Kings Langley rally to deny Matthews’ men
KINGS LANGLEY 1
WEYMOUTH were left to settle for a point for the second time against Kings Langley this season, as they were pegged back by a superb strike from midfielder Ollie Cox in the second period at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Mark Cooper opened the scoring for the Terras with an effort from close range on 12 minutes, but in truth, after Langley got their leveller through Cox just 90 seconds after the break, the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division strugglers probably looked more likely to win it, in what was a frantic second half.
The Terras, who once again set up 3-5-2, made just one change from the side that overcame Cambridge City last time out, and it was one that was expected for the hosts.
At the age of 42, Weymouth player-manager Jason Matthews returned in goal in place of a gloveman who was half his age in Tom McHale, who was recalled by parent club Truro City on Tuesday.
The Kings went into the contest desperate for points in a bid to beat the drop – the pressure was put on them ahead of kick-off with relegation-threatened Hayes & Yeading United sealing a 2-0 win against St Neots on Friday evening.
The visitors made three changes from their last outing with Gary Connelly, Josh Coldicott-Stevens and Jerry Amoo coming back in. There was also a place on the bench for new recruit Lee Stobbs.
It was Langley who initially settled the better of the two sides with two half-chances coming their way in the opening 10 minutes.
Weymouth’s Dean Evans lost the ball in a dangerous area, forcing Ashley Wells to give away a foul just inches outside the box, but the resulting free-kick was smashed over.
Matthews then raced off his line to deny striker Lewis Toomey after he was allowed to run in on goal.
But it was the Terras who took the lead with 12 minutes on the clock.
Shortly after Stuart Fleetwood had worked Spanish keeper Xavi Comes in the visiting goal, Calvin Brooks delivered a precise cross from the right that was guided home by wingback Cooper, who showed a striker’s instinct when it mattered most to make it 1-0.
Langley’s Jorrell Johnson then headed over from a corner before, at the other end, Cooper went in search of a second.
He picked up a free-kick that was played to him by Brooks and curled a left-foot shot just over the top.
Former Frome man Cooper then almost turned provider. He whipped in a corner which was met by the head of Evans, who made a late run from deep and powered the ball just wide of the near post.
The Terras then almost capitalised on an injury to Langley’s Sam Tring just before the break. The centre-half sustained a knee problem, which allowed Fleetwood to surge forward and find Billy Lowes, who shot straight at the keeper.
Tring was able to continue in the second period and he witnessed a sublime moment to see his side draw level at 1-1 just 90 seconds after the restart.
Midfielder Ollie Cox tried his luck from all of 35 yards out with a stunning strike which Matthews was powerless to prevent.
That goal put a spring in the step of the away side, who came close to turning the game on its head. Defender Tring latched onto a ball inside the box and dragged an effort wide on the angle from just eight yards out.
Cox then swung in a free-kick for the visitors after a foul by Zubar – the cross was headed over by Ryan Plowright.
Matthews then found himself in the book for dissent after going ballistic at referee Robert Cockle. That came after Langley’s Jerry Amoo headed wide from a free-kick, which appeared to be taken in the wrong area.
A succession of free-kicks conceded by the hosts then saw Thomson and Ashley Wells in the book, as the visitors continued to get under the Terras’ skin.
Matthews then had to come to the rescue late on, racing off his line with a minute left on the clock to deny both Toomey and Amoo.
Toomey, who really caused Matthews’ men some difficulty in the second period, then then raced forward again as Langley looked to win it at the death.
He found Amoo, who was denied by a superb challenge from Weymouth skipper Stephane Zubar.
And in what was a frantic finale, Weymouth almost won it. Fleetwood burst through and was only denied by the left mitt of Comes, as the sides were left to settle for a point apiece.
Terras: Matthews, Wells, Cooper, Zubar, Brooks, Evans, Sa, Lowes (Davis 61), Fleetwood, Thomson, Rodriguez (Molesley 77). Subs not used: Stewart, Wannell
Kings Langley: Comes, Connelly, Plowright, Johnson, Tring, Coldicott-Stevens, Ward (Pattison 88), Cox, Toomey, Amoo, Turner (Stobbs 78). Subs not used: Waldren, Balogun, Gosling
Bookings: Terras – Matthews, Thomson, Wells, Evans
Kings Langley – Cox, Connelly
Referee: Robert Cockle (Bristol)