Evans strikes on Rovers return as Weymouth are left to settle for a point
FORMER Paulton Rovers man Dean Evans was on target to earn Weymouth a point against the league’s bottom side at Winterfield Road.
Evans, who switched from Paulton to Weymouth last season, converted from close range with just over quarter of an hour remaining, cancelling out the hosts’ opener scored just four minutes before the leveller.
With manager Jason Matthews announcing his side had a clean bill of health in the build up to the contest, he made the decision to put himself straight back in goal after recovering from a heel problem.
There was no place for a replacement keeper on the bench, while Ben Thomson and Pat Baldwin were named among the substitutes after their recent injury issues.
Jordan Copp was ruled out through suspension, assistant-manager Tim Sills was left out and AFC Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge had to settle for a spot on the bench.
Weymouth knew going into kick-off that a win could take them back into the play-off places after Biggleswade’s home clash with Bideford was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
In testing conditions, it was the Terras who attempted to strike the first blow. Evans struck an effort from distance with 10 minutes gone which fell comfortably wide.
Weymouth’s Mark Molesley was then cautioned as both sides looked to get to grips with things on what was an incredibly wet surface.
It was the former Cherries’ man Molesley who had the next attempt. His looping header fell just wide of the Rovers’ goal.
As the away side continued to probe, a slick free-kick move between Chris Shephard and Molesley resulted in the latter’s low drive cannoning off a Paulton defender.
The home side’s opportunities were limited to a strike from around 30 yards out in the dying embers of a first-half which failed to catch the eye.
Just two minutes after the interval, Terras’ skipper Stewart Yetton did his best to spark the game into life, as his headed effort at goal was denied by a smart save from Paulton stopper Ben John.
Shephard then picked the ball up in a dangerous area on 55 minutes, but failed to find Yetton as the Paulton defence stood firm once more.
And as much as the Terras looked good value to notch the opener, it was Paulton who broke the deadlock on 68 minutes. Josh Ford’s effort found the net taking a touch off Chris McPhee.
But minutes later it was that man Evans who came back to haunt his former club, slamming home from close range to make it 1-1.
Cries for a penalty from the Terras were then waved away as substitute Surridge went down in the box, and the hosts squandered a chance to win it late on as both teams were left to settle for a point.
Weymouth were also troubled as Shephard was forced off with a knock in the closing stages.