BRIAN Stock’s time at Weymouth has ended after 15 months, but how did it come to this?

We take an extensive look back at what has been a rollercoaster ride in the former Bournemouth midfielder’s first job in management.

Succeeding Mark Molesley

Dorset Echo: Mark Molesley left Weymouth to join Southend in August 2020 Picture: GRAHAM WHITBY BOOT/SUFCMark Molesley left Weymouth to join Southend in August 2020 Picture: GRAHAM WHITBY BOOT/SUFC

LIKE any new manager walking into a job last possessed by a club legend, becoming Mark Molesley’s successor was always going to be difficult for Brian Stock.

While Molesley did not create the long-term dynasty at Weymouth that Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United, Stock may have likened his situation to that of David Moyes coming in after his departure.

Molesley had taken the Terras to back-to-back promotions, going up in the most dramatic fashion courtesy of a 3-0 penalty shoot-out win over Dartford in the National League South promotion final.

READ MORE: Weymouth part ways with manager Brian Stock

His achievements attracted interest from a number of clubs but Molesley decided to join then League Two side Southend in August 2020, lasting only eight months in charge.

Had Stock inherited one of the best non-League jobs around? The school of thought at the time was yes, but also one of the most difficult – as he quickly found out.

Losses, momentum and then…Covid-19

Dorset Echo: Brian Stock, left, with chairman Ian White Picture: MARK PROBIN/WEYMOUTH FCBrian Stock, left, with chairman Ian White Picture: MARK PROBIN/WEYMOUTH FC

WITH the 2020/2021 National League season delayed due to the pandemic, Stock won five out of six pre-season games throughout September.

That form did not translate into results when the league season began in October, with a 0-0 draw at Altrincham on the opening day his only points return in four games.

Weymouth then lost 1-0 to Woking, Barnet and eventual champions Sutton before claiming their first win of the campaign, defeating King’s Lynn 2-1.

However, a shock 3-2 loss to National League South side Oxford City dumped the Terras out of the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, lengthening their 14-year wait to reach the first round.

By far the best result of the campaign was the 2-1 win at big-spending Stockport County, Tom Whelan popping up late on to stab home the winner.

While the Terras were ecstatic, their joy turned to despair when almost the entire squad contracted Covid-19 on the way back from their superb victory.

It meant Weymouth went a month without a game, ruining the momentum they had built up.

As their players recovered fitness and dealt with the effects of the virus, Weymouth lost the next five league games before defeating Maidenhead 3-2 in the FA Trophy.

Patchy form at Christmas continued with two draws against Eastleigh and a 4-3 reverse to Torquay in a pulsating festive fixture.

On a run of eight winless league games before hosting Yeovil in a behind-closed-doors derby, Weymouth duly looked like rabbits in the headlights and were well beaten 3-0 by their great rivals.

It prompted an infamous misinterpreted quote from Stock, who said Yeovil “almost treated it like a derby”.

Fans unleashed their fury on Stock’s perceived unawareness of the game’s stature, without realising his common throwaway usage of the word “almost”.

He was in fact well aware, but chose his words clumsily – an incident which piled on the pressure after a ninth winless league game in succession.

Turning fortunes around

Dorset Echo: Andy Dallas, left, played a key role in helping the Terras reach 18th spot Picture: MARK PROBINAndy Dallas, left, played a key role in helping the Terras reach 18th spot Picture: MARK PROBIN

WEYMOUTH’S board felt Stock had not had a fair crack at building his own squad and promptly backed him in the January 2021 transfer window.

New accommodation was sourced for loan players signing from faraway – and Stock brought in seven players in total while shifting the club to a hybrid-time model.

Aston Villa defender Dom Revan proved his marquee signing, one week after the teenager had marked Mo Salah out of the game in Liverpool’s 4-1 FA Cup win over the Villains.

Defender Jacob Mensah came in and the duo struck up a solid understanding in central defence, helping turn Weymouth’s results.

With the defence sorted, striker Andy Dallas weighed in with 12 goals in 25 games during his loan from Cambridge United.

Goalkeeper Ethan Ross also proved a valuable addition, keeping six clean sheets in his temporary move from Lincoln, while defender Ben Morgan looked a capable addition.

Midfielder Ben Worman made a good impression in April but wingers Pierre Fonkeu and Joan Luque struggled to make an impact.

Most importantly, Stock’s dealings had transformed results after an initial blip to crash out of the FA Trophy to lower-league Darlington.

Successive wins against Hartlepool – who were later promoted – and Aldershot came in late January.

Weymouth completed a memorable double over Stockport, while further wins against Bromley and Wealdstone also came along.

With the FA confirming no relegation was to take place, Weymouth wanted to stay up on merit and a dramatic 2-1 win over Maidenhead sealed safety on their way to finishing 18th.

Chelsea, squad building and a good start

Dorset Echo: Weymouth played Chelsea in a prestige pre-season friendly Picture: MARK PROBINWeymouth played Chelsea in a prestige pre-season friendly Picture: MARK PROBIN

SAFETY secured, Stock could now start building a squad he could call his own for the first time.

There was a return to the club for star striker Brandon Goodship – but only after the Terras had missed out on Dallas, who moved to Solihull.

Ross also priced himself out of a move to Weymouth, instead joining Stockport, but there was a two-year deal for influential winger Sean Shields, while skipper Josh McQuoid also stayed.

Stock made the difficult decision to let the likes of Josh Wakefield and Jordan Ngalo move after their key roles in the success of previous seasons.

Jake McCarthy decided against taking an offer left on the table by Weymouth in favour of dropping down to National League South level, where a move to Havant beckoned.

Striker Brad Ash came in and bagged six goals in pre-season, while commanding defenders Tyler Cordner and Taofiq Olomowewe also joined.

For all Stock’s signings there was an extraordinary clash at European champions Chelsea, who organised the game so manager Thomas Tuchel could assess his fringe players.

And the competition for places at the Premier League giants saw Weymouth blown away 13-0 as Michy Batshuayi bagged five goals and Ross Barkley added a hat-trick.

The loss appeared to dent Weymouth’s confidence, losing to Boreham Wood and Grimsby in their first two games of the 2021/22 league season.

However, the Terras bounced back with a comfortable 3-1 win over Maidenhead followed by an impressive 4-3 triumph at Solihull.

The beginning of the end

Dorset Echo: Matty Dennis, centre, scored the goal that ultimately condemned Brian Stock's tenure as boss Picture: MARK PROBINMatty Dennis, centre, scored the goal that ultimately condemned Brian Stock's tenure as boss Picture: MARK PROBIN

AFTER a 1-1 draw with non-League giants Notts County, the poor results began to set in.

Weymouth lost five of their next six league games and crashed out of the FA Cup qualifying stage to bitter enemies Yeovil in a barnstorming replay.

A draw with Wealdstone and back-to-back wins over Aldershot and King’s Lynn lifted Weymouth above the drop zone.

But early red cards in heavy defeats to Chesterfield and Altrincham completely derailed Weymouth’s momentum, setting into motion the fateful run of seven straight losses that led to Stock’s demise.

In mitigation, a Covid-19 outbreak after the 1-0 FA Trophy win over Hungerford did not help matters.

Instead, the manner of a 3-2 stoppage-time defeat to 10-man Eastleigh and a desperately poor 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Southend put Stock under significant pressure.

Weymouth’s board called an emergency meeting on the eve of Stock’s exit, bringing to an end his 69-game stint at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Overall, the many notable highs for Stock were too often spaced out by several lengthy winless runs and the Terras’ board have now acted with 23 league games remaining.

It means Weymouth will be managerless for Saturday’s FA Trophy fourth round tie at Dartford, with the Terras thought to favour an in-house temporary appointment.

Can the new permanent manager, whoever it may be, rescue the Terras from 21st and a four-point bridge across to safety?