Weymouth share the points with Dulwich
Report by Georges Harrison
DULWICH HAMLET 1
The Bob Lucas Stadium witnessed its first draw of the new year as Dulwich Hamlet resiliently held back Weymouth and deservedly shared points in the Vanarama National League South.
The Hamlet came into the game as underdogs, with 12 points less and sitting nine places below the Terras.
However, the match was action-packed with end-to-end football, but Weymouth assistant manager Tom Prodomo admitted there was frustration as a “lapse in concentration” led to former Terras player Lionel Ainsworth’s goal.
Mark Molesley continued his fluid 3-4-3 formation against Hamlet.
Mark Childs started in goal again and for the third time this season as Calum Ward remains on the sideline with an injury.
The back 3 had Brennan Camp, Shaun Hobson and Stephane Zubar protecting the goal.
The two midfielders were Josh Wakefield and Jake McCarthy, with Ollie Harfield and Jordan Ngalo assisting in the wing-back roles.
The front three had Abdulai Baggie and skipper Josh McQuoid on the wings with Ben Thomson at striker.
For the first 15 minutes, Weymouth controlled possession and Dulwich sat deep to counterattack.
A strong penalty claim came to the Terras as Camp made a run into the visitor’s box and was pulled down, but the referee had none of it.
A counterattack led by Hamlet’s Jefferey Monakana had his shot come off the crossbar, which then had the ball recycled to the other wing where Ainsworth was able to cut in and drive his shot past Childs in the 16th minute.
For the majority of the half, Weymouth constantly barraged the visitors with attacks which needed their keeper to pull off some athletic saves to keep them ahead.
It was block after block by the Hamlet defence until McCarthy took the decision to shoot on his weaker left foot from distance which landed into the top left corner in the 43rd minute.
The crowd erupted as the absolute screamer hit the back of the net, it was a sense of joy and relief as Weymouth needed a goal.
It ended 1-1 at half-time, a positive aura was floating around the stadium because the fans knew if Weymouth came out like how they played in the final 15 minutes of the first half, the Terras were surely going to take all three points and move up to third.
However, Gavin Rose’s Hamlet side made some tactical changes in the second half which changed the game’s momentum completely.
Weymouth were the counter-attacking team in most of the second half, with Hamlet controlling majority of the possession.
Thomson struggled to hold up the ball as he had no support due to Baggie and McQuoid dropping back to help regain possession of the ball.
The last 20 minutes of the match was end-to-end in which all football fans in the world would love to watch, as the substitutions of Tom Whelan and Yemi Odubade for Wakefield and Ngalo caused havoc.
As Weymouth progressed, a few more errors were being made from rash decisions and good pressing by Hamlet.
Luckily, Childs faced a header straight at him at the end of the attack when a cross came in and found a Hamlet player wide open.
Weymouth continued to push on for a late winner, but it wasn’t meant to be after terrific defending from the visitors kept the Terras at bay.
The game finished 1-1 with both teams staying in the same positions they came into the game with.
Weymouth now go to play away at Verwood Town in the Dorset Senior Cup on Tuesday, which Prodomo said is “valuable” as they are taking every game this season seriously with the chance of earning some silverware beckoning.
Terras: Childs, Harfield, Wakefield (Whelan 73), Zubar, Ngalo (Odubade 73), McCarthy, Thomson, McQuoid, Baggie, Camp, Hobson.
Subs not used: Rees, Olumuyiwa, Williams.
Dulwich Hamlet: Grainger, Chapman, Barnes (Smith 74), Taylor, Debrah, Smith, Monakana, Vose, Mullings (Clunis 79), Kearney (Mills 79), Ainsworth.
Subs not used: Splatter, Hunte.
Referee: Joel Mannix (Watford)