Morgan 24


Rose 6, Ash 20, Bearwish 73

WEYMOUTH claimed a sensational 3-1 win at Taunton Town to take their Vanarama National League South survival bid to the final day.

Weymouth were 2-0 up in 20 minutes as Ahkeem Rose and Brad Ash netted after incisive Terras attacks.

Taunton pulled a goal back through Dylan Morgan’s volley but Weymouth settled jangling nerves in the second half with Tom Bearwish’s close-range finish.

It means Weymouth, now 21st, could stay up with victory at Dover on Saturday, although they must hope Concord do not beat Havant on Thursday.

READ MORE: Taunton Town 1-3 Weymouth - how it happened

However, Cheshunt are down after their 2-0 loss to Worthing.

Knowing only victory at Taunton would do, Weymouth made one change to the side that began the 2-0 win over Slough on Saturday.

Keelan O'Connell was preferred in the Terras' midfield to Harvey Slade, who dropped to the bench.

The dugout was otherwise unchanged, with Xander McBurnie, Harry Kyprianou, Archie Procter and Frankie Monk the remaining options.

Interestingly in a rare sight for home teams, Taunton's bench was only three-strong.

Their lack of numbers had no immediate impact but their starting XI was certainly slow to start as Weymouth enjoyed instant attacking success.

It took just six minutes for the Terras to take the lead as O’Connell showed laser-like vision to find Ash on the right flank.

The striker then outmuscled his man and got a shot off. Although ex-Terra Jack Bycroft saved, Rose was there to bury the rebound from 12 yards for his 20th goal of the season.

Tom Blair curled wide from 25 yards and then failed to shoot deep inside the area after more cunning play from O’Connell as Weymouth threatened a second.

Lee Lucas scuffed Taunton’s first shot on target before Ash fluffed his lines when through on goal in the 12th minute following Bearwish’s interception.

In an electric start, Cameron Evans bent a 20-yarder narrowly over and Teddy Howe sliced wide on the break at the other end as the chances flowed.

But Weymouth would take the next one that came their way, gift-wrapped by the static Taunton defence as Ash raced clean through and slotted clinically past Bycroft in the 20th minute.

Dorset Echo: Brad Ash, bottom, scored his 23rd goal of the seasonBrad Ash, bottom, scored his 23rd goal of the season (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Taunton were only two goals down for four minutes, though.

Bearwish gave a foul away and, despite Weymouth partially clearing the free-kick, Morgan’s dipping volley proved too hot for Gerard Benfield, who palmed his effort into the right corner.

Dorset Echo: Taunton's Dylan Morgan (22) scored four minutes after Weymouth made it 2-0Taunton's Dylan Morgan (22) scored four minutes after Weymouth made it 2-0 (Image: MARK PROBIN)

The goal would eventually turn the momentum Taunton’s way but not before another defensive lapse as Dan Ball’s backward header allowed Ash an attempted lob that an alert Bycroft batted away.

Weymouth had little by way of attacks up to half-time, Rose’s 25-yard grubber the closest they came as Taunton threatened an equaliser without creating a clear chance.

In the second half, Weymouth centre-back Nathan Carlyle made a crucial tackle to deny in-form Ross Stearn on the break and Blair curled a free-kick just wide from 20 yards after a nasty foul on Ash.

Weymouth had to weather heavy Taunton pressure, with the Terras seemingly content to play on the break.

The Terras relieved the pressure somewhat when Blair drew a reckless foul from Evans, who earned yellow, only for Blair’s free-kick to evade a teammate.

Max Hemmings then blasted a left-footed snapshot out of the ground as Weymouth hunted a priceless third goal with 19 minutes to play.

Bearwish was next to clear the stand after a clever pass inside from Blair, but the two would connect to deadly effect one minute later.

Blair’s driving run into the box allowed him to slide the ball across the six-yard box where his fellow ex-Eastleigh teammate Bearwish was sprinting in to bury a shot high into the roof of the net.

The goal sent the travelling Weymouth fans into raptures behind the goal but their ecstasy soon turned to nervousness as Morgan sliced a good volleyed chance high and wide.

Weymouth had to deal with numerous probing balls into the box but did so convincingly enough as Taunton failed to find a second.

Even five added minutes, stretching into a seventh, could not perturb the Terras as they professionally saw out the game to claim a priceless three points.

Dorset Echo: Tom Bearwish, left, celebrates at the final whistleTom Bearwish, left, celebrates at the final whistle (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Taunton: Bycroft, Ball, Wannell, James, Guest, Stearn, Smith, Evans, Sims-Burgess, Morgan, Lucas (Chamberlain 58). Subs not used: Jarvis, Irish.

Terras: Benfield, Howe, Willson, Carlyle, O'Connell (Monk 90+6), Sesay, Rose (Slade 90+4), Bearwish, Ash, Hemmings, Blair. Subs not used: McBurnie, Kyprianou, Procter.

Referee: Phillip Eddie.

Attendance: 1,397.