Terras toil in opening day defeat to Tonbridge

·4-min read
Weymouth lost 3-1 on the opening day Picture: MARK PROBIN
Weymouth lost 3-1 on the opening day Picture: MARK PROBIN

WEYMOUTH 1

O’Connell 48

TONBRIDGE ANGELS 3

Akinwande 12, Miles 33, Addy 86

WEYMOUTH turned in a disappointing defensive display as Tonbridge Angels ran out 3-1 winners in their Vanarama National League South opener at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Angels went 2-0 up in the first half as Femi Akinwande touched home and Sonny Miles bulleted in a stunning volley.

Keelan O’Connell grabbed his first Weymouth goal on debut, but Tettah-Quaye Addy sealed the points after a stray pass.

Weymouth were largely uninspired on a day that began with the positive news of two new signings in their squad, with Bert White and George Ward earning places in the 16.

READ MORE: Weymouth 1-3 Tonbridge Angels - how it happened

White is the trialist goalkeeper who started Weymouth's final two pre-season friendlies, while Ward is a young defender with experience at Bromsgrove Sporting.

Dorset Echo: Bert White made his Weymouth debut Picture: MARK PROBIN
Dorset Echo: Bert White made his Weymouth debut Picture: MARK PROBIN

Bert White made his Weymouth debut Picture: MARK PROBIN

Weymouth last played Tonbridge in August 2019 when the sides shared the points in a 1-1 draw, Brett Williams scoring the opener before Angels pegged the Terras back in the 84th minute.

And Tom Blair did his best to try and ensure Weymouth took the lead against Tonbridge for the second time in succession, driving inside and firing over left-footed from 20 yards after just 28 seconds.

However, after five minutes, Tonbridge signalled a warning of their prowess at set-pieces with a slick routine straight off the training ground, with Lewis Gard forcing Harry Kyprianou to clear off the line.

Blair had another chance to score in the seventh minute but elected to head across goal after a fabulous cross from Luke Nippard, the chance going to waste.

Tonbridge played a clever game with the dark arts all half but Miles’ cynical pull back on Tom Bearwish on the break was penalised, although Weymouth did not create from the free-kick.

The visitors duly went ahead in the 12th minute from a corner as Jamie Fielding’s header back into the six-yard box was swept home on the volley six yards out by Akinwande.

Dorset Echo: Femi Akinwande, second left, put Tonbridge 1-0 up Picture: MARK PROBIN
Dorset Echo: Femi Akinwande, second left, put Tonbridge 1-0 up Picture: MARK PROBIN

Femi Akinwande, second left, put Tonbridge 1-0 up Picture: MARK PROBIN

Weymouth could not muster a strong reply to the opening goal and a further eight minutes elapsed before they could register their first shot on target.

It proved the Terras’ best move of the half as fluent passing, many of one-touch, picked out Ash in the area for the striker to turn and shoot at Angels’ keeper Jonathan Henly.

Nathan Carlyle then connected sweetly with a 25-yard drive but Tonbridge’s next serious attack produced an even better strike.

It came after another set-piece as Weymouth could only clear a corner to Miles, who lashed a spectacular volley into the top-left corner from 20 yards.

Dorset Echo: Sonny Miles, centre right, scored a spectacular volley from outside the area Picture: MARK PROBIN
Dorset Echo: Sonny Miles, centre right, scored a spectacular volley from outside the area Picture: MARK PROBIN

Sonny Miles, centre right, scored a spectacular volley from outside the area Picture: MARK PROBIN

Tonbridge looked likeliest to score before the break as Jamie Fielding curled a free-kick at White, although the Terras were unfortunate not to have two penalties after Miles first tripped Ash and then wrestled him to the ground – somehow going unseen by the officials.

Weymouth began the second half brightly as Ash shot wide and the Terras pulled a goal back on the 48th minute, largely thanks to the striker.

Ash outmuscled his man on the right and had two teammates free in the box. He looked to have wasted the chance when his pass was intercepted by Fielding but O’Connell was there to sweep home into the empty net from two yards.

Dorset Echo: Keelan O'Connell halved Weymouth's deficit Picture: MARK PROBIN
Dorset Echo: Keelan O'Connell halved Weymouth's deficit Picture: MARK PROBIN

Keelan O'Connell halved Weymouth's deficit Picture: MARK PROBIN

Weymouth continued to push as Tonbridge defender Thomas Parkinson hauled down Tom Bearwish for a yellow card with the forward set to break and Dan Matsuzaka was denied by a stunning save from Henly – with the flag going up.

Bearwish was involved again with a clever backheel to set Cam Murray away and he found O’Connell who darted inside and curled inches over.

Carlyle had to halt Akinwande’s run on the break as Angels replied, Tetteh-Quaye Addy then curling a free-kick at White.

Doug Loft cynically brought down O’Connell on the break as Angels took every opportunity to break up Weymouth’s play, before captain Xander McBurnie drilled at Henly.

Bearwish dragged a first-time shot wide but Tonbridge relieved all the pressure Weymouth had created by adding a third goal.

McBurnie was culpable, giving the ball away twice in 10 seconds, and he was punished as Addy strode forward and fired high into the roof of the net.

The goal seemed to deflate Weymouth, who were sent to defeat on the opening day for the second season running.

Terras: White, Nippard (Monk 87), Kyprianou (Ward 83), McBurnie, Matsuzaka, Carlyle, O'Connell, Bearwish, Ash, Blair (Ofosu 66), Murray. Subs not used: Bruton, Seddon.

Tonbridge: Henly, Fielding, Braham-Barrett, Parkinson, Miles, Gard (Fagg 89), Loft, Turner, Akinwande (Collins 87) Taylor, Addy. Subs not used: Tyrie, Walters, Symes.

Referee: Lewis Sandoe

Attendance: 813