Striker Baker off the mark as Weymouth battle to draw with Poole Town
POOLE TOWN 1
STRIKER Harry Baker netted his first goal for the Terras as they played out a 1-1 draw with Poole Town at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The former Gillingham Town man, who signed early in pre-season after being invited to train with Weymouth, pounced after eight minutes in a pre-season friendly between the two Dorset rivals.
His effort was cancelled out by former Dorchester Town frontman Tony Lee, as Poole responded just after the hour mark to earn a draw.
The Terras were without regular goalkeeper Mark Travers for the encounter after he was ruled out through injury. That meant that fellow Cherries’ youngster Callum Stanton stood in for a one-off appearance.
The hosts named seven substitutes for the encounter, they included trialists Jayden Corbridge and Liam Farrugia.
In heavy rain during the first half, it only took the National League South side 40 seconds to work goalkeeper Stanton.
Midfielder Steve Devlin picked the ball up and shot straight into the clutches of the young keeper in the Terras’ goal.
In an action-packed opening, Weymouth then spurned a glorious opportunity to take the lead. A sweeping ball from centre-half Toby Down found Calvin Brooks, who galloped forward from right wing-back to beat Jake Smeeton down the flank.
Brooks, believed to have been a target of Poole in the summer, then squared the ball to striker Baker, who failed to sort his feet out at the vital moment with the only the keeper to beat.
But Baker then made no mistake on eight minutes however, this time converting his first Weymouth goal.
After Brandon Goodship was fouled on the edge of the box, Charlie Davis stepped up to strike a free-kick which Nick Hutchings in the Poole goal failed to gather.
Baker reacted quickest to pounce ahead of the Poole stopper and head the ball into the net.
The Dolphins then suffered a real injury scare just short of the half hour mark.
Talented frontman Luke Roberts went down under a challenge and looked to be in serious discomfort. He did however manage to hobble off and was replaced as a precaution by ex-Magpie Lee.
Weymouth then should have made it 2-0 four minutes before the interval. Hutchings’ attempted clearance fell into the lap of midfielder Josh Wakefield, whose attempted square ball to Goodship was snuffed out by the Dolphins’ keeper, who somehow managed to recover.
Following the break, minutes after a last-ditch tackle from Ashley Wells prevented the Dolphins an opportunity at goal, Goodship almost found the net from miles out.
After intercepting a misplaced pass, the former Yeovil frontman tried his luck from around the halfway line and almost caught keeper Hutchings off guard.
But on 62 minutes, the Dolphins got back on level terms at 1-1.
A corner swung in by Devlin was headed into the path of striker Lee, who turned the ball home from close range.
Following the goal, Poole then started to get on top of the hosts. Stanton spread himself well to Deny ex-Terra Luke Burbidge on the angle.
Goodship then worked Hutchings at the other end having sprung the offside trap – the friendly also found some spice with Olly Balmer and Toby Down receiving cautions for each side after overzealous challenges.
Goodship continued to threaten and he almost won it for the hosts six minuted from time.
Having picked up the ball on the right flank, the striker skipped past three defenders before driving a shot at Hutchings that was beaten away.
Terras: Stanton, Brooks, Buckley, Wells, Down, Carmichael, Davis, McCarthy, Baker, Goodship, Wakefield.
Subs not used: Corbridge, Prodomo, Sa, Stewart, Rodriguez, Farrugia, Jackson
Referee: Craig Finean