THE Terras got back to winning ways at the Wessex Stadium thanks to some charitable defending by Tamworth.

A poor clearance allowed Nick Crittenden to head the hosts in front before referee Andrew Rodda gave the visitors a debatable penalty that Jason Matthews did superbly to save. Unfortunately for the former Exeter City stopper he then had to pick the ball out of the net from the resulting corner that Taiwo Atieno headed in on 41 minutes.

Tamworth looked to be getting on top in the early stages of the second half but Rodda then awarded another dubious spotkick, this time in Weymouth's favour. Tony James converted it to make it 2-1.

The Lambs, who are struggling at the wrong end of the table, justifiably felt hard done by and their misery was completed when Rikki Baines deflected Ishmael Welsh's cross into his own net with 22 minutes remaining.

Weymouth player-manager Jason Tindall originally named the same starting XI that let slip a two-goal lead in a 3-2 defeat against Woking in their previous game but an injury to skipper Trevor Challis in the warm-up forced him to shuffle his pack.

Ashley Vickers, who was handed the armband, was drafted into the back three while Tindall replaced him on the bench. The ex-AFC Bournemouth man was making his first appearance in a matchday squad since the 4-1 defeat at Halifax Town on February 20.

Former Yeovil Town forward Jake Edwards began up front for the Lambs while a scout from Leicester City sat in the main stand casting his eyes over Weymouth's inform striker Stuart Beavon.

Keen to bounce back from their loss against the Cards, the Terras looked to set a high tempo in the early stages by closing down their opponents and giving them little time to settle.

However, it was the visitors who had the first effort on goal from Simon Heslop. He cut inside from the right but home stopper Jason Matthews was equal to his 18-yard drive.

The opening 15 minutes were littered with misplaced passes and needless fouls, and both sides struggled to put any good phases of play together. Kyle Storer was doing a particularly good job for Tamworth by providing cover for his defence and stopping Beavon from dropping deep and bringing in his midfielders.

Beavon headed into the arms of Jose Vega on 16 minutes before Simon Weatherstone drove a weak shot off target from 25 yards but the Terras continued to struggle to get their influential wingers, Welsh and Nick Crittenden, into the game.

Edwards nodded a cross from Atieno straight at Matthews moments later before a goal came from nowhere for the hosts on 26 minutes. The Tamworth defence failed to deal with a long ball into the box and their indecision allowed Crittenden to gain a free header that he did superbly well to place into the right corner of the net.

The Lambs responded with a good opportunity for Edwards. John McGrath found the tall striker ten yards from the target but his flick header dropped over the bar.

Heslop then saw his thunderous goal-bound effort from 30 yards deflect off Weatherstone and go out for a corner as Weymouth began to struggle to get out of their own half.

On 38 minutes Tamworth were then given a way back into the game by Rodda who adjudged that Vickers had fouled Atieno inside the box when it looked like the defender had got a boot on the ball. McGrath stepped up but Matthews pushed his spot-kick around a post.

The home players celebrated with their keeper but they then switched off at the resulting corner allowing Atieno to jump highest and head into the net on 41 minutes.

At half-time an angry Tindall walked on to the field and approached Rodda to complain about his first-half performance but he was waved away by the official and his assistants.

Still buoyed by their leveller the Lambs began the second half well with Edwards breaking the offside trap and having a shot superbly saved by Matthews at the near post on 47 minutes.

Edwards then headed over from a corner before Conal Platt went down under a nudge by Darryl Taylor at the other end. Rodda pointed to the spot again to the surprise of most onlookers and on 53 minutes Tony James converted the penalty sending Vega the wrong way.

The ex-Hereford United skipper then very nearly went from hero to villain two minutes later when his mistake allowed Taylor to race through on the right. Matthews came out to narrow the angle and did just enough as the Tamworth player lifted his shot over him and just wide of the far post.

Tindall's men were now looking edgy again and on 59 minutes the visitors should have levelled. McGrath's free kick from the right drifted over everyone and found Edwards six yards from goal but he failed to make a clean connection with his shot and the ball trickled harmlessly into Matthews' hands.

The hosts finally grabbed some welcome relief when Weatherstone struck a fierce shot over the bar from 25 yards and that seemed to give his side a lift.

Suddenly the Terras began to defend higher up the pitch and on 68 minutes they grabbed a third when Welsh's cross from the right was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Baines.

The Lambs now looked a beaten side and it was not long before more chances were raining in on their goal. Beavon had a drive saved by Vega before Welsh fired a long-range strike just too high.

Those two players then went close again in the space of a few seconds. Welsh raced clear and shot against a post and when the ball rebounded to Beavon, he somehow struck over the top from ten yards.

Raphael Nade also went close before substitute Jon Stevenson and Atieno both had efforts in the later stages for the Lambs.