WEYMOUTH 0 BANBURY UNITED 1
WEYMOUTH will be wondering how they succumbed to their fourth straight defeat after the Terras were stunned by struggling Banbury at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
In a game which the home side had a whole host of chances to find the net, Nicolaos Evange-linos’ 68th minute shot was the only strike that proved to matter, as the Puritans completed a smash and grab victory.
Boss Jason Matthews was forced into making one change from the side that suffered an uninspiring defeat against St Neots Town at the weekend, with defender Michael Walker coming into the side to replace the injured Adam Kelly, who looks set to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring problem.
The swap meant that Jamie Richards moved into the middle of the Terras’ midfield to sit in front of the back four.
And it was striker Stewart Yetton who did not take long to fire the first shot at goal, as he looked to add to his impressive league tally in the third minute.
He moved sharply to lose his marker to get on the end of a free-kick from deep, but struck the ball over the crossbar.
Although visitors Banbury had leaked goals dramatically going into the contest, they looked dangerous going forward and had a great chance to open the scoring with 10 minutes gone.
After Weymouth had given away a free-kick on the left-hand side, Evangelinos produced a delivery that was perfect for the head of Marcus Green, who somehow nodded the ball into the side-netting from point-blank range.
The hosts then suffered another let-off when Banbury midfielder Anderson Pinto-Noguipa tried his luck with a left-footed strike from 20 yards out, which rattled the outside of the post.
Plymouth loanee Isaac Vassell then burst away from his man as he has done so often in recent games for the Terras, but could not apply a finish past visiting goalkeeper Scott Dutton, which was a sign of things to come for Matthews’ charges.
Weymouth were then forced into an early change as Jacob Jagger-Cane limped off with 25 minutes gone to be replaced by Mark Ford, and the switch nearly brought an instant impact to proceedings.
Seconds after Ford came off the bench, he made his way from the left-hand side on to a square ball from Yetton and hit an effort narrowly wide of the top corner. Yetton then must have thought he had broken the deadlock minutes later when he pounced on a loose ball in the area and drilled the ball at goal on the turn from inside the six-yard box, but Dutton was on hand once again to deny him.
Matthews was then called into action once more when he scrambled across his goal and pushed away Evangelinos’ free-kick down to his right for a corner.
It was then the Terras’ turn to hit the woodwork when Jake Hutchings stabbed the ball against the post from Walker’s knockdown after George Rigg whipped the ball in from a corner, and somehow the score remained goalless at the interval.
Vassell then showcased some neat footwork to open up some room inside the area after the break.
He rolled the ball back to Steve Colwell, but the midfielder frantically blazed over with no immediate challenge coming his way.
The chance of the game then fell to Vassell with just over 55 minutes on the clock as he was one-on-one with just Dutton to beat, and when his side-foot finish fell wide of the mark, the Bob Lucas Stadium looked on in disbelief.
And that disbelief then turned to astonishment on 68 minutes when Banbury took the lead.
The lively Evangelinos cut away from his man inside the penalty area, and struck a fierce left-footed drive into the bottom corner, leaving some of the Terras’ faces staggered at the sucker-punch they had received.
Vassell and Yetton then almost instantaneously had opportunities to net an equaliser.
After the former saw his shot blocked on the line, he put in a well-placed cross for Vassell, who could not connect with a diving header from six yards out.
And as much as opportunities fell the hosts’ way late on, they could not find the final ounce of quality to break down Banbury, leaving them rooted on 56 points and down to 12th position in the league table.
Terras: Matthews 7, McConnell 6, J Green 6, Richards 7, Hutchings 6, M Walker 5, Jagger-Cane 6 (Ford 6 25), Colwell 6, Yetton 6, Rigg 5, Vassell 6. Subs not used: Poole, Zima, Sharpe, Holland
Banbury: Dutton, Cray, Mullarkey, M Green (Tappin 67), Abrahams, Fishwick, Obene, Pinto-Noguipa (Strafford 78), Skendi, Dias, Evangelinos
Bookings: Terras – None Banbury – None
Referee: Mark Derrien (Dorchester)