Rollinson 11


WEYMOUTH underlined their improvement over the summer with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Dartford at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Joel Rollinson’s first goal for the club proved to be the winner, his mishit cross deceiving Jack McIntyre who parried the ball across the line.

Weymouth had chances to extend their lead through Tom Bearwish and Keelan O’Connell, while Dartford’s Tyrell Rodney-Miller was twice denied in an entertaining game.

However, it was Weymouth who came out on top against a side beaten in last season’s play-offs.

Weymouth boss Bobby Wilkinson made two changes to the side that began the 2-1 loss at St Albans City.

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

Max Hemmings (knee) and Teddy Howe made way for Josh McQuoid and Calvin Brooks.

There were two changes in the dugout as Howe dropped down to the bench, with new signing David Sesay also coming in.

However, there was no place in the squad for fellow new recruit Nahum Melvin-Lambert.

On the 13th anniversary of the passing of club president Bob Lucas, Weymouth showed intent from kick-off and nearly went 1-0 up inside the first ten seconds.

The once more impressive Leo Hamblin’s cross fell to O’Connell, Joash Nembhard getting back to head clear the winger’s goalbound shot.

Dartford fashioned an early opening, too, Rodney-Miller breaking down the left, cutting inside and forcing Anthony Cheshire to block his shot, with Brandon Barzey blazing the rebound carelessly over.

However, Weymouth took the lead with a fortuitous goal and one that new Dartford signing McIntyre will not want to watch back.

Rollinson’s cross from the left touchline was well off target but it turned into a lob when McIntyre misjudged the trajectory, parrying into the side-netting.

The keeper attempted to claim the ball had not crossed the line, but the assistant referee on the far side was well placed and immediately flagged for the goal.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth celebrate Joel Rollinson's goalWeymouth celebrate Joel Rollinson's goal (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Despite threatening when they attacked, Weymouth looked vulnerable on the break and Dartford forced Gerard Benfield into a good save as Luke Allen took aim.

Rollinson tested McIntyre’s handling from 25 yards but Dartford ended the half strongly, Rodney-Miller sweeping at Benfield before Luke Coulson’s piledriver needed tipping over.

There were no changes at the break but Weymouth again began the half on the front foot, thanks to Hamblin.

His surging run from left-back allowed him to cross, Nembhard going to ground to make the interception and Bearwish giving a goal-kick away when attempting to pick his pocket.

Bearwish was then involved in a major flashpoint, clattering Rodney-Miller into the advertising hoardings in a sickening collision.

Dorset Echo: Tempers flared as Tyrell Rodney-Miller hit the barrierTempers flared as Tyrell Rodney-Miller hit the barrier (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Both players appeared startled and there was concern over Rodney-Miller’s condition with the stretcher being called for until he clambered to his feet.

However, he walked off unaided and was replaced by Lewis Manor, with Charlie Sheringham replacing Barzey during the stoppage.

Weymouth then reached for their first change 21 minutes from time as Goodship trotted off for Norman Wabo.

The Terras subjected McIntyre to another nervy moment when he spilled Hamblin’s cross, almost allowing Rollinson to prod home before gathering at the second attempt.

Wabo’s first action was to pull a shot wide from 25 yards and Rollinson curled a poor free-kick into the stand roof as Weymouth chased a second goal.

Darts’ sub Maxwell Statham stabbed wide from a free-kick in a rare away attack and the visitors wasted a free-kick when Coulson’s delivery did not clear McQuoid as first man.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth kept Dartford's star striker, Harvey Bradbury, quiet during the gameWeymouth kept Dartford's star striker, Harvey Bradbury, quiet during the game (Image: MARK PROBIN)

However, Weymouth should have put the game beyond doubt in the 85th minute when Bearwish’s low sizzler was parried by McIntyre, who sprung up quickly and got down well to save O’Connell’s follow-up header.

The FA’s new ‘participation charter’ rules spelled ten minutes of added time, much to the frustration of the home crowd.

Weymouth consequently elected to run the clock down further with a second change, Scott Rees replacing McQuoid on 92 minutes.

Wabo was booked for simulation after going down inside the area and at the other end Statham sent a wasteful cross straight out.

Weymouth sent on Frankie Monk for Rollinson in the 97th minute but Weymouth ran down the clock expertly to get their National League South points tally off and running.

Terras: Benfield, C Brooks, Cheshire, Rowan, Hamblin, O'Connell, McQuoid (Rees 90+2), Bearwish, Rollinson (Monk 90+7), Roberts, Goodship (Wabo 69). Subs not used: Howe, Sesay.

Dartford: McIntyre, Block, Golding, Nembhard, Odaudu, Wynter, Rodney-Miller (Manor 64), Allen, Barzey (Sheringham 61), Bradbury (Statham 76), Coulson. Subs not used: Beeney, Altintop.

Referee: Craig Scriven.

Attendance: 1,087.