Matty Day hit a goal of the season contender as Oxford United escaped with a point against ten-man Weymouth last night.

Day's wonder strike looked as if it would count for nothing for as the U's were undone by the finishing of former Didcot Town striker Stuart Beavon.

Grandson of the legendary Oxford United player Cyril Beavon, it was livewire Stuart who hit the winner when Weymouth won 1-0 at the Kassam Stadium in August.

This time, on a freezing evening at the Wessex Stadiuum last night, he struck both Terras goals as they led 2-1 with just seven minutes to go.

But, despite having shown little attacking threat in the second half, Jim Smith's side pulled an equaliser out of nothing when Jamie Guy's low right-wing cross was turned into his own net by Anton Robinson, under pressure from James Constable.

And they might have won it in the closing seconds with two Yemi Odubnade-inspired breaks.

In this battle of the managerless clubs, it was Weymouth who might feel happier with the draw because they played most of the game with ten men.

Centre half Santos Gaia, only just back in the side, was shown a straight red card for a tripping James Constable when the U's striker nodded the ball forward and prepared to bear down on goal on a run through the middle.

The U's had trailed to a well-taken goal from former Didcot Town striker Stuart Beavon on 40 minutes when, two minutes later, Day smashed home an unstoppable 30-yard piledriver.

But Beavon scored a superb second in the 52nd minute.

Caretaker boss Jim Smith was able to stick by the side that had finished the game at Mansfield, Constable recovering sufficiently from a virus to take his place in United's attack alongside Jamie Guy.

Once again Sam Deering was playing "in the hole" just behind the strikers, and it didn't take him long to find space and pose a threat.

When Guy's foreceful run down the left in the first minute culminated in a cross that the Weymouth defence couldn't properly clear, Deering latched onto the loose ball and hit a left-foot shot wide from 16 yards.

Five minutes later, Deering, again receiving the ball in space, brought a save from keeper Danny Knowles just underneath his crossbar.

Playing against ten men was nothing new to Oxford. They had the same player advantage for the whole of the second half in the FA Cup at Torquay in Darren Patterson's last match, and on that occasion couldn't make it tell.

But they had in the previous round at Dorchester when their Blue Square South opponents had their numbers reduced in extra time.

Billy Turley made a good save at the feet of Stuart Beavon on 13 minutes, but the visitors looked comfortable overall.

The game was held up for five minutes after a linesman went off injured after apearing to pull a muscle. He was replaced by the fourth official.

Both keepers made good saves within the space of a few seconds.

Turley acrobatically tipped over a fierce Ryan Williams drive, and when Oxford worked the ball to the other end, Constable advanced and smashed an equally impressive shot that Knowles beat out.

Weymouth had not posed a great deal of threat but in the 40th minute, Beavon knocked the ball past Chris Willmott and outpaced him, before sliding his shot past Turley for a fine goal.

However, the U's response was immediate. In a scramble in front of goal, Eddie Hutchinson had a shot saved on the goalline, a couple of his teammates almost knocked in the rebound, and when the ball was cleared to Day, a long way outside the penalty area, he unleashed a magnificent left-foot drive into the top right corner.

In stoppage time, United's marking was poor as Anton Robinson, all on his own, was allowed to hit a shot from 15 yards, but Turley saved them with a fine stop.

He was also called into action twice in first half stoppage time, the second save, from close in, both brave and quality.

Weymouth had a terrible start to the second half when Turley accidentally landed on Jordan Collins, who had to be stretchered off.

But seven minutes in, Beavon produced another bit of magic with a quality finish, cutting onto his left foot on the right edge of ther box, with Oxford's defence all over the place, and hitting a terrific drive past Turley.

United were losing it in midfield and for long spells of the second half it was impossible to tell which team had only 11 men.

Turley rescued the U's twice more as the visitors continued to ride their luck at the back.

Beavon's stunning 30-yard pass with the outside of his right foot set Williams free on the left, and when he cut inside past two defenders, Turley pulled off a brilliant reaction save.

Just how vital that proved was shown at the finish as United struck again, with an element of fortune.