Reds rally as Weymouth secure a point
WEYMOUTH were left to settle for a point at the Valley in a hard-fought battle with Redditch United.
A leveller deep into an extended first half from Jamey Osborne cancelled out Dean Evans’ ninth-minute opener, in what proved to be a fiercely competitive battle in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.
A win could have seen the Terras return to the top of the pile by the end of proceedings but, with a point taken on the road, Jason Matthews’ men occupy third spot in the table.
They sit two points behind league leaders Leamington, who struck four minutes from time to beat Merthyr Town and hit the summit.
As expected, Adam Kelly’s hamstring injury picked up against Bedworth United a week previously ruled him out of the Terras’ squad all together.
That meant Chris Shephard was elevated back into the Weymouth starting XI, he was the only fresh inclusion to the side that saw off the Greenbacks last time out.
There was also a place on the Weymouth bench for midfielder Mark Molesley, who had returned from a three-match suspension.
Redditch, eighth in the league and four places below Weymouth before kick-off, came into the contest having conceded a total of five goals from their last two games in defeats to Poole and Chesham United.
They lined up with striker Daniel Dubidat in their ranks, the frontman had six goals to his name in the league going into the clash.
Reds’ boss Liam McDonald also insisted his side’s run of fixtures throughout the month could define their season in the build-up to their Terras’ battle.
The home side fashioned the first chance of the contest early as the ball fell to Jamie Molyneux 10 yards out, but he fired straight into the grasp of Weymouth player-manager Matthews.
And as the Terras searched for their fourth win on the spin in the league, they produced the opening goal after just nine minutes with their first clear opportunity.
A dangerous delivery from Jake Wannell was initially parried by Jose Veiga in the Reds’ goal but Evans was on hand to slot home from close range and give the visitors a dream start.
George Rigg then somewhat innocuously ended up in the book for Weymouth and, later in the half, he then had his shot charged down by United defender Jim Mutton.
The game was then lengthily delayed for 20 minutes in serious circumstances.
Redditch’s Jamie Ashmore went down and required medical attention, both physios were called the Reds’ man was taken off in an ambulance. Camerone Young came on in his place as both sides looked to get back up to speed.
And, following the break in play, the Reds soon got their leveller as a mix-up between Matthews and central-defender Chris McPhee cost the away side.
That allowed Osborne to nip in and finish to level things up to make it 1-1 in the 15th minute of added time in the opening period.
Tempers then flared during the interval and Dubidat found himself cautioned by the match official. A member of the Reds’ coaching staff was also sent to the stands for the second half.
Following the break, full-back Mark Cooper, who expressed his delight at being part of the Terras’ squad to Echosport in the build-up to the encounter, almost restored Weymouth’s lead.
He advanced forward and struck at goal but Veiga was up to the task to thwart the effort.
Redditch then hit the crossbar at the other end and, after Molesley was introduced in place of Rigg, former Frome man Cooper was then in the thick of it again.
This time he blocked the ball on his own goal line to keep the score at 1-1. Evans picked up a booking soon after.
Weymouth’s Ben Thomson was then replaced as the visiting bench looked to freshen things up with the introduction of Tim Sills in the latter stages but it was not to be as both sides had to settle for a point apiece.