Eliot Bailey on song as Hitchin Town beat Weymouth
HITCHIN TOWN 3
Donnelly 6, Bailey 49, 51
WEYMOUTH succumbed to their fourth successive defeat as two goals in two minutes early into the second half sealed their fate in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division away to Hitchin Town.
Eliot Bailey’s double, from a quick counter and a header, took the game beyond Weymouth, who had equalised late into the first half through Charlie Davis after going an early goal down to Brett Donnelly’s strike.
Hitchin, who sat 12th in the table, seven places and nine points behind Weymouth, prior to kick-off, have proved a tricky opponent for Weymouth in recent years as the Terras have taken one point from their last four encounters with the Canaries.
Weymouth’s new signing Pat Suraci made his debut for the team after signing on a one-month loan deal from Bognor Regis Town.
Manager Mark Molesley also named himself on the bench with Calvin Brooks and Brandon Goodship injured, while Ashley Wells was unavailable for personal reasons.
In total, Molesley made nine changes to the team that began the 2-0 loss away to Bridport in the Dorset Senior Cup, with Abdulai Baggie and Mark Cooper the only two to keep their place in the team.
Weymouth were looking to get back to winning ways following three successive defeats and threatened early as Ben Thomson had a shot saved by Canaries’ goalkeeper Michael Johnson.
However, it was the home side that took the lead in the sixth minute.
A cross to the back post from Tremayne Charles was headed back across goal leaving Brett Donnelly with a tap-in.
Shortly after Thomson went close for the Terras with a shot that had to be pushed on to the bar by Johnson.
Weymouth nerves were rattled again after being saved by the offside flag following a long-range shot from Hitchin Town’s Josh Bickerstaff, which was deflected into the net.
Hitchin were playing some good attacking football that saw a well-worked move go wide of the post.
A free-kick from the Canaries then sailed over the bar before Callum Buckley went close with an effort that had to be pushed away by Johnson.
Hitchin threatened once more soon after as Charles crossed the ball into the box from the by-line which evaded the Terras’ defence, but Jack Green could not find a proper connection.
The home side were having the majority of the chances as a corner led to a shot from Kavan Cotter that went wide.
Weymouth responded when Baggie forced Johnson to field the ball while being challenged by Josh Wakefield, who had to receive attention after coming off worse.
Hitchin Town’s Ben Walster then received a yellow card after bringing down Baggie, who was breaking away, while Davis also received a yellow card for his reaction to the incident.
This seemed to fire up the Terras as in the second minute of injury time they got an equaliser.
A corner was headed out to Davis who fired the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out.
Molesley’s men began the second period brightly, launching an attack that ended with Josh Carmichael shooting over the bar.
However, two goals in two minutes effectively sealed Weymouth’s defeat.
The Canaries constructed a swift counter that ended with Bailey firing past Mark Travers in the 49th minute.
Two minutes later Bailey grabbed his second as he headed in a cross from Green.
Hitchin upped the pressure as two minutes later a shot from Charlie Smith had to be turned away by Travers.
Wakefield twice went close afterwards, with a shot that crept wide in the 59th minute and he fired over after a corner five minutes later.
Weymouth ended the encounter on top, but were left to probe the Canaries’ goal without a breakthrough as a free-kick from Carmichael was saved late on in the Terras’ final shot of the game.
Hitchin: Johnson, Cotter, Walster, Dowie, Webb, Bickerstaff, Green (C Donnelly 66), Smith, B Donnelly (Vincent 78), Bailey (Kirkpatrick 84), Charles. Subs not used: McNamara, Rolfe.
Terras: Travers, Cooper, Buckley, Carmichael, Down, Davis, Saruci, McCarthy, Thomson, Wakefield (Baker 73), Baggie. Subs not used: Sa, Boore, Harvey, Molesley.