McQuoid 41


BRAVE Weymouth took an impressive 1-0 victory against Hartlepool United to kick-start their Vanarama National League campaign.

The Terras’ third victory this season came courtesy of a Josh McQuoid header in the 41st minute.

Hartlepool sub Luke Molyneux was red carded with 20 minutes left but Weymouth held on amid constant late pressure to complete a much needed win.

Boss Brian Stock will be delighted with the three points after new signings Joan Luque and Andrew Dallas were called straight into the starting line-up.

Jake McCarthy returned from suspension while Ethan Ross retook his place in goal.

Making way were keeper Gerard Benfield, striker Cody Cooke plus midfielders Josh Wakefield and Cameron Murray.

Benfield and Murray dropped to the dugout to join the returning Christian Saydee and Brennan Camp. Andy Robinson completed the bench.

However, there was no place in the squad for Cooke or Wakefield.

With Hartlepool winning all of their past four games, Weymouth knew they needed a quick start and, from the off, their pressing intent was clear.

McQuoid won a corner in the second minute which was punched clear by visitors’ keeper Ben Killip, before the Terras’ skipper charged down a clearance close to the byline.

In the next attack, Hartlepool engineered the game’s first chance as Pools’ top scorer Luke Armstrong was denied by Ross from a tight angle.

Hartlepool then began to have some joy down their left as David Ferguson forced Dominic Revan into heading behind for a corner that McQuoid flicked clear.

Hartlepool recycled the ball and brought an agile save from Ross as Ryan Johnson’s well-placed header had the Lincoln loanee scrambling to claw his effort away.

Dallas was making a nuisance of himself with some clever movement and, after picking up a soft foul from Timi Odusina, McCarthy headed the resultant free-kick just over.

Hartlepool, who had not played for two weeks, were thwarted by another McQuoid clearance after Revan made a superb tackle on Rhys Oates.

Dallas was making his presence felt in attack but man-handled Odusina to the floor to earn the game’s first yellow before Oates fired low at Ross from 25 yards.

Weymouth were doing well to intercept Hartlepool’s moves and Dallas was proving his worth with a series of clever runs, the latest teasing a foul from Odusina who was booked for the tackle.

Crucially, his indiscretion led to the game’s opening goal as Ollie Harfield's delivery was bulleted home by the head of McQuoid for a 1-0 half-time lead.

Weymouth continued their good work in the second half, while the tireless McQuoid was unlucky not to win a corner as Odusina knocked his clearance against him from the byline.

Meanwhile, the low sun was causing problems for Weymouth in defence as Ollie Harfield headed clear a cross at the near post despite having his vision obscured.

Hartlepool ramped up the pressure as Oates turned Aston Villa loanee Revan before scuffing wide.

The visitors then went for the jugular, as a triple change saw Odusina, Mark Shelton and Oates come off for Molyneux, Mason Bloomfield and Luke Williams.

Bloomfield had a near instant impact as his towering header was terrifically tipped round the post by Ross before Gavan Holohan somehow headed over the corner when six yards out.

Luque’s debut ended in the 66th minute as Murray was introduced, and the dynamic winger was involved in a pivotal moment three minutes later.

In attempting to set up a counter, Murray was the victim of a shocking high tackle by Molyneux – the sub receiving his marching orders nine minutes after coming on.

Such was the force of the challenge, Murray’s shirt was ripped and the winger required a new nameless jersey to hide lengthy stud marks across his chest.

Hartlepool belied their numerical disadvantage to control the play in the closing stages, taking risks when in attack as defender Jamie Sterry was forced to clear the danger when Weymouth had two men over.

McQuoid then went off to end what could claim to be a man of the match display, before Ross caught a Williams free-kick.

Weymouth looked to be winding the clock down without trouble until three successive corners set nerves jangling.

They could have been eased had Dallas punished a defensive error. The striker did superbly to outpace Johnson before cutting back, only for Killip to lunge in and win the ball.

Hartlepool flooded forward again and Ross had to be at his best to deny Williams’ deflected shot, sticking a leg out to divert his effort despite diving the other way.

But Weymouth held out amid the pressure to seal a first win since beating Stockport 2-1 on Halloween and take their tally to 12 points.

Terras: Ross, Ngalo, McCarthy, McQuoid (Robinson 78), Brooks, Dallas, Mensah, Revan, Harfield, Luque (Murray 66), Shields. Subs not used: Benfield, Camp, Saydee.

Hartlepool: Killip, Sterry, Ferguson, Johnson, Cass, Odusina (Bloomfield 60), Shelton (Molyneux 60), Featherstone, Holohan, Oates (Williams 61), Armstrong. Subs not used: Crawford, Grey.

Referee: Matthew Russell