McCarthy 43


Ainsworth 16

WEYMOUTH recorded their first home league draw since the second game of the Vanarama National South season as Dulwich belied their lowly 15th place position in the table with a stirring performance on their first ever visit to Weymouth that was well worthy of the point.

Former Terra Lionel Ainsworth was looking sharp throughout the contest and he shot the visitors into a 16th-minute lead with the game’s first attempt on goal but the hosts hit back with a stunner from Jake McCarthy to level it at the break.

And although there was decent chances at either end in the second period no side could nick a winner with home keeper Mark Childs ultimately earning Weymouth the draw with a magnificent point-blank save to deny Nyren Clunis late on.

There was just a solitary change to the Weymouth team sheet from the side that took maximum points from a 3-1 win a week earlier at Welling with Brennan Camp returning to the starting XI in place of Sam Sherring in defence while the subs bench remained identical.

The game began with the hosts dominating the ball but there was very little in the way of goalmouth action to excite the home fans in the first half-hour.

There was a slight scare on seven minutes when Childs had to be alert to block tackle burly striker Dylan Kearney as the ball flew behind for a goal-kick.

Then three minutes later the Terras found some attacking intent when Josh Wakefield picked out Camp who appeared to be wrestled to the ground before the ball ran out for only a corner.

But it was to be the visitors who were to draw first blood moments later, and it was a familiar face that dealt the blow.

Hamlet broke in good numbers and Jeffrey Monakana struck the bar with a bullet of a shot that McCarthy was able to partially clear.

However, Hamlet were able to recycle the ball and it quickly fell to that man Ainsworth who stepped inside the area before arrowing a diagonal 20-yard drive that Childs could only get a glove on as it nestled into the far corner.

That attack had seen the game’s first shots and the Terras now needed to find their shooting boots quickly as they huffed and puffed, lacking a cutting final ball.

Goal-mouth action remained at a premium before Dulwich threatened a second goal when Dylan Kearney could not quite force his header on target from Monakana’s centre.

Weymouth needed to find some quality to get them back in the game and it finally arrived in the 34th minute with the best move of the half.

Jordan Ngalo headed a ball into space for Abdulai Baggie to attack and, after beating his man, the winger cut the ball back for Ngalo who struck a left-foot missile that somehow keeper Charlie Grainger managed to claw away from the top corner of the net.

Camp then saw his thunderous close-range drive blocked by Christian Smith as the hosts kept the attack going.

Two minutes later Josh McQuoid had an effort saved, McCarthy had another one blocked before the latter finally got Weymouth level with an absolute cracker just ahead of the break.

McCarthy neatly exchanged passes with Baggie before launching a belter from 25 yards out that swerved away from the despairing dive of Grainger on its way into the top corner of the net.

A minute later Hamlet had one further chance but Shamir Mullings’ header from another quality delivery by Monakana flew straight at Childs and it was all-square going into the second period.

Early on, Ainsworth was still making a nuisance of himself down the left flank, and his enticing hanging centre ended with Ben Chapman’s sharp shot blocked out by Childs.

As the Londoners continued to enjoy a bright start to the second half another cute cross from Monakana saw Stephane Zubar fouled as he was forced, under pressure, to head away to safety.

At the other end it wasn’t until the 57th minute that the hosts threatened but a fairly tame Ollie Harfield free-kick was easily gathered at the near post by Grainger and the Terras’ frustrations were visibly growing as Wakefield first saw his corner fly straight through and out at the other side before the same man hit a shot woefully high and wide.

With 20 minutes remaining clever interplay by the hosts ended with Shaun Hobson’s shot deflected for a corner, after which, boss Mark Molesley made a double change, introducing Yemi Odubade and Tom Whelan for Ngalo and Wakefield.

And it was Whelan that showed his composure in a jinking run forward moments later that saw him tee up McQuoid whose 20-yarder was well saved down to his left by Grainger.

In the 84th minute there was a nervous moment when Childs dropped a high ball but his blushes were spared as the ball was quickly hacked clear and seconds later Harfield was charging into the box down the other end only for his final cross to be hit a tad too hard for Camp on the other side.

Just after McQuoid had seen his header clear the bar Childs fully atoned for his near costly error three minutes earlier with a magnificent save.

Zubar conceded possession with a poor ball out of defence and Dulwich were able to break quickly; Ainsworth ending the counter with yet another slide-rule centre that Clunis really should have buried for what would surely have won it.

Amazingly though, the home stopper flung himself to his left to pluck the ball safely to the ground and the gilt-edged chance for the substitute had gone.

Undeterred, the visitors still tried to find an elusive late winner as first Quade Taylor tried his luck with a long-ranger that whistled just wide, before substitute Danny Mills watched his free header fly off target.

Weymouth had one further chance to steal it themselves after Baggie was chopped down by Nathan Smith deep into injury time. Alas, Harfield’s free-kick was quickly cleared forcing both sides to settle for a point.

Terras: Childs, Harfield, Wakefield (Whelan 73), Zubar, Ngalo (Odubade 73), McCarthy, Thomson, McQuoid, Baggie, Camp, Hobson. Subs not used: Rees, Olumuyiwa, Williams.

Dulwich Hamlet: Grainger, Chapman, Barnes (Smith 74), Taylor, Debrah, Smith, Monakana, Vose, Mullings (Clunis 79), Kearney (Mills 79), Ainsworth. Subs not used: Splatter, Hunte.

Referee: Joel Mannix (Watford)

Attendance: 912


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