McAtee 74


WEYMOUTH slipped to a 1-0 defeat at former League Two side Grimsby Town as John McAtee’s 74th-minute goal separated the sides at Blundell Park.

Weymouth’s second Vanarama National League loss in two games could easily have had a more one-sided feel to the scoreline as the Mariners dominated.

McAtee had numerous chances and Ross Fitzsimons was busy to keep him out, also denying Erico Sousa’s one-on-one and Ryan Taylor’s header.

Weymouth enjoyed a purple patch in the second half with Sean Shields and Brandon Goodship going close, but McAtee struck late on to give his side a deserved victory.

Weymouth boss Brian Stock made three changes to the side that began the 2-0 loss to Boreham Wood on the opening day.

In came Ben Morgan, Tom Bearwish and Ahkeem Rose - the latter returning to play against his former club.

READ MORE: Grimsby 1-0 Weymouth - how it happened

The trio replaced Taofiq Olomowewe, Brad Ash and Omar Mussa who all dropped to the bench.

Joining them in the dugout were Cameron Murray and Josh Leslie-Smith.

Injured midfielder Xander McBurnie and striker Ben Thomson were not yet fit enough to take part.

Coming up against a side relegated from League Two last season, Weymouth made a good start when captain Josh McQuoid won a corner.

Although cleared, former Mariners’ winger Ahkeem Rose then sliced off target in the fifth minute.

Grimsby then settled and enjoyed the better of play for the remainder of the half, John McAtee signalling their intentions with a shot at Ross Fitzsimons.

Weymouth survived pinball in their box as two shots whistled around the area and there was a yellow card for Harry Clifton as his studs thudded into the chest of Andy Robinson a minute later.

McAtee went close with two shots in 60 seconds, before the attacker was superbly tackled by Morgan inside the area.

Weymouth stemmed the tide with two free-kicks of their own which failed to trouble Grimsby, Sean Shields with the second that Grimsby cleared inside their box.

By far the best chance of the half fell to Erico Sousa, who gave Weymouth a hard time in their 1-0 FA Trophy loss to Darlington last season.

Sousa was played in one-on-one with Fitzsimons but the keeper made a big save to keep parity.

Weymouth replied with Ollie Harfield teeing up Brandon Goodship, only for the striker to see his effort blocked.

Grimsby should have taken the lead when Ryan Taylor had a header three yards out, only for Fitzsimons to scoop up his weak effort.

Michee Efete then tested Fitzsimons with a header as Grimsby ended the half on top.

It was a pattern repeated early in the second half when Alex Hunt forced Fitzsimons into a good save at the near post.

Harfield and Shields combined in response for Weymouth, only for the latter to overhit his cross.

Mariners’ sub Lenell John-Lewis then warmed the gloves of Fitzsimons and Weymouth made their first sub on 58 minutes when Rose came off for Brad Ash.

Weymouth then enjoyed their best spell when Shields tested keeper James McKeown for the first time in the game, before Goodship’s deflected shot sailed over for a corner which came to nothing.

But the hosts grabbed a deserved goal in the 74th minute when John-Lewis slid in the irrepressible McAtee to score.

Weymouth never looked likely to score in the closing stages but instead it was Grimsby who came closest when Sousa’s trickery and shot earned the hosts a corner.

Grimsby’s game management came to the fore late on and one last chance for Weymouth was spurned when sub Omar Mussa slammed a free-kick into the wall.

The hosts comfortably held on for victory to inflict Weymouth’s second defeat in two games, the Terras still without a goal.

Grimsby Town: McKeown, Efete, Longe-King, Pearson, Crookes, Fox, Hunt (Wright 69), Clifton, Sousa, McAtee, Taylor (John-Lewis 46). Subs not used: Waterfall, Bapaga, Revan.

Terras: Fitzsimons, Morgan, Cordner, Goodship, McQuoid (Mussa 77), Bearwish, Robinson, Brooks (Leslie-Smith 81), Harfield, Rose (Ash 58), Shields. Subs not used: Olomowewe, Murray.

Attendance: 5,034