Stewart stars as Weymouth ground Linnets
Goodship 28, 75, Davis 84
KING’S LYNN TOWN 1
STAND-IN keeper Gareth Stewart was the star of the show as Weymouth claimed the points, picking off early season pacesetters King’s Lynn on the counter to record back-to-back home league victories for the first time this season.
Stewart was truly magnificent as he ensured the Terras held a one-goal interval lead through Brandon Goodship with a smart penalty save to deny visiting captain Michael Clunan and then denied Michael Gash at point-blank range with the pick of his saves in the second half before late strikes from Goodship and a stunning volley from Charlie Davis sealed the points.
Not surprisingly, there were plenty of changes to the side that overcame Wimborne 3-0 in midweek.
Stewart donned the gloves in place of reserve stopper Jordan Seabright and number one keeper Mark Travers who was on international duty, while Mark Cooper, Josh Carmichael, Jake McCarthy, Goodship and Ben Thomson were all re-called to the starting XI.
The game started at a cracking pace with the visitors looking the more dangerous in the early exchanges and they were presented with a fabulous chance to take the lead after 11 minutes when raider Cameron Norman, who was causing problems for left-back Cooper, put in a great centre for Ryan Hawkins.
Panicking a little, Calvin Brooks pushed over Ryan Hawkins for a clear penalty but Stewart showed his class with a terrific diving save to his left to deny skipper Michael Clunan from the spot.
The hosts finally conjured their first opportunity five minutes later when Brooks pulled back to Goodship whose first-time effort was well held by keeper Alex Street before the latter opened the scoring with his next chance just before the half-hour mark.
Thomson played a delightful ball over the top for Goodship who was calmness personified as he showed neat control before rounding Street and side-footing into an empty net.
And just three minutes later, the same striker was found again, this time by Davis, but the Linnets’ rearguard were able to crowd him out and stifle the danger quickly.
At this point the visitors were forced to make an early change when Leon Mettem, holding his hamstring, was replaced by Toby Hilliard, seconds before Michael Gash and McCarthy suffered a nasty clash of heads.
From the resulting free-kick, Hawkins very nearly struck gold as his 25-yarder came back off the foot of a post with Stewart sprawling to his left but the Linnets continued to cause a threat around the box and, following good work from Gash, Craig Parker saw a further effort well blocked by McCarthy.
Building on their promising first half it was the Linnets who began the second period in the ascendancy and when Hawkins exchanged passes with Parker his purposeful drive had to be pushed away by Stewart.
On the hour, a centre from Blake-Tracy was looped over the bar by Parker and, with Weymouth camped in their own half for long spells, an equaliser was all too imminent.
It duly arrived in the 67th minute when Gash played a wall-pass with Parker before coolly slotting beyond Stewart for a richly deserved leveller.
In response, Mark Molesley made a swift double change, withdrawing Cooper and Thomson for Baker and Tubbs, and, somewhat against the run of play, the Terras found themselves ahead again with 15 minutes remaining.
A sublime, raking pass from Carmichael picked out Goodship who, having beaten offiside, confidently fired beyond Street for his second of the afternoon before the stunned Linnets desperately went in search of their second equaliser.
And but for a top-drawer save from Stewart it would have been all-square again three minutes later as the impressive Norman drove in a low ball to the back post for Gash who couldn’t believe his luck as the keeper stretched to keep out his close-range attempt seconds before Blake-Tracy whistled a shot just wide to unnerve the home fans.
Then, in the 84th minute, those supporters were in dreamland as the hosts conjured an unexpected third to add real, if little flattering, glosss to the scoreline.
Baker’s pull-back was headed clear only as far as Davis who unleashed a spectacular dipping volley from 25 yards that beat Street all ends up.
Weymouth only had to survive one more scare when norman volleyed straight at Stewart before they could celebrate a fine Non-League Day victory over high-flying opposition.
Terras: Stewart, Brooks, Cooper (Baker 70), Wells, Buckley, Carmichael, Davis, McCarthy, Thomson (Tubbs 70), Goodship, Wakefield. Subs not used: Sa, Prodomo, Harvey.
King’s Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracy, Fryatt, Ward, Jarvis, Clunan, Parker (Gillies 82) Gash, Mettam (Hilliard 32), Hawkins. Subs not used: Gaughran, Siddons, McQuard.