Yetts strikes again to see off the Puritans
By Dan Rose
IT may have been a total of 92 days since the Terras’ last home league game, but a contest that had everything ensured that Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division action came back to the club with a bang on Saturday.
And of course, that man Stewart Yetton delivered once again for his side. He now has a lucky 13 goals in the division this term, and continues his knack of netting when it matters most for the club.
George Rigg and Adam Kelly had put the Terras into a 2-1 lead just past the hour mark as they came from behind to overcome Ben Whitehead’s opener, and a frustrating point looked all but certain as Carl Tappin hammered the ball home on the break for the Puritans with 15 minutes left.
But up stepped the Weymouth skipper just three minutes from time to snatch three points for the title-chasing outfit, on a day when it mattered most as league leaders Poole Town went down to a solitary goal at Hitchin.
Terras’ manager Jason Matthews made four changes from the side that beat Cray Wanderers in the FA Trophy the previous week, with Jamie West making his first league start for the club in place of the suspended Ashley Wells.
Jamie Laird dropped to the bench along with Rigg and Jordan Copp having failed a fitness test with a dead leg before kick-off, meaning Jake Wannell, Sam Poole and Adam Kelly were selected.
And it was Kelly who tested Leigh Bedwell, who turned into a real pantomime villain as the game went on, after 17 minutes.
The winger drilled a strike at the Puritans’ gloveman’s near post, and Bedwell was up to the task to gather the stinging effort into his clutches.
There was nothing he could do to stop Chris Shephard’s effort moments later however, as the creative midfielder cut inside off the left and rattled the crossbar from 25 yards.
But for all the home side’s intent, and having seen plenty of the ball, it was Banbury who took the lead on 28 minutes.
A slight lapse in concentration in the Weymouth defence saw full-back Marvin Martin’s cross bundled home by Whitehead.
It looked as if Matthews’ men were set to go in behind at the break, but they got the little bit of luck they needed to grab a leveller through Kelly.
After Calvin Brooks’ through ball ricocheted off Martin, Kelly showed good awareness to take the ball in his stride and slot home past Bedwell, who charged off his line to no avail.
An inspired substitution from Matthews then paid instant dividends as Rigg put Weymouth in front with his first touch on 67 minutes.
Kelly stood the ball up at the back post, and as Jake Wannell’s header was tipped on to the crossbar, Rigg positioned himself in the right place to head the ball in from close range.
But the Puritans drew level partly thanks to a substitute themselves in the form of Leam Howards.
Coming on at the same time as Rigg, he surged into the Terras’ box and cut the ball back for Tappin to rifle into the top corner and cap a slick breakaway move to make it 2-2.
As frustrations grew, Bedwell soon became the villain of the piece.
Taking an age to restart the game on a number of occasions, he made the most of a collision with Tim Sills which earned the Weymouth striker a booking, and minutes later, a brawl between the sides then ensued in the Banbury goalmouth, with Bed-well and Wannell somehow only ending up with cautions.
During the tussle, a home fan also made his way on to the pitch having hopped over the railings, an intervention that could land the club in some serious hot water over the next few weeks.
And even though the contest was marred on one level, it did not stop the rest of the Weymouth fans behind Bedwell’s goal celebrating a late Yetton winner.
Three minutes from time, he made his way on to a pass from Kelly, and smashed the ball into the back of the net to grab a much-needed three points for the home side, with Bedwell lucky to stay on the pitch once more after hammering the ball out of the ground in frustration during the aftermath.