Canaries quashed as Weymouth march on
By Dan Rose
|WEYMOUTH were left singing in the rain in Hertfordshire as they sealed their third league win on the spin, in another clinical away performance at Hitchin Town.A brace from Chris Shephard in the second half, as well as Tristan Plummer’s first goal for the club proved enough to wrap up another three-point haul for the Terras, who narrowed the gap to nine points on league leaders Poole Town, after their game against Burnham was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Manager Jason Matthews made a huge call before a ball was even kicked at Top Field with Aldershot loanee Tristan Plummer, who livened up the Terras’ FA Trophy encounter with Shortwood United on his debut, getting the nod ahead of Adam Kelly, who was named on the bench.
But in sodden conditions and following a relatively lifeless start, it only took one clear-cut chance for the away side to draw first blood, and it was that man Plummer who was on hand to reward the faith paid by manager Matthews.
Following a neat breakaway move which forced a throw in, skipper Stewart Yetton’s strike looked as if it was parried to safety by Michael Johnson in the Canaries’ goal, but Plummer was first to react and slotted the ball into the net on 21 minutes.
And after receiving a caution for dissent, minutes later, the Aldershot Town man then twisted and turned his way down the flank once more and cut the ball back for Steve Colwell, who may have felt he could have done better after seeing his strike palmed away.
Shephard then did his best to match his midfield counterpart Plummer, as he let fly with a rasping effort that grazed the roof of the Canaries’ net just past the half-hour mark.
A surging run from the energetic Plummer then sparked another Terras’ counter, but he could not quite find Shephard in support and at the other end Matthews was forced into his first save from Donnelly just short of the interval.
And just seven minutes into the second period, Shephard was not to be denied as he caught Hitchin stopper Johnson unaware at his near post to double the visitors’ advantage.
A last ditch clearing header from Ashley Wells then kept Weymouth in control, and Johnson was quick off his line to beat Yetton to a ball over the top.
The game as a contest was wrapped up on the hour mark when Shephard notched his second in seven minutes.
He was on his toes to pounce on a rebound from another Yetton shot and give the away side their third.
The Weymouth captain then got on the end of a corner, only to see the ball stabbed off the line and Colwell put the ball high and wide on the follow up.
As the pitch continued to take a huge amount of heavy rain, Matthews then lost his footing on the wet surface when claiming substitute Jonny McNamara’s attempt on goal, but luckily for the player-manager, the ball got stuck in the pitch and he was allowed to comfortably gather.
Hitchin searched for a consolation as Michael Noone blasted over the top with ten minutes to go, but the jubilant visitors ran the clock down professionally to claim all three points, and go marching on in their quest for promotion.