Yetton pounces to send Weymouth back to the summit
|RESOLUTE Weymouth produced an efficient display to overcome St Neots Town at the Bob Lucas Stadium and in turn reclaim their place at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League.Stewart Yetton was at it once again for the home side as he struck with just over 20 minutes to go to seal all three points against the Saints, and hand their new manager David Batch his first league defeat in the job.
Knocked off their perch 24 hours previously by Corby Town, Terras’ boss Jason Matthews shuffled his pack from the XI that started the 3-0 defeat at Slough Town on Saturday.
Adam Kelly returned to the side to replace Steve Colwell, and winger Alec Fiddes replaced Exeter City loanee Jamie Reid. Connor Riley-Lowe also made his first home start for the club at left-back.
And after nervously dealing with a long throw into their area early on, Terras’ striker Tim Sills fired the first effort of the contest just wide of the Saints’ post.
Some kamikaze goalkeeping from St Neots’ Paul Bastock then saw him challenge Fiddes 30 yards from his own goal, and with the visiting gloveman well out of position, Kelly’s ambitious effort on the follow up was cleared inside the six-yard box by Tom Ward.
Dangerous league marksman Drew Roberts then fired a warning shot at the Terras’ goal on the counter moments later, but it caused no threat to the hosts as the shot flew into the stands.
Just short of the half-hour mark, a slick move down the right-hand side between Kelly and Wells saw them tee up midfielder Chris McPhee, who drove the ball inches over the top.
Skipper Yetton then played in winger Fiddes, who looked lively drifting in off the left flank, to work Bastock for the first time in the game.
The young winger then created space and tried his luck once more, forcing the visiting goalkeeper to parry the ball into a safe area.
Minutes after the break, another launched long throw from Jack Wilkinson tested the Terras’ rearguard, and the ball eventually fell to Saints’ midfielder Lewis Hilliard, who forced Matthews into a comfortable save down to his left.
Yetton then struck wide after good work from Fiddes and Riley-Lowe on the left, and the Weymouth boss had to be at his best to deny striker Roberts.
Latching on to a precise pass from Nathan Frater, the dangerous frontman’s attempt was palmed away by Matthews at full stretch, when it looked certain the ball would nestle in the top corner.
And after keeping his side in it at one end, the Weymouth chief saw his side take the lead on 68 minutes.
After good work from Wells and Kelly on the right, a devilish early delivery just evaded Tim Sills inside the area, but his strike partner Yetton showed superb awareness to bundle the ball home from close range in front of the home support.
Saints’ replacement Lorenzo Ferrari then motored on to a ball from deep in an attempt to find a leveller, but out came Matthews to thwart him.
The Terras were then given a golden chance to make it 2-0, when they were awarded a 79th minute penalty.
After goalkeeper Bastock miss-controlled Hilliard’s back pass, the hosts pounced on the opportunity and acted with urgency. Kelly was adjudged to have been felled inside the area and referee Sam Ogles pointed directly to the spot.
Up stepped Yetton, with virtually his last kick before being replaced by Jordan Copp, to roll the ball straight into the clutches of the St Neots goalkeeper and spurn the opportunity to double his tally.
Hilliard then rifled a shot under pressure, which brushed the side netting, and although the visitors claimed furiously for a handball after another long throw in the dying moments, the Terras held firm to return to the league summit.