10-man Weymouth earn Trophy replay with the Hawks
|WEYMOUTH showed superb resolve to earn a replay with Havant & Waterlooville, and put their name in the hat for the second round of this year’s FA Trophy.A fizzing effort from George Rigg cancelled out Bradley Bubb’s 61st minute opener, as the Terras battled with 10 men for 62 minutes in total after Jamie Laird was sent off.
Going into the contest, the Terras were forced into making two changes from the side that beat Bideford in midweek, with Steve Colwell and Jordan Copp replacing Chris Shephard, who could not overcome a groin problem, and Tim Sills who was struck down by a sickness bug.
There was also drama for the Hawks just minutes before the start, as midfielder Perry Ryan limped out of the warm up and was swiftly swapped for Josh Huggins.
Weymouth showed their intentions after just 80 seconds of the contest, as skipper Stewart Yetton, in red hot form at present, produced a surging run to slide the ball into the path of Rigg, who provided Hawks’ keeper Ryan Young with an early strike which was comfortably gathered.
But just short of the 15 minute mark, the Vanarama South outfit sparked into life with three opportunities in as many minutes.
After Scott Donnelly’s shot was palmed wide of the post by Weymouth player-manager Jason Matthews, late replacement Huggins forced another save and former Cherries’ midfielder Brian Stock volleyed inches wide from inside the box.
The complexion of the whole task then changed for the Terras with 28 minutes gone, as defender Laird was given his marching orders.
When caught in possession, the centre-half brought down Nic Ciardini, who pounced on his mistake, and Laird beat the ground in frustration as he knew he was the last man and was sent for an early bath.
Chris McPhee then dropped into the back four, and although the home side gave up a fair amount of possession to their counterparts, they saw the half out admirably.
Following the break, Weymouth committed men forward for the first corner of the second half but they were then nearly made to pay by a rapid Hawks’ breakaway on 52 minutes.
After clearing their lines, frontman Ben Wright played an incisive ball through for Ciardini, who opened his body up to side-foot past Matthews, but the Weymouth goalkeeper read his idea and pulled off a strong save.
Colwell then chanced his arm at the other end as his curling effort was turned around a post as the spirited 10 Terras battled on.
Hawks’ striker Wright almost managed to squeeze a shot past Mathews at his near post, and Stock sent a rasping effort high and wide on the volley once more.
And the Hawks eventually put themselves in the box seat to progress as striker Bradley Bubb put home a scruffy effort on 61 minutes.
He showed good awareness after Huggins’ shot was parried, McPhee failed to sort his feet out to clear and up popped Bubb to stab the ball into the net.
But, as has become a habit for the hosts of late, they failed to lie down and grabbed an equaliser through Rigg four minutes later. His sweet strike, which flew into the top corner, capped off a slick move from the Terras to make it 1-1.
A diving Matthews then stuck out his left mitt to thwart Wright once more, and the home side could have even won it when Kelly tried his luck and Young plucked the ball out of the top corner at full stretch to confirm a replay on Tuesday evening.