Ash 65


WEYMOUTH recorded their first-ever win over Swindon Town with a deserved 1-0 pre-season friendly win at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

League Two side Swindon, in boss Ben Garner’s first game, looked a threat in the first half but badly tailed off in the second as Weymouth’s red-hot sub Brad Ash scored his sixth goal of the summer.

Swindon had made the more convincing start, with new owner Clem Morfuni watching on from the stands.

Town midfielder Jack Payne had the first chance in the third minute, his deflected strike forcing Ross Fitzsimons to leap to his right to make the game’s opening save.

Harry Parsons was then denied at the near post before Weymouth’s first attack yielded a corner courtesy of Brandon Goodship, only for ex-Terras loanee Corey Jordan to head clear.

Weymouth looked rusty at the back as Parsons pounced on a loose ball to curl just wide before diverting a poor square backpass off target.

READ MORE: Weymouth fans urged to join Wessex Fantasy to help add new signings

Swindon did not look comfortable in defence, either, Goodship finding the midfield trialist to tamely shoot at another former Weymouth loanee, keeper Jojo Wollacott.

In the next attack, Swindon caught Weymouth out with a long ball over the top, Fitzsimons called upon to save from Player C.

Weymouth continued to apply pressure at the other end as Jordan hastily cleared for a corner with Rose hounding him, Tyler Cordner then unable to control his header from the set-play.

Player C was gifted another chance after shaky defending from Fitzsimons and Josh McQuoid, only to shovel his effort wide from 18 yards.

Payne and Weymouth’s Tom Bearwish both fired off target before Cameron Murray connected sweetly, albeit over the bar, with an 18-yard attempt before half-time.

Swindon introduced three triallists at the break, while Weymouth remained unchanged, but it was Town who threatened four minutes after the restart.

Payne’s swinging free-kick picked out Ellis Iandolo to cushion a header onto the roof of the net and Weymouth responded when Swindon’s sub keeper punched clear with Rose poised to head home Murray’s cross.

The best moment of the match to date came in the 57th minute when Player C bent a beautiful free-kick towards goal, Fitzsimons then colliding with the post to push the effort clear.

That chance was eclipsed by the first goal as substitute Ash finished off a quality move, touching home Goodship’s cushioned header via the post and the sub keeper, the linesman on the far side awarding the goal.

Ash’s introduction on the hour sparked Weymouth into life and the striker was involved again as Murray sent an effort along the byline before Ash prodded a Bearwish pass at the sub keeper.

Ben Thomson came on for his first involvement in pre-season as the good news kept coming for the Terras.

Swindon offered little in the second half as an influx of triallists came on, giving the impression the League Two side have a mountain of work to do to be competitive when the season starts.

Their situation is reminiscent of Southend’s last season, but that did not blunt their heart and desire as the outstanding Bearwish did superbly well to slide in and deny Anthony Grant in the 89th minute.

Bearwish’s tackle helped preserve Weymouth’s advantage as the Terras recorded their third win in four pre-season games.

Terras: Fitzsimons, Trialist, Bearwish, Cordner, Harfield, Trialist (Thomson 73), Trialist (Neild 73), McQuoid (Robinson 66), Murray, Goodship, Rose (Ash 60). Subs not used: Shields, Morgan, Benfield.

Swindon: Wollacott, Hunt, Baudry, Jordan, Iandolo, Payne, Lydon, Grant, Trialist, Trialist, Parsons. Subs: Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.

Referee: James Durkin