Weymouth shock Gosport to progress in FA Cup
By Dorset ECHO
IT WAS party time at the Bob Lucas Stadium as the Terras put their name in the hat for the third qualifying round of the FA Cup by stunning Gosport Borough.
The home team finally found their shooting boots to bag a treble against their higher level opposition. Goals from Stewart Yetton, Ben Thomson and Charlie Davis proving enough for Weymouth to seal what was a cracking cup tie.
The Terras, who had been struggling for goals of late, ironically came up against a Gosport side that had been leaking them – their last outing was a 4-0 defeat to Bath City.
Boss Jason Matthews made three changes from the Weymouth side that lost 1-0 to Slough Town on Tuesday. With that, also came a change of shape for the hosts.
The player-manager opted to go with two up front for the encounter in search of adding some firepower to his side. That meant striker Yetton came in for midfielder Billy Lowes to partner Ben Thomson up front.
There was also a switch at right-back as Ashley Wells came in for Mark Cooper and, on the wing, Aaron Rodriguez was replaced by Chris Shephard as Weymouth went 4-4-2. Centre-half Calvin Brooks was also making his 100th appearance for the club.
The away side was boosted by the return of Mike Carter from suspension. Seven goal-striker Warren Bentley was given a start up front and former Magpie Sam Lanahan was named among the Gosport substitutes.
Instructed to “shoot on sight” by Matthews and the Terras’ coaching staff in the build-up to the contest, the home team only took 50 seconds to pull the trigger. Shephard found half a yard but chipped the ball over the top.
But, after what was a subdued opening to the cup clash, the Terras were rocked by Boro’s opening attack on 11 minutes.
A routine long ball forward was played into the Weymouth box, keeper Dan Thomas missed his punch and there was former Cherries’ youngster Josh Carmichael to head into the net and make it 1-0 to the away side.
Carmichael then could have added his second just seven minutes later as Weymouth were caught out from a set-piece.
Following a foul by Dean Evans on Carter, Tom Bird swung in a free-kick for the visitors and there was the striker, whose headed effort forced a good save from Thomas.
Weymouth’s Stephane Zubar was then the first man to go into the book after Bentley got the better of him on the edge of the box.
Thomas then made up for his earlier mistake to somehow deny Sam Pearce heading in from a corner.
But the hosts then got themselves back in it on 33 minutes. A looping ball from Jake Wannell on the left flank found Yetton, who powered a header into the top corner to level things up at 1-1.
And, right on the stroke of half-time, the former Plymouth man came agonisingly close to adding his second.
A delightfully crafted ball from Dan Smith found Terras’ skipper Yetton inside the box and his shot was tipped away for a corner by Boro keeper Martin Rice.
The Terras were on top during the opening exchanges of the second half and Yetton continued to look lively. After gloveman Rice made a hash of clearing away a ball from deep, the frontman tried to catch him off his line with an effort from distance which eventually came to nothing.
The Terras then almost put themselves in the box seat on 55 minutes. Shephard jinked into the box and found Thomson, who worked Rice at his near post.
Gosport’s Aaron Dawson then hit a fizzing strike at the other end which flew past the post soon after.
Thomson was not to be denied however as he gave the home side the lead on 63 minutes.
Some trickery inside the Boro box from Dan Smith allowed him to put it on a plate for the former Frome Town man to tap home and send the home fans delirious at 2-1.
Boro were not done however, as a ball from the left by Bird was met by Bentley, who headed inches wide unmarked.
Weymouth then brought Sam Jordan on in place of scorer Thomson and he could have put the tie to bed within seconds of coming on. Running on to a few ball, he was denied by Rice, who smothered the effort.
But the game was then put to bed by the home side as, after Shephard’s initial effort was stabbed off the line, Davis picked the ball up, drove into the box and rolled a cool finish into the corner for 3-1.
There was still time for some drama as Dan Wooden tapped home deep into stoppage time but it was not to matter, as Matthews’ men progressed to the next round.