Molesley off as Weymouth sent packing in FA Cup
THERE will be no lucrative FA Cup run for Weymouth this term as the 10-man Terras were dumped out of the competition at the very first hurdle by Petersfield Town, who pulled off the biggest win in the club’s short history.
The rampant Rams, Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division champions last season, shocked their visitors with two goals in the first 30 minutes before Mark Molesley’s controversial dismissal for a rash challenge with an hour left to play meant a shock exit was clearly on the cards.
However, despite the final scoreline, Weymouth created enough chances, not to mention 15 corners to Town’s zero, to win the game, but once again the away side were lacking both a killer instinct and confidence in front of goal.
Stewart Yetton did net a late consolation but the hosts had already extended their lead midway through the second half, leaving the Terras with too big a task to get back on terms.
There was just one change to the Terras’ starting line-up from the side that narrowly defeated Histon, with Jake Wannell replacing Ashley Wells.
Chris Shephard, returning from injury, was included amongst the substitutes, Josh Grant returned to the match day squad along with reserve keeper Steve Boore, while assistant manager Tim sills dropped out of the 18 all together.
The visitors were quickly on the front foot in the early exchanges and just four minutes in Dean Evans’ dangerous low centre to the near post saw a twitchy Anthony Ender in the home goal spill the ball for a corner.
Three minutes later, Mark Molesley seized on a quick Chris McPhee throw but his tepid left-footer failed to trouble Ender and it wasn’t until the quarter-hour mark that the Terras were able to enjoy a period of sustained pressure.
A long punt forward by player-manager Jason Matthews brought a cheap corner from Lewis Hyde, however, the latter atoned for his error with a goal-line clearance.
It seemed inevitable that the Terras would edge ahead but, after a lukewarm Mark Cooper effort was easily gathered by the keeper, it was the hosts who drew first blood against the run of play.
Breaking down the right, a strong run and low centre across the six-yard box from Joe Briggs was hammered into the net by danger man Alex Przespolewski.
From that point, a setback quickly veered towards outright disaster as within 13 minutes the Terras found themselves 2-0 down and a man short.
Briggs stunned everybody inside the tiny Love Lane ground as he audaciously smashed a free-kick at goal from a full 50 yards that skimmed the underside of the bar and dropped into the net off Matthews’ head.
If the Terras’ faithful had thought it couldn’t get any worse then they were mistaken.
Referee Matthew Lee brandished a red card to Molesley after the midfielder appeared to slide in dangerously on Hyde.
Then, just before the break, Weymouth survived a scare when Przespolewski played in Sean Wain whose early shot was well held by Matthews.
Weymouth enjoyed their best period of the game in first-half injury time and really should have reduced the deficit.
First, Billy Lowes found McPhee, he rolled an enticing ball into Stewart Yetton, but Ender pulled off a magnificent block with his legs to concede yet another corner.
Another gilt-edged chance went begging as Yetton pulled the ball back to Evans whose firm shot was cleared by Dan Sackman.
The Terras sacrificed full-back Jake Wannell for attacking midfielder Adam Kelly at the break.
Alas, the tie was effectively ended as a contest when Mike Dixon sprinted through one-on-one with Matthews, strode past the forlorn keeper, before planting his shot into an empty net on 64 minutes.
The Rams were now threatening to completely embarrass their higher-ranked visitors when Briggs, who was running riot down the right flank, crossed for Przespolewski and his header rebounded off the bar.
Matthews was then forced to make a terrific block to deny substitute Harry Wedlake from point-blank range.
Twenty minutes from time the Terras finally got on the scoresheet when Yetton bundled home a corner from close in.
But, despite their stirring efforts, the game fizzled out and Petersfield were able to comfortably preserve their lead and make the second qualifying round for the first time.