Yetts strikes again as Weymouth earn a point at Hitchin
A SECOND-half strike from Stewart Yetton gave the Terras a valuable point at Hitchin Town.
Yetton’s goal, his fourth in two games played in all competitions, cancelled out Ben Walster’s opener, which put Weymouth behind just before the break at Top Field.
With Chris Shephard set for a spell of around three to four weeks out with a hamstring injury, Terras’ boss Jason Matthews gave Jordan Copp, who provided the assist for the goal, a league start and there was also a return to the starting XI for Billy Lowes in place of Dan Smith.
Hosts Hitchin, who did the double over the Terras in the league last season, were without two key players for the clash.
Callum Donnelly sat out his first game of a three match ban and Lewis Rolfe was also suspended after picking up five yellow cards. Josh Bickerstaff required a fitness test ahead of the contest and failed to make the Canaries’ 16-man squad.
Despite their absentees, it was the home side who came within inches of opening the scoring with the first real chance of the game.
From a corner, their first of the contest, Dan Webb managed to meet the ball and put an effort against the post.
The game then settled down with both sides looking to create openings, and it was the Canaries that worked the next chance. Following a free-kick, Kane Smith stood the ball up for Alasan Ann, who headed narrowly wide of the Weymouth goal.
Robbie Burns saw his shot at goal deflected narrowly wide before Weymouth had their first moment of threat.
Charlie Davis delivered a dangerous ball in, which almost found the net after hitting a Hitchin defender.
But, with just three minutes to go before the interval, and with the Terras starting to look dangerous, Hitchin took the lead.
Some sloppy defending by the away side allowed Walster to convert on the angle at the second attempt and give his side the advantage.
That lead was relatively short-lived however, as just nine minutes after the break, the Terras were level.
A ball forward found Copp on the left flank, he beat his defender delivered for Yetton, who made no mistake in levelling the game up at 1-1.
Dean Evans, who was sent off at Hitchin last season, then almost made himself a hero when he hit a stinging effort at goal, only to be denied by a remarkable save. Hitchin’s Smith then surged forward and fired over at the other end.
Aaron Rodriguez was introduced in place of Davis for the away side and Yetton was booked for a foul on Smith.
Hitchin then went dangerously close to getting themselves back in front.
A free-kick was whipped in to the back post by Walster but Webb failed to find a final touch at the back post. Brett Donnelly then failed to keep his effort down moments later.
Stuart Pearson headed over for the hosts and Webb also failed to find the target from two Hitchin corners, as the Canaries looked to ramp up the pressure.
Some superb defending from Weymouth’s Stephane Zubar also kept the contest at 1-1 and gave the Terras a hard-earned point.