IT was a woeful weekend for the area's Dr Martens League clubs with Salisbury, Havant & Waterlooville and Bashley all crashing - and Newport left kicking their heels at home.

Salisbury's 2-1 defeat at Premier Division basement boys Dorchester was an all-round disaster with young defender Scott Barlett red-carded and the wayward Whites conceding two penalties to gift the Magpies their first league win since September 5. Having spurned several first-half chances, Dorchester took a 47th-minute lead when keeper Justin Shuttlewood was harshly adjudged to have brought down Matt Groves and Martyn Sullivan converted the first of two spot kicks.

Worse followed on 66 minutes when the referee, having seemed content to lecture the scuffling Bartlett and Groves, red-carded the Salisbury player after a consultation with his assistant.

Ten-man Whites equalised from a Paul Sales free-kick on 73 minutes, only to fall behind seconds later when the other assistant spotted Andy Cook's foul on Matt Lonnon just inside the box and Sullivan again sank the penalty.

Havant & Waterlooville also came unstuck, 2-1 against Merthyr Tydfil, who recorded their first league victory for over three months in a dour match at Pendarren Park.

It was a third straight defeat for the hiccuping Hawks who, after a bright start, fell behind on 16 minutes when skipper Gary MacDonald's poor defensive error was pounced on by Danny Carter.

Moments later Merythr missed an open goal and that seemed to spur on H&W who equalised when Paul Wood and Jamie O'Rourke linked well on the break to tee up Dave Leworthy for a tremendous strike from 15 yards.

But on 37 minutes Merthyr punished a poor first-half performance by the Hawks when Justin Perry beat goalkeeper Paul Nicholls from the edge of the box.

H&W picked up the pace well in the second period and the lively Wood unleashed a first-time shot which home keeper Neil Thomas did well to turn onto a post.

Merthyr had an amazing let-off 18 minutes from time when Leworthy's shot was diverted against both posts and midfielder Tim Hambley failed to net the rebound from point-blank range.

Bashley were also on the receiving end, beaten 3-0 at home by second-placed Baldock Town in the Eastern Division.

The Foresters had the best of the early chances with veteran Dave Puckett having two goalbound shots blocked and sending a third over the crossbar. Eighteen-year-old Stuart Cooper turned neatly on the edge of the area and shot against the inside of the post.

Bashley goalkeeper Geoff Sim brilliantly turned over a close-range header from Paul McCarthy but was powerless to stop Rob Smith opening the scoring with a 20-yard left-foot curler on 41 minutes.

McCarthy waltzed around a static Simon Elley to extend Baldock's lead two minutes into the second half and he struck again on 80 minutes with a header from McCarthy's cross.

Newport, who were without an Eastern Divison game because of Ashford's involvement in the Trophy, entertain Weymouth tomorrow (7.45) in the Dr Martens League Cup.