Westland Sports FC

First Team



Saturday 9th November, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 9 STURMINSTER NEWTON 2

Torrential rain in the morning meant the pitch was sodden but thankfully it passed a pre-match inspection by the officials so it was game on. With central defenders Ollie Wake and Jack Dicker unavailable for the foreseeable future Westlands had Tim Trevett playing in an unaccustomed position at the back. Westlands hadn’t played for 5 weeks so we were keen to get back in action but hopefully not too rusty from lack of match practise.

Sturminster mounted the first attack with a long pass down the left where their winger cut inside and had a shot on target saved by Mark Cuff. In the 9th minute Westlands responded with a long ball by Adam Barratt to Luca Martin who held it up well before slipping a nice through pass to LEWIS MORGAN who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle. A couple of minutes later Sturminster were awarded a free kick for n accidental handball about 25 yards out. Their player drilled a shot on target which Sports keeper Mark Cuff did well to palm away to safety. Next Luca Martin dribbled into the visitor’s box and released Lewis Morgan but his shot was wide of the target. After 15 minutes a good run from deep by a Stur player saw him avoid two Westland players who dived in and unleash a thumping shot over the top. Sturminster had created a few chances but a minute after that effort a soft goal for Sports took the wind out their sails. The ball was picked up by JAMIE GREEN on the edge of the box and he made it 2-0 with a low drive that skidded off the wet turf and squirmed under the Sturminster keeper’s body. The visitor’s tried to fight back but another free kick in Sports half was fired over the bar. After 21 minutes a pinpoint cross into the Sturminster goalmouth by Nick Voss was headed in at the far post by JAMIE GREEN to make it 3-0 and things were looking grim for the visitors. The next chance again fell to Westlands when Lewis Morgan pounced on a poor clearance by the keeper but he shot over the top. Then some slack defending by he Westlands rearguard allowed a Sturminster player to run in and fie off a shot that Mark Cuff saved well. A minute later the ball bounced up and struck a Westland defenders arm and under the new rules the referee immediately pointed to the spot. The penalty was despatched neatly into the bottom corner to make the score 3-1 and give Stur a glimmer of hope. That hope only lasted 5 minutes as Westlands responded with a free kick put over from the right which LUCA MARTIN glanced into the corner. That made it 4-1 and the 3 goal lead allowed Westlands to relax a bit. Jamie Green was chasing his hat-trick and tried his luck from 25 yards but his shot drifted just wide of the target. Then Mark Cuff was called into action when he punched away a free kick and then dived to save the follow up. Just as the half ended Luca Martin went down in pain with what looked like a hamstring injury and he had to be helped off which was a bit of a worry.

That was the last action of the half and it had been a good half for Westlands, building up what looked an unassailable 4-1 lead. Sturminster however had shown some good attacking moves and Mark Cuff, the Sports keeper, had made some smart saves in the first 45 minutes. No room then for complacency in the second half. Of more concern was the dark cloud approaching Alvington from the west, any more rain and this game would be called off so fingers crossed.

Sam Plumley was the replacement for Luca Martin at half time with Lewis Howchin moving forward to a more attacking role down the right. Five minutes into the second half JAMIE GREEN completed his hat-trick with a low drive from 20 yards out making it 5-1 to Westlands. That looked like game over but Sturminster hit back six minutes later when their forward chased a through pass, got a ricochet off Westlands keeper Mark Cuff, and walked the ball into the empty net to make it 5-2. Westlands went back on the attack and a neat Nick Voss pass set Malik Kamal up with a chance but his shot was well blocked by the keeper. A superb Tim Trevett tackle thwarted the next Stur attack and in the 68th minute Sports increased their lead to 6-2. LEWIS MORGAN picked up Lewis Howchin’s cross and thumped the ball into the net. That made it 6-2 and immediately the manager made the second substitution of the day, Will Ireland replacing Malik Kamal who had had a quiet afternoon. Four minutes later came goal number 7 when LEWIS MORGAN completed his hat-trick when he headed in Nick Voss’s cross at the near post. That goal signalled the third substitution with Aaron Sweet replacing Lewis Morgan. In the 83rd minute NICK VOSS then got himself on the scoresheet with a low shot from Aaron Sweet’s lofted pass to notch the eighth goal. Finally, in the 85th minute Tim Trevett made a strong run out of defence and squared the ball to WILL IRELAND who finished with aplomb curling the ball into the top corner. That finished the scoring at 9-2 and although it sounds like one way traffic, Sturminster had their moments and Mark Cuff in the Westlands goal made several good saves.

It would be unfair to pick one of the hat-trick heroes and leave the other out so the Man of the Match this week goes to TIM TREVETT who played in an unfamiliar position at centre half but once he settled in looked very accomplished.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.T.Trevett 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Green 7.N.Voss 8.A.Barratt 9.L.Martin 10.M.Kamal 11.L.Morgan 12.W.Ireland 14.S.Plumley 15.A.Sweet

Saturday 21st September, Somerset Senior Cup, Rnd 2:  WESTLAND SPORTS 5 WESTFIELD 3

After a heavy defeat in the previous match we were hoping for a good response from the team in this cup tie. There were 3 changes to the line-up with Lewis Howchin, Tim Trevett and Jacob Manley replacing Sam Plumley, Luca Martin and Josh Payne who is suspended. The weather was fine and the pitch softish due to some recent rain.

Both teams started a bit tentatively and it was 5 minutes before we had a shot at goal, a Malik Kamal effort that flew just past the far post. A minute later Westlands recent habit of gifting the opposition goals struck again. Ollie Wake tried to pass the ball back to goalkeeper Mark Cuff who came running out and, as they both hesitated, the Westfield #9 nicked the ball, rounded the keeper and walked it into the net ! Six minutes gone and one nil down, not the start you want in a cup tie. Westlands tried to respond but a long Jack Dicker throw into the box was allowed to bounce twice before cleared away by the opposition. In the 13th minute Sports gave away the ball deep in their own half and the subsequent low cross was just scrambled away for a corner. The kick was then cleared for a second corner that was put over the bar. All that pressure stemmed from giving the ball away and nearly proved costly. An early substitution was then made by Westlands with Ollie Wake, who was suffering from a migraine, being replaced by Lewis Morgan who was making his season debut. Westlands were looking lethargic and the hard working Westfield side were taking advantage. In the 19th minute their lad hit a screamer from about 30 yards that Mark Cuff tipped onto the bar. Then they had a header that went just past the post which was followed by a yellow card for Malik Kamal as Sports frustration began to show. Another Jack Dicker long throw gave Westlands a chance with Tim Trevett’s back header volleyed over by Lewis Morgan. Mark Cuff in the Westland’s goal was again called into action, turning a good shot round the post and then a couple of minutes later clutching a shot to his chest. Another yellow then followed for Westlands as Adam Barratt got his name in the book for an over zealous tackle. Then, with just a minute to go the visitor’s got their second goal. A low cross from the left came right across the face of the goal and was tapped in at the far post by an unmarked attacker. A soft goal that left the Westlands defenders all looking at one another. There was just time before the half time whistle for Lewis Morgan to turn his man neatly and drive a shot past the post.

On the evidence of the first half performance, and with a two goal deficit, it looked like there was no way back for Westlands in this match. However there have been several occasions this year where we have been behind at half time and went on to win the match so there was still some hope. It was noticeable Sports had quickly retreated to the changing rooms at the break so perhaps the management could put some enthusiasm into the team for the second half.

Westlands second substitution was made at the break with Luca Martin replacing Jacob Manley.

As the team settled into the game Westlands looked a bit more purposeful and some good build up play between Luca Martin and Malik Kamal down the right led to Luca putting a shot just wide of the far post. Sports had come out fighting and were dominating the game now. In the 54th minute Tim Trevett played the ball in to Luca Martin and he just failed to lift the ball over the keeper from close range. A couple of minutes later Lewis Morgan slid the ball wide to Tim Trevett whose shot cannoned off the near post and bounced to safety. On the hour mark Westlands had their last throw off the dice with the third and final substitution, Nick Voss replacing Phil Wells. With a defender going off and another forward coming on Westlands showed their intent. And a minute later it paid off when we forced a corner on the right. When the ball came over JONNY MANLEY had a shot that hit a defender and looped over the keeper’s head into the back of the net. Game on now with Sports back in it at 2-1. Westlands were piling forward and Lewis Morgan fired a shot just past the far post. In the 62nd minute Alvington erupted when Tim Trevett put over a cross from the left and LEWIS MORGAN swept the ball into the net. 2-2, what a turn around and there was more to come ! in the 64th minute a corner came over from the left and fell to MALIK KAMAL in the crowded box and he smashed it into the net to give Sports the lead, 3-2 ! A minute later, with the Westfield players shell shocked, Lewis Morgan slid the ball through to NICK VOSS who drilled the ball into the net to make it 4-2. A devastating burst of 4 goals in 5 minutes had surely put the game out of sight for the visitor’s but they managed to steady and stop the flow of goals, although still on the defensive. Luca Martin fired in a good shot in the 70th minute that the Westfield keeper just got up to tip over the bar, but there was no stopping Westlands 5th goal which came after 75 minutes. LEWIS MORGAN picked the ball up 25 yards out and rifled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. A great effort and definitely the goal of the game. Sports were buzzing now and Lewis Morgan put Luca Martin through but his shot went wide of the far post. With six minutes remaining a Westfield player tried his luck from about 20 yards and the ball went under Westland keeper Mark Cuff’s body and ended in the back of the net. Another gift goal for he opposition to make it 5-3 but Westlands responded with Nick Voss setting up Jamie Green with an open goal but he missed the target with his little chip over the keeper. Westlands were reduced to 10 men for the last few minutes of the game when Jamie Green came off with a knock and all three subs had been used. This allowed Westfield to have a good finishing spell which started with a good through ball that put their player clear but he missed the target with his shot. Then a Westfield corner was punched into the net by one of their players and luckily it was spotted by the referee.The final action came in the 94th minute when a Westfield defender was red carded for kicking out at a Westlands player.

The match had seen a wonderful fight back by Sports in the second half but the elation is tempered slightly by our poor first half display and the fact that we conceded three goals two of which were gifts ! Great credit though to the players for their performance in getting us through a tricky tie and credit also to the management who had several changes to make during the game and got them all right.

The Man of the Match this week goes to LEWIS MORGAN who came on after 20 minutes and, once he got going, showed his class with 2 goals and a couple of assists.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.M.Kamal 8.J.Green 9.Jacob Manley 10.A.Barratt 11.T.Trevett 12.N.Voss 14.L.Martin 15.L.Morgan 16.W.Ireland

Saturday 21st September, Dorset Premier League: HAMWORTHY RECREATION 5 WESTLAND SPORTS 0

An important game but not the best preparation having been told the game was off due to the rep game and then being told it was back on again. As it was the lads rallied round and there were only three absentees on the day, Steve Flynn, Will Ireland and Tim Trevett.

Drama on the way down with a flat tyre on the minibus causing a lengthy delay. All sorted out in the end by our jack-of-all-trades Ben Cochrane who changed the wheel (after the spare wheel and toolkit were eventually located). Our thanks also to Dorset Constabulary who controlled the traffic on a dangerous stretch of road. We arrived about 1.40 and asked for a 15 minute delay to kick off which the referee reluctantly agreed to.

Hamworthy took control from the kick off and soon had Sports pinned in their own half. But there were few chances created and after 10 minutes Westlands began to find their feet and put together some attacking moves. A long throw by Jack Dicker was head flicked on by Jon Manley and the final shot was blocked for a corner. Westlands next attack started with a low cross from Josh Payne that was just cleared for another corner. Jonny Manley got his head to the kick but headed just wide of the target. With just over 15 minutes gone Westlands had made a decent start to the game. The last thing we had wanted to do was concede an early goal and although Hamworthy had most of the possession it was Sports who had looked more likely to score. Unfortunately in the 19th minute we did concede. With the ball out on Westlands right back position near the touchline the referee blew up for a free kick on the edge of the penalty box. Obviously something had happened off the ball but nobody I spoke to had seen anything. Anyway a Hamworthy player took the kick and curled a beauty over the wall into the top corner. What a goal that was and Sports needed to dig in for a bit now. A couple of minutes later Ollie Wake put a free kick deep into the Hamworthy box. Jonny Manley headed the ball back across goal where it was cleared for a corner. But Westlands were under pressure and Jack Dicker blundered by gifting the ball to a Hamworthy player but his shot was deflected for a corner which was cleared. In the 25th minute disaster struck for Westlands with the second goal for the home side. A Hamworthy player tried his luck with a shot from about 20 yards which was a bit of a trundler but slipped under Westland's keeper Mark Cuff’s body as he dived. What a blow that was and you began to sense now it was not going to be Westlands day. Sports were rocking a bit and a good cross into the penalty area was sliced over his own bar by Jonny Manley. Then in the 34th minute Jack Dicker showed his lack of composure by getting himself sin-binned for 10 minutes for dissent to the referee. Jamie Green was also booked as Westlands battled with ten men to stay in the game. Around the 40 minute mark we did mount an attack and a Josh Payne shot went well over the bar and then a Malik Kamal shot was tipped round the post for a corner. The kick was scrambled away for a second corner but this was a poor one and was cleared. Just before the break Mark Cuff made a good save, pushing the ball round the post for a corner. Sports managed to clear that danger and the referee blew for half time.

What a half it had been. Hamworthy had dominated, playing some good possession football but they hadn’t really been peppering our goal. The first goal was a cracking free kick but for the second we had shot ourselves in the foot again by giving away an important goal. However, Westlands had a couple of good moments in the half so although Sports had a mountain to climb at 2-0 down there was still hope as Hamworthy were not out of site and we have been a second half team this season.

The half started brilliantly for Westlands, or so we thought ! Josh Payne was put through in the 46th minute and smashed the ball into the back of the net only to see the linesman’s flag go up and the goal ruled out for offside ! Looked an iffy decision from my angle and the lino admitted it was “very close” so definitely nothing going Westlands way today. Three minutes later Josh was running with the ball when he was fouled by an opposition player. This caused him to stumble and have a heavy touch and in an effort to regain possession Josh lunged into a tackle with an opposition player and caught him on the shin. This caused a violent reaction from some of the Hamworthy players who charged in to seek retribution. The commotion was eventually calmed down but the fracas had helped make up the referee’s mind and he showed Josh a straight red card. The game was re-started with the free kick given to Westlands for the first foul ! As Westlands recovered from this latest blow Hamworthy finished a good move with a shot over the bar and Sports keeper Mark Cuff tipped a shot over the top for a corner. In the 64th minute Malik Kamal was put through for Westlands and as he ran into the box he was brought down from behind by a Hamworthy defender. Another straight red card from the referee for denying a clear goalscoring chance and I think everyone knew it was coming. The free kick was given about half a yard outside the 18 yard line. The referee then lined up the Hamworthy wall 1 yard beyond the penalty spot so as the spot is 12 yards out it didn’t take much working out to see the wall was 7½ yards from the kick at most. With the wall that close it was almost impossible to get the ball up and down so Olly Wake tried to blast it low through the legs but the shot was blocked. Back to 10 players apiece gave Westlands some hope and they began to turn up the heat. A Malik Kamal cross to Luca Martin just wouldn’t sit down and his attempted lob was saved by the keeper. Then Luca was clearly dragged down in the box by a Hamworthy defender but the referee waved away all appeals. It looked like there were no breaks coming Westlands way so two subs were introduced with 15 minutes left, Lewis Howchin replaced Sam Plumley and Nick Voss replaced Luca Martin. Mark Cuff then saved a Hamworthy shot before in the 80th minute Nick Voss had a shot blocked and Malik Kamal’s shot from the rebound was saved by the keeper. In the 83rd minute, with Westlands pushing more and more men forward, they got caught on the break. A long ball put a Hamworthy forward scampering through, and as Mark Cuff came out the player took the ball past him and squeezed his shot in from an acute angle. That was that, game over, and as Westlands continued to push men up they were punished by two simple goals for Hamworthy in the 89th and 91st minutes. That made the final 5-0 score a bit of a drubbing for Westlands and although Hamworthy had been the better side and deserved their victory, you just had the feeling that Westlands hadn’t had the rub of the green in some occasions. We hadn’t been able to match the home teams slick passing game but we didn’t help ourselves at times by giving away possession. Perhaps a step too far for Sports at this time of the season.

The Man of the Match on this occasion goes to BEN COCHRANE for his mechanical skills in the middle of the busy A37 !

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.N.Voss 14.Jacob Manley 15.L.Howchin

Saturday 14th September, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 6 BRIDPORT RES 2

Westlands lined up with two defenders Ollie Wake and Jack Dicker, missing from last week’s line up. Steve Flynn and Will Ireland were given starting spots and the team was shuffled about to accommodate the two missing defenders. Tim Trevett, Sports new signing from Gillingham, was on the bench so we looked forward to seeing him make his debut at some point.

It was the best possible start for Westlands with an opening goal in the 3rd minute ! A Bridport pass back to the keeper was chased in by Malik Kamal and, under pressure, the goalie miscontrolled the ball and Malik fed it back to LUCA MARTIN who despatched it into the top corner of the net. A quick start from the home team, perhaps too quick as they now appeared to drop off the pace allowing Bridport to settle and come into the game. It was an even game now with Sports best chance of increasing their lead coming in the 15th minute when Josh Payne was put through but his shot was blocked. In he 32nd minute the visitor’s equalised. A long ball into the box seemed to be well covered by the Westlands defence who had three men on the spot against Bridports two. However the header was won by the Bridport #9 and the second ball was picked up by their #7 who had a touch and drilled the ball into the back of the net. Some poor defending there but the loss of the goal seemed to spark Sports back into life and five minutes later a Malik Kamal cut back was driven in by Will Ireland but his shot was cleared off the line by a defender. In the 39th minute Sports took the lead for the second time. A free kick to Westlands in their own half was taken quickly by Adam Barratt with a long pass over the Bridport defence to JOSH PAYNE who ran through and coolly slipped the ball past the keeper into the far corner. Once again having taken the lead Westlands appeared to switch off and Bridport came back strongly. Mark Cuff, the Westlands keeper, tipped a header from a corner over the bar but in the 44th minute Bridport hit back for the second time. A shot for goal was covered by Mark Cuff but he couldn’t hold the shot and the Bridport centre forward thumped in the rebound.

So, a disappointing first half for Westlands with the honours shared at 2-2. We had seemed a bit off the pace at times and the re-shuffled defence was not looking comfortable at all. However, we have high expectations of the team and I suppose they can’t be at their best all the time. No doubt the manager’s pep talk would sort things out for the second half.

As the team lined up for the second half there was one substitution, Tim Trevett for Will Ireland, and a completely new shape to the team. There was also some intent in Westlands play as the second half opened and Tim Trevett was quickly involved, making a great leap to head a Lewis Howchin cross which was deflected just past the post. Then Malik Kamal’s corner was was met by Josh Payne but his shot was saved. In the 50th minute Westlands took the lead for the third time ! Malik Kamal cut down the right and put over a good cross into a crowded box. Luca Martin got a shot away but that was blocked and as the ball rebounded into the air, once again TIM TREVETT leapt highest to plant a header into the back of the net. This time, having taken the lead again, Sports were more focussed and kept the pressure on. Josh Payne was causing the Bridport defence some problems and in the 57th minute he raced through and smashed a shot just over the bar. After 65 minutes skipper ADAM BARRETT was put clear by a nice through pass and he finished in style with a curling left foot shot into the far corner. Now with a two goal lead established for Westlands things were looking a bit bleak for Bridport but they still had their moments and in the 70th minute they had a free kick that was curled just past the goal. Back at the other end Tim Trevett headed the ball through to Josh Payne but the Bridport keeper got down well to save his shot. The first Westlands substitution was made after 75 minutes with Nick Voss replacing Luca Martin. Westlands keeper Mark Cuff then made a good save as Bridport had a good break. As we moved into the last 10 minutes Josh Payne laid the ball across the face of the goal to Nick Voss but somehow the keeper blocked his shot from point blank range. It had been coming and in the 85th minute Westlands increased their lead to 5-2. A Nick Voss shot hit the post and the ball fell to PHIL WELLS who smashed it into the far corner. A good goal that one with good build up play leading to Nick’s shot. Another substitution by Westlands now with Jacob Manley replacing Malik Kamal. In the 88th minute Josh Payne again set up Nick Voss who had two shots blocked before the ball was eventually cleared. Finally, in the last minute, Josh Payne slipped a nice pass through to JACOB MANLEY who ran on and slammed it past the keeper from 15 yards. A great way to end the match and the final score now a resounding 6-2 to Westlands.

A good result in the end and a very good second half which we won 4-0.

Some decent performances but the Man of the Match goes to TOM BEARE who ran the line in the absence of a third official and did an excellent job. Good team spirit shown there by the coach.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Flynn 3.L.Howchin 4.P.Wells 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Green 7.J.Payne 8.W.Ireland 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.N.Voss 14.Jacob Manley 15.T.Trevett

Saturday 7th August, Somerset Senior Cup, 1st Rnd: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 WELTON ROVERS RES 1

Another nice Saturday afternoon in Yeovil and a Somerset Senior Cup 1st round tie against an unknown quantity who play in the Somerset County League Div.2. They had started their league campaign in style winning their first three games so we had to give them due respect. Sports made only one change from last week with Luca Martin starting in place of Louis Irwin.

Westlands took control of the ball straight away and soon had the visitors pinned in their own half. Lewis Howchin had the first try at goal with a shot on the drop that the Welton keeper saved. Then Josh Payne cut in from the right but he miscued his shot and put the ball wide. Even at this early stage it looked as if a goal was coming so it was no surprise really when Westlands opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Malik Kamal put over a low corner and JOSH PAYNE met it on the run to side foot the ball into the net. Five minutes later the Welton keeper duffed his clearance and presented the ball to Luca Martin who chipped the keeper but the ball slid just past the post. That should have been two but the second goal was not long in coming. Jack Dicker headed the ball into the penalty box and JOSH PAYNE swivelled and thumped it into the net. Things were looking bad for the visitors now with Westlands still dominating possession. In the 23rd minute Malik Kamal had a pot shot from outside the box but put it past the far post. In the 30th minute Westlands had a free kick which Malik blazed wildly over the bar but two minutes later he made amends with Sports third goal. A good move down the left saw the ball moved quickly from Luca Martin to Phil Wells and through to MALIK KAMAK who squeezed his shot in at the near post. An excellent goal and, just to complete the sequence, a couple of minutes later Luca Martin put Malik through but he took a swing at it and smashed the ball miles wide. Westlands continued to dominate for the rest of the half but there were no more goals forthcoming, and at the other end, Westlands keeper Mark Cuff had hardly had a touch.

Half time and a three goal lead was a good result from a half Sports had completely dominated so things were looking positive for a good result.

The half time drinks were still being supped when Westlands increased their lead to four with a goal in the 48th minute. Malik Kamal swung over a high corner to the far post and JACK DICKER climbed highest to head home. That surely was game over and almost immediately Westlands brought on a couple of subs with Will Ireland and Nick Voss replacing Jamie Green and Luca Martin. In the 55th minute Will Ireland played a long diagonal pass to Josh Payne whose early cross gave Nick Voss a chance but the keeper pulled off a good save. Westlands pace had certainly dropped off in the second half, not surprisingly as the game was almost certainly in the bag. However the visitors hadn’t given up and Mark Cuff had to pull off a good save to deny them in the 57th minute. Westlands resumed the pressure and a neat Malik Kamal pass put Nick Voss through but the Welton keeper pulled off another good save to deny him. Then Nick cut the ball back to Jonny Manley but he lifted his shot over the bar. A good Welton move in the 65th minute ended with a shot just past the post and, as the visitor’s good spell continued with a shot tipped round the post at full stretch by Sports keeper Mark Cuff. In the 68th minute Westlands made their final substitution, Jacob Manley replacing Josh Payne who had taken a few heavy tackles. A minute later Welton were rewarded for their second half efforts when they pulled a goal back. A cross from the right was headed in by their big #10 who made a good run across the front of the Westlands defenders. A brief moment of hope for the visitor’s but there was no way back as Westlands tightened up and made sure they had no more opportunities. Sports were happy with the 4-1 score line but as we moved into the last ten minutes they created a couple of good chance to increase their lead. First a Nick Voss shot was heading for the top corner when the Welton keeper leapt up and tipped the ball round the post. Then, finally, in the 87th minute Jacob Manley laid the ball out to PHIL WELLS who took it in his stride and drilled his shot into the back of the net. That made the score 5-1 and it was just a case of playing out time for the last few minutes to confirm a fairly comfortable Westlands victory.

Man of the Match goes to MALIK KAMAL who was involved in most of Westlands good moves particularly in the first half. Some of his shooting was a bit wild but with a goal scored and two assists it was a good day for the midfielder.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.W.Ireland 14.Jacob Manley 15.N.Voss

Saturday 31st August, Dorset Premier League: MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 4 WESTLAND SPORTS 5

A tough task for Westlands with a trip to face the high scoring, and undefeated Merley Cobham side. It was noted that Blandford had scored 4 against them recently so perhaps we could utilise our pace to get at their backline. The pitch was in excellent condition and Westlands made one change to the side that beat Gillingham, Louis Irwin coming in to replace Jacob Manley, and Luca Martin and Steve Flynn returned to the squad on the bench.

Almost straight from the kick-off Merley were given a soft free kick just inside the Westlands half. It was lofted into the box and fell to a Merley player who blasted a shot that Westlands keeper Mark Cuff saved with his legs. The rebound was thumped goalwards and again Westlands keeper got a foot to it and the ball was eventually scrambled away for a corner. A great double save there that prevented Westlands from getting off to the worst possible start. However the opening goal for the home side was not long in coming. In the 5th minute Jonny Manley tried to head the ball back to his keeper but left it well short and a Merley player controlled the ball, turned it onto his right foot and drilled it into the far top corner of the net. A terrible start for Westlands but there were signs that the pace and direct running of Josh Payne and Louis Irwin were causing the home defence some problems and several free kicks were conceded by the Merley defence to halt their runs. It was from one of these free kicks that Westlands got the equaliser after 10 minutes. The ball was laid back to OLLY WAKE about 25 yards out and he drilled in a low shot that skimmed off the wet turf and deceived the keeper who allowed it to slip from his grasp over the line. A few minutes later, after Josh Payne had been fouled, Olly put another free kick just wide of the post. Merley Cobham then had a shot as the game flowed from end to end. In the 23rd minute came a disastrous moment for the home team when their #4, who had just had a ticking off from the referee after several fouls, hacked down Louis Irwin as he raced through on goal. The referee showed him a straight red card which was inevitable really. On reflection the home side were now in the same position as Westlands had been in in last year’s cup final, reduced to 10 men with over an hour still to play. On that occasion Merley Cobham had gone on to win the cup so could Westlands follow suit and take the points from this match ? From the resulting free kick Jamie Green put a shot just past the post and few minutes later Adam Barratt had a header from a corner saved by the home keeper. Westlands then proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot again with 30 minutes gone. A long ball was put down the right for Cobham’s #10 to chase but Westlands keeper Mark Cuff decided to charge out of goal to try and get first to the ball. A poor decision as the Cobham player easily beat him to it, took it round him and slotted the ball into the empty net. Another gift of a goal and we find ourselves once again behind in the match. Westlands were stung by this setback and tried to respond with a Louis Irwin shot that went over the bar. Nevertheless, in the 44th minute, Westland’s persistence paid off with the second equaliser. Malik Kamal put over a deep cross from out on the right to the far post and LOUIS IRWIN was on the spot to side-foot in. Back on level terms we just needed to go in for the break and gather our thoughts. But unfortunately that was not to be as Merley snatched another goal in first half injury time. A long throw in from the right was headed in by the big Merley #5 who was unchallenged. Poor marking there and another soft goal to lose.

3-2 down at half time was a bitter pill to swallow considering the manner of the goals we had conceded. I had said in my friday preview on the website that considering Cobham’s high scoring feats this season “we will have to be on our toes defensively tomorrow and give nothing away” and we had done the exact opposite. We were wearing our red kit today but perhaps it should have been red coats and long white beards considering the gifts we had given away in the first half ! On the plus side, at 3-2 we were still in the game, and we had shown we could hurt them at the back so against ten men there was still an outstanding chance to go on and win this game.

Westlands made their first substitution at the break, bringing on Steve Flynn at the expense of Lewis Howchin.

Westlands had a half time roasting from the management and certainly came out looking in determined mood. Josh Payne made a good run to the bye-line and his cross was blocked for a corner. Another strong run by Josh a few minutes later saw his cross again blocked for a corner. A third corner a few moments later went deep to Steve Flynn who headed back across goal to Jamie Green who put his header over the bar. The pressure told in the 55th minute when Westlands scored again to make it 3-3. Louis Irwin turned his man out on the right and whipped over a lovely low cross that JOSH PAYNE turned into the net at full stretch. A good goal and no more than Westlands deserved at this stage. Merley Cobham tried to respond with an attack but their player ballooned his final shot well over. Cobham, although a man down, were still taking risks and pushing men forward but this was leaving them exposed at the back, a situation Westlands were exploiting. In the 70th minute Westlands went in front for the first time. A ball in behind the Cobham defenders put JOSH PAYNE through and he drew the keeper before driving the ball past him into the far corner of the net. A clinical finish from the Westlands marksman. But, in keeping with what had gone before, Westlands only held on to the lead for three minutes before giving Merley a leg up back into the game. As an attacker ran through Olly Wake dived head first to the ground in front of him and brought him down. It was a penalty, no doubt about that, but it was a most bizarre incident. The spot kick was drilled in and we were back level at 4-4 ! The excitement continued as unbelievably a minute later Westlands scored again ! Steve Flynn made a good run down the right and played the ball across to Louis Irwin whose shot was blocked. The ball rebounded to JAMIE GREEN about 20 yards out and he smashed it into the top corner. Great celebrations from the Westlands players which earned  them a reprimand from the referee but there was still 15 minutes to go, and in this game anything could happen. Westlands made their second substitution now and Luca Martin replaced Malik Kamal, to provide some young fresh legs. Westlands, having conceded some soft goals already in the game, seemed to be adopting a more pragmatic approach to the match now, being prepared to sit deep and defend while trying to hit Cobham on the break. We managed a shot at goal in the 84th minute, Louis Irwin firing over the bar and that was followed by Westlands third substitution, Will Ireland replacing Josh Payne. Will immediately dropped into a position in front of the back four and although the home team forced a few corners in the last 5 minutes, Westlands were determined now to give nothing away and held on for the 5-4 victory.

The Westland players were celebrating as if they had won the league at the end and who could blame them after such an emotional roller coaster of a game. It had been a tremendous battle and with nine goals was an epic for the spectators. Credit to both teams for a great contest. From a Westlands perspective we can be proud of the attitude they showed to continue to fight after going behind three times and eventually taking the points. Great team spirit evident there.

Man of the Match goes to JOSH PAYNE for another class performance. Scored two goals and was a real threat to the Merley defence all afternoon.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Irwin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.W.Ireland 14.L.Martin 15.S.Flynn 16. Jacob Manley 17.N.Vos

Tuesday 27th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 GILLINGHAM 1

Another fine evening at Alvington and with the pitch looking good we expected a competitive match with a strong Gillingham team as the opposition. After the good win against Holt on Saturday Sports had a couple of forced changes, so with Steve Flynn unavailable and Luca Martin ill there were starting positions for Jamie Green and Jacob Manley.

An early chance for Westlands came with a good ball by Jamie Manley across to Lewis Howchin but the ball would just not come down for him to get his shot away in time and a defender blocked it out. Then Westlands had a free kick on the edge of the box, but they tried a quick pass and made a mess of it. Gillingham won the ball and immediately raced upfield with a dangerous attack but the ball was eventually cleared by a Westlands defender. After 5 minutes Josh Payne attacked down the right and picked out Malik Kamal with his cross but his shot was blocked by an onrushing defender. It had been a good opening spell for Westlands but after 10 minutes a strong shot from a Gillingham player was deflected for a corner which was headed away by Jack Dicker. Then a high cross into the Westlands box was left by keeper Mark Cuff who thought the ball was going over but was then surprised to see it hit the bar and bounce back into play. A minor scare there for the home team but they were soon putting together a good passing move that ended with a Malik Kamal shot skimming just wide. In the 17th minute the deadlock was broken and it was Gillingham who got the goal. Their player ran down the left side of the box with the ball and Sports Jonny Manley flew in with a sliding tackle that brought him down. A rash challenge in the box and only one outcome really…..penalty ! The spot kick was tucked away nicely and the visitor’s were 1-0 up. Gillingham took some confidence from that goal and were pushing forward now looking quite dangerous. A well struck shot flew across the Westlands goalmouth and fizzed past the far post. After half an hour Sports gathered their composure again and forced a corner that was twice cleared from Jack Dicker and Jonny Manley headers. Then Malik Kamal set up Jacob Manley with a chance but he rushed his shot and miss-kicked it. The final chance of the half came to Gilllingham. A long throw into the Westlands box was headed down and the resulting shot flew over the top.

It had been a disappointing half for Westlands, handing Gillingham the initiative with that soft penalty and just looking a bit off the pace at times. On the positive side it was still a close game and we had shown we could give their defence problems so all to play for in the second half.

Westlands, as expected, came out fired up and forced an early corner that Jack Dicker headed just past the post. The pressure was on now and in the 57th minute Sports grabbed the equalizer. A superb reverse pass from Malik Kamal put JOSH PAYNE through and as the keeper rushed out Josh prodded it past him into the far corner of the net. That goal gave Westlands the belief they could go on and win the game and to pep things up Nick Voss was brought on in the 65th minute, replacing Jacob Manley. Sports were dominating now and in the 72nd minute a good low shot from Josh Payne was saved by the Gillingham keeper. Five minutes later Nick Voss, at full stretch, just failed to turn in a good low cross from Malik Kamal. In the 79th minute another great low cross, this time from Josh Payne was just missed by Jamie Green flying in at the far post. In the 83rd minute Alvington went wild when

NICK VOSS ran through onto a Jack Dicker header and slotted the ball past the Gillingham keeper to put Sports in front. Another good goal with the pace of the Westland forwards giving the Gillingham defence problems.

Westlands then replaced Malik Kamal, who had an excellent game, with the fresh legs of Will Ireland. Gillingham tried to respond to going behind and a cross into the Westlands box looked dangerous but came to nothing in the end. Then another substitution for Westlands with Aaron Sweet replacing Phil Wells for the last five minutes. In the 89th minute Josh Payne put a header into the Gillingham keepers arms and a couple of minutes later came the welcome sound of the final whistle (for the Westlands supporters that is !)

Another really entertaining game and Westlands had shown good spirit to come back in the second half and win the game.

Man of the Match goes to JACK DICKER who was a tower of strength in both defence and attack and showed good composure, cutting out the rash challenges he is sometimes prone to.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.J.Manley 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.W.Ireland 14.A.Sweet 15.N.Voss


Saturday 24th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 HOLT UTD 2

Another cracking summer day at Alvington and with the pitch looking good after some morning watering we looked forward to a big test this afternoon. Westlands had only one change from the team that won at Shaftesbury in midweek, Sam Plumley dropped out due to work commitments and he was replaced by Lewis Howchin.

Both teams settled quickly and tried to pass the ball around so the scene was set for a good game of football. Although there was lots of neat passing it took until the eighth minute before we had an attempt on target, Westlands Steve Flynn hitting a trundler that the Holt keeper fielded easily. Westlands were pushing forward now and opened the scoring with a superb goal in the 10th minute. The build up was patient, with Sports putting about 20 passes together before Jonny Manley strode into the Holt half and fed the ball out to Josh Payne on the wing. Josh took on the full back and squared a perfect ball across the face of the goal where LUCA MARTIN was on the spot to sidefoot in.

An excellent team goal and Westlands were well in control now and were pushing to extend their lead. Josh Payne had a shot that went well wide, Steve Flynn had a low shot saved by the keeper and Josh had another effort turned round the post by the Holt keeper, all within a couple of minutes. In the 20th minute a good pass from Lewis Howchin put Luca Martin through but his shot was blocked by a diving defender. Two minutes later Josh Payne put over another perfect cross but this time a stretching Luca Martin could only get a half touch which went past the post. In the 29th minute Adam Barrett fired in a strong volley but unfortunately straight at the Holt keeper. After 32 minutes Malik Kamal split the Holt defence with a slide rule pass inside the full back to PHIL WELLS who took the ball in his stride and slotted it past the keeper at his near post. Three minutes later Luca Martin had a thumping shot deflected for a corner off a defender’s head. It had been all Westlands in the first half but with 4 minutes to go until the break they shot themselves in the foot. Jonny Manley inexplicably tried to pass the ball across the face of the goal inside his own penalty area and he only succeeded in passing it straight to a Holt player who had an easy job to knock it in. A couple of minutes later Jonny Manley had to eoff with a knock and Jamie Green came on at the back for Sports.

What an end to the half that had been for Westlands. From being comfortably two goals up they now went into the break with a slender one goal lead but more importantly had given the visitors some hope now that they could get something from the game. Apart from that goal Sports had been well in command and had played some good football so things were still positive for the second half.

Westlands started the second half well but again they were shocked in the 53rd minute. A very soft free kick was awarded to Holt, the ball was pumped into the box and, as the Westlands defence and goalkeeper all stood still, a Holt forward was on the move and he nipped in front of Sports keeper Mark Cuff to prod the ball into the net. A bit of poor defending there from Westlands and we were back on level terms ! Sports were stung into reaction and a thumping shot from Josh Payne was beaten away by the Holt keeper. Westlands were looking dangerous and in the 58th minute got their noses back in front. Jack Dicker played a great ball over the top for JOSH PAYNE to run on to. Josh took a lovely first touch, went round the keeper who had rushed out to the edge of the box, and thumped the ball into the net past a couple of defenders who were desperately trying to cover. Another excellent goal that settled Westlands down and they continued to push looking for more goals. On the hour mark Malik Kamal had a shot deflected for a corner and in the 70th minute Malik just failed to get a touch to a Phil Wells cross that had been helped on by Luca Martin. Three minutes later a sublime Malik Kamal through pass put Josh Payne clear but he thumped his shot off the near post, A goal was coming for Westlands and in the 75th minute JOSH PAYNE was put through by Jack Dicker and he cut inside and smashed a left foot shot past the keeper to make it 4-2. A cracking goal and one that put the game to bed really and two substitutions were immediately made by the Sports management, Jacob Manley replacing Luca Martin and Will Ireland coming on for Malik Kamal. In the 83rd minute Jacob Manley chased a long ball down the right and fed it inside to Josh Payne whose curling effort just slipped by the far post. Then Josh had a good run and cross but a defender scrambled it away for a corner that Jack Dicker headed wide. Finally in the 93rd minute Jacob Manley was put through but he put his shot too near the keeper who made the save.

The full time whistle ended a good game and an excellent result for Westlands. A couple of defensive errors had cost us, and we will need to cut these out, but apart from that our general play was excellent.

Man of the Match goes to JOSH PAYNE for an outstanding game with 2 goals and an assist. He ran the Holt defence ragged, particularly in the second half.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.J.Green 14.N.Voss 15.Jacob Manley 16.W.Ireland

Wednesday 21st August, Dorset Premier League: SHAFTESBURY RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 1

Possibly our toughest match of the season so far with a midweek trip to Shaftesbury who had a 100% record so far this season, winning all three of their games.

Sports returned Olly Wake, Josh Payne, Steve Flynn, Sam Plumley and Jamie Green to the squad so it was a changed team that took the field. The weather was fine and the pitch looked good so all set for an interesting match.

The home side opened confidently and took the early initiative with Sports taking a bit of time to settle into what was a different formation from normal. After ten minutes Westlands had a good effort when a Jack Dicker throw was headed on by Jon Manley to Luca Martin whose volley smashed off a defender and was deflected wide. Even at this early stage it was obvious Shaftesbury were playing a high defensive line and Westlands were trying to exploit the space behind with the pace of Josh Payne and Luca Martin. Both teams were keeping possession well but defences were on top so not many attempts at goal were being made. However in the 22 minute Sports midfielder Malik Kamal burst forward and let fly a thumping drive from 25 yards out that just shaved the crossbar.

A good effort that and it looked as if Westlands were now just beginning to get on top with some balls over the top causing problems in the home defence. Shaftesbury’s cause was not helped in the 25th minute when one of their players was sin-binned for 10 minutes. In the 29th minute the 10 men almost took the lead but Sports keeper Mark Cuff pulled off a good save to deny their player who was unmarked at the far post. Josh Payne then got through for Westlands and his pass across the face of the goal was just missed by the stretching Luca Martin. The ball was cleared for a corner which Jon Manley put just wide of the post with a good header. The signs had been there and in the 37th minute Sports took the lead. Sam Plumley played a ball down the right wing to Luca Martin who sprinted past the full back and put over a lovely cross that JOSH PAYNE rose to head down under the keeper’s diving body. What a cracking goal and just about deserved on the balance of play. Westlands then played out the last 8 minutes of the half fairly conservatively, making sure they didn’t concede before half-time.

We were quite happy with the one goal lead at half time and the opinion was that once they had settled into the game, Westlands had looked quite dangerous going forward and also quite secure at the back.

Shaftesbury were unbeaten and on the home turf so they would obviously come out fired up for the second half and sure enough, for the first 10 minutes of the half they put on the pressure but couldn’t really create a decent goalscoring chance. Westlands rode out that spell and were soon pushing forward, Luca Martin heading a Josh Payne cross just over the bar. Then Mark Cuff had to field a low shot from the edge of the box and on the hour mark a header by the home team went wide. Westlands replied with a Josh Payne shot that was deflected wide.

In the 68th minute came the first substitution with Nick Voss replacing young Luca Martin who had really worked hard all game so was being protected a little bit by the manager. A few minutes later came the second sub with Malik Kamal being replaced by Jamie Green. Malik had also got through a power of running and had taken a couple of knocks so a sensible substitution with a more experienced player coming on for the last 20 minutes or so. In the 74th minute Jamie Green chased a long ball to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Nick Voss whose touch put the ball inches past the far post. Another good break from Sports saw Nick Voss lay the ball off to Phil Wells in a decent position but he blazed his shot over the top. The final Westlands substitution came with 10 minutes to go, Josh Payne being replaced by Jacob Manley to give us some fresh legs up front. Shaftesbury could now see the game slipping away so they began to pile men forward looking for the equaliser. They immediately had a chance but their player blasted over the bar from a decent position. Going into the last 5 minutes Shaftesbury were really piling forward but consequentially they were leaving big gaps at the back. A quick break by Sports in the 86th minute saw Jamie Green shoot just past the post. Still Shaftesbury pressed and a corner from the left went right across the face of the Sports goal with no-one getting a touch. Westlands were defending in depth now and basically doing sensible things, clearing their lines when they had to and, when they broke upfield, keeping possession and running the ball into the corners. In the 92nd minute Jacob Manley and Nick Voss broke away two against one defender but Jacob’s final pass saw Nick just drift offside and a good chance was gone. However the final whistle soon after confirmed a good three points for Westlands.

It had been a much better performance from Sports after a couple of dodgy games against Sherborne and Portland. The team had worked hard for their victory and everyone had played well.

That makes it difficult to pick a Man of the Match this week but it goes to MALIK KAMAL who had an excellent game in central midfield. Hasn’t looked too comfortable recently when played out wide but he looked more effective in his more natural central position. He also showed a bit more maturity and kept his focus on his game, a good performance.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.J.Green 14.N.Voss 15.Jacob Manley 16.W.Ireland

Saturday 17th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 PORTLAND RES 1

After the midweek defeat Sports were looking to put things right against a Portland team who had lost both their opening fixtures. Westlands were forced into 4 changes to the midweek side with Sam Plumley, Olly Wake, Josh Payne and Steve Flynn all unavailable and they were replaced by Phil Wells, Scott Morgan, Nick Voss and Jacob Manley. On the bench there were first outings for Tom Aitken, Dwayne Forshaw, Joe Jarvis and Will Ireland.

Another fine day at Alvington so with the pitch in perfect nick we looked forward to a good game.

Westlands started on the front foot an were soon putting pressure on the Portland defence. After 4 minutes a good ball over the top from Aaron Sweet put Nick Voss in the clear but as he cut in from the left he drove his shot just wide of the far post. A minute later Malik Kamal thumped in a shot from the edge of the box that pulled out a good save from the Portland keeper. Next Phil Wells again put Nick Voss clear but this time his final shot was blocked. After 9 minutes a Malik Kamal corner was met on the run by Jack Dicker and his bullet header was blocked out for a corner. That corner was cleared but another Malik corner in the 15th minute to the far post was headed back across goal by Jonny Manley with Jacob Manley just failing to connect a couple of yards out.

The visitors had shown they were a neat and tidy team in possession and in one of their sporadic attacks in the 19th minute they won a free kick just inside the Westlands half out on the right. The ball was pumped hight into the Westlands box where goalkeeper Mark Cuff came out to gather. Unfortunately he misjudged the flight of the ball and with the Sports defence standing still, it dropped at the far post where a Portland player had a tap in. That was a real sucker punch for Westlands who had all the pressure up to this point but had failed to capitalise and now found themselves a goal down. Sports were a bit rattled by that goal but it had the opposite effect on the opposition so we had an even battle now with both sides having their moments. In the 27th minute Westlands keeper Mark Cuff atoned for his previous error by tipping a shot onto the post and preventing Sports from going 2 down. Then a Westlands attack saw Jack Dicker head the ball right across the face of the Portland goal but there was nobody there to knock it in. Just before half time Jacob Manley put a good low cross into the box but again no takers for Westlands.

So, half time and 1-0 down, not the result we had expected or hoped for so we needed to step it up in the second half.

As we settled down in the second half Luca Manley was causing some problems own the right side but the final ball just wasn’t coming off. After only 11 minutes of the half the Westlands management made the first change with Dwayne Forshaw replacing Jacob Manley. Straight away Aaron Sweet gave the ball away inside his own half and a Portland player ran through but put his shot over the bar. At the other end Luca Martin made a strong run down the right but his cut-back was scrambled away by the Portland defence that was coming under severe pressure now. On 65 minutes Tom Aitken replaced Scott Morgan as Sports pushed an extra man forward and went three at the back. A 30 yard shot from Aaron Sweet was turned away and the resulting corner caused panic in the visitor’s defence before being hacked clear. Back came Westlands again and a nice cross from Tom Aitken was fired past the post by Luca Martin. Eventually, in the 79th minute, the pressure told as Sports scored the equaliser. Tom Aitken played a good pass down the right to Dwayne Forshaw who turned his man and played in a pinpoint cross to LUCA MARTIN who headed the ball strongly into the far corner. An excellent goal and well deserved. Immediately Westlands made their third substitution with Joe Jarvis replacing Nick Voss. This move paid immediate dividends a couple of minutes later when Dwayne Forshaw burst through the tiring Portland defence, drew the keeper, and unselfishly squared the ball for JOE JARVIS to have a tap-in at the far post. Another fine goal which sparked off great celebrations from the Westland players. Portland never gave up though and in the 85th minute they built an attack but the final shot was way over the bar. In the final minute the last action of the game saw Joe Jarvis drive into the box and square the ball to Dwayne Forshaw who managed to miss from about 3 yards out, his shot hitting the keeper.

A good win for Westlands but not a vintage performance. We seemed to lack that bit of composure on the ball but certainly showed resilience by keeping going to the end and finally grabbing the points.

Man of the Match this week goes DWAYNE FORSHAW who gave the Portland defence real problems when he came on with his aggressive play and, of course, he set up the two goals. A bit unusual to pick a player who had only played 35 minutes but I thought on this occasion the three subs who were put on made a big impact.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.P.Wells 3.S.Morgan 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.A.Sweet 7.L.Martin 8.M.Kamal 9.Jacob Manley 10.A.Barratt 11.N.Voss 12.T.Aitken 14.D.Forshaw 15.J.Jarvis 16.W.Ireland 17.B.Cochrane

Tuesday 10th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 0 SHERBORNE TOWN RES 1

A nice evening at Alvington, pitch looking perfect, and a good turn-out for the local derby.

Westlands made one change from Saturday’s winning team, Malik Kamal given the chance to show what he could do in place of Nick Voss. Sherborne had a strong line-up so we knew a close game was on the cards.

The game started at 100 miles an hour with neither team having a moment to settle on the ball so all a bit scrappy for the opening minutes. The first chance came Sherborne’s way in the 9th minute with a soft free kick conceded which led to a dangerous ball into Sports box. Steve Flynn headed the ball away for a corner which was then cleared. Westlands first chance came in the 13 minutes, again from a free kick which Aaron Sweet put over to Josh Payne whose shot was blocked by a defender. A few minutes later Steve Flynn made a strong run into the visitor’s half but again the final shot was blocked. Next it was Sherborne’s turn to get a cross in that was scrambled away at the far post by the Sports defence. In the 22nd minute a great crossfield ball was picked up by Josh Payne out on the right. Josh fed it inside to Olly Wake on the edge of the box but he put his shot over the bar. Back down at the other end a Sherborne player drilled over a corner which was met by the head of their #9 whose bullet header flew just past the post. As we passed the half hour mark Sherborne had a good 5 minutes of pressure which produced a couple of good efforts. First Sports keeper Mark Cuff tipped a shot from just outside the box round the post and then a free kick drilled in low and hard was well saved by the Sports keeper after a header out from a corner. Josh Payne relieved the pressure with a good run but once again his final shot was blocked. Then as we moved into the last couple of minutes before the break each team had good chances to break the deadlock. A long throw from Sherborne was headed goalwards and came off the corner of the bar and was cleared. Then Adam Barratt burst through for Westlands and as the keeper came out he flicked the ball past him and ran round only to completely mishit his shot from an acute angle.

That ended the first half with the teams locked at 0-0.

It had been a scrappy first half with neither side able to get the ball down a put a few passes together. Westland had looked a bit negative for some reason with a lack of players getting forward to support the attacks. Conceding unnecessary free kicks was also causing us problems. Never mind, 0-0 so plenty time to get things right.

The second half started brightly for Westlands with Josh Payne racing to the bye-line but his cut back was blocked for a corner which was cleared. Sports were pushing forward now and several good crosses were put into the danger area with no reward. In the 57th minute came the only goal of the game and it was the visitor’s who grabbed it. A long throw into the goalmouth was flicked on by Sherborne’s big #5 and the ball ended up in the corner of the net. Not the best bit of defending by the Sports backline but a massive goal for the visitor’s in a game where goals were at a premium. Westlands immediately made a change with Nick Voss replacing Steve Flynn. Sports tried hard to get back into the game but it was all a bit hectic and lacking cohesion. Luca Martin showed his pace with a run to the bye-line but that was the first time he had been able to stretch his legs, all to often the ball had been played in to his feet with his back to goal. Presumably this was a bit of a hangover from last season but with Josh Payne, Luca and Nick Voss on the pitch we needed some passes in behind to utilise their pace. In the 70th minute Nick Voss put over a cross but Luca Martin couldn’t find the target with his header. Then a neat head-flick by Luca put Nick Voss through but he rushed his shot and put it wide. Going into the last 10 minutes Westlands were beginning to run out of steam and Malik Kamal was replaced by Jacob Manley.

Some good play by Sherborne now, taking the ball wide, keeping possession and eating up the minutes. It was one of these nights when it didn’t look as if Westlands would ever score and Sherborne were able to play out time without much difficulty. Full-time 0-1.

After the good win at Bournemouth on Saturday this was the other end of the spectrum for Sports. Hopefully some good lessons learnt for our younger players (and some older ones !), and we have another home game on Saturday so a chance to put things right.

Man of the Match this week goes JONNY MANLEY who looked pretty dominant at the back.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.O.Wake 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.P.Wells 14.N.Voss 15.Jacob Manley 16.S.Morgan 17.B.Cochrane

Saturday 10th August, Dorset Premier League: BOURNEMOUTH SPORTS 0  WESTLAND SPORTS 2

With Bournemouth Sports return to the DPL this was our first visit to Chapelgate for a number of years, 2007 to be exact ! Not much has changed in the interim but the new dugouts received a battering from the gale force winds sweeping across the ground. Sports turned out with a team freshened up from last season so it would be interesting to see how that shaped up.

As the match got going the wind was playing a big part in the game with both teams struggling to put a few passes together. The home side were looking eager in the first few minutes but in the 4th minute it was Westlands who went close when Steve Flynn burst through but his bouncing shot was turned over the bar by the Bournemouth keeper for a corner. Unfortunately Aaron Sweet completely misjudged the wind and put the corner kick into the woods behind the goal. With both teams struggling to put any passes together, even at this early stage it didn’t look as if there would be many goals in this game so it was important to keep things tight at he back. In the 11th minute another Westlands corner from Aaron Sweet, this time well judged in the wind, fizzed low right across the face of the goal but no-one could get on the end of it. The game was evenly balanced but the midfield was very congested and players had no time to get their heads up. Bournemouth had probably shaded the early exchanges without testing Westlands keeper but after about 20 minutes Westlands began to get on top and put some pressure on the home defence. Another Westlands corner in the 30th minute saw Jack Dicker have a shot but it went well over the top. Nevertheless the pressure told in the 36th minute when Westlands scored the opening goal. All game the Bournemouth defenders had been using the new rule to their advantage by playing the ball out to defenders inside the box. When they tried it this time Westlands pressed in numbers and Josh Payne won possession. Josh played the ball across to LUCA MARTIN and he made no mistake, steering the ball into the corner of the net. A crucial opening goal for Westlands in the context of a tight game and a great start to the season for Westland’s 17 year-old striker. Bournemouth still hadn’t recovered from that goal three minutes later when Steve Flynn won the ball just outside the penalty area but fired his shot over the bar. As we moved towards half time Westlands had a narrow escape when Adam Barratt headed the ball off the line following a Bournemouth corner. Then in the dying seconds of the half the Bournemouth centre forward blazed a shot way over the top when in a good position.

Half time, 1-0 to Westlands and probably just about deserved on the balance of the first half.

Westlands opened the second half strongly when a good ball over the top picked out Josh Payne whose deep cross was fired just wide of the far post by Nick Voss. A few minutes later a Bournemouth player burst through but his finish was too high. In the 58th minute Westlands new keeper Mark Cuff was on his toes to dive and parry a shot driven through a crowd of players, Jonny Manley completing the save by booting the rebound out of play. After an hour, Westlands made their first substitution, Malik Kamal coming on to replace Nick Voss. In the 67th minute came the second goal for Westlands and a cracking goal it was. Josh Payne and Sam Plumley combined well to open up the Bournemouth defence down the right. Sam put over a lovely cross to the far post where LUCA MARTIN rose to head into the net. What a goal and definitely the best move of the game so far. With a two goal lead Westlands were now able to relax and concentrate on not conceding. Jonny Manley was winning all the high balls for Westlands who although conceding some territory now, still looked dangerous on the break. Luca Martin was put clean through and seemed to have gone round the keeper, but the Bournemouth custodian managed to somehow save the day and get something on the ball, perhaps aided by a slight push ! In the 80th minute Westlands substituted Phil Wells for Aaron Sweet just to add a bit of experience to the backline. A minute later a long throw from Jack Dicker had the Bournemouth defence in trouble. Adam Barratt climbed highest to head goalwards only to see the keeper tip his effort round the post. A great save and the keeper repeated the feat when Jonny Manley headed the resulting corner goalwards. In the 83rd minute Westlands made their third and final substitution, Jacob Manley replacing Luca Martin. Hard as they tried, Bournemouth couldn’t crack the Westlands defence, and with chances at a premium, there was no way through for the home side. Full-time 2-0.

On the opening day of the season a 2-0 victory and a clean sheet is a decent result as the opposition were a hard working side, so well done to all the Westlands players and management, a good start to the new campaign.

Man of the Match this week goes to LUCA MARTIN for a hard working performance up front capped by two goals.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.J.Dicker 5.J.Manley 6.O.Wake 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.N.Voss 12.P.Wells 14.M.Kamal 15.J.Manley 16.S.Morgan 17.B.Cochrane