Late penalty costs Weymouth a win at Redditch
By Dan Rose
|WEYMOUTH squandered a priceless opportunity to seal their third straight win in all competitions, as a late penalty from Jamie Spencer meant the Terras had to settle for a point at the Valley Stadium.Visiting skipper Stewart Yetton showed great awareness inside the area to put the ball home from an Ashley Wells cross on 35 minutes, but it was Chris McPhee’s challenge late on that conceded the spot-kick, which Spencer tucked home for the Reds.
With player-manager Jason Matthews sticking to the same XI that brought him FA Cup joy over Bideford last time out, it meant that McPhee would partner Jamie Laird once again in the heart of the visitors’ defence and loanee Calvin Brooks was left to take a place among the substitutes.
Following a fairly cagey opening where both sides attempted to work one another out. Just past the quarter of an hour mark, the visitors had the ball in the net through striker Yetton, but it was ruled out by referee Lisa Rashid for a foul on home goalkeeper Bradley Catlow.
The Terras were buoyed to see Chris Shephard back on the pitch after recovering from a neck injury which forced him to trudge off in pain last weekend, and the influential playmaker did his best to make his mark on proceedings with half an hour gone.
He gave himself enough room to unleash a fierce drive which was tipped over the bar.
But after Matthews’ men had gone close once again through George Rigg and the player-manager made a comfortable stop himself, it was Yetton who got his goal thanks to some superb work from Wells.
The right-back picked the ball up, drove into a dangerous area and produced a pin-point delivery for his frontman, who slotted home his eighth league goal of the season.
And after the deadlock was broken, Weymouth continued to press and looked full of energy, coming close to doubling their advantage on a couple of occasions before half time.
Shephard put a shot inches wide of the post, and Jordan Copp’s cross from the left flank just evaded Yetton inside the area.
After the interval, Adam Kelly found himself well involved. Having been hacked down by Redditch’s Jordan Jones which earned the midfielder a stern talking to, minutes later, Kelly powered the ball towards goal, and with Catlow well beaten, he saw his shot clip the top of the crossbar.
McPhee then advanced forward and headed into the side netting and Shephard continued to cause the Redditch backline issues.
Weymouth were then given a slight wakeup call when Simeon Maye shot narrowly over the bar, after it looked like Copp was fouled in the build up.
The home side then had the chance to test the Terras’ goal once again when Jamie Laird conceded a foul right on the edge of the box, but shaping up to hit it with real force, Reds’ skipper Callum Flanaghan blazed the resulting free-kick well over.
It looked as if Weymouth were relatively comfortable holding on to their lead, as they had done at Bideford and Cambridge City already this season.
But five minutes from time, disaster struck for the away side.
McPhee brought down his man inside the area and there was nothing Matthews could do to stop replacement Spencer slotting the ball into the back of the net to seal a point, and send the visitors home feeling like they had squandered a golden chance to bag all three.