Wonderful Weymouth topple Kettering
WEYMOUTH showed tremendous character to finally get their first victory of the season at home in a rousing display that brought Kettering’s six-match winning sequence in both league and cup to a grinding halt.
Two first-half goals inside five minutes from Ben Thomson and Jordan Rose after Callum Buckley had netted an unfortunate own-goal gave the Terras a deserved 2-1 lead at the break, before a backs-to-the wall second half rearguard action and a late clincher from substitute Harry Baker rounded off a fabulous afternoon at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The Terras lined up with five changes from the side that triumphed at Odd Down last time out.
Mark Travers came back in between the sticks for Nick Thomas while Ashley Wells and Jordan Rose came back into the defence at the expense of Sean Stewart and Toby Down.
And Mark Molesley shuffled his pack in attack too as Harry Baker and Antonio Diaz made way for Brandon Goodship and Josh Wakefield.
The first half was played out in incessant, driving rain which made for a slick, passing game that suited both sides and made for an exciting encounter between two form teams.
The first chance fell to the hosts on five minutes when Josh Wakefield played in Thomson whose early shot was blocked superbly by Durrell Berry.
But the Poppies were making an assured start too and seconds later Michael Richens checked to see if Travers was napping with a speculative 35-yarder but the keeper was up to the task and caught cleanly.
Weymouth continued their bright opening spell with a free-kick from Josh Carmichael striking the base of the wall, Jake McCarthy smashing a purposeful effort straight into the arms of Paul White before Buckley struck a rasping 30-yard drive that whistled just past the left-hand upright.
The action was coming thick and fast, as was the rain, when Thomson saw a powerful effort pushed away by White but it was to be a mistake at the other end that brought the opening goal.
Travers seemed to misjudge his short pass out of goal and, quick as a flash, Rene Howe stole the ball and from the by-line supplied a low centre that luckless Buckley could only help into the net.
Far from feeling sorry for themselves though, the goal only served to see the Terras up their tempo even more with Calvin Brooks seizing the initiative with some dazzling runs at the heart of the Poppies’ rearguard.
Brooks completed a mazey run in the 26th minute with a shot that was deflected wide for a corner, and then, two minutes later, was flying again to fashion an equaliser.
The right wing-back surged at full pelt towards the Poppies’ area where he neatly teed up Thomson, who was able to swiftly play the ball onto his left foot before planting a left-footer into the bottom corner from six yards.
And, richly deserved, the hosts found themselves ahead just five minutes later as a short corner saw Thomson fire in a shot-cum-cross that was bundled over the line via the head of Rose.
Weymouth ended a magnificent first half of football completely on top and there was to be no let-up from the home side as the action re-started for the second half with bright sunshine replacing the driving rain.
Goodship was in the thick of it as he first wriggled some space outside the area before firing inches over the bar and then, two minutes later, was at the back post to receive a dinked centre from Brooks but could only find the side-netting.
Thomson fired well wide six minutes in and then Rose’s ambitious effort from 35 yards was deflected wide before the Terras started to soak up increasing pressure and chances were mainly confined to counter-attacks.
Right on the hour Travers completely atoned for his earlier error as he flung himself across goal to claw away Howe’s effort from a first class centre from Ben Milnes,
There were other close calls for the home fans to endure in the final half-hour, including a disallowed goal for skipper Brett Solkhon who headed home but was adjudged offside.
A slick move saw Goodship play an incisive ball to Wakefield whose sumptious back-heel to Thomson saw the burly striker slip-over when poised to strike, Rose thrashed a shot high and wide from a Thomson nod-down before there was another let-off for the Terras when a fabulous cross by Liam Bates was met by Richens but his header went inches wide.
The action was relentless and it quickly swung the other way again when Wakefield really should have tested White with a weak side-footer straight to the keeper and then five minutes on Charlie Davis, who had just replaced Wakefield, drove straight at White from a Brooks pull-back.
In between those chances Brooks showed his defensive class as he got back to head away a dangerous cross from Berry, seconds before Howe went agonisingly close again for the visitors with a header from the resulting corner.
However, the home fans could finally relax and enjoy the latter stages when substitute Baker secured the win with a third goal that Weymouth thoroughly deserved.
Baker actually started the move when he linked with Thomson down the left, and the move saw Thomson race forward before the rolling a ball for Davis whose shot could only be parried by White and there was Baker on hand to make it four goals in two games as he flicked home the loose ball.
Kettering, to their credit, kept plugging away but the Terras held firm and there was even one last chance to add more lustre to the score-line in added time as Jake McCarthy released Thomson again to pick out Davis, whose shot was just held onto by White under pressure from Thomson.
Terras: Travers, Brooks, Cooper, Wells, Rose, Buckley, Carmichael, McCarthy, Thomson, Goodship (Baker 82), Wakefield (Davis 77). Subs not used: Down, Prodomo, Rodriguez.
Kettering: White, Berry, Brighton (Bates 53), Solkhon, Mulligan, Richens, Hoenes (Stevens 57), O’Connor, Howe, Milnes, Meikle. Subs not used; Baker, Stohrer, Sundire.