Ben bags two as Terras topple Banbury
BEN Joyce bagged a brace to take some of the pressure off boss Brendon King as the Terras secured a fine win at the Spencer Stadium.
The ex-Salisbury City forward grabbed one in each half after Kyle Critchell had headed the visitors into an early lead.
Banbury did mount some late first-half pressure to find the target through Tom Lorraine but overall this was an extremely accomplished performance by Weymouth as they racked up only their second league win of the campaign.
In a bid to make his team a much tighter unit defensively, King moved Kyle Critchell to left-back and made two changes in personnel with Sam Poole and Mark Ford replacing Craig Duff and Matt Groves, who both dropped to the bench.
Poole, who lined up alongside Ed Palmer at the heart of the defence, was making his first appearance since suffering a groin injury, while striker Ford was starting for only the second time this season. The tactical switch also saw skipper Scott Walker return to a left-wing role.
It was an intriguing move by the under-fire manager and it took just seven minutes to pay dividends.
Dan Smith swung over a fine cross and there was Critchell to power a header past the hapless Matt Gill to put the Terras in front in a league game for the first time this season.
Banbury looked stunned and just 60 seconds later they nearly conceded a second when Joyce fired wide following more good work from Smith.
The Terras continued to boss the early exchanges until the home side finally mounted some meaningful offence in the 14th minute, when a fine cross into the box eventually led to Lorraine firing an effort straight at Simon Evans.
The visitors were still looking threatening though and after Gill had made two smart claims to deny both Ford and Critchell, Joyce added a second just 10 minutes before the break.
This time Ford was the architect with a smart piece of control and pass that enabled his strike partner to drive the ball into the corner of the net.
The Terras now looked in full control but a lapse in concentration just three minutes before the break handed the hosts a lifeline when Lorraine slipped the attentions of the visiting defence and cut the deficit with a decisive finish.
Weymouth had to soak up a lot of pressure after that but they managed to get to half-time with their 2-1 lead intact, much to the relief of King, who clearly needed to raise his troops again for the second half.
Whatever he said appeared to do the trick as well as the visitors came out and made the better start just like they did in the first period.
Despite plenty of possession though, they were unable to trouble Gill, with a dangerous free-kick flying across the face of goal and just evading the onrushing Palmer.
Another set-piece then saw Poole send an attempt over the crossbar before that crucial third goal finally arrived on 65 minutes when Joyce got on the end of a ball from Smith and applied an emphatic finish.
Straight after that breakthrough, King brought on Duff for Poole and moved Critchell back to centre-back and Walker to left-back as the Terras now looked to see the game out.
Further switches then saw Groves and Lewis Clarke replace Ford and Smith before Banbury were reduced to 10 men when defender Marvin Martin received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Weymouth could now afford to breathe a lot easier and in the closing stages they could have had more with Joyce going close to grabbing his third and Duff having an effort cleared off the line.