A last minute winner condemned the Peacocks to their first defeat on the road since their Play-Off loss at the end of the 2016-17 season. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Town as they saw their 25 game unbeaten run in all competitions ended despite deserving some reward from a hard fought battle.
Pre-match preparations were not helped when Town were forced to borrow a kit from their hosts after referee Craig Scriven deemed the two colours too similar. However this failed to deter the visitors, unchanged from Saturday’s opener against Staines, from making a blistering start, so very nearly grabbing the lead inside two minutes when Andrew Neal latched onto a Keith Emmerson header forward and although managing to lob Terras keeper Jordan Seabright, he lost his footing and the keeper recovered.
The first goal was imminent though. Dan Sullivan found space down the right and from his cross Neal saw his header blocked at the post but retrieved the ball to chip into the middle where Wright nodded in from five yards to the delight of the travelling Town support behind the goal. Shane White set up Matt Buse to blast a strike inches above the target before White himself delivered another shot over the bar as the Peacocks threatened every time they went forward.
Weymouth were barely in it at this stage but gradually found their feet and offered their first effort just past the quarter hour when Callum Blackley’s long ball found Brandon Goodship whose lob was comfortably held by Lloyd Irish. This signalled a better spell for the home side but their attempts failed to cause undue concern, Irish clutching Abdulai Baggie’s low driven cross while Charlie Davis skewed two efforts well wide.
Town continued to menace the home goal, Ashley Wells making a timely clearance from Pierce Mitchell’s cross with Neal waiting to pounce while Wright came mightily close to his second of the night, his header from White’s cross drifting just wide of the far post. Neal then won a battle on the left and broke into the box but Seabright smothered the ball to snuff out the threat. Meanwhile Weymouth’s main outlet was down the right where Baggie proved a thorn in Town’s side all evening and after he had sent a drive over the bar, he was presented with their best chance of the half just before the break. Town’s defence were still acclimatising to the departure of the injured Keith Emmerson when a Davis pass put Baggie in behind but Irish turned the shot wide.
The tide continued to turn when play resumed. After a good break by Ollie Chamberlain had led to Sullivan’s cross being deflected to Seabright, the Terras began to get on top without creating a real chance until the equaliser arrived after 59 minutes, Josh McQuoid advancing to find Goodship who made space to drill a fine finish past Irish from the edge of the box. The Peacocks keeper was then off his line quickly to deny Goodship after some sloppy Town defending before making a one-handed stop to keep out Ben Thomson’s header following a cross from Wells.
Town weren’t undefeated in 35 league games for nothing though and although not at their most fluent going forward, they hit back as they won several corners. Ben Adelsbury headed down at the far post from which Weymouth broke upfield to win a corner of their own before Wright’s header found the net from another Ryan Brett corner but was chalked off for an alleged foul.
This late spell of Peacock pressure couldn’t conjure up a winner and with the game going into stoppage time it appeared the points were going to be shared. However it wasn’t to be. Baggie played a one-two with Goodship and the Town defence were slow to react, allowing Baggie to find enough time and space to tuck the ball across Irish and into the far corner, sparking delirious scenes in the stadium. There was no time left for Town to `mount any form of rescue but despite the result they can take satisfaction from a positive and hard-working performance against the title favourites.
Match: Weymouth v Taunton Town
Date: August 14, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Bob Lucas Stadium
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Weymouth: Jordan Seabright, Ashley Wells, Callum Blackley, Josh Carmichael, Jake McCarthy (captain), Matt Casey, Abdulai Baggie, Charlie Davis (Josh Wakefield 61), Ben Thomson, Brandon Goodship, Josh McQuoid. Unused subs: Antonio Diaz, Harry Baker, Tiago Sa, Lloyd Thomas
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Shane White, Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson (Nuno Felix 45), Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett (Josh Nelmes 71), Matt Wright (captain) (Craig Veal 71), Dan Sullivan, Andrew Neal (Craig Veal 58). Unused subs: Michael Meaker, Josh Nelmes, Tom Stone
Referee: Craig Scriven (Wedmore)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Daniel Ghent (Bristol)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Jonathan Pike (Wimborne)