Goodship 35


Holding 59

POOR defending cost Weymouth all three points as bottom side Dover Athletic pegged the Terras back for a 1-1 draw at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Weymouth went ahead through Brandon Goodship’s sumptuous volley but a scramble in the box early in the second half allowed Scott Holding to smuggle home an equaliser.

Dover were also indebted to teenage keeper David Aziaya for a man-of-the-match display with a string of key saves.

Weymouth manager Bobby Wilkinson made two changes to the side that began the 1-1 draw at Chippenham last time out.

READ MORE: Weymouth 1-1 Dover - how it happened

Skipper Tom Bearwish returned to the starting XI, while Alfie Rutherford made his Weymouth debut.

Rutherford was among three home debutants, with Joe Cook and Harry Parsons also getting the nod.

Bearwish and Rutherford came in at the expense of Olu Durojaiye, who missed out completely, and Dan Roberts respectively.

Roberts, top-scorer Ezio Touray, winger Keelan O'Connell and midfielders Tyrique Clarke and Elliott Bolton were Weymouth’s options from the bench, with Anthony Cheshire loaned to Basingstoke.

In nippy conditions, Weymouth took a while to warm up as several slack pieces of play gifted Dover chances.

Keeper Gerard Benfield passed straight to George Nikaj who had an open goal to aim at 35 yards out, only to slice at Cook on the edge of the box.

Teddy Howe then needed to be alert as Nikaj ghosted his way to the byline, forcing a clearance off the line from Weymouth’s right-back.

Goodship curled a free-kick well over in response but he was then guilty of carelessly overrunning the ball, allowing Nick Dembele to sprint clear.

Benfield then chose poorly to advance and have second thoughts, inviting a chip from Dembele that drifted wide.

The chances jolted Weymouth into life as Goodship forced a brilliant save at his near post from Dover keeper David Aziaya, before Cook nodded a Goodship free-kick over.

Howe should have made it 1-0 when his mazy run split the Dover defence in two, only to place a tame side-footed attempt at Aziaya.

Dover maintained a threat on the break, Zidan Sutherland cutting inside and blasting a deflected shot over, although the Whites went behind in the 35th minute.

Weymouth produced a goal of real quality with Howe’s surging run on the right and booming cross picking out the run of Goodship who volleyed a crisp low finish beyond Aziaya.

Weymouth should have taken a 2-0 lead into the break but Rutherford twice missed, the Dorking loanee curling over from 20 yards before smashing an easier opening at Aziaya after Goodship’s clever pass.

Beginning the second half in the same vain, Rutherford fired at Aziaya from close-range before Harry Parsons’ bobbling effort trickled wide.

However, jitters started to creep into Weymouth’s defence as Jordon Thompson was pickpocketed by Nikaj after allowing the ball to bounce 25 yards out, only for Nikaj to scuff a woeful shot wide.

On 58 minutes, more sloppy defending presented George Wilkinson with a chance, deflected for a corner, and from there the Whites equalised.

Bailey Akehurst’s corner dropped into the six-yard box and Weymouth, amid several panicked hacks at the ball, could only clear against Holding, who block tackled the ball home for 1-1.

Goodship was again denied by Aziaya in the 62nd minute and the Terras did not wait long until making their first change, bringing Touray on for Rollinson.

However, Dover were spurred on by the equaliser and netted again through Nick Dembele’s tap-in, only for the offside flag to spare the Terras in the 70th minute.

Moments after Bolton replaced Charlie Rowan in Weymouth’s midfield, the brilliant Aziaya saved Dover again as Rutherford, who grew wonderfully into the game, drilled at the keeper.

Weymouth pushed for a winner as Cook’s lobbed header dropped onto the roof of the net and 19-year-old Aziaya somehow tipped clear Goodship’s powerful drive.

Four added minutes came and went quickly for the Terras, who could not test Aziaya again as they were held to their 10th draw of the season and ninth 1-1.

Terras: Benfield, Howe, Cook, Jo Thompson, Hamblin, Rollinson (Touray 69), Bearwish, Rowan (Bolton 76), Goodship, Rutherford, Parsons. Subs not used: Roberts, O'Connell, Clarke.

Dover: Aziaya, Oyenuga, Akehurst, Mensah, Holding, Naylor, Dunne, G Wilkinson (Allen 81), Nikaj (Young 81), Sutherland (Baptiste 86), Dembele. Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Hatcher.

Referee: Steven Hughes.

Attendance: 1,001.