and Bridges found Gus Scott-Morriss, whose 25-yarder curled narrowly wide of Dennis’ woodwork.
From then on, Weymouth enjoyed the better of play as Goodship tested Josh Tibbetts with a free-kick and then worked the hosts’ stopper into a save with his feet after a patient Weymouth move.
Charlie Davis then aimed a wayward shot from distance before the Terras survived a scare when Marriott’s deflected cross necessitated a hooked goalline clearance from Calvin Brooks.
Weymouth finished the half on top and Tibbetts was worked again through a Callum Buckley free-kick, but the Terras could not break through before half-time.
Barring a misdirected Adam Murray header, Weymouth’s momentum continued after the resumption and the visitors were rewarded with a goal from top scorer Goodship on 52 minutes, whose shot crept under Tibbetts as the Terras were gifted a soft goal.
Weymouth continued to pile on the pressure and Goodship placed a shot just over after a fine Buckley cross, before a blocked Josh Wakefield shot fell kindly for Davis, who could only shoot over.
In a breathless passage of play, Royston then went upfield and brought another solid stop from Dennis, who this time denied Bridges.
But that chance was a blip in Weymouth’s domination as Baggie nearly added a second, his firm shot drifting wide past the motionless Tibbetts.
Moments later Weymouth finally turned a chance into a goal when a needless foul in the box presented Goodship with a penalty that he duly dispatched to register his 24th league goal of the season.
Seconds after Goodship’s penalty, Royston thought they had equalised but the goal was ruled out for a handball.
Royston predictably came forward late on in search of a leveller but failed to work Dennis and saw Gaughran head over before Scott-Morriss lashed a shot over the bar.
Weymouth survived a huge chance for Bridges deep into normal time when he sent a header over from an accurate Chappell cross but, as it was, the Terras saw out the rest of a thrilling game unharmed to collect a crucial win against fellow play-off contenders.