Weymouth cruise past Dartford
Baggie 41, Williams 49, 80
WEYMOUTH continued their strong start to the new Vanarama National League South season with another dominant display in front of their own fans as they claimed a further big non-League scalp in Dartford with substitute Brett Williams playing a starring role as he helped himself to a well-taken brace in a 3-1 win.
The Terras slowly grew into this game during a lively opening period and found a deserved opener five minutes before the break when Abdulai Baggie pounced on a loose ball from close range.
Just four minutes into the second half they made it 2-0 when Williams converted Yemi Odubade’s low centre.
Williams then completed a brace in the 80th minute before substitute Norman Wabo netted a late consolation for the visitors.
The hosts were virtually unchanged from the midweek draw at Slough, with just one enforced change that saw Odubade replace Josh McQuoid (hamstring) in the starting eleven.
And, after a two-game absence through illness, Williams made a welcome return to the home bench and was to enter the fray very early when Ben Thomson pulled up with a hamstring strain barely ten minutes into the game.
A low-key opening 10 minutes saw an early scare for Weymouth when Adam Cunnington fired a speculative effort from 20 yards that, for a moment, unnerved keeper Calum Ward before he gratefully watched it whizz past the left upright.
The Terras responded with their first real sight of goal in the 17th minute when Andy Robinson won a free-kick 25 yards out which Jake McCarthy smashed goalwards and keeper Mark Smith did very well to get a firm hand on the ball after it had flicked up off the top of the wall before his defence could clear.
The next opening came just three minutes later when Robinson won a corner and from that Ollie Harfield set-piece the same player rose well at the back post but his header sailed behind.
A rare excursion deep into the home half saw Amos Nasha drag a low drive wide before the Terras started a series of attacks that were to ultimately lead to the opening goal.
On the half-hour, just after Baggie had seen his name enter the referee’s book for a late challenge, Odubade teed up Williams whose scuffed shot was tipped round the near post by Smith.
Williams, now at the heart of all the action it seemed, then sidefooted a volley wide following a fabulous cross from Harfield, before flicking on a Stephane Zubar cross that caused panic in the Darts’ defence until it was cleared and then Williams lost a credible penalty appeal when he appeared to be manhandled to the ground as the home attacks were now coming thick and fast.
A goal looked imminent and it duly arrived when Odubade’s cutting cross from the right really should have been netted by Josh Wakefield inside the six-yard box but a brilliant block by Smith was seized upon by Baggie who could not miss as he tucked the loose ball home inside the bottom-left corner.
Weymouth then had one final chance to extend their advantage in the dying seconds of the first period following a slick counter-attack from a Dartford corner.
Baggie drove forward, held up the ball while he awaited support, and then laid off an enticing ball for Williams who could only shank his effort just wide of the right hand post.
Inside the opening 60 seconds of the second half Wakefield wasted a delightful cross from Odubade with a tame shot straight at Smith but the Terras’ faithful did not have long to wait for a deserved second goal that came just four minutes in.
Baggie did all the hard work as he exchanged passes with Odubade down the left side before drilling in a low centre that Williams only had to get a touch on to net at the near post.
Weymouth had control of the game but there was one let-off five minutes later when visiting skipper Tom Bonner arrived at the back post to meet a Ryan Hayes corner but could only head the ball down into the turf and wide.
A minute later though and the Terras were back on the offensive, this time Williams could not quite get a toe on the end of a magnificent cross-field ball from Harfield, and then there was a short lull in the game after a flurry of substitutions by both sides.
Weymouth’s commanding performance warranted clinching third goal to wrap up the points and, fittingly, the game’s star performer, Williams, came up with the goods again in the 80th minute.
Zubar sent a long ball forward and there was Williams to sneak his shot under Smith and into the bottom corner to give the scoreline a more realistic slant.
Late on, the Darts did rally themselves a little and were rewarded with a consolation through substitute Wabo who was completely unmarked as he stabbed home a loose ball from close range seconds from time.
Weymouth: Ward, Harfield, Wakefield, Zubar, McCarthy, Thomson (Williams 12), Baggie, Odubade (Ngalo 65), Robinson, Brooks (Murray 73), Sherring.
Subs not used: Childs, Buckley.
Dartford: Smith, Wynter, Warner-Eley, Noble, Bonner, Hayes (Wabo 63), Greenhalgh, Hill, Cunnington, Pugh (Fisher 63), Nasha (Brodie 73).
Subs not used: Vint, Sheringham.
Referee: Sunny Gill