Stewart Yetton’s goal drought well and truly became a thing of the past on Wednesday night, as he notched his second in as many games to rescue Weymouth a hard fought 1-1 draw at Frome Town.
Weymouth began well – stroking the ball about well looking to force an opening. Stewart Yetton headed Copp’s cross straight at goalkeeper Dan Lloyd-Western, and minutes later Copp himself went on a surging into the box. He managed to brush off the attentions of four Robins defenders but in the end he could only shoot tamely at a grateful goalkeeper.
The hosts gradually found their feet and started to fashion a few half chances. Corby Moore flicked a header just wide from a free-kick, before they took a surprise lead on 38 minutes when Jon Davies’s lofted ball perfectly to the feet of Tyler Sibbick, and he kept his composure to fire under the onrushing Matthews to give Frome the lead.
Weymouth tried to respond before the interval but Chris McPhee wasted their best opportunity – heading over the crossbar unmarked from close range, and the Terras went in at half time a goal down.
You would have expected an onslaught from the Terras at the start of the second half, but if anything it was Frome who appeared the most likely to score. Baldwin and Brooks both made crucial blocks, whilst the Terras struggled to carve out any real chances of their own.
On the hour mark, Frome came within a few centimetres of scoring the crucial second goal when Jon Davies glided past three Weymouth players and let fly from all of 30 yards, only to see his effort clip the crossbar and bounce away to safety.
Two minutes later Davies was cursing his luck again as another drive and shot forced a top save from Jason Matthews.
Billy Lowes came on for Sills a Weymouth tried to get a grip of things, and they began to threaten again. Dean Evans glanced a header wide from a free-kick, and after ten minutes of frantic defending, Frome’s resistance was finally broken twenty minutes from time.
Jordan Walker stooped to head a low ball out but only succeeded in heading it straight into the path of Stewart Yetton, and the striker showed great composure to fire the ball into the bottom corner of the net to haul the visitors level to the delight of a big away following behind the goal.
Suddenly the hosts looked shaky and Weymouth began to sense all three points might just be up for grabs. Calvin Brooks headed wide before Stewart Yetton had another header blocked on the line. But the hosts looked a constant threat on the break, and Jon Davies again went close when he clipped a free kick just over the crossbar.
With the game entering injury time both sides were beginning to look content with a point, but on 92 minute Frome spurned a golden opportunity to snatch all three points.
Matthews made a hash of a clearance and it was latched onto by Liam Monelle. He took it away from Matthews and just had to pass it into an empty goal, but perhaps not realising just how much time he had – he tried to curl it and put it wide of the post, much to the relief of the visitors.
The full time whistle blew shortly afterwards and both sides were made to settle for a point in what was a hard fought and entertaining game. Weymouth were far from their fluent best but they managed to escape with a point – a point which moves them to within two points of leaders Poole after the Dolphins conceeded two late goals to lose at Chesham on Tuesday night.
Poole went into the game without Steve Devlin, Jamie Gleeson or Richard Gillespie, and it seemed to show for the first twenty minutes as they struggled to get into any real rhythm.
On 21 minutes Chesham were handed an opportunity to take the lead when Lewis Tallack was adjudged to have fouled a Chesham player in the box, and Kelvin Bossman did the damage from the spot.
But the Dolphins responded well, and within five minutes they were level – Luke Burbridge’s free kick taking a big deflection that left the goalkeeper completely wrong footed, and able to do nothing but look on helplessly as the ball bounced into the net.
It remained that way until fifteen minutes from time, when Chesham substitute Dave Pearce scored with his first touch after coming on to put the Generals on the verge of victory.
Poole couldn’t find a response, and just six minutes later another tangle in the box saw the referee award Chesham a second spot-kick, and Pearce scored his second in six minutes to condemn Poole to a first league defeat in eight games.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, Dorchester Town ended a totally different type of run in fairly comprehensive fashion, as they hit basement boys Paulton Rovers for six to end a run of six straight defeats in all competitions.
The pressure was on for the Magpies, and they got the best possible start just five minutes in – Ben Watson winning possession and squaring it to Charlie Davis who drove forwards and fired home despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Ben John to settle any nerves.
In truth Paulton were looking very much a winless side, and were it not for the goalkeeper Dorchester could have been 3-0 up within the first ten minutes. Watson cut in from the left and forced a superb save from Ben John, whilst Tarbuck hit the crossbar and Dillon went close.
Paulton were unable to get any kind of foothold as the Magpies stroked the ball about as if it was a training session, but they had to wait until injury time at the end of the first half for that killer second goal – Jonah Ayunga finishing well from inside the box after good link-up play between Watson and Jermyn.
Any faint hopes of a Paulton fightback were quashed less than two minutes into the second half when Ben Watson’s shot deflected in off a defender for 3-0.
Having already got two assists to his name, he then got his second goal of the night just three minutes later firing home the rebound from Ayunga’s shot which had been palmed away by the keeper.
And Watson’s night got even better just past the hour mark when he completed his hat-trick – latching onto a weak header back and coolly lobbing the keeper to make it 5-0.
The Magpies were rampant and certainly showing no signs of settling for what they had. Brad Tarbuck forced another great save from Ben John, and the keeper showed great reactions to get up and deny Watson on the rebound again.
Tarbuck did eventually get the goal his performance deserved two minutes from time when he blasted a powerful shot past a helpless John to complete the rout.
It’s certainly fair to say Paulton were very poor and looked every bit a managerless, winless, bottom of the table side. You can only beat what’s in front of you though, and Dorchester did that in emphatic fashion. They dominated from start to finish, and were it not for the Paulton goalkeeper it’s no exaggeration to say they probably would have hit double figures.
That huge win should give them a lot of confidence going into Saturday, when they welcome high flying Chippenahm Town to the Avenue in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
Chippenham ran out comfortable 3-1 winners when the two sides met at Hardenhuish Park in the league, so the Magpies will be seeking revenge, and they’ll be hopeful of a good run after an early exit in the FA Cup.
The same can be said of Weymouth. They face a quick turnaround as they travel to south & west division side Winchester City on Friday night. They may be a league below Weymouth but it’ll be far from easy for them. Winchester sit sixth in the table, unbeaten at home this season and they’ve netted a remarkable 35 goals in their 12 league games so far, so it promises to be a stern examination for the Weymouth defence.
Meanwhile Poole Town travel to Wales to face fellow Southern premier league club Merthyr Town. The Welshmen have been pretty inconsistent in the league so far, but they managed to get a 2-2 draw at Tatnam earlier in the season, so it promises to be an interesting tie.