BOURNEMOUTH 3 WEYMOUTH 1
WEYMOUTH saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end at their main rivals for the Hampshire Two title.
The Seasiders prepared well for their first league fixture of 2014 with two friendly victories over Bridport and Gillingham, but they were unable to carry that form through to their meeting with Bournemouth where they lost 3-1.
Although the Seasiders were without midfielder and second-highest scorer Daniel Bowles, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the friendly against Gillingham a week earlier, they travelled to Bournemouth with a strong squad.
The game started at a high tempo, but it was the home side that took control in the early stages. Bournemouth’s first goal came from a penalty flick after right-back and captain Simon Harvey had cleared a high ball off the backline which was deemed dangerous by the officials.
A second then followed from a penalty corner. Despite appeals for a lifted first strike, keeper David Civil’s effort to stop the shot could not quite prevent it rolling over the goal-line.
In the latter stages of the first half, Weymouth recovered from their sluggish start and managed to engineer some chances of their own.
Joe Foot was played in for their first clear-cut opportunity but could not find a way past the advancing Bournemouth keeper.
At half-time, the Seasiders regrouped and recognised the need to stay positive.
Their preparation before the game ensured any lack of fitness brought on by the Christmas break was largely overcome, and they hoped energy levels could be sustained to their advantage as the game resumed.
Weymouth were in fact able to dominate large periods of the second half. They pressed high in the opposing half but remained unable to find a way through to goal.
Notably, midfielder Matt Lawes was able to dribble into the Bournemouth circle and draw fouls to win several penalty corners.
Unfortunately, Weymouth’s usual high conversion rate from such set pieces was not maintained, but eventually they got on the scoresheet, again through good work from Lawes.
His strong flick to the near post caused confusion in the Bournemouth defence and there was Harvey to deflect the ball into the net with the merest of touches.
After that, Weymouth pushed hard for an equaliser but it was Bournemouth that ended up netting again to seal their vic-tory.
The home side played in their centre forward and he did the rest, finding the net from an extremely wide angle, despite pressure from Civil and Matthew Bell.
Weymouth Man of the Match: Luke Drewitt