ANDY Cleal’s stunning strike saw Weymouth Sports become the first team this season to take points of Sturminster Newtow United at Barnets Field.

Following the previous week’s 6-0 humbling at league leaders Mere Town, the Seasiders travelled to North Dorset in trepidation but they were on a par with the Cherries throughout and on another day might have claimed the victory.

Joint-manager Chris Hicks said: “Stur are a good footballing side but we matched them throughout and in the end it was a good point away from home.

“We started pretty slowly in the first 10 minutes but I think that was more down to the way they moved the ball around more than anything else.

“We then settled down and for the rest of the first half it was pretty even both in terms of chances and possession.

“On 20 minutes, they then went one up. Scott Walker did well to clear an effort off the line but unfortunately it ricocheted back towards one of their lads who headed it home.

“That was a bit unlucky really but we reacted well and in the end clawed our way back when Andy Cleal took the ball on his chest, had a couple of touches and then hammered it into the top corner from 25 to 30 yards.

“I don’t think we will see a better goal than that all season and I don’t think Andy has ever scored a better one although I am sure he would beg to differ.

“That made it 1-1 at half-time and overall we were pretty pleased. We then got a bit tighter to their two lads in the middle of midfield in the second half and went on to enjoy the majority of the ball.

“Andy had another effort saved by their keeper and we had a couple of half chances too but on reflection I think a draw was probably the fair result.”

Hicks was particularly impressed by his side’s character. He went on to add: “We spoke beforehand about moving on from the Mere game and putting in a performance and that is exactly what we did.

“Everyone played their part and I thought Andy and Shaun Bessant were both excellent.

“Hopefully we can now build on this performance in the weeks ahead.”

Sports, who lie eighth in the Dorset Senior League, are back in action on Saturday when they are set to entertain Poundbury Rovers at Cranford Avenue in the second round of the Dorset Senior Trophy (1.30pm).

Sports: Parkes, Stroud, Bessant (Dunlop 70), Faulkner, Hicks, Thomas (Windust 75), Walker, W Sonner, Culpin, M Sonner (Taylor 80), Cleal. Sub not used: Austin.