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Terras in Top show
HITCHIN TOWN 1 WEYMOUTH 2
BEN Joyce and Scott Walker did the damage for Weymouth as they chalked up a fifth league win in six games at Top Field.
Despite missing three key players the Terras took a 2-0 lead in this Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division encounter, but they did have to fend off a late onslaught after Jhai Dhillon had halved the deficit with 19 minutes remaining.
With Kyle Critchell out for the rest of the season with a serious leg injury and Ed Palmer and Danny Clay both serving suspensions, Weymouth were forced into three changes to the starting XI that began their previous league fixture at home to St Albans.
Craig Duff and Jamie Skinner both came into the side along with skipper Scott Walker, who was making his first start since recovering from a knee problem.
The triple switch also had a dramatic impact on the bench where boss Brendon King was one of three substitutes that also included assistant-manager Matt Groves and Lewis Clarke.
Although Hitchin began the game just three points above the drop-zone, they had won three of their previous five games and were clearly feeling confident, particularly with the in-form John Frendo up front.
However, it was Weymouth that made the brighter start with Skinner forcing Martin Bennett into an early save before Lawrie Stewart replied at the other end with a header that looped on to the roof of the net.
Hitchin then began to settle and on 15 minutes they threatened again when good work down the left led to a chance for Frendo. The league’s leading scorer latched on to a half clearance by the visiting defence but his shot was superbly held by Simon Evans.
Weymouth were still holding their own though and 14 minutes later they took the lead when Mark Ford made a great break before squaring the ball to Joyce, who side-footed home to the delight of the travelling fans.
The hosts were visibly rocked by that setback but Frendo was still looking lively and just five minutes before the break he nearly levelled. This time great movement at a corner saw the striker get a flick-on at the near post but once again Evans was equal to it.
That lifted the Canaries once more and moments later it took another good stop from the Weymouth keeper to deny Luke Gregson, whose header was destined for the top left- hand corner.
After the break the pattern continued with Weymouth playing the better football and Hitchin pinning their hopes on Frendo but it was the visitors that struck again on 53 minutes.
This time a corner fell to the edge of the box where Walker showed great control before firing a low shot past Bennett to double the lead.
The Terras now looked in full control but a mistake by Ashley Wells on 70 minutes invited pressure and after Frendo was denied by Evans, Dhillon pulled one back 60 seconds later by firing through a crowd of players following a corner.
Suddenly Hitchin fancied their chances of claiming at least a point, forcing Weymouth into some desperate defending.
Stephen Reed and Barry McCon-nell both picked up cautions for the visitors as the pressure intensified but in the end the Terras managed to hold on to secure a second successive away victory.
Hitchin: Bennett, Berry, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Ann (Webb 4), Noone, Delder-field, Gregson, Woolley, Frendo, Dhillon. Subs not used: McGeorge, Beckett, Lee, Gilbert.
Terras: Evans, McConnell, Wells, Reed, Poole, Walker, Duff, Skinner, Joyce, Ford, Smith. Subs not used: Groves, Clarke, King.
Bookings: Hitchin – Dhillon (foul 30), Woolley (foul 73).
Weymouth – Reed (foul 81), McConnell (unsporting behaviour 83).