Taylor's quickfire double rips heart out of Weymouth's Cup dreams

Weymouth Nottingham Forest 2
Click to follow
The Independent Football

On paper it goes down as a comfortable victory for Gary Megson's side, but in truth his League One team were forced to fight all the way by a Weymouth side making up with vim and vigour what they lacked in genuine quality.

Twice champions of Europe and a top-flight side as recently as 1999, Forest travelled to the homely Wessex Stadium boasting a fine pedigree, but were made to scrap like mongrels by their opponents from the Conference South.

For an hour, Gary Hill's team of journeymen, has-beens and never-weres were more than a match for their illustrious rivals, and in the shape of wide midfielders Lee Elam and Steve Clark boasted two of the game's outstanding players.

Elam and Clark posed a series of questions with one Clark surge late in the opening period carving out a half-chance that striker Chukki Eribenne fired against Paul Gerrard's left-hand post on 39 minutes. The goals when they came were straightforward affairs and in a matter of six minutes Weymouth's dream was over.

Both came from good work down the right channel. Nicky Southall surged after what seemed a lost cause on 67 minutes to fire over a low ball to the unmarked Gareth Taylor, who thumped the ball home from eight yards.

Weymouth fashioned two half-chances themselves before Taylor wrapped up the game. This time James Perch was the provider with another low cross from the right. Taylor, who had a spell on loan with Weymouth early days in his career, showed no compassion by dispatching the ball past Jason Matthews at the far post. It was a far from convincing victory. Ten years ago almost to the day Forest were preparing for a Uefa Cup third-round clash with Lyon. Last night's trip to this south-coast ferry port is the closest they are likely to come to the continent for the foreseeable future.

Weymouth (4-4-2): Matthews; Tully, O'Brien, Bound, Challis; Elam, Harris, Wilkinson (Dutton, 66), Clark (Purser, 77); Jackson (Taggart, 82), Eribenne. Substitutes not used: Downer, Lee-Barrett.

Nottingham Forest (5-3-2): Gerrard; Perch, Morgan, Cullip, Breckin, Curtis (Eaden, 77); Southall, Holt (Thompson, 46), Gardner; Johnson (Lester, 60), Taylor. Substitutes not used: Bopp, Pedersen.

Referee: R Olivier (Sutton Coldfield).