Matthews’ men beaten as Poppies fight back
KETTERING struck three times in the second half to seal their first home win of the season and end the Terras’ unbeaten league run.
Goals from Aaron O’Connor, Brett Solkhon and Liam Canavan ensured the Poppies fought back to pinch all three points after Weymouth debutant Bradley Tarbuck had struck in the first half.
Weymouth boss Jason Matthews made three changes from the side that was thumped at Kidderminster in the FA Cup last Saturday.
Mark Cooper came in at right-back in place of Ashley Wells, who was left out of the squad completely.
Dan Smith replaced Jordan Copp on the wing and there also was a place for new loan recruit Tarbuck in the starting XI, he replaced Stewart Yetton, who scored the winner in the fixture between the sides at Kettering last season.
Stuart Fleetwood, who came in on loan from Bath City the previous day, was named on the Weymouth bench and there was no place in the travelling party for Sam Jordan.
Hosts Kettering went into the contest as one of just two sides in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division yet to win at home.
The clash against Weymouth was their ninth chance to do so, and with just four points secured from a possible 24 at Latimer Park ahead of kick-off, Kettering boss Marcus Law was desperate for three points at the Terras’ expense.
Speaking to the Northants Telegraph ahead of the contest, he said: “I would like Weymouth to come here and batter us for 89 minutes, miss everything and then I hope they make a mistake and we score the winner and that will get rid of it (the wait for a home league win).”
Law also handed youngster Ben Bradshaw his first senior start for the club but there was no spots in the 16-man squad for Liam Bateman and Lewis Hornby.
It was the home side that had the first chance of the contest inside the opening minute, Canavan firing over the bar.
With 10 minutes gone Weymouth’s Jake Wannell got forward from left-back and tried his luck with a strike at goal, but it was charged down by a covering Kettering defender.
But with the visitors’ next chance, it only took new Terras’ man Tarbuck 14 minutes of his loan spell to score his first Weymouth goal. He capitalised on a defensive slip from Solkhon and made no mistake in slotting home for 1-0.
After O’Connor was booked for the hosts, there was then a yellow card apiece after Canavan was involved in a scuffle with Weymouth keeper Dan Thomas.
Tarbuck then almost added to his earlier effort with an attempt which just flew over the top of the bar before Thomas pulled off a pair of sublime saves at the other end to keep it at 1-0.
While the away side soaked up the pressure, Tarbuck seemed to be instrumental to their attacking threat. He backheeled to Smith, who set up Billy Lowes to strike at goal and force a save.
Following a quiet start to the second half, one debutant replaced another for the Terras as Tarbuck made way for Fleetwood just past the hour mark.
But just after that switch, O’Connor drew the home side level at 1-1.
Weymouth’s Ben Thomson was then involved in a nasty clash of heads and had to receive treatment before Kettering hit the hammer blow.
After his defensive mistake in the opening period, Solkhon redeemed himself by finding a second on 86 minutes.
And as Weymouth pushed forward, Canavan struck a third to give Kettering their first home league win of the season and send Matthews’ man home empty handed.