Last-gasp Rose rescues Weymouth
STRATFORD TOWN 1
Travers og 30
A LAST-GASP Jordan Rose strike salvaged a richly deserved point for a battling Terras side who had piled the pressure on visitors Stratford in a dominant second half after going down to an unfortunate Mark Travers own-goal half an hour into the contest.
Rose, who had been thrown forward as a make-shift striker as the hosts desperately sought an equaliser, was in the right place to accept Charlie Davis’ pin-point centre and fire home with the last meaningful kick of the match after Charlie Evans first half strike had rebounded in off Travers having first struck the post and looked to have won it for the visitors.
Weymouth, completely un-changed from the side who returned home with all the points a week earlier at Bishop’s Stortford, were given an early sight of goal on five minutes when skipper Jake McCarthy was felled by Loyiso Recci but the resulting free-kick from Charlie Davis 30 yards out didn’t dip in time to trouble keeper Louis Connor.
Town’s first chance arrived seven minutes later when Will Grocott fired a 35-yard free-kick straight into the grateful arms of Mark Travers just before Callum Buckley volleyed way over the bar from a half-cleared Davis corner at the other end.
Another long-range free-kick, this time from Edwin Ahenkorah, unsettled Travers a little more in the 18th minute as the keeper needed two attempts to firmly grab the ball, and then Ben Thomson found himslef in the thick of the action as the hosts threatened.
First, a powerful run inside from the right flank saw the burly striker drag a shot into the near post side-netting, and then, seconds later, the same man was adjudged to have fouled when well-placed on the edge of the box and about to fire.
An enticing Davis delivery from the right side into the six-yards box just eluded a Weymouth boot before the visitors started to cause problems for the Terras’ rearguard in the final 20 minutes of the half.
Just before the half-hour, Lee Thomas centred for Evans whose header flew just wde at the back post but the latter struck gold two minutes later when he was able to shrug off the attentions of Brandon Goodship before firing in a whistling drive from 20 yards.
Unluckily for the hosts, the ball struck the base of the right-hand upright and was re-directed into the net off the arm of Travers to give Town a huge lift in the game.
Moments later a frustrated Jordan Rose picked up a booking for a rash lunge on Andy Gallinagh and a disappointing half from the home perspective ended with Goodship side-footing tamely over the bar following a good run and centre from Brooks.
Early in the second period it was still Town that were edging the contest as Ahenkorah saw a shot first deflect off Wells before being gathered at his near post by Travers six minutes in.
Then, just two minutes later, Stratford really should have made it 2-0 with the best chance of the game as Michael Taylor played a neat wall-pass with the impressive Evans and looked poised to score from 4 yards but somehow contrived to scoop the ball over as he slipped.
Weymouth finally registered a shot on target in the 62nd as Thomson dribbled a shot at Connor, a powerful run from Brooks ended when he was crowded out by Thomas and Liam Francis and then, following a corner from the hosts’ star performer Davis, substitute Harry Baker dinked in a precise centre that was nodded down by Rose goalwards but Brooks couldn’t stab home under pressure from the keeper.
With 20 minutes left decent crosses from both Davis and Josh Wakefield came to nothing and then the latter then had a shot blocked before it looked as though Town had finally succeumbed to the increasing pressure when Davis went agonisingly close from another set-piece in the 83rd minute.
From the left-edge of the box, the midfielder curled a delightful effort that crashed down from the underside of the bar with Connor well beaten but neither the referee or assistant felt the ball had crossed the line much to the frustration of all those in claret and blue.
Late on Carmichael saw his deflected shot fly wide from 25 yards while Town’s Grocott smashed a free-kick well over with time running out for the home side.
Indeed, after Davis’ near-miss, hopes of salvaging a point had all but evaporated going into three minutes of added time but that man Davis came to the rescue as he picked out Rose with the last action of the match, and the centre-back showed great composure to tuck neatly past the despairing Connor to rapturous, if somewhat relieved, applause.
Terras: Travers, Brooks, Buckley, Wells, Rose, Carmichael, Davis, McCarthy, Thomson, Goodship (Baker 58), Wakefield (Rodriguez 85). Subs not used: Sa, Prodomo, Down.
Stratford Town: Connor, Evans, Thomas, Gallinagh, Recci, Francis, Summerfield, Fry, Taylor (Marsden 77), Grocott, Ahenkorah (Luckie 65). Subs not used: Clark, Hancock, Bako.