Green 10


WEYMOUTH fell to defeat in new manager Mark Molesley’s first game in charge, losing 1-0 to relegation-threatened Eastbourne Borough.

Matt Green’s instinctive finish proved the difference as the Terras failed to muster a shot on target, missing out on the chance to confirm their place in the Vanarama National League South next season.

Molesley made just one change to the starting XI fielded by interim boss Jason Matthews against Yeovil.

Former Eastbourne winger Joel Rollinson, who impressed on Easter Monday, made way for Keelan O'Connell.

READ MORE: Eastbourne Borough 1-0 Weymouth - how it happened

Rollinson was the only addition to Weymouth's bench, with Gerard Benfield, Harry Jones, Ezio Touray and Ben Winterburn keeping their places.

Coming into Molesley’s first game as boss, Weymouth knew a victory would assure their position in this division for 2024/25.

But Eastbourne’s want of three points was arguably more pressing, Sports occupying the final safe spot of 20th with only a one-point cushion.

The hosts duly rose to the occasion early on, Billy Vigar and ex-Terras’ defender David Sesay looking a real threat on the right.

Weymouth, however, fashioned the first big chance in the 10th minute as O’Connell and Parsons combined to send Brandon Goodship into the box, only for the forward to hack wide from a tight angle.

Seconds later, Eastbourne were in front as Sesay’s wayward shot turned into a perfect low cross for Green to plant a firm side-footed effort beyond Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Eastbourne were finding all kinds of space on the wings, with Yahya Bamba brought down no fewer than four times on the left flank in the first half.

Weymouth’s Teddy Howe earned yellow for the third offence, only for Alfie Bendle to blaze the free-kick over.

Molesley switched Goodship and O’Connell on the wings in a bid to spark the Terras into life but the visitors could not gather any momentum and twice crossed into the box without a teammate present.

On a rare occasion Weymouth were not hounded out in midfield, Harry Parsons picked up possession and was tugged back by Jack Clarke for a booking before the break.

Molesley brought off the booked Howe for Jones at half-time, persisting with four at the back.

And the Terras got forward in greater numbers in the second half, Jones finding Dan Roberts whose shot was blocked and skipper Tom Bearwish then firing the rebound wide.

Jones was, however, booked for bringing down Sports’ sub Imran Uche but the caution did little to stem the Weymouth tide as Parsons drove just wide from 25 yards.

Roberts’ last action before being replaced by Winterburn was to head wide when unmarked in the box, with Molesley pushing Parsons up front for the final 26 minutes.

Parsons nearly profited from a clever free-kick routine, denied by Harrison Foulkes, as Weymouth continued to probe away.

Eastbourne tired visibly as the half endured, having put so much into the first period, but they did work Wiles-Richards when Vigar picked Corey Panter’s pocket only to be smothered by the advancing keeper.

Vigar was hauled off as Sports freshened things up, goalscorer Green also going off for Decarray Sheriff and Jake Hutchinson respectively, while Touray replaced Parsons in Weymouth’s final alteration.

The subs were instantly involved as Touray drove into the box before Foulkes fell on his low cross, while Sheriff forced Wiles-Richards into a sharp stop to his left from 20 yards.

Weymouth piled forward late on, creating space on the break in a breathless finale as Wiles-Richards rushed out to block Bamba.

Foulkes dropped a free-kick as Sports’ nerves jangled and they were denied a second through Sesay, Panter’s goalline clearance robbing him of a goal against his former employers.

Weymouth had one final chance as Jordon Thompson’s diagonal ball was headed down by Charlie Rowan, only for Bearwish to drill wide of the near post.

Weymouth continued to test Eastbourne but were deprived of time as the Sports' support went home happy, their fight for survival picking up pace.

Eastbourne: Foulkes, Barry, Quick, Clarke (Uche 48), Bendle, Ballard-McBride, Vigar (Sheriff 78), Diarra, Green (Hutchinson 78), Sesay, Bamba. Subs not used: Leslie, Ligendza.

Terras: Wiles-Richards, Howe (Jones 46), Hamblin, Panter, Jo Thompson, O'Connell, Bearwish, Roberts (Winterburn 64), Goodship, Parsons (Touray 78), Rowan. Subs not used: Benfield, Rollinson.

Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis.

Attendance: 1,451.