Baker treats Terras to three points
Hopper 70’, Dawson 79’ 81’
Goodship 16’, Wakefield 26’, Murray 76’, Baker 84’
A late goal from Harry Baker earned Weymouth an important victory in a seven-goal thriller against Salisbury at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
The Terras went into half-time 2-0 up before Salisbury pegged Weymouth back to 3-3 with just 10 minutes remaining, but Baker’s goal with his first touches of the game capped off a superb team performance and sparked wild celebrations in the rain-soaked away end.
Goalkeeper Tom McHale made his return to the side, after joining from Elgin City on Friday, whilst Abdulai Baggie and Jordan Ngalo replaced Tiago Sa and Josh Carmichael. Ngalo deputised for Callum Buckley at left-back, who was only fit enough to take a place on the bench.
The game came to life when Weymouth created the first opportunity of the game on nine minutes, Brandon Goodship latched onto a cleared header, however his early volley was easily caught by Jake Hallett.
Immediately Salisbury launched an attack of their own, Lewis Benson whipped in a cross which found Danny Young unmarked at the back post, but his header went wide of the Weymouth goal.
Benson produced another testing cross three minutes later, but an already confident looking McHale was there to pluck the ball out of the air.
Weymouth immediately hit back in what was already becoming an end-to-end game, a clever through ball from Goodship saw Ben Thomson in on goal, but Hallett in the Salisbury goal did well to meet the Terras’ striker and block the chance.
But the Terras didn’t have to wait too long to take the lead, on 16 minutes Goodship picked the ball up midway through the Salisbury half and embarked on a superb dribbling run before slotting the ball past the helpless Hallett.
With a goal advantage Weymouth began to turn the screw, a powerful run from Ngalo opened up the Salisbury defence, the makeshift left-back linked up well with Thomson who then set-up Goodship, but the eventual effort at goal went narrowly wide of the post.
To add to their far from perfect start, Salisbury then lost Matt Partridge with an injury, the centre-back had to be replaced by Claudio Herbert on 21 minutes.
Another quick and clever passing move led to Weymouth doubling their advantage on 26 minutes. Thomson, Brooks and Wakefield all combined well before Wakefield curled a stunning effort into the bottom corner from 25-yards out.
From the restart, Thomson produced the game’s first flashpoint when he overzealously flew into a tackle on Herbert and found himself in the referee’s notebook.
Salisbury were almost gifted an opportunity when Tom Whelan attempted to intercept a back pass, but the quick-footed McHale was there to make a strong challenge and spare Weymouth’s blushes.
Though the Whites had their best chance of the first-half shortly after, it was Whelan again who fired an effort goalwards, but a brilliant block from Ngalo prevented Salisbury finding a way back into the game.
The two sides then began what was to become a thoroughly entertaining second-half.
Eight minutes in and Weymouth were calling on their defence to make huge two blocks again, this time Calvin Brooks and Jake McCarthy were on hand to intercept two quickfire shots from Salisbury.
Whelan was looking like he was going to be pinnacle to his side finding any way back into the game, a good run from him seemed to have presented Dawson with a certain goalscoring opportunity, but the Whites were thwarted by an almost telescopic tackle from Stephane Zubar.
On 57 minutes, Goodship again managed to dribble through the middle of the Salisbury defence, but this time found his shot blocked.
Ngalo and Baggie were constantly linking up well down the left-hand side, and shortly before the hour mark Ngalo played a clever through-ball to Baggie who won Weymouth a corner when his cross was blocked. Hallett did well to punch the resultant corner clear.
And the Salisbury shot-stopper was soon called into action again, Thomson out-jumped his marker to flick the ball onto Yemi Odubade, who stung the hands of Hallett with his effort.
The Whites did eventually find a way into the game, when Wakefield collided with Whelan the match officials deemed that the Weymouth man had committed a foul and awarded a penalty. Luke Hopper dispatched the penalty to give Salisbury a lifeline.
Wakefield nearly restored the two-goal lead, he met an Odubade cross at the back post but headed over.
It was Cameron Murray who would regain the advantage of two for Weymouth. Odubade dispossessed Jack Sparkes and set up Brooks who had the Salisbury defence all at sea with his mazy run, Brooks then unselfishly assisted Murray to fire in his first goal for the Terras from just inside a busy penalty area.
Salisbury were soon equal through a quick-fire double from Aaron Dawson. He pounced on a scramble in the box to narrow the lead on 79 minutes, and then did so again two minutes later when a good move from Sparkes created uncertainty in the Weymouth area.
Weymouth sealed their deserved victory via substitute Harry Baker, who had only been on the field a couple of minutes.
In the 84th minute, the always commanding Thomson was strong when contesting a header with Hallett and when the ball bounced free in the penalty area Baker showed his killer instinct to finish the game.
Weymouth then endured a tense period of 6 minutes added time, which saw Sparkes booked for a rugby-tackle on Thomson and Ashley Wells booked for timewasting, but they were ultimately victors over their title-chasing rivals.
Salisbury: Hallett, Wheeler, Sparkes, Whelan, Bosma, Partridge (Herbert 21’), Benson, Dawson, Fitchett, Mullings (Hopper 67’), Young.
Subs: Hillson, Sommerton, Beeden.
Weymouth: McHale, Ngalo, Baggie, Brooks, Zubar, McCarthy, Murray (Baker 82’), Wakefield, Thomson, Goodship (Carmichael 62’), Odubade (Wells 89’).
Subs: Thomas, Buckley.