Copp sees red as Shephard strikes back for Weymouth against St Neots
CHRIS Shephard popped up with a leveller just less than 15 minutes from time for the Terras, as they sealed a hard-earned point at St Neots Town, writes Andy Abbott.
The Weymouth playmaker latched on to a drilled ball in from Calvin Brooks to equalise after Saints’ Mat Mitchel-King had opened the scoring in the first half.
The clash was marred in the 84th minute however, as Jordan Copp saw red for the away side.
Weymouth player-manager Jason Matthews named an unchanged starting XI from the side that had an empathic 6-1 win over Slough Town last time out.
But the Terras got off to a sluggish start in the opening 20 minutes and were lucky not find themselves behind as home striker Tom Meechan, who has been in lethal form for the Saints this term, twice squandered openings, dragging the ball wide on both occasions.
The Terras by this time had been restricted to two long range efforts from Adam Kelly and Copp.
The hosts then went in front after 26 minutes.
Weymouth’s on loan keeper Andrew Dawber produced a fine save to deny Meechan first up but, from the resulting corner, some pinball inside the Terras’ penalty area ensued before Saints’ midfielder Mitchel-King rifled the ball into the top corner.
The Terras were wobbling at this point and Dawber twice came to the rescue with saves to deny Remy Gordon.
It was a similar story at the start of the second half as the former Accrington keeper produced the save of the match to palm away a shot from Isaac Galliford and keep Weymouth within touching distance.
After being under the cosh, Weymouth started to eventually find their feet in the game.
Club captain Stewart Yetton, who had come on as substitute for the injured Ben Thomson after the former had limped off with a hamstring problem, thumped a header against the crossbar following a superb run and cross by Kelly.
Influential midfielder Mark Molesley then struck a post from all of 20 yards.
With a quarter-of-an-hour left, parity was finally restored. Brooks got round the back of a Saints’ full-back and sent in a pin-point cross to the boot of Shephard, who made no mistake.
A lack of Christmas goodwill then began to creep into the game and it finaly erupted six minutes from the end.
Both sides were reduced to 10 as St Neots’ Ben Jones was given a second yellow card for a rash challenge and Jordan Copp was awarded a straight red card for his reaction. The two Benches even tried to join in the festivities.
Kelly then might have won it at the death for the away side, but Andy Wilton in the home goal produced a fine save to ensure his team claimed a point.