Dallas 22, 77


Colclough 50

WEYMOUTH closed to within three points of Altrincham’s 17th place with a 2-1 win over their Greater Manchester rivals at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Andy Dallas scored a clinical brace either side of Ryan Colclough’s equaliser as Weymouth gave themselves real hope of ending the Vanarama National League season as the highest-placed promoted side.

It also put Weymouth mathematically out of the clutches of the bottom three - a huge achievement despite there being no relegation.

Looking to end a three-game losing streak, Weymouth made two changes to the side that began the 2-1 loss at Solihull Moors on Tuesday.

Calvin Brooks made his 300th appearance for Weymouth, joining just 20 Terras players since World War Two to have achieved that milestone.

Ben Worman and Cameron Murray earned starts, with Jake McCarthy and Josh Leslie-Smith dropping to the bench.

There was no place for keeper Gerard Benfield but midfielder Jack Dickson came in to take his place in the dugout.

Pierre Fonkeu and Jordan Ngalo were the other Weymouth substitutes.

Aiming to close the six-point gap to Alty in 17th, Weymouth began brightly but it was the visitors who jangled home nerves early on.

Alistair Smith’s scything ball in behind for Dan Mooney was blocked and the latter’s dipping corner caused trouble for home keeper Ethan Ross.

The Lincoln loanee had to shovel the ball out from underneath the crossbar and Toby Mullarkey’s backheel was smuggled away.

Weymouth settled around 10 minutes in when Josh McQuoid’s chip over the top put Dallas through, only for the striker to rush his shot with nobody around him.

Dallas was away again in the 17th minute, skinning his man before engineering space in the box with his pace.

With a clear sight of goal, he directed a fierce shot at Anthony Thompson who produced an agile save to his left before Jake Moult blocked Dallas’s follow-up on the line.

However, it was a case of third time lucky for the Cambridge United loanee in the 22nd minute.

Patient play from McQuoid and Murray teed up the Scot inside the area and a fake to his right worked space to his left before he drilled a low shot clinically past Thompson for 1-0.

Dorset Echo: Andy Dallas strikes the first of his two goals against Alty Picture: MARK PROBINAndy Dallas strikes the first of his two goals against Alty Picture: MARK PROBIN

Dallas had bagged his 11th goal in 22 games and Weymouth were now in control.

McQuoid was unlucky not to have a penalty as his burst into the area was unceremoniously halted by Sean Williams from behind, with big appeals waved away.

Alty then threatened briefly when Mooney’s searching free-kick picked out Nyal Bell, only for the striker to punt a volley over.

Weymouth won a succession of corners near the end of the half but a wayward Jacob Mensah overhead kick was their only shy at goal ahead of the break.

Altrincham improved noticeably after the restart and drew level in the 50th minute – with a little help from McQuoid.

Weymouth’s captain gave possession away 25 yards out, allowing Colclough to nip in and rifle a left-footed shot past Ross near the D.

Alty should have gone 2-1 up three minutes later as a counter-attack, led by Reagan Ogle, picked out Connor Kirby who was denied by a fine flying stop from Ross.

After Ben Worman was floored by a Moult tackle more akin to NFL than football – earning yellow – Sean Shields’ delivery caused havoc in the visitors’ box.

Dorset Echo: Ben Worman, right, was floored by a heavy challenge in the second half Picture: MARK PROBINBen Worman, right, was floored by a heavy challenge in the second half Picture: MARK PROBIN

Brennan Camp got the touch but Thompson produced a fine reaction stop and the rebound landed on the roof of the net.

Altrincham had made two changes before the hour and Josh Hancock, who had only been playing for nine minutes, was denied by Ross 12 yards out.

Hancock’s fellow sub Matty Kosylo also went close with a rasping drive which crept just wide of the far post.

Weymouth boss Brian Stock reacted by bringing off a hobbling Brooks for Dickson, with Murray replaced by Fonkeu.

The changes worked as Weymouth took the lead in the 77th minute.

After sub McCarthy had rattled the bar with a header, another Shields corner picked out the run of Dallas to nod into the bottom-left corner.

Dorset Echo: Jake McCarthy, second top, hit the bar with this header Picture: MARK PROBINJake McCarthy, second top, hit the bar with this header Picture: MARK PROBIN

Seconds later, sublime control from Dallas on the break opened up another chance, this time for Shields, but Thompson was equal to the winger’s curling shot.

Alty blew a glorious chance for 2-2 in the 86th minute when Joel Senior stole into the box and somehow elected to cut back, picking out the superb Camp rather than a teammate.

Despite late Alty pressure, the Terras closed the game out in relative comfort to record their 11th victory of the league season.

Terras: Ross, Camp, McQuoid (McCarthy 66), Robinson, Brooks (Dickson 75), Dallas, Mensah, Murray (Fonkeu 75), Harfield, Worman, Shields. Subs not used: Ngalo, Leslie-Smith.

Altrincham: Thompson, Moult, Mooney (Kosylo 61), Williams (Peers 83), Bell (Hancock 57), Ogle, Senior, Mullarkey, Smith, Colclough, Kirby. Subs not used: Densmore, Gould.

Referee: Alan Dale