Town pick up hard-earned point against Weymouth

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Liam Francis sees his header kept out by Weymouth goalkeeper Will Dennis. Photo: Steve Wood

STRATFORD Town claimed a hard-earned point as they held title-chasing Weymouth to a goalless draw on Saturday.

Both sides had plenty of chances to secure victory, but there was little to choose between two committed teams at the MoodChimp Stadium.

Carl Adams’ side got off to a good start and their first chance arrived in the tenth minute.

Ben Stephens capitalised on a mistake by Ashley Wells, leaving him one-on-one with Will Dennis, but the Terras’ keeper was quick off his line to smother Stephens’ shot.

Mike Taylor battles for possession during Town’s league clash against Weymouth. Photo: Steve Wood

Weymouth got stronger as the half progressed and they carved out a number of chances during a sustained period of pressure.

In the 24th minute, Charlie Davis was denied in a one-on-one after Loysio Recci recovered, doing just enough to avoid giving away a penalty.

Moments later, Brandon Goodship looked certain to score after racing clear, rounding Louis Connor, but the former Yeovil Town man took it too far and missed from a tight angle.

Ben Stephens tucks the ball home from an offside position. Photo: Steve Wood

The onslaught continued as Weymouth continued to pepper the Town goal.

A host of chances were spurned or blocked before the ball fell to the lurking Davis on the edge of the area and his 20-yard thunderbolt rattled the bar.

Town weathered the storm and they remained relatively comfortable for the remainder of the half, without really troubling Dennis in the Town goal.

Adams’ men had the ball in the net within a minute of the restart, but Stephens was rightly denied by the offside flag.

Ben Stephens attempts to win a header against Weymouth. Photo: Steve Wood

Stephens was also in the thick of it moments later when he flicked on Grocott’s corner to Liam Francis, whose point-blank header was superbly saved by Dennis.

Similar to the first half, Weymouth took their time to get their teeth into the game, but they were back into their groove just after the hour when they struck the woodwork for a second time.

Some excellent trickery by Baggie on the left created an opening and his inch-perfect cross was met by Thomson, whose header hit the bar before it was cleared away.

From the resulting corner, the imposing Stephane Zubar, who barely put a foot wrong all afternoon, directed a free header inches wide.

Ben Stephens surges clear during Town’s league clash with Weymouth. Photo: Steve Wood

Stratford were still in this though and ten minutes from time James Fry forced a great save out of Dennis, who was at full reach to keep out the skipper’s curling effort.

And with nine minutes left on the clock, it was the Terras’ turn to be denied by the offside flag when Harry Baker poked home Baggie’s cross from the right.

Town threatened briefly in added time, but the visitors held firm to clinch their third draw in four league games.

For Stratford, the result sees them drop a place to 14th in the Evo-Stik League South Premier.

Stratford Town: Louis Connor, Andy Gallinagh, Lee Thomas, James Fry (c), Loysio Recci, Liam Francis, Eli Bako (Charlie Evans 87), Edwin Ahenkorah (Justin Marsden 72), Mike Taylor, Will Grocott, Ben Stephens . Subs not used: Christian-Florin Tudorache, James Hancocks, Dan Summerfield.

Weymouth: Will Dennis, Ashley Wells, Tiago Sa, Stephane Zubar, Callam Buckley, Josh Carmichael, Charlie Davis (Jake McCarthy 82), Calvin Brooks, Ben Thomson, Brandon Goodship (Harry Baker 71), Abdulai Baggie. Subs not used: Gareth Stewart, Jordan Ngalo, Josh Wakefield.