Last-gasp Calvin Brooks is Weymouth’s saviour
A LAST-GASP leveller from Calvin Brooks ensured the Terras picked up yet another frustrating solitary point in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
The 2-2 result against Biggleswade at the Bob Lucas Stadium is now Weymouth’s fifth draw in a row in the league, as the pressure continues to mount heavily on boss Jason Matthews going into the new year.
The Terras, who were once again booed off by their own fans at the final whistle, made two changes from the side that drew with Dorchester Town on Boxing Day.
Stephane Zubar came back in after serving a one-match ban and there was a start on his debut for midfielder Chris Allen, who signed from Chippenham Town earlier in the month.
The Waders’ last league outing saw them wallop St Neots Town 5-0 with Inih Effiong getting a hat-trick. He kept his place for the visitors, who took around five-and-a-half hours to get to the Bob Lucas Stadium on the coach.
And it was in fact Effiong who got the game’s first goal on seven minutes.
He was given all the time in the world to stab the ball into the net, after a half-cleared corner was played back into the Terras’ box.
And it was Effiong that went close again just three minutes later, the powerful striker drove the ball just wide on the angle from inside the area.
The Terras then rallied and, with their first opportunity, they got back on level terms on 17 minutes.
Chris Shephard latched on to a through ball and motored away from his defender before rounding keeper Ian Brown and putting the ball on a plate for Ben Thomson to tap home.
Ironic chants of ‘we are staying up’ were heard coming from the home fans when the equalising goal went in.
Weymouth then had to clear the ball off their own line after a Waders’ corner was headed at goal. Soon after, Shephard tried to curl a shot into the top corner but it deflected just wide off Biggleswade’s Callum Lewis.
As both sides traded blows, Effiong’s header deflected just wide before Dean Evans smashed just off target at the other end on the counter, from the resulting Waders’ corner.
With the hosts starting to get into their stride, they let a huge opportunity go begging to take the lead on 35 minutes.
Jordan Copp broke free down the left and fizzed the ball into Thomson, who shanked it wide when looking for his second of the night from close range.
The Waders still looked dangerous when they got forward however, and almost put themselves ahead once again four minutes before the break.
With keeper McHale sprawling, Connor Hall could not quite get an effort on target after Effiong had once again caused problems.
Following the break, Shephard’s corner was met by Weymouth’s Jake Wannell, who smashed an effort against a defender.
Shephard continued to be at the forefront of the hosts’ creativity and, on the next occasion, he carved out a chance for himself.
The former Exeter youngster started and finished a neat give-and-go and forced a smart save from keeper Brown.
The Waders were becoming frustrated by Shephard and centre-half Brad Hewitt decided to wipe him out from behind and earn himself a caution. The resulting free-kick came to nothing, but Mark Cooper worked Brown with an effort two minutes later.
The Waders then started to push forward and, on 70 minutes, McHale in the Weymouth goal came to the rescue.
He pulled off a sharp stop diving to his left to deny Rhys Hoenes after a free-kick dropped to the Waders’ man in the area.
Matthews then gambled and went three at the back with 15 minutes remaining. Bringing on striker Stewart Yetton in place of full-back Mark Cooper to change the shape.
But it was the away side who got themselves in front with what appeared to be the winner.
A moment of brilliance from Effiong arrived as he waltzed his way through the Terras’ backline and also took the ball round McHale to tap into an empty net.
Credit must go to the Terras, who could have just folded at the end of the contest, but up popped Brooks to level things up once again with a strike from the edge of the box which found the bottom corner.
Nevertheless, the result on paper is probably not the one boss Matthews had in mind as his position as manager continues to be questioned by the Terras’ fans, who once again voiced their frustration.