JASON Matthews admitted Dean Evans’ first-half sending off gave Weymouth a “mountain to climb” in their crunch 1-0 defeat at Hitchin.

Evans was given his marching orders after two bookable offences with 27 minutes on the clock at Top Field with Hitchin’s Jonny McNamara striking 11 minutes from time to leave the 10-man Terras still out of the play-off places.

Speaking about the dismissal, player-manager Matthews told Echosport: “There are no real complaints with it.

“For me, it’s frustrating. The first booking was never a booking, he has tried to pull the lad away from a challenge and the ref has decided to book him.

“One or two challenges the ref let go and then the least out of them that was a free-kick he (Evans) has then got booked again for.

“It gave us a mountain to climb and we almost did it.”

He added: “We gave a good account of ourselves and obviously just couldn’t hold out at the end. One straight ball did us which was frustrating but to hold on that long with 10 men is a credit to the boys.

“Defensively, again, we were very good.

“There will still be a lot of twists and turns from now until the end of the season and I said to the boys after ‘don’t be down, we have another cup final on Monday (against Poole)’.”

As well as striker Ben Thomson missing out on the reverse to the Canaries through injury, Chris Shephard suffered a repeat of the back trouble that has hindered his ability to feature in recent months, Mark Molesley has also picked up a back problem.

“We have got a few injuries now but we will carry on and I have full confidence in the boys that are still fit,” said Matthews.

The Terras’ boss did however give some minutes to new recruit Sebastian Osei-Obengo, who he has snapped up on non-contract terms after the striker’s proposed move to Dumbarton fell through.

Matthews added: “We were a body light with Thommo being out and it gives us another striking option.”

Dorset Echo

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