WEYMOUTH boss Brian Stock has explained the absences of several key players for the 4-0 loss at Hartlepool.

The Terras struggled to name a full starting XI, with only one fit outfield substitute – Jordan Ngalo.

First-team coach Sammy Lander and third-choice keeper Harrison Bruton were among Stock’s other options on the bench, with Sean Shields (ankle) also named but unfit to play.

Brennan Camp (thigh) and Jake McCarthy (family reasons) did not make the squad and Ben Morgan (hamstring) and Ben Thomson (groin) were long ruled out.

Captain Josh McQuoid went off in the first half through injury, while Andy Robinson also limped through the 90 minutes.

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On McQuoid, Stock told Echosport: “He said he felt something in the warm-up with his thigh.

“He tried to carry on given we were limited with numbers. It got progressively worse. It’s nothing too serious, just a thigh strain.

“Andy managed to play the full 90, even though at half-time it would’ve been better to bring him off due to his hip. He battled through.

“We had to look after him, staying in front of the back four to protect that.”

Stock added: “Brennan was struggling with his thigh and we missed him – he’s had a very good season.”

Weymouth goalkeeper Gerard Benfield also notched up a second league start this term, pushing Ethan Ross to the bench.

“We said to Gerard a few weeks back that as a number two it’s tough,” Stock said.

“We’ve had to work really hard with Gerard to understand the responsibilities that come with that.

“To go the season without recording (another) National League appearance would be unfair, so we highlighted the fact that this game would be an opportunity for Gez to play.

“He’s come in and I felt sorry for him at times, because we defended quite poorly. He was exposed and made some really good saves.

“Although he’s not played much, he’s made the biggest learning curve in his development. He’ll carry that forward and be better for it.”