Raynes 22


Touray 79

WEYMOUTH fought back to deprive Bath City of victory in an end-to-end 1-1 Vanarama National League South draw at Twerton Park.

Ezio Touray’s excellent volley from the narrowest of angles 11 minutes from time cancelled out Joe Raynes’ close-range finish as Bath’s play-off hopes suffered a minor setback.

The result was no less than the Terras deserved in their first match since manager Bobby Wilkinson’s exit on Wednesday.

Interim boss Jason Matthews made two changes to the starting XI that began the 4-1 win over Havant last weekend.

READ MORE: Bath City 1-1 Weymouth - how it happened

Harry Jones and Joel Rollinson dropped to the bench, with Keelan O'Connell and Harry Parsons coming in.

Touray, Anthony Cheshire and Gerard Benfield all kept their places on the bench.

Matthews was overseeing his 206th game as Weymouth manager and his side saw plenty of the ball in the first 10 minutes, without troubling keeper Will Buse.

That was to become a theme of the first half as Bath’s attacks carried more threat, the Romans denied a shooting chance when Tom Bearwish nipped in to dispossess Tom Smith 12 yards out.

Parsons, by far Weymouth’s best player of the half, showed magic feet to gain entry into the Bath box on 11 minutes, only for Brandon Goodship to swipe at his cross.

Bath then worked the first big chance of the match, ex-Terras striker Cody Cooke spreading play to Ewan Clark on the right and his return cross was glanced over by Cooke under pressure from Weymouth keeper Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Weymouth were later given a reprieve as Bearwish appeared to trip Dan Hayfield in the box, with only a goal-kick given.

But Bath’s pressure eventually told in the 22nd minute as Jack Bates’ diagonal was nodded back across goal by Smith, allowing Rayner to poke home his first goal since December 2019.

Weymouth could only reply through the inventive Parsons, whose attempted 35-yard lob was ruined by a bobble, before Jordon Thompson’s tame back-post header went down as the Terras’ first shot on target.

When Weymouth did unlock the Bath defence, centre-back Duncan Idehen was quickly across to painfully block Goodship’s shot in a delicate region on 41 minutes.

Weymouth needed to improve in the second half, as Buse had been something of a spectator in the Romans’ goal.

Instead, Bath’s Scott Wilson lashed wide and Weymouth had to adjust after an injury to Teddy Howe, leading to Jones’ introduction at right-back.

The Terras were still recalibrating when Raynes sent a low cross into the D, shockingly left alone by three Weymouth defenders who were dug out of trouble when Wiles-Richards denied Smith in a one-on-one.

After that scare, Weymouth caught sight of Bath’s goal when O’Connell found Roberts at the back post, only for Buse to gather his cushioned volley.

Charlie Rowan produced a good block to deny Danny Greenslade’s fierce shot before Smith flashed a sweet volley over, Bath responding typically strongly.

As the chances flowed, Roberts bundled O’Connell’s low cross behind and Bath sub Isaac Vassell was booked for holding onto the ball when Buse’s heavy touch caused him to prod out of play under pressure from Goodship.

Buse atoned for his error with a magnificent tip-over save from Rowan’s rasping 25-yarder, before Matthews subbed O’Connell for Rollinson.

And Weymouth continued to look dangerous as Parsons won possession and played in Roberts, only for the striker to slash high and wide.

However, Matthews’ final substitution, Touray on for Goodship, worked wonders in producing a goal on 79 minutes.

Heavy Weymouth pressure paid off as Hamblin’s smart low was controlled by Touray and volleyed into the far side netting from a tight angle for a high-quality equaliser, the striker’s 13th goal of the season.

And Weymouth should have conquered the Romans in the 89th minute, but for an incredible miss by Rollinson.

Parsons’ 20-yard shot was deflected heavily into the winger’s path and, with Buse committed, the substitute only had to find the target to score but his shanked effort flew wide to the disbelief of Weymouth’s supporters behind the goal.

That proved to be the final major chance as both sides were forced to settle for a point.

Bath: Buse, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Clark (Vassell 74), Hayfield, Cooke, Smith, Idehen, Wilson (Alabi 87), Bates (Frear 63). Subs not used: Batten, Sweeten.

Terras: Wiles-Richards, Howe (Jones 50), Hamblin, Panter, Jo Thompson, O'Connell (Rollinson 67), Bearwish, Goodship (Touray 75), Parsons, Roberts, Rowan. Subs not used: Benfield, Cheshire.

Referee: Phillip Eddie

Attendance: 1,945.