Roberts 66


Shields 8

WEYMOUTH came from behind to draw 1-1 with ten-man Tonbridge Angels on a frustrating day at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

The Terras hit the post through Joel Rollinson but ex-Weymouth winger Sean Shields scored a brilliant free-kick to put Tonbridge ahead.

Weymouth struggled to get going but were handed a lifeline by Ben Swift’s red card, Dan Roberts heading home from the resulting free-kick.

Weymouth could not find a late winner but at least extended to four league games their unbeaten run.

The headline news before kick-off was that under-23s goalkeeper Callum Smalley made his debut for Weymouth, the ex-Bridport man not having played higher than Step 5 level before kick-off.

READ MORE: Weymouth 1-1 Tonbridge Angels - how it happened

Dorset Echo: Callum Smalley made his Weymouth debutCallum Smalley made his Weymouth debut (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Number one choice goalkeeper Gerard Benfield was absent from the squad entirely, as was top scorer Ezio Touray.

Anthony Cheshire dropped to the bench in the third of three changes for Weymouth, meaning Smalley joined Ben Thomson and Joel Rollinson in earning starts.

Joining Cheshire on the bench was Charlie Rowan, Scott Rees, Elliott Bolton and Moe Shubbar.

Dorset Echo: Elliott Bolton provided the assist for Weymouth's equaliserElliott Bolton provided the assist for Weymouth's equaliser (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Weymouth came into the game placed in 18th, with Tonbridge in 21st and one point worse off than the Terras.

And it was the home side who began the brighter, winning a corner inside ten seconds.

Although it came to nothing, the tempo was set and the Terras rattled the post in the fifth minute.

Thomson chased a flick-on and lifted the ball into the box, narrowly evading a teammate. Rollinson scampered back to retrieve and then clattered a shot against the near post, the rebound falling unkindly for the Terras.

However, Weymouth’s good work was undone by a needless foul from Brandon Goodship, who tripped Jernade Meade 25 yards from goal.

It allowed former Weymouth winger Sean Shields to curl in a trademark free-kick into the far corner, giving Smalley no chance in the eighth minute.

Dorset Echo: Sean Shields, out of shot, put Tonbridge 1-0 up with this direct free-kickSean Shields, out of shot, put Tonbridge 1-0 up with this direct free-kick (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Tonbridge sensed Smalley’s inexperience as the half wore on and crowded the young keeper at every opportunity during set-pieces.

He was forced into saving from Shields and Meade later zipped a low 25-yarder inches wide as Angels looked to test the custodian.

Weymouth went close themselves as Tom Bearwish skipped past two challenges in midfield before scuffing a shot at away keeper Jonathan Henly.

Bearwish then nudged wide a Howe cross and Smalley made a good save from Charlie Pegrum’s 20-yard curler as the game began to open up.

Tariq Hinds was next to work Smalley after the stopper was beaten to a cross by Shields and Weymouth had a half-hearted penalty shout for handball against Jamie Fielding waved away.

However, Weymouth should have equalised in first-half injury-time.

The chance came out of nothing as Rollinson was released via a long ball and hit his effort into the turf, forcing Henly to get a crucial paw onto the shot and tipping clear.

At the break, Tonbridge subbed off Kodi Lyons-Foster, who had gone down for treatment in the first half, with Francis Mumpolo coming on.

Weymouth began the half brightly without testing Henly but Tonbridge worked Smalley as Jordan Higgs’ low dipping shot prompted the keeper to make an unorthodox punch.

Weymouth manager Bobby Wilkinson then made two changes, bringing on Shubbar and Bolton for Rollinson and Goodship, and the alterations worked.

Smalley superbly pushed clear a header at close-range from Fielding and Thomson then left a heavy tackle on Swift, seconds later provoking a reaction from the defender.

At the first opportunity, he lunged in on the Weymouth striker and earned a straight red for his troubles.

Dorset Echo: Ben Swift, number six, is sent off for a lunge on Ben ThomsonBen Swift, number six, is sent off for a lunge on Ben Thomson (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Worse still for Tonbridge, Weymouth equalised from the free-kick as Roberts flicked a header in off the post from Bolton’s wicked delivery on 66 minutes.

Tonbridge defended doggedly in the next 15 minutes, denying Weymouth a clear chance until Bearwish appeared to be pulled back in the area by Scott Wagstaff.

With penalty claims falling on deaf ears, Weymouth targeted other means of a winner but first had Smalley to thank for a smart block on Shields, who attempted to nutmeg him from the byline.

Bolton bent a 25-yarder at Henly and Roberts was checked by Meade as he led a counter, the latter earning yellow as both sides looked jittery in the closing stages.

Brooks fouled Mumpolo 25 yards out as Tonbridge sensed a late winner and Shields nearly provided it with a wonderful free-kick that wobbled the bar and bounced to safety.

Bearwish then went down in the box under close attention from Fielding, irking Wilkinson so much that he was booked for his protests and is now set for a suspension.

Neither side fashioned a late chance, despite two Bolton corners, as a game overall low on quality handed a point in either direction.

Terras: Smalley, Howe, Hamblin, Thompson, Slade, Bearwish, Roberts, Thomson, Goodship (Bolton 62), Rollinson (Shubbar 57), Brooks. Subs not used: Cheshire, Rowan, Rees.

Tonbridge: Henly, Fielding, Lyons-Foster (Mumpolo 46), Gard, Swift, Higgs, Pegrum (Parkinson 66), Hinds, Meade, Wagstaff, Shields. Subs not used: Gibb, Puffette, Velvick.

Referee: Craig Scriven.

Attendance: 957