Westland Sports FC

First Team



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