Hatfield 45

WEYMOUTH crashed out of the FA Trophy fourth round with a poor 1-0 loss to Darlington at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

For the second game in succession, Weymouth failed to register a shot on target in a lethargic display.

It was also the second time this season Weymouth have been knocked out of a cup competition by sixth-tier opponents, following a 3-2 FA Cup defeat to Oxford City.

Darlington were good value for the win but barely had to break sweat to defend Will Hatfield’s low winner in the 45th minute.

Weymouth came closest to scoring when Jordan Ngalo fired over, while sub Andy Robinson saw a confident penalty appeal turned down as the Terras exited with a whimper.

Weymouth boss Brian Stock made three changes to the side that began the 3-0 loss to Yeovil in the previous game.

Goalkeeper Gerard Benfield got the nod in cup competition once again, replacing Ethan Ross who dropped to the bench.

There were debuts for Aston Villa loanee Dominic Revan and fellow centre-back Jacob Mensah after their arrivals yesterday.

Ade Olumuyiwa (knee) and Ben Thomson (ankle) sufficiently recovered from their injuries to join Ross.

Alefe Santos, Jack Dickson, Robinson and Jack Hoey took up the remainder of the dugout.

FA Trophy winners in 2011, Darlington included former Bolton defender Nicky Hunt in their starting line-up.

But it was through Erico Sousa that Darlington made the biggest impression in the first half.

Weymouth endured another slow start but livewire Sousa looked a constant danger with his weaving runs.

One such move engineered a cross that home left-back Ollie Harfield had to sweep behind, Weymouth then clearing the corner.

Weymouth looked lacklustre in the opening exchanges and another teasing Sousa cross bent just beyond Quakers’ striker Dan Maguire.

What was a dull first half kicked into gear in the 21st minute with the first shot at goal as Ngalo curled over from 20 yards after good work from Cameron Murray.

Seconds later, Mensah was called upon to make a stunning block from Maguire six yards out after Benfield had failed to claim a cross.

However, Darlington’s fast start soon caught up with them as Weymouth began to creep into the game, Sean Shields dancing inside and bending a 25-yarder just wide of the far post.

Darlington responded when Alex Storey’s looping, slow header hit the top of the bar with Benfield well-placed to watch the effort out.

Shields and Darlington’s Luke Charman both saw half-chances go begging before the visitors grabbed the goal they arguably merited in the 45th minute.

In truth, Weymouth’s defence could have halted the chance sooner but backed off continually as away skipper Hatfield drove low past Benfield to score from 20 yards.

Weymouth once more started slowly in the second half as a Shields free-kick hit Murray in the thigh, before Stock shook things up as Thomson came on for Cooke.

Darlington should really have made it 2-0 when a moment of defensive madness caused havoc for Weymouth.

Benfield’s pass out was too strong for Mensah who cleared straight to Charman and suddenly the forward was clean through.

Benfield atoned for his error with a good low save using his feet and Revan tracked back to clear off the line as Maguire headed the rebound at goal.

After that self-imposed scare Weymouth improved, Stock adding Robinson and Dickson to the mix in place of Josh Wakefield and Murray.

Weymouth controlled possession but still had not troubled away keeper Jonathan Saltmer into a save.

Cries for a penalty were waved away when Robinson tumbled on the right edge of the area, before Hatfield fired over at the other end following strong hold-up play by Maguire.

When Weymouth did cross in, they found the experienced Hunt perfectly positioned to repel the danger.

Weymouth’s lack of creativity was painfully evident in the final third as Harfield skied a promising free-kick woefully over in the 89th minute.

Despite five minutes of added time, the Terras could not create a chance as Darlington comfortably held on to progress to the fifth round.

Terras: Benfield, Wakefield (Robinson 58), Ngalo, McQuoid, Brooks, Cooke (Thomson 51), Mensah, Murray (Dickson 65), Revan, Harfield, Shields. Subs not used: Ross, Olumuyiwa, Santos, Hoey.

Darlington: Saltmer, Watson, Wheatley, Hunt, Hatfield, Maguire (O’Neil 84), Rivers, Storey, Sousa (Campbell 76), Charman (Holness 81), McMahon. Subs not used: Hedley.

Referee: Robert Whitton