Ash 39


Grant 28, Jackson 89

WEYMOUTH slipped to a 2-1 defeat as Chelmsford City stole all three points from their Vanarama National League South contest at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Reece Grant put City ahead with their first shot of the game but Brad Ash’s 14th goal of the season levelled matters before the break.

Weymouth, who dominated the first half, could not find a second goal their play merited and ex-Norwich striker Simeon Jackson pounced in the 89th minute to inflict a fourth straight loss on the Terras.

Scott Rees saw red for a second yellow in the 94th minute to compound Weymouth’s afternoon.

READ MOREWeymouth 1-2 Chelmsford City - how it happened

Weymouth made two changes to the side that began the defeat at Ebbsfleet.

In came Tom Bearwish and Dan Matsuzaka, with Tom Blair dropping to the bench and Harry Kyprianou continuing his recovery from a hamstring injury.

On the bench, new signing Will Dawes made his first appearance in the matchday squad since joining from Yeovil Town.

Frankie Monk has been recalled from Hamworthy and the duo were joined by Matt Buse, Luke Nippard and Blair.

Josh Oyinsan was not in the squad as he mulls over a move away from the club, while Cam Murray has been loaned out to Poole.

With Weymouth not having played for two weeks, the Terras struggled early on with ball retention and the same ailment afflicted City in a scrappy start.

Ending a trying opening, Weymouth burst into life with a glorious chance in the seventh minute.

Ash played the outstanding Keelan O’Connell into space on the left and his first-time ball picked out Rose in the area.

However, City keeper and Chelsea loanee Eddie Beach read the situation well to pull off a brave save, taking Rose’s shot flush in the face.

O’Connell was busy tormenting the City defence all half and, after skipping past Jazzi Barnum-Bobb to win a corner, he later tested the full-stretch Beach with a swerving shot from 15 yards.

From the resulting corner, Bearwish worked Beach into a save with his legs and Jenkins headed the rebound into the stands.

With Weymouth dominating, City then scored in the 28th minute against the run of play with their first shot at goal.

It came through the simplest of methods as Callum Jones’ headed through ball set Grant away for a composed finish underneath Zaki Oualah.

Dorset Echo: Reece Grant, second left, celebrates opening the scoring against WeymouthReece Grant, second left, celebrates opening the scoring against Weymouth (Image: MARK PROBIN)

But for the brilliance of Beach, Weymouth would have been level fewer than 60 seconds later as the City keeper once more denied the incredulous Rose, getting fingertips to a shot that seemed destined to ripple the net.

Scott Rees and Eduino Vaz later traded shots at either end before Weymouth deservedly levelled.

Matsuzaka’s charging run from deep created space for the untouchable O’Connell and the winger cut inside before clipping a deft cross for Ash to glance a looping header into the corner, finally defeating Beach.

Dorset Echo: Brad Ash, right, celebrates after equalising for Weymouth Brad Ash, right, celebrates after equalising for Weymouth (Image: MARK PROBIN)

O’Connell created Weymouth’s next chance as his darting run picked out Bearwish, whose two pokes at goal were repelled by Beach.

Weymouth were again on top in the second half as Rose dragged a right-footed shot wide before both he and Ash saw multiple shots blocked by a determined City defence who had conceded only 22 goals in 25 games prior to kick-off.

Chelmsford could only respond when Tom Blackwell’s attempted lob from the byline landed on the roof, his last effort of the game as Harry Lodovica replaced him on the hour.

City then began to come back into it, helped largely by keeping O’Connell quiet, but could not test Oualah despite grabbing more of possession up until 15 minutes to go.

Weymouth waited until the 76th minute to adjust their personnel, Blair and debutant Dawes coming on for Xander McBurnie and Ash.

Dorset Echo: Will Dawes made his Weymouth debutWill Dawes made his Weymouth debut (Image: MARK PROBIN)

The changes sprung the Terras back into life as Blair’s fizzed low shot picked out Bearwish to win a corner, and Matsuzaka later saw handball claims in the box waved away.

Former Gillingham hotshot Jackson came on with nine minutes to go and he would have the critical influence on the match.

Bournemouth loanee Chris Francis’ untimely slip allowed City in and a calm square pass to the experienced Jackson resulted in a late winner as the striker belted home into the unguarded net from ten yards.

Stunned Weymouth looked short of ideas in four added minutes, Bearwish volleying into the roof of the stand.

And more misery befell Weymouth in the 94th minute when Rees earned a second yellow for a professional foul.

Weymouth will wonder how they did not earn at least a point, the Terras remaining in 23rd after their ninth home league loss of the season.

Terras: Oualah, Jenkins, Francis, Carlyle, Matsuzaka, McBurnie (Dawes 76), Rees, Bearwish, Rose, Ash (Blair 76), O'Connell. Subs not used: Buse, Nippard, Monk.

Chelmsford: Beach, Barnum-Bobb, Winfield, Yearn, Blackwell (Lodovica 60), Jones, Ochieng, Grant (Jackson 81), Vaz, Terry, Krasniqi (da Costa 74). Subs not used: James, Hockey.

Referee: Sam Read

Attendance: 786