Wessex Division One
Weymouth Reserves 6
(Conor Jevon x2, Dom Panesar-Dower, Sanchez Baker x2, Sean Stewart)
Folland Sports 1
The Bob Lucas Stadium
Two games in one day made the drive over to Weymouth that little bit easier. Having just seen Dorchester lose heavily to Slough Town in the Southern League Premier, I hopped into my car and made the 15-minute drive over to the Bob Lucas Stadium for the Weymouth Reserves game against Folland Sports.
This was my first trip to the ground and another ticked off as I come close to completing the Wessex League.
This was also my sixth game in as many days as I enjoyed a packed week of football and get closer to my 100th game of the season.
As I pulled through the gates into the massive empty car park, it didn’t look like there was a game on, despite the complete over exaggeration of the official attendance for the game.
Not entirely sure where 108 people were hiding for the match but I have been wrong with my headcounts on more than one occasion.
Anyway, as I walked up to the ground and saw the turnstiles, it was apparent that no one was operating them and I could have easily jumped over and entered the stadium.
Hungry, the ‘café open’ signs gave me some hope until you get to the door and the lights are off and the door locked. The club shop was also locked up and shut, no pin badge for me again.
It was like a ghost town, I entered the ground through the main reception, advised that there were no programmes for the game and I paid my money before being given a complimentary programme on the basis that it had come out of the printer wrong, a bonus! (The club have since contacted me about sending a programme and a badge my way which is a lovely gesture).
Either way, I eventually got into the ground with about 15 minutes to spare, just enough time to take some photos, have a wander around and find a spot in the impressive main stand.
This has to be the best ground that the Wessex League currently has to offer. Of course Salisbury were worthy of that crown last season, but the introduction of the Weymouth second string into the Wessex set up has given local football fans a new ground to go and enjoy.
I entered the ground underneath the main stand, most of the stadium is covered terracing which is 3 sides out of four. The main stand, raised off the ground houses around 900 spectators in a ground that is worthy of National League or even the Football League.
The terracing is pretty standard, terracotta painted railings to match the club colours, which makes the place look and feel part of the club (not like the green seats at Eastleigh’s Silverlake Stadium).
For the game, I sat in the main stand, it gave a great view of the action and kept me dry from the constant downpour that the players had to battle through.
Conor Jevon and Sanchez Baker both notched braces as Weymouth Reserves knocked six past Folland Sports.
The game was just two minutes old when it saw the first goal, Jevon dispossessed Josh Elmes on the right flank before driving into the box, cutting inside and sliding the ball into the corner of the net.
The Terras were 2-0 ahead with nine minutes on the clock when Dom Panesar-Dower played a neat one-two with Morgan Turner before rolling the ball into the corner of the goal.
Follands went close to pulling a goal back when Will Gape’s backwards header to ‘keeper Ashley Weeks was intercepted by Callum Coker but Weeks managed to block the ball away.
Weymouth had the ball in the back of the net for a third time when Panesar-Dower’s free kick found Jevon who lifted the ball over the ‘keeper and as it was going over the line, Sanchez Baker got a touch allowing the linesman to flag for offside and no goal given.
James Franklyn was the only Sports player causing any sort of problems for Weymouth as the left-winger fired a volley wide of the mark minutes before a low drive was just wide of the post.
The visitors were forced into an early substitution when Jake Stubbington limped off to be replaced by Chris Blackall.
Weymouth made it 3-0 when Baker raced onto Turner’s lobbed pass, shrugged off the challenge from Jake Cooksley before opening his body and curling the shot past Callam McGeorge clipping the post on its way in.
Just before the break, Weymouth right back Gape had to be stretchered off after a late challenge left him in a heap on the floor, he was replaced by Ashley Ayley with only a couple of minutes left of the half.
The second half started exactly how the first had with an early goal. Weymouth added a third just 17 seconds after the restart. After some skilful play from Panesar-Dower the ball worked across to Turner who threaded through to Jevon to shimmied past Cooksley before dispatching the ball into the corner.
It could have been four on 47 minutes when McGeorge tangled with Baker in the box forcing the referee to give a penalty. Jevon stepped up to complete his hat trick, only for McGeorge to guess the right way and get a strong hand behind the ball.
Jevon again fluffed a great chance for the match ball when he raced through one-on-one but McGeorge came off his line to save with his feet.
Follands did manage to pull one back through Dover whose mishit cross caught out Weeks in the home goal and dipped in just under the crossbar. Dover was instantly replaced as Folland Sports made their second change of the evening, bringing on Jake Pepall.
The visitors looked like they could have kick started a comeback and Franklyn forced a great save from Weeks who tipped over the 35-yard pile driver.
Franklyn then thought he had scored when William Rutledge cushioned a header to Franklyn who sent a venomous volley at goal that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out.
From there Weymouth hit Follands on the counter and Panesar-Dower drags his man out wide before squaring the ball to Baker to slide in and put the ball over the line for 4-1.
There wasn’t much of a wait for the fifth goal when Jevon got the better of Rutledge on the touchline before pulling it back to Baker who scuffed his shot over to Sean Stewart who was in the right place to poke home the poorly hit shot from his team mate.
Route one sealed the victory for the Terras when Gereth Will sent a searching ball over the top for Baker, who took a touch before slotting the ball past McGeorge.
Follands ended the game well despite being five goals behind and Ethan Millar showed great skill to get the better of Dane James before firing a shot at goal which the ‘keeper spilled away from danger.
Franklyn had another long-range effort tipped away by Weeks as he tried to reduce the deficit.
The Plane Makers then missed an easy chance when Weeks failed to hold Millar’s shot and Coker missed a sitter, a chance that was harder to miss than score from close range.
2016/17 Games: 98
2016/17 Grounds: 56 (9)
Total Grounds Visited: 152 (40)