Weymouth v Southend United – Vanarama National League – Bob Lucas Stadium – Report
Weymouth 0-1 Southend United
Kevin Maher’s Shrimpers extended their unbeaten run to three – in all competitions – with a comfortable win in this New Year’s relegation six-pointer, on a rainy Saturday, thanks to loan hitman, Matthew Dennis’s fifth-minute strike.
Against a side only one spot below them, but firmly in the drop zone, the gulf in class was almost embarrassing, at times, in a one-sided contest. From Harrison Neal’s lofted clearance, following a botched Weymouth set-piece, the Seasiders took the lead when Norwich City man, Dennis, beat his marker, literally on the halfway line, and was clear away and kept his cool to slot home past the stranded Ross Fitzsimmons.
Dennis, Rhys Murphy and Sam Dalby then wasted excellent chances to put the game out of their fellow strugglers’ reach. Fortunately, the Terras were restricted to half chances, and former Millwall man, Josh McQuoid went closest on the stroke of half-time, after former Blue, Brandon Goodship, carved out the opportunity.
Kacper Lopata was on hand to clear his lines. After the turnaround, on a sapping surface, and against a strong headwind, Weymouth failed to manage a single, on-target effort, with Blues’ keeper, Steve Arnold, rarely called into action.
Arguably, with so much possession, Southend would be disappointed not to have made the game safer, and again Dalby and Dennis were wasteful, with Murphy bringing out Fitzsimmons’ only notable save, on 67 minutes.
A late Terras’ rally saw Jason Demetriou and Tom Clifford pick up unnecessary yellow cards before Weymouth’s Andy Robinson blazed a stoppage-time set-piece high and wide.
Blues boss, Maher enthused: “I’m delighted with the win and that three points was the most important thing.
“The performance was good in a lot of patches, especially second-half and I thought we could have had a couple more at least.
“I thought we dominated the game, but we couldn’t get that second one just to make life a bit easier for ourselves. Paying tribute to his side,
Maher concluded: “I’m delighted with everyone, I thought they worked their socks off. It was one of those days when it was wet and windy, it was always going to be a tough one, but I thought we ground it out well.”
Southend United return to Vanarama National League action on Tuesday, January 11 when Yeovil Town are the visitors to Roots Hall Stadium (7:45pm).
Weymouth: Fitzsimons, Morgan, Cordner, Goodship (Bearwish 59’), Mussa, McQuoid (capt) (Ash 85’), Mnoga, Robinson, Blair, Murray, Harfield Subs not used: Taylor-Crossdale, Solanke, Olomowewe
Southend United: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Murphy (Ferguson 88’), Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson, Neal, Lopata, Demetriou (capt), Dennis (Rush 71’) Subs not used: Seaden, Coulson, Kensdale
Referee: Lee Collins
Assistants: Sean Rothwell and Russell Jones
Fourth Official: Lewis Sandoe