Westland Sports FC

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Saturday 9th February, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 BLANDFORD UTD 2

The weather was again a major issue with heavy rain overnight and although very soggy the pitch was perfectly playable for the visit of Blandford. We had beaten the visitors only two weeks previous at their place and it wasn’t really ideal having to face them again so soon. Although we prevailed 2-1 down there it had been a tough match so we could expect nothing less today. Westlands made three changes from the team that won at Shaftesbury on wednesday night with Ant Herrin, Sam Carney and Liam Stobbs starting in place of Scott Smith, Harry Vandervell and Nick Voss.

The game took a few minutes to settle and it was the visitors who created the first half chance in the 5th minute but their #7 mishit his shot. A couple of minutes later Alex Murphy latched on to a through ball and raced away towards the Blandford goal. As he got to the penalty area he smashed a shot goalwards but couldn’t keep it on target. Then Blandford created a couple of openings with their #8 shooting past the post and then a shot from distance flew just over the bar. After 15 minutes Ant Herrin drilled a shot past the post as Westlands tried to get into the game. A lot of possession was being cheaply given way by the Sports players and 50/50 challenges were tending to go the way of the opposition. Nevertheless in the 18th minute Sam Carney swung over a cross from out on the left almost on the byeline and it deceived the keeper and bounced off the bar. Liam Stobbs picked up the rebound out on the right and crossed back in to Ant Herrin whose header was clutched by the keeper. Then came a let off for Westlands in the 21st minute when a deep cross from the left was met by the Blandford #4 and his shot hit keeper Sam Watts leg, then hit the post and bounced away for a corner. In came the kick and everyone missed it as it flew across the face of the goal. Good pressure by Blandford and they made it count in the 22nd minute with the opening goal. A ball into the box was not cleared with two Westlands defenders seeming to get in each other’s way. A Blandford player picked up the loose ball, squared it to their #8, and he thumped a shot into the net. Westlands were struggling to keep the ball at this stage and in the 27th minute came another close shave. The ball was gifted to Blandford in the midfield and their #7 was put clean through. As he ran into the box and was about to shoot Sports skipper Adam Barratt made an exceptional sprint back and pulled off a perfect recovery tackle to take the ball off the striker’s toe. After a really poor spell of play by Westlands they rallied a bit in the last 15 minutes of the half. Aaron Sweet lined up a free kick and got it on target but straight at the keeper who made an easy save. Then Liam Stobbs fed Alex Murphy whose lob shot was deflected over the top. And, in the final action of the half, Ant Herrin fired in a shot that flew past the post. Half-time 1-0 to the visitors.

The first half hour had been poor by Westlands standards, perhaps a bit of a hangover from Wednesday night’s exertions, but the last 15 minutes had shown a bit of fight so things could definitely be turned round in the second half.

And what a start Westlands made to the half. Two minutes after the restart Phil Wells played the ball in to Ant Herrin in the box and he held it up well before laying it off to LIAM STOBBS who stroked it into the far corner of the net. Nice move and a cool finish, just what Sports needed to get back into the game. However Blandford almost made us pay for some poor marking only two minutes later when their player hit the post with a shot that rebounded out and was cleared. The match was end to end with both teams going for the win. In the 55th minute Alex Murphy tried a spectacular overhead kick that flew just past the post. Three minutes later Sports made their first substitution with Sam Carney, who has been carrying an injury, coming off to be replaced by Harry Vandervell. Then it was Blandfords turn to have a let off when Alex Murphy whacked over a cross/shot from the right wing that beat the keeper but bounced off the far post back into his arms ! That was followed in the 61st minute with Blandfords #8 getting in a good shooting position but his shot went just over the bar. Another substitution followed by Westlands with Liam Stobbs being replaced by Nick Voss. In the 65th minute Blandfords #8 again found space for a shot but blasted over. This was followed by Westlands final substitution, an injury to Adam Barratt forcing him off and he was replaced by Matt Philips. Before the Westlands defence had got themselves organised we conceded again. A shot from outside the box was half blocked but the ball looped over to the far post where the Blandford #7 turned it in from close range. You wouldn’t have bet money on a home win at this stage but credit to the Westlands players, they rolled up their sleeves and went for it. We had a front three now of Alex Murphy, Harry Vandervell and Nick Voss and they began to cause the Blandford defence a few problems. In the 73rd minute Nick Voss danced into the box and was brought down for a penalty ! ANT HERRIN took the responsibility and drilled the ball past the keeper to make it 2-2 and game on with 15+ minutes still to go. Sports were pressing now and in the 76th minute the Blandford keeper saved a shot from Alex Murphy. Then a long ball put Harry Vandervell through but with only the keeper to beat he leant back and blazed his shot well over the top. Try as they might Westlands could not break down the Blandford defence and when they forced a corner in the last minute it looked like the final throw of the dice. Aaron Sweet fired over the kick and centre half JONNY MANLEY flung himself full length to power a header into the back of the net ! Sports had their noses in front for the first time in the game and we were looking for the referee’s whistle when there was one final twist in the game. A nice ball down the left put Nick Voss away and he showed good skill to drive into the box and cross to the far post where ALEX MURPHY was steaming in to thump the ball into the net for number 4 !

That was that, a 4-2 victory for Westlands but the scoreline did not really tell the story of the game. Blandford had been strong opponents and I don’t think anyone would have grudged them a point if they had held on at 2-2. Westlands hadn’t played that well but sheer determination and will to win had got them over the line in the end. I suppose it’s nice to win when you don’t play at your best but it doesn’t do anything for the fingernails !

All in all an excellent afternoon’s entertainment.

The Man of the Match award goes to ANT HERRIN who played in a midfield role and was outstanding for the full 90 minutes, driving the team on right to the end.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.A.Barratt 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.L.Stobbs 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Murphy 10.A.Herrin 11.A.Sweet 12.H.Vandervell 14.N.Voss 15.M.Philips


Wednesday 6th February, Dorset Premier League: SHAFTESBURY RES 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2

After a nice dry day the weather took a turn for the worse when the temperature dropped and the rain came on as the teams went out to warm up. From then on it poured down with virtually no let up all night so not good conditions for football. The pitch had looked in pretty good shape at the start but it soon softened up and was very slippery on top, just the conditions for an upset !

Westlands made 3 changes from the last game with Adam Barratt, Harry Vandervell and Jonny Manley returning to the starting 11 in place of Jamie Green, Ant Herrin and Sam Carney.

Sports started with the two big men, Murphy and Vandervell, up top and that tactic played dividends straight away when Westlands opened the scoring in the 2nd minute. Harry Vandervell played a nice 1-2 with Alex Murphy and took off down the left wing at full tilt with the defenders struggling to keep up. Showing great composure Harry drove on into the Shaftesbury box and delivered a perfect low pass across the face of the goal where it was sidefooted in at the far post by NICK VOSS. What a cracking goal, a great pass by Murph to put Harry away down the left and a great run and cross neatly finished. Great start by Westlands, 1-0, 2 minutes gone !

The home side gradually began to settle and in the 8th minute had their first shot at goal but it was an easy save for Sports keeper Sam Watts. A couple of minutes later Shaftesbury put together a nice move that ended with their left winger driving a low shot just past the far post. In the 14th minute Harry Vandervell cut inside from the left and curled a right footer just past the far post. A minute later Aaron Sweet hit a thundering shot from just outside the box that hit the underside of the bar and bounced out with the keeper beaten. Harry Vandervell headed the rebound into the net but was flagged offside by the linesman. Was he offside when the ball was kicked ? Westlands continued to attack and had a couple of corners in quick succession that were scrambled away by the home defence under pressure. Then Shaftesbury had a spell of pressure and in the 26th minute Sam Watts made a good save turning away a shot after a Shaftesbury player had been given too much time in the box. Then a good cross by the Shaftesbury right back was headed wide of the far post as the home side continued to enjoy some territorial advantage. As the clock passed the half hour mark it was Westlands turn to attack and Jonny Manley just failed to get on the end of an Aaron Sweet free kick at the far post. Then Alex Murphy cushioned a nice little header down to Henry Lawrence-Napier but the shot was well over the bar. Westlands should then have added goal number two in the 37th minute when the Shaftesbury keeper completely miscued his kick and presented the ball to Harry Vandervell about 15 yards out. It looked a certain goal but the big Westlands striker hit a rather casual side foot shot straight at the keeper, what a let off for the home side ! A couple of minutes later Alex Murphy chased a long ball through the middle and as the keeper rushed out to clear Alex got a block on his kick and the ball fell to Harry Vandervell who made no mistake this time, slotting the ball into the back of the net. To the Westland players dismay the linesman’s flag went up for another offside decision, but did the keeper have the last touch ? Just before half time a Shaftesbury player broke through and tried to lob Sam Watts but Sports keeper got a hand to it and parried it away.

Half time and 1-0 to Westlands in what had been a fairly even half possession wise but Westlands had looked much more dangerous in attack, and could easily have been 2 or 3 goals in front. Shaftesbury had created a couple of decent chances so with only one goal in it this game was still in the balance.

Sports made a substitution at half time with Liam Stobbs replacing Nick Voss.

Westlands opened the second half with the ball moving quickly from Sam Plumley to Harry Vandervell to Aaron Sweet whose low drive fizzed past the far post. In the 53rd minute Westlands had a bit of a scare when Sam Watts missed his kick, but Jonny Manley got back to clear the danger. The heavy going was beginning to take its toll now and Sports made another substitution with Harry Vandervell withdrawn and replaced by a midfield player Sam Carney. A good move as Adam Barratt and Henry Lawrence-Napier had battled hard all night and were probably glad of the help. After an hour came Shaftesbury’s best chance so far. Their right winger was unmarked and he hit a daisy cutter that came off the far post and was grabbed by keeper Sam Watts. A bit of a let off there, however in the 64th minute Westlands extended the led to 2-0 with another good goal. Alex Murphy made a storming run down the left, cut inside and passed square to Liam Stobbs on the edge of the box. Liam laid the ball back to SAM CARNEY who let fly from 25 yards through a crowd of players and the ball flew into the back of the net with the help of a slight deflection. That should have taken the pressure off Westlands but unfortunately, in the 70th minute they conceded a goal that put things back in the melting pot. A ball was played into the box and the Shaftesbury left winger had time to control it in front of goal and thump a good shot into the back of the net. Looked like a bit of tired defending in that moment so Westlands management reacted immediately with some fresh legs introduced at the back, Scott Morgan replacing Scott Smith. Sam Watts made another good save in the 74th minute as Shaftesbury looked for an equaliser, pushing the ball for a corner. Going into the last 10 minutes and some signs of cramp were evident as the strength sapping conditions began to have an effect. Phil Wells then joined the attack and put over a good cross that Henry Lawrence-Napier got his head to but couldn’t get his effort on target. It was end to end as Sam Watts then had to turn a shot round the post. Then finally Adam Barratt drove into the Shaftesbury box but seemed to just have a touch too many and his final shot was blocked.

The referee’s final whistle ended a cracking match considering the conditions. A great effort by Westlands who showed an excellent team spirit and a good result, obviously, as that was our game in hand and we had to win it, so a good night for Sports.

The Man of the Match award goes to SAM WATTS whose handling was excellent in conditions that were not ideal for goalkeepers.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.S.Smith 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.N.Voss 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.H.Vandervell 10.A.Murphy 11.A.Sweet 12.L.Stobbs 14.S.Carney 15.S.Morgan


Saturday 26th January, Dorset Premier League: BLANDFORD UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2

In a dress rehearsal for the Dorset Premier League Cup Semi-Final, Westlands visited Blandford on league business and were looking for a good result.. Three players dropped out of last week's starting line-up with injury or illness, Harry Vandervell, Jonny Manley and Sam Carney. The manager dipped into the squad and Jamie Green lined up at centre half, Adam Barratt returned to fill the midfield berth and Alex Murphy moved to centre forward with Nick Voss filling the wide right slot. Liam Stobbs was joined on the bench by Dwayne Forshaw. A sloping pitch, a windy day and a slippy surface meant we weren't expecting silky football but more than likely effort and application plus a sprinkling of quality would be the recipe for success.

Sports dominated the game and took the lead after 20 minutes with a lovely goal. Nick Voss made a good run down the middle and Alex Murphy put him through one on one with the keeper. Showing great composure NICK VOSS rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net. Cool finish from the striker to open his account for the club since signing from Chickerell two weeks ago. Half time 1-0 Westlands.

So far so good for Westlands who hadn't really been troubled in a fairly scrappy, but hard fought, first half.

Westlands were looking to wrap things up in the second half but had to wait until the 80th minute to score that important second goal. Liam Stobbs started the move off with some good work down he right, and his cross picked out Alex Murphy in the middle. Alex laid the ball back into the path of HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who was charging in and he swept the ball into the corner of the net. Another great goal from Westlands showing just that touch of quality required.

Westlands could relax a bit now but went to sleep in injury time when a long ball through the middle was missed by centre half Jamie Green allowing a Blandford player to run through on goal. As the Blandford player shot, Scott Smith lunged into a tackle that brought the attacker down for a penalty which was tucked away. Fairly clear cut decision that one I think, but it proved to be no more than a consolation goal for the home team but cost Sports keeper Sam Watts his clean sheet !

13 heroes for Westland in this match as it was a gruelling battle and they all toughed it out.

The Man of the Match award this week goes to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER for a non-stop performance in midfield, must have covered miles, capped by a fantastic goal.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.S.Smith 5.J.Green 6.A.Barratt 7.N.Voss 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Murphy 10.A.Herrin 11.A.Sweet 12.D.Forshaw 14. 15.L.Stobbs 16.B.Cochrane


Saturday 19th January, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 6 SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 0

With heavy overnight and early morning rain the match was in some doubt but thankfully the skies cleared and we had a lovely afternoon. The pitch naturally was soft on top but considering the amount of rain that had fallen it was in pretty good nick. Westlands made a couple of changes from the previous week with Aaron Sweet coming in wide left and Scott Smith replacing Olly Wake who was ill.

The visitors took control straight from the kick off and soon had Westlands pinned back in their own half. They had one pop at goal during this spell but it went well over the top. After about 5 minutes on the back foot Westlands eventually got going and in the 6th minute, against the run of play, they took the lead. Harry Vandervell and Aaron Sweet combined well down the left, Harry cut in and laid the ball back to ALEX MURPHY whose shot hit the keeper’s foot and rolled into the corner of the net. That goal settled Sports and they began to put on the pressure. An Aaron Sweet free kick picked out Alex Murphy but his shot flew past the far post. Then a great through ball put Harry Vandervell away down the left. He put over a good cross that Alex Murphy headed just past the far post at the second attempt. After 12 minutes Swanage should really have scored. A soft free kick was awarded against Westlands and as they moaned to the referee Swanage took a quick one and their player was clean through. His shot on the run hit the post and bounced out to Sports keeper Sam Watts who gratefully grabbed it. A switch off by Westlands had nearly cost them dear and the management were fuming on the touchline. Five minutes later Swanage had another chance when their #9 was unmarked at the far post at a corner but put his header wide of the target. Westlands then had a chance after 19 minutes when Ant Herrin slipped a nice through ball to Harry Vandervell who let fly with thumping shot that the keeper did well to block. Then Sam Plumley sold keeper Sam Watts short with a pass back, a Swanage forward got in first but his shot was saved by the diving Watts. In the 23rd minute an Aaron Sweet free kick was headed over by Jonny Manley as the game swung from end to end. That was followed by a mazy run from the Swanage #10 who cut inside and shot bringing a diving save from Sam Watts. Another Aaron Sweet cross was headed over the bar as Westlands replied. A minute later a poor kickout from the Swanage keeper went straight to Aaron Sweet whose attempted lob shot was double fisted away by the relieved visitor’s custodian. In the 34th minute Ant Herrin had a shot saved before Westlands doubled their lead a minute later. Harry Vandervell cut in from the left and his cross (or was it a shot ?) was turned into the net by HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER from close range. With Westlands now looking in control and Swanage a bit shocked to find themselves two down, the last 10 minutes of the half passed without any further major incident so the half time score was 2-0 to Westlands.

The visitor’s had given a good account of themselves in the first half and probably felt they didn’t deserve to be 2-0 behind. Nevertheless Westlands had created a lot of chances and always looked likely to score when they did attack. The general feeling round the tea bar thought Sports should go on and add a couple more in the second half.

Harry Vandervell, who had had a lively first half, didn’t reappear for the second having suffered a groin strain so Luca Martin lined up for the second half out wide right with Alex Murphy moving into the centre. Three minutes into the half Ant Herrin was put through but the Swans keeper came out and made a good block. Then in the 58th minute Swanage had a decent attack, forcing a couple of corners but couldn’t get an attempt at goal. A minute later, Alex Murphy made a tremendous run down the right wing, dodged past Sports assistant manager and the linesman on the way, and put over a peach of a cross that Henry Lawrence-Napier just failed to turn into the net. In the 63rd minute Swanage shot themselves in the foot with some dodgy defending that led to Westlands third goal. As the visitor’s tried to pass the ball out of defence they were put under pressure at the edge of their own box by Alex Murphy and Luca Martin. That led to a wayward pass that was snapped up by ALEX MURPHY and he coolly side-footed the ball into the back of the net. Good pressure by the Westland players created the goal that looked to have made the game safe. Another substitution was then made with Scott Smith being replaced by Adam Barratt. That meant a bit of a shuffle round with Phil Wells moving to centre half, Aaron Sweet dropping in to left back with Adam Barratt taking the wide left position. The changes certainly didn’t upset the Westlands rhythm as they scored the fourth goal 2 minutes later ! Some good passing in the build up for this one with Henry Lawrence-Napier finally slipping the ball through to ALEX MURPHY who side-footed it past the keeper into the corner with consummate ease. That goal prompted the final Westlands substitution with Sam Carney coming off and Nick Voss coming on. In the 79th minute it was 5 for Westlands and 4 for ALEX MURPHY as he pounced on a short pass back, rounded the keeper and stuck the ball in the net. Then Luca Martin had to come off with a hamstring problem leaving Westlands down to 10 men for the rest of the game, having already used all three subs. With 5 minutes to go a lovely pass put Nick Voss away down the left and he turned inside onto his right foot and tried to curl a shot into the far corner. Unfortunately it didn’t turn enough and flew past the far post. A minute later Jonny Manley made a run out of defence into the Swanage half. As the defence seemed to melt away in front of him he raced on into the Swanage box where he was tripped for a penalty. JONNY MANLEY picked himself up and took the kick himself, drilling the ball past the keeper. That was the final action of the half and the referee’s whistle ended a 6-0 win for Westlands.

The result was perhaps a bit flattering but to win 6-0 when not producing your best performance is an excellent result,

The Man of the Match award this week goes to four-goal ALEX MURPHY, who was “Mr Cool” in front of goal with some clinical finishing. It is remarkable what he has achieved in recent weeks. Promoted from the reserves into the squad to replace Jamie Irwin he has notched 10 goals in 7 games, terrific stats and we hope he can keep it up !

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.S.Smith 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.A.Murphy 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.H.Vandervell 10.A.Herrin 11.A.Sweet 12.N.Voss 14.L.Martin 15.A.Barratt 16.J.Payne


Saturday 12th January, Dorset Premier League: STURMINSTER NEWTON 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 4

Sturminster Newton has been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years including, of course, our cup final win there last May. On a bitter afternoon Westlands fielded a couple of new faces, Harry Vandervell, who started up front, and Nick Voss who was on the bench. Phil Wells replaced Aaron Sweet at left back and Luca Martin got a start out on the left wing. Also on the bench were Jamie Green and Liam Stobbs.

Sports got control of the ball straight away and began to pass it around under virtually no pressure from the home team. After a couple of minutes this led to the first goal. Jonny Manley won the ball and fed ANT HERRIN who drove into the Sturminster half. As the home team backed off, Ant hit a thumping shot from 30 yards that flew past the startled keeper into the bottom corner of the net. Well, what a start and there was more to come. Westlands kept the pressure on and in the 6th minute it was 2-0. Henry Lawrence-Napier won the ball in midfield, Ant Herrin headed it on to Alex Murphy who, in turn head-flicked the ball over the defence to HARRY VANDERVELL who ran through and coolly lobbed the keeper as he rushed out. It was still one way traffic and the next chance came when Sam Carney won the ball and slipped in Harry Vandervell but his shot cleared the crossbar. In the 18th minute another shot flew over the bar, this time an Ant Herrin free kick. Three minutes later Harry Vandervell raced through only to be hacked down just outside the box. The resulting yellow card for the defender was a generous decision by the referee. Alex Murphy lined up for the free kick and blasted it well over the top. In the 23rd minute the Sturminster keeper slipped over when picking up a back pass and HARRY VANDERVELL robbed him of the ball and smashed it into the net past a defender who had got back to cover on the goal-line.Three nil with less than 25 minutes gone, things were looking grim for the home side but they kept trying to mount attacks but couldn’t get a shot in to trouble Sam Watts in the Westlands goal. In the 35th minute Luca Martin laid the ball back to Phil Wells whose pinpoint cross was headed over the bar by Alex Murphy. The home side now began to exert a bit of pressure and Sam Watts had to save a shot that was straight at him. Then Sturminster won a corner and their player got up well to win the header but it went well wide. The final action of the half saw Ant Herrin head flick the ball on to Henry Lawrence-Napier who was charging through the middle. Henry drew the keeper and went round him but his final shot from the angle was brilliantly blocked by a defender’s diving boot. A real let-off for Stur there.

A nice three goal lead for Westlands at half time and really it could have been more. Sam Carney, Henry Lawrence-Napier and Ant Herrin had dominated the midfield so any attempts by Sturminster to build an attack were quickly snuffed out. Same again second half was the hope of the Westland supporters.

Westlands resumed after the break on the attack and Ant Herrin played a neat 1-2 with Harry Vandervell before firing in a shot that the Stur keeper tipped over the bar, great save. After 52 minutes Westlands made their first substitution with Harry Vandervell being replaced by Nick Voss, one new boy for another. Five minutes later came the fourth goal for Westlands with the substitute heavily involved. A lovely passing move down the right saw Nick Voss get to the byeline and cut the ball back to ALEX MURPHY who lost his footing but managed to scoop the ball into the net in a crowded goalmouth. On the hour Jonny Manley retired from the game and Jamie Green took his place at centre half and a couple of minutes later Luca Martin was replaced by Liam Stobbs. Then Nick Voss burst through but the keeper just got a touch to his shot and deflected it wide. In the 63rd minute Ant Herrin blazed a free kick over the bar. It looked like more goals must come as Sports pressed but the home side were still battling hard and in the 75th minute their #8 cut in from the left and fired a good low shot past the far post. Liam Stobbs had made a couple of his trademark quick breaks down the left since coming on and in the dying minutes he sprinted through the middle but fired his shot straight at the keeper.

The final whistle ended a good afternoon for Sports. We had been in charge from the start and had never really looked like conceding a goal all afternoon. Going forward we should have made more of the numerous chances we created but too many chances were rushed and just blazed over the bar. Nevertheless a good away day enjoyed by all who made the trip.

The Man of the Match this week is ANT HERRIN who dropped back into the midfield and revelled in the extra space that gave him.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.A.Murphy 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.H.Vandervell 10.A.Herrin 11.L.Martin 12.J.Green 14.N.Voss 15.L.Stobbs


Saturday 5th January, Dorset Premier League: MERLEY COBHAM 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 1

This was a tough assignment against the team currently 2nd in the league table so all to play for. Not the best time, therefore, to be hit by an illness bug that saw three players, Adam Barratt, Jamie Green and Scott Smith call off on the morning of the match. Sam Carney was drafted into midfield and with new signing Steve Flynn added to the squad and Luca Martin back after injury we looked to have patched things up. That was until the pre-match warm-up, when Josh Payne tweaked his hamstring and Sam Carney said he felt unwell. Both players, however, said they would start so it was with fingers firmly crossed that we kicked off.

As expected, the home side started quickly and had an early effort in the 2nd minute with a shot from 20 yards that went past the post. A couple of minutes later another shot from about 30 yards out also went wide. Westlands were having difficulty getting hold of the ball and for the first ten minutes the game was played in the Westlands half but no real panic so far with only a couple of efforts at goal. In the 11th minute Sports put a nice attacking move together and won a corner out on the left. Aaron Sweet swung it over and Alex Murphy put a strong header goalwards that was cleared off the line. Westlands were having a good little spell now and another attack could have seen them go in front. A Westland player was fouled just inside the Merley half and the ball broke to Alex Murphy who rifled a shot into the top corner from about 35 yards out. The keeper never even moved such was the power of the shot but unfortunately the referee called play back and awarded Sports a free kick for the foul ! Another attack down the right won Westlands another corner that was cleared away. In the 22nd minute Merley had a free kick in a good position but the shot was driven past the far post. Ten minutes later another corner to Westlands and another header by Alex Murphy, this time just wide. At this point Josh Payne decided he couldn’t continue and he was substituted by Luca Martin. The home side then began to press again for the last 15 minutes of the half. They had a good effort on target in the 38th minute but Sam Watts, the Westlands keeper, turned it over the bar for a corner that was headed clear. In the 40th minute another shot was scrambled away as the home side finished the half on the attack. Just before the break Ant Herrin was sin-binned for speaking out of turn so Westlands would be starting the second half a man down for the first ten minutes.

So, 0-0 at half time was a good result for Westlands as we had been on the defensive for most of the half. Having said that, we had a good spell midway through the half when we could have taken the lead with Alex Murphy’s header.

Also when you looked at it, Merley had pinned us in our own half for long spells but they hadn’t really had many efforts at goal, the shot Sam Watts put over the bar being the nearest. It was going to be a difficult second half for us but if we continued to defend the way we had there was just an indication in the first 45 that Westlands had a goal in them.

Sports certainly looked to have benefitted from the break as they came out in determined mood with Henry Lawrence-Napier and Louis Irwin biting into tackles early on. Even with 10 men Sports were pushing forward and in the 50th minute opened the scoring. A corner out on the right was taken by Aaron Sweet and was partially cleared out to the left wing where the ball was picked up by Luca Martin. Having taken on a defender and made a yard, Luca put over a low cross along the six yard box. As the home defence and keeper seemed to hesitate for a second, ALEX MURPHY steamed in and smashed the ball into the roof of the net. A cracking opportunist goal for Murph and one that set the match up for a grandstand finish. Westlands continued their good spell with some more pressure but on the hour mark the game began to swing back in Merley’s favour and they began to mount some attacks. Westlands were now back to 11 men but there were some tired legs now as the players had worked hard for the first hour. Eventually after 70 minutes Merley grabbed the equaliser. Westlands conceded a soft free kick out on the right and when the ball was flung over it appeared to have been half cleared out to the left wing. However Westlands were a bit slow to close the winger down and he had time to look up and pick out a team-mate who had an easy side foot finish from close in.

Fresh legs were then introduced for Westlands with Steve Flynn replacing Sam Carney. Merley kept the pressure on and Sam Watts came out to cut out a dangerous cross. In the 81st minute Westlands had a great chance to score when an Alex Murphy through ball put Luca Martin clear but he rushed his shot and blazed it well wide. A minute later a Sports player gave the ball away in a dangerous position but the attacker shot well over the top. It was all Merley now as they piled forward looking for the winner. In the 85th minute a shot from an acute angle was saved by Sam Watts and a minute later he made the save of the day, somehow tipping a point blank header over the bar. That save brought gasps of astonishment from everyone round the ground and some well earned applause. Some desperate defending now from Westlands as they got men behind the ball and defended for their lives. A final flurry in the dying seconds saw Merley have a free kick on the edge of the box but their player put the kick into the wall and that was it, full time and we had secured a hard earned point.

Westlands were happy with the draw as we had been on the back foot for a large chunkt of the game but that is no surprise when you go away to one of the top sides in the league. We defended well when under pressure restricting the home team to long range efforts most of the time. We also carried a goal threat when we did attack so a pretty good performance considering the circumstances. That’s four points out of six we have taken from Merley Cobham this season so we have to be happy with that.

The Man of the Match award for this week goes to SAM WATTS. Some outstanding saves that probably won us a point in the end but more importantly he looked confident and in control from start to finish.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.A.Murphy 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Herrin 10.L.Irwin 11.J.Payne 12.L.Martin 14.S.Flynn 15.M.Phillips


Saturday 29th December, Dorset Prem Lge Cup, Qtr-final: WESTLAND SPORTS 1 HAMWORTHY REC 0

An eagerly awaited match with last season’s league champions and current league leaders Hamworthy Recreation the visitors in this quarter-final tie. It was also a repeat of last season’s cup final so Westlands were hoping for a repeat of the result that day when a 2-0 victory saw Sports lift the cup. One previous meeting this season at Magna Rd in a league match saw Ham Rec notch up a comfortable 3-0 victory, so on current form it looked a tough task for Westlands.Team news saw 3 changes to the starting 11 after the disappointing draw at Dorchester last time out. In came Ollie Wake, Ant Herrin and Louis Irwin replacing Scott Morgan, Haydn Hodges and Sam Carney. On the bench we welcomed Jamie Green back to the team for the first time this season. The weather was fine, no chance of another late postponement, so off we went at 1.30 to allow for possible extra time and penalties.

The first 5 minutes went off at a fast pace with both sides obviously fired up for the this one. The first chance fell to the visitors when their player ran on to a long ball down the middle and stabbed the ball past the advancing Westlands keeper Sam Watts and also past the post. Hamworthy were making the early running and another shot in the 10th minute also went past the post although Sam Watts looked to have that one covered. Westlands were struggling a bit to gain possession in midfield and Hamworthy had another couple of shots at goal in the 12th and 18th minutes but they were both from distance and flew well over the top. It took over 20 minutes for Sports to create their first decent chance. Ollie Wake came forward with the ball and fed it in to Alex Murphy who got his shot away but it just cleared the far post. Back came Hamworthy with another shot that went wide. It was end to end now with Westlands having a good little spell that saw Alex Murphy smash in a shot that whizzed just over. In the 29th minute Westlands had a close shave when a lob-shot hit the bar, bounced out and was headed away for a corner. A couple of minutes later Sports skipper Adam Barratt went down clutching his hamstring so the first substitution of the day saw him replaced by Jamie Green. In the 39th minute came a great chance for Westlands when a neat pass from Ant Herrin put Alex Murphy in behind the Ham Rec defence but the keeper spread himself and was a bit fortunate to save the shot with his feet. Hamworthy hit back straight away and a cracking shot from their #10 was tipped over the bar by Sam Watts at full stretch. In the 42nd minute Sam Watts had to go to ground and make another good save as Hamworthy made a big push just before the break. Another shot went straight into Sam’s arms and another flew well over the bar as the half came to an end.

Stalemate at half time was actually a good result for Westlands as Hamworthy had looked the sharper team in the first 45. They seemed to be outnumbering us in midfield which made it hard for us to get possession to build attacks. The game had been played at a frantic pace and although we had no goals it had been a cracking game to watch. Westlands would need to up their game in the second half but we knew they were capable of that and also could the visitors keep playing at the pace they had in the first half ? All intriguing questions which we looked forward to being answered.

As the teams started the second half Sports appeared to have tweaked the formation with Ant Herrin dropping into midfield and Louis Irwin going up front. Westlands looked determined in the opening 5 minutes of the half and pushed the visitors back into their own half. However a quick break in 52 minutes saw a Rec player try a lob that landed on the roof of the net. On the hour mark Westlands made their second substitution with Steve Ormrod replacing Alex Murphy. Steve’s awkward style immediately began to give the Hamworthy defence a few problems down the right and a good run ended with a low ball across the face of the goal but no takers for Westlands. Aaron Sweet had put a few good deliveries into the opposition box and when he delivered a teasing corner from the left Steve Ormrod fought to win it in the air but his header went over the bar. After 75 minutes another corner caused a bit of panic as the Hamworthy defence failed to clear and finally Henry Lawrence-Napier’s header was just deflected round the post. The next action in the 80th minute saw a Ham Rec player burst through but his shot went wide. Resuming their pressure, Louis Irwin got in a header for Westlands but unfortunately it went straight to the keeper. At last, in the 82nd minute we got a goal and it came from the home side. Steve Ormrod put the ball into the box where Louis Irwin had a shot that was blocked by the defender but ANT HERRIN was following up and he took a touch and slotted the ball into the corner of the net. A good goal that sparked great celebrations by the Westlands team but these are dangerous moments when you have just scored and sure enough, only a minute after going in front we gave them a chance to equalise. Sam Watts couldn’t hold on to a cross ball and it fell to a Hamworthy player who prodded it just past the post. With 5 minutes left on the clock, Westlands made their final substitution of the afternoon, taking off attacker Josh Payne who was replaced by defender Phil Wells. Obviously a case of “what we have we hold” from the Westlands management. There were no more chances created as Sports shut up shop and the last few minutes were spent down by the corner flag at the Hamworthy end with Sports successfully playing out time.

The final whistle ended a really good contest with Westlands just edging it in the end. Hamworthy had created numerous chances but their finishing had been wayward and that had cost them in the end. Westlands had struggled a bit in the first half but had come on strong in the second when they began to get a grip of midfield. Top marks for the attitude, everyone battled hard and fought for every ball as they had to against a very good side.

The Man of the Match award for this week goes to JONNY MANLEY who was a tower of strength at the back. Rec tried 3 different centre forwards against him during the course of the match but none of them had any joy against Sports big stopper.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.A.Murphy 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Herrin 10.L.Irwin 11.J.Payne 12.P.Wells 14.J.Green 15.M.Kamal 16.S.Ormrod


Saturday 8th December, Dorset Premier League: DORCHESTER SPORTS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 2

Westlands made two changes to the team that beat Balti last time out. Olly Wake was ill so Scott Morgan took his place and Alex Murphy was rewarded for his two goals v Balti with a starting position today, Steve Ormrod dropping to the bench. This was our first visit to the Avenue Stadium since the 4G artificial surface was laid and I have to say the pitch was looking immaculate pre-kick off. The weather, however, was looking dodgy with black clouds on the horizon.

The home team settled quickly, zipping the ball around on the perfect surface but once Westlands won a couple of tackles they began to press forward and in the 5th minute Adam Barratt had a blast at goal but well over the bar. In the 12th minute Westlands opened the scoring with a lovely goal. It started with Josh Payne being pulled down out on the right wing giving Westlands a free kick. Aaron Sweet delivered a good ball into the box where ALEX MURPHY chested it down, swivelled and volleyed the ball into he roof of the net. Great technique, class finish !

A few minutes later a worrying moment for Westlands as some hesitant defending let a Dorchester player burst through but he failed to hit the target. Another Aaron Sweet free kick in the 28th minute gave Henry Lawrence-Napier a chance but his looping header dropped just beyond the far post. Two minutes later a Dorchester player was again put clean through but he also put his shot wide of the target. Again worrying signs as the Westlands defence looked at sixes and sevens. The next chance fell to Henry Lawence-Napier but his shot just failed to dip at the far post and went over the top. Then a great chance fell to Westlands as Haydn Hodges ran onto an Alex Murphy head flick. With only the keeper to beat it looked like a goal all the way until a defender made a desperate lunge and managed to get a foot to the ball. After 40 minutes Dorchester grabbed the equaliser. Their #11 ran on to a ball over the top, took a good first touch and drilled the ball low and hard into the far corner. A good goal that one, well taken. Only a minute later disaster nearly struck as a through ball put the #11 in the clear again but this time Westlands keeper Sam Watts dived to make a good save. Just before the break, Westlands skipper Adam Barratt took a nasty knock and hobbled off the field for treatment.

The half time whistle went with the teams deadlocked at 1-1 and although Westlands were well in the game some of the defending had been poor so we would need to tighten up in the second half. Adam Barratt didn’t reappear after the break and he was replaced by Ant Herrin.

The second half began badly for Westlands as they conceded a goal after only 2 minutes. Dorchester broke quickly after a Westlands attack and their player went haring off down the wing pursued by several Westlands players. There were defenders back but unfortunately they were all drawn to the ball leaving a posse of Dorchester players virtually unmarked at the far post. The cross took out the Westland defenders and a home attacker had an easy job to thump the ball into the net to put the home team 2-1 up. In the 53rd minute Josh Payne made a great run down the left leaving three defenders in his wake but his final shot was blocked for a corner that came to nothing. Dorchester replied with a strong attack which was eventually scrambled away by the Westlands defence after a couple of attempts. The game was beginning to open out now and after 56 minutes came the equaliser. Out on the left, Aaron Sweet put a quality delivery into the box where ALEX MURPHY outjumped his marker and powered a header into the net. Another great goal by the big striker to make his tally 4 goals in 2 games. A minute after equalising Westlands were indebted to keeper Sam Watts for keeping the scores level. Jon Manley dived into a rash tackle on the edge of the box and gave away a free kick in a dangerous position. A Dorchester player thumped the ball low and hard and it was going in at the far post until Sam Watts threw himself across and just got fingertips to the ball to deflect it wide. Dorchester made the next good chance in the 65th minute when the ball fell to an unmarked attacker but his shot went past the far post. Steve Ormrod then replaced a limping Josh Payne on the wing for Westland who had a chance in the 78th minute to perhaps grab the points. Another Aaron Sweet free kick was delivered with pace and the ball flew low across the Dorchester box but the Westlands players were back on their heels and a gilt-edged chance went begging. As we moved into the 85th minute another piece of dodgy defending could have cost Westlands dear. Scott Morgan seemed to hesitate when about to head the ball back to keeper Sam Watts who had come charging out to meet him. As a Dorchester player closed them down Sam Watts punched the ball clear from the edge of the box, or was he outside the box ? It looked like the latter from my vantage point and the referee agreed, blowing up for a free kick. As I saw the official approach Sam Watts I thought “red card” but thankfully only the yellow version was produced. I think we may have got off lightly there !. Anyway there was still a dangerous free kick for Westlands to defend but the shot was hit straight at the wall and cleared. As Sports attacked up at the other end the linesman flagged a Westlands player offside who didn’t appear to be making any move for the ball. Haydn Hodges shouted in protest and was promptly sin-binned by the referee. With only five minutes to go Westlands were able to hold out fairly comfortably but the memory of Dorchester’s very late winner in the corresponding game last season was still fresh so we were a bit relieved to hear the final whistle being down to 10 men.

In terms of our league challenge this was not a good result, two points dropped, but in the context of the 90 minutes we didn’t really deserve to get any more out of the game. We had looked a bit vulnerable to the through ball and Dorchester had missed several good opportunities. We had our moments as well so perhaps a draw was about right. As far as the pitch went, no complaints there but the one thing we noticed was that the ball didn’t zip off the surface even when wet and held up due to the rubber crumb on the surface. Perhaps that contributed to some of our dodgy moments at the back !

The Man of the Match award for this week goes ALEX MURPHY for the second week in a row for his two lovely goals and a good all round performance. Also mentioned in dispatches is Sam Watts who made two or three great saves to deny the home side.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.S.Morgan 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.H.Lawrence-Napier 8.A.Barratt 9.A.Murphy 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Payne 12.A.Herrin 14.S.Ormrod


Saturday 24th November, Dorset Premier League: BALTI SPORTS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3

Westlands kept their good run going with a narrow 3-2 win against Balti Sports at Weymouth College.

Westlands had one change to the starting line-up from last week as Ant Herrin dropped out and he was replaced by Sam Carney. Steve Ormrod moved from his wide position to centre forward with Haydn Hodges going wide.

The pitch at the College looked perfect as the game kicked off but with rain still falling it would probably deteriorate.

Balti took an early lead when their centre-back nudged home a tap-in following defensive uncertainty from Westlands when defending a corner. Westlands stuck to the task and hit back just before the break when good work between ADAM BARRATT and Henry Lawrence-Napier ended with Barratt banging in the equaliser to tie things up 1-1 at half time.

In the second half it was Balti who retook the lead courtesy of a magnificent finish from their substitute

who smashed a long-range effort first time into the net following a mis-kick from the Westlands goalkeeper Sam Watts. Westlands were dominating but finding it hard to create clear scoring opportunities perhaps missing the deft touches of Ant Herrin.

Around the hour mark Westlands manager Harry Gibbs introduced ALEX MURPHY into the fray and he made an immediate impact. From a goal-kick, as Balti argued for a corner, Westlands stormed upfield and played in Murphy who tucked the ball into the net to tie things up at 2-2.

Worse was to follow for Balti with 7 minutes to go as a poor clearance was pounced on by ALEX MURPHY, the big striker rounding the Balti gloveman to find the empty net and seal all three points.

The Man of the Match this week is ADAM BARRATT. The skipper led from the front with excellent box to box work rate, capped with a super goal.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.H.Lawrence-Napier 8.A.Barratt 9.S.Ormrod 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Payne 12.A.Murphy 14.S.Morgan 15.L.Martin


Saturday 17th November, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 PARLEY SPORTS 0

After a County cup match followed by a postponement, we were back to league action again with the visit of Parley. Westlands lined up with Aaron Sweet at number 3, having been promoted from the reserves after some strong performances. Jamie Irwin has left the club so Steve Ormrod returned to the side. On the bench we had Alex Murphy, another player who has shown up well in the reserves. Looking at the team sheets pre-match I noticed that Parley’s top scorer Jack Voisey was missing for the visitors so they would miss him as he’s notched 15 goals so far this season. The weather was sunny but with a bitterly cold east wind as the teams kicked off.

Westlands started in top gear and Ant Herrin had the ball in the net after 4 minutes but was offside.

Next a storming run down the right wing by Sam Plumley won Westlands a corner kick. Haydn Hodges swung it in and Jonny Manley headed over the bar. After 20 minutes Parley made their first chance when their #8 was put through but he blasted his shot over the top. That was followed by Westlands keeper Sam Watts making a good save from a shot through a crowded box as Parley began to respond to the early Westlands pressure. But, as often happens, just as Parley began to push forward, Westlands punished them on the break. Sam Plumley played a good ball down the wing to Steve Ormrod who picked out Ant Herrin with a lovely cross. As Ant turned to shoot he was tripped for a definite penalty. HAYDN HODGES stepped up and blasted the ball into the top corner to make it 1-0. Five minutes later Haydn went down in the box but the referee waved play on. The Parley skipper thought Haydn had dived and he then lost his composure which ended up with him being sin-binned for 10 minutes. The last action of the half saw Haydn Hodges let fly with a good effort from about 25 yards that flew just over the bar.

It had been a good first half for Westlands and they deserved their slender lead. However the opposition had shown they were a good side so we looked forward to the second half.

With the second half only two minutes old, and the Parley captain still in the bin, Westlands scored the second goal of the afternoon, and a cracking goal it was. STEVE ORMROD ran on to an defence splitting Ant Herrin pass and drilled the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the net, great pass and great finish ! With Parley now back to full strength a ball was allowed to bounce around the Westlands box and a Parley player had a shot that shaved the post. Westlands extended their lead to three soon after, in the 54th minute. Haydn Hodges took a corner out on the left and swung it deep to the far post where JONNY MANLEY rose above everyone to head in his first goal of the season. This goal took the pressure off and Westlands could relax a bit now with a 3 goal lead. The first substitution was made after 61 minutes with Alex Murphy replacing Ant Herrin who had led the line superbly. A couple of minutes later Parley almost scored when their player beat onrushing keeper Sam Watts to the ball and stabbed it past him. Luckily the ball rolled just past the post. After 70 minutes Westlands increased their lead with another lovely goal. Haydn Hodges slipped a nice through ball to STEVE ORMROD and he repeated his previous effort, running through and driving the ball across the keeper into the far corner.

Another sub was introduced then with Sam Carney replaced Haydn Hodges who had been a thorn in Parley’s side all afternoon. Westlands keeper Sam Watts then had to look sharp to dive and push away a Parley free kick to preserve his clean sheet. The last sub was then brought on, Scott Morgan replacing Josh Payne. Somewhere around this time Parley had another player sin-binned for swearing at the ref but it had no significant effect on the match which just kind of petered out for the last 10 minutes with both sides having attacks but not able to manufacture any clear chances.

Four nil then at the finish and a very good afternoon’s work by Westlands. They had shown a good attitude from the off and had kept the focus for 90 minutes this week. The team shape looked much more solid than in recent weeks with everyone doing their job and the result tells its own story as does a clean sheet !

The Man of the Match award for this week goes to JONNY MANLEY who looked back to his best and gave a dominating performance in defence. He also weighed in with a goal to cap an excellent afternoon for the big man.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.S.Ormrod 8. H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Payne 12.A.Murphy 14.S.Morgan 15.S.Carney


Sat 3rd Nov, Somerset Senior Cup, Rnd 3: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 HENGROVE ATH RES 3 (won 5-3 penalties)

The Somerset Senior Cup is always a different challenge and this week we had the visit of Bristol based Hengrove to Alvington in the 3rd round. We had struggled through the previous two rounds by the odd goal so with a home draw we were hoping for a more convincing result.

The team selection showed two changes from last week with Phil Wells and Henry Lawrence-Napier replaced by Scott Morgan and Adam Barratt with Steve Ormrod returning on the bench.

Westlands started the game in top gear, zipping the ball around with good passing and movement.

After only 2 minutes some nice play down the left saw Haydn Hodges cross deep to the far post and JOSH PAYNE knocked it in from close range to open the scoring. Good goal, and what a start to the cup tie. But more drama was to come as Westlands continued to pile on the pressure and they made it two nil after 5 minutes. JOSH PAYNE was again on target, running onto a through ball from Ant Herrin and burying his shot in the corner of the net as the keeper came out. Hengrove just couldn’t cope with these Westland attacks but Sports had to re-shuffle a bit in the 13th minute when Jonny Manley retired with a back problem and Phil Wells came on to replace him. Scott Morgan moved to central defence with Phil slotting in at left back. The changes didn’t stop the Sports attack and two minutes later, with only 15 minutes gone, we went 3-0 up ! Sam Carney played a lovely through ball to JAMIE IRWIN and he side footed it into the far corner. This was unbelievable stuff and at that point we were thinking “how many” ? In the 19th minute Phil Wells made a good run down the left and put the ball low across the face of the goal where Josh Payne jut failed to connect. In the 23rd minute Adam Bartlett had a good shot parried by the keeper as Westland players went looking for more goals. A minute later a good free kick into the box by Haydn Hodges was met on the half volley by Sam Carney, but, leaning back, he ballooned his shot over the bar. It was in the 28th minute that the visitor’s finally created a decent chance but their player also blasted his shot over the top. However, that should have been a warning sign to Westlands as in the 35th minute Hengrove got a foothold back in the game. A corner was put over that was not cleared and fell to a Hengrove player who thumped it in. This gave the visitors some hope and they pushed forward looking to add to their tally. In the final 10 minutes of the half it was the Bristol side who were on top and they created a couple of good chances. In the 38th minute a free kick was blasted goalwards but was deflected away for a corner. Then just 2 minutes before half time Sports keeper Sam Watts made a diving save to turn a shot round the post.

The half time whistle saw Westlands with a nice 3-1 lead but the last 10 minutes of the half had been dominated by the away team so there was no reason to be complacent. After a storming opening half hour we had lost our way a bit so needed to get back into top gear in the second half.

The second half was bit of a stalemate for a while with neither side managing to create a decent chance.

It was a bit of a struggle for both sides now but in the 65th minute some sloppy defending by Westlands was punished. A ball into the box bobbled around, wasn’t cleared and a Hengrove attacker thumped it in. A bit like the first goal really, some tentative defending being punished. Hengrove were playing with two forwards up top with Westlands matching them up one to one, which looked a little dangerous to me. Nevertheless, spurred on by the loss of the second goal, Westlands began to force the pace again. Haydn Hodges put a good free kick into the box and Henry Lawrence-Napier’s head flick just shaved the outside of the far post. Then Josh Payne was put clean through but the keeper came out and made a good block and in the 70th minute Adam Barratt had a shot over the bar. This was followed by a Haydn Hodges free kick which was deflected for a corner. From the kick Josh Payne got in a flicked header but it was blocked by a defender. With Westlands back on the front foot it was a bit of a shock in the 80th minute when we conceded the equaliser. A Hengrove attacker ran on to a simple ball over the top and buried his shot in corner of the net. What a turn up ! Having been three goals up Westlands were now back on level terms ! Sports tried desperately to repair the damage and were unlucky when Steve Ormrod had a net-bound header cleared off the line with minutes to go. However, too little, too late as the referee blew the final whistle to end an enthralling game.

Of course the drama was not over yet as we were straight into a penalty shoot-out as, for some odd reason, there is no extra time in this competition. So, Westlands won the toss and chose to go first, and with the referee having chosen the Airfield Tavern end for the kicks, it was fingers crossed time.

STEVE ORMROD strode up to take the first kick and he confidently side-footed it low past the keeper. 1-0 Sports.

A Hengrove player then came forward to take their first kick but he put it a little close to the keeper and Sam Watts dived to his right to save. Still 1-0 Sports.

HAYDN HODGES was next up for Westlands and he smashed in his kick off the underside of the bar. A bit too close for comfort but that made it 2-0 to Sports.

Hengrove banged their next kick in to make it 2-1.

JOSH PAYNE then smashed his kick past the keeper to make it 3-1.

Hengrove responded to make it 3-2.

ANT HERRIN took Westlands fourth kick and thumped it high into the roof of the net, 4-2 Sports.

Hengrove scored again to make it 4-3 but with only one kick left for each team it meant if Westlands scored with their next kick they had won.

HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER stepped up to the plate and drilled his shot into the corner giving the keeper no chance. 5-3 win for Sports and five excellent penalties.

As Westlands celebrated, the Hengrove players slumped to the ground, and who could blame them, they had put up a tremendous performance to come back from 3-0 down, only to lose on penalties. Surely 30 minutes of extra time would have been a much fairer way to settle this match ?

Sports go on to the quarter finals but they are making things very difficult for themselves. In each round of this cup we have been in good winning positions but have allowed teams to come back into the game. We were 2-0 up at Chard Reserves after 60 minutes but that match ended a close 2-1. We were 3-0 up at half time at Chew Magna and ended up hanging on for a 3-2 win. Then today, 3-0 up after 15 minutes and then going through via a penalty shoot-out. However we are in the next round and that’s the objective, not forgetting we played some scintillating football in the first half hour of this match.

The Man of the Match award for this week goes to SAM WATTS for that crucial penalty save, and special mention to the five who drilled in five perfect penalties.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.S.Morgan 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Irwin 12.P.Wells 14.H.Lawrence-Napier 15.S.Ormrod


Saturday 27th Oct, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 BRIDPORT RES 2

Winter had arrived at Alvington with a biting north wind blowing down the pitch towards the Cartgate end. There were four changes to the Westlands starting 11 from last week with Phil Wells, Ollie Wake, Sam Carney and Haydn Hodges replacing Scott Morgan, Scott Smith, Adam Barratt and Steve Ormrod. Morgan and Barratt were on the bench with young Luca Martin.

Shooting into the teeth of the wind, Westlands opened up the sharper side and the first real chance came in the 5th minute when Josh Payne cut in from the right and fired in a shot that the keeper saved. Gradually, though, the visitor’s began to get into the game and in the 13th minute they forced a corner out on the left. The ball was fired in to the near post where their #5 got a glancing header to deflect the ball into the net. Not the start Sports wanted and for the second week in a row undone by an early corner kick. Westlands were a bit shocked by this setback but were still pushing forward with Jamie Irwin and Haydn Hodges causing Bridport a few problems down the left. Eventually a bit of slack play by the visitors was punished with the equaliser by Westlands in the 22nd minute. A pass was played back towards a Bridport defender in his own half and, as he hesitated, JAMIE IRWIN nipped in and robbed him of the ball. Jamie set off towards goal, wrong footed the keeper with a quick shimmy, and passed the ball into the empty net. That goal inspired Westlands who began to press hard and really more goals should have followed. Three minutes after the equaliser some quick passing opened up the visitor’s defence and Haydn Hodges final shot was blocked for a corner. In the 32nd minute Ant Herrin weaved his way through the Bridport defence and laid the ball back to Haydn Hodges but he duffed his shot at goal. A few minutes later a dangerous cross by Josh Payne was almost turned in for an OG but the ball was blocked. Henry Lawrence-Napier pounced on the rebound but blazed his shot just over the bar. Then another cross was headed down by Ant Herrin to Henry but again he snatched at his shot and put it over the bar from a good position. Then, eventually, with a couple of minutes to go until half time, Westlands scored, and a cracking goal it was. Starting with a throw from keeper Sam Watts to Sam Plumley, the ball was moved on to JOSH PAYNE who fed Ant Herrin out on the right wing before racing into the box to sweep Ant’s return pass into the far corner of the net. A great goal to put Sports 2-1 up but just before the whistle blew a Bridport player whacked in a shot from about 25 yards that hit the base of the post and bounced away to safety.

A let off there for Westlands who came in with a 2-1 lead which was deserved really considering all the chances they had created. Nevertheless Bridport had shown they were not just there to make up the numbers so Sports would need to keep the performance level up in the second half.

An early attack by Westlands in the second half saw Josh Payne hook a Sam Plumley cross just wide. Then in the 52nd minute came the early goal Bridport were looking for. Once again it started with a corner kick that the Westlands defence had several bites at but couldn’t manage to get the ball cleared. As it dropped at the edge of the box the Bridport #5 met it on the half volley and the ball flew through the crowded box into the roof of the net. An excellent finish from the centre half for his second goal of the game but more questions to be asked of Sports defending. So, back on level terms again, could Westlands hit back ? It only took 5 minutes to answer that question, as Sports quickly grabbed the initiative again with a third goal. A free kick was awarded 25 yards out and HAYDN HODGES, wind assisted, smashed in a shot that hit the underside of the bar and dropped over the line. Just to make sure Josh Payne stuck the rebound into the back of the net but the linesman, however, had immediately flagged for a goal as the ball came down off the crossbar. A Bridport club linesman as well, so fair play to him for his honesty. It was end to end now as both sides went for the next goal. Sam Watts made a good save from a free kick and the Bridport keeper also made a good save, just getting a touch to a Jamie Irwin shot. Then a mistake by a Westlands defender let in a Bridport attacker for a shot which he put just wide of the post. In 75 minutes an excellent move between Ant Herrin, Josh Payne and Jamie Irwin saw Jamie’s final shot whistle past the post. A minute later another Jamie Irwin effort was cleared off the line as Westlands cranked up the pressure. With 10 minutes to go Ant Herrin showed good skill but once again the Bridport keeper made a good save from the final shot. At last, with only 5 minutes remaining Westlands scored the crucial fourth goal and it came as a result of a defensive blunder. A Bridport defender tried to head the ball back to his keeper from about 35 yards out but ony succeeded in putting ANT HERRIN through on goal. Ant ran on and drilled a shot past the onrushing keeper into the far corner of the net. A great finish and with the points safe Westlands brought on Luca Martin who replaced Ant up front. But really the game was over now and the last few minutes were played out without further incident.

Another win for Westlands who definitely showed some improvement this week on some rather tepid performances recently. Sports needed a decent performance to beat a strong Bridport side who fought all the way but another two goals conceded after three last week certainly leaves room for further improvement.

The Man of the Match award for the third week in a row goes to JOSH PAYNE who really is in top form at the moment and a threat to every defence we play against.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.H.Lawrence-Napier 7.J.Payne 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Irwin 12.A.Barratt 14.S.Morgan 15.L.Martin


Saturday 20th Oct, Dorset Premier League Cup, 1st Rnd: WESTLAND SPORTS 6 CORFE CASTLE 3

A warm, dry day at Alvington saw Westlands put out an unchanged starting 11 from last week. Given our league match with Corfe Castle had ended in a heavy defeat for the visitor’s this was a day to guard against complacency.

The game started off with a relaxed air about the play, certainly not a cup tie feeling in the air. However the home side were wakened from their slumbers when Corfe Castle won a corner, took it quick and short which resulted in the ball being lashed into the net off the far post. The goalscorer being completely unmarked from a corner was really poor defending.

This woke Westlands up briefly and just five minutes later some nice build up play resulted in Jamie Irwin whipping in a great cross which was met by ANT HERRIN at the back post and he guided his header back across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Westlands were settling a bit now and a nice pass from Ant Herrin gave Josh Payne a chance but he fired his shot straight at the keeper.

Sports then had a few half chances to go in front but couldn’t find the back of the net until in the 30th minute a long ball pumped forward led to STEVE ORMROD being released through the middle. As he had no support he took on his defender and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner. This put Westlands into a 2-1 lead which was well deserved on the balance of play.

But with 5 minutes remaining in the first half disaster struck again for the home team. As a Corfe attacker ran into the Westland’s box he was hauled down by Sports defender Scott Smith for a penalty. The Corfe player made no mistake from the spot for his second goal of the afternoon and we were tied at 2-2.

With just a minute to go before the break Westlands managed to edge in front again. Jamie Irwin swung in a corner and JOSH PAYNE headed in at the near post.

3-2 Westlands at half time was not what was expected and Sports needed to up their game in the second half.

Corfe started the second half at full pelt and nearly scored when their forward raced through the middle in acres of space but his lob came off the bar and the rebound was blazed over with the Westlands defence all at sea. That was a let off and Sports responded with a Henry Lawrence-Napier effort which he which he put over the bar from a good position. Steve Ormrod then made a good run down the right and played a lovely pass across the face of the goal but no-one there to turn it in. Next a lovely through ball from Jamie Irwin picked out Ant Herrin who turned his man and fired his shot off the post. After failing to secure that 2 goal lead Westlands were almost made to pay when another blunder at the back led to the Corfe #9 firing in a great shot but Sports keeper Sam Watts dived full length to turn it round the post. Haydn Hodges then replaced Steve Ormrod for Sport’s first substitution.

But with 10 minutes to go yet another defensive mistake led to Corfe’s equaliser. A poor pass was intercepted by their player and he made no mistake, burying the chance. With only 10 minutes left could we be heading for extra time ? No was the answer as Westlands restored their lead within 2 minutes. JOSH PAYNE who went on a mazy run, beat a couple of defenders and slotted the ball across the keeper to make it 4-3 to Westlands !

Two more subs were introduced for Westlands with both centre backs Jonny Manley and Scott Smith being replaced by Ollie Wake and Phil Wells. This was Ollie’s first action for six weeks since being injured at Swanage so nice to see him return.

In the 86th minute a good attacking play won Westlands a corner. Haydn Hodges took it and picked out JOSH PAYNE at the near post and he completed his hat trick with a shot which found the far corner via a slight deflection. That was game over really at 5-3 but Westlands added a bit of gloss to the score line in the dying minutes when Josh Payne ran down the right into the box and smashed in a cross which could only be turned into his own net by an unfortunate Corfe defender for an OG to make the final score 6-3.

The Man of the Match award this week Is hat-trick man JOSH PAYNE for another top performance.Caused their defence all sorts of problems all afternoon and topped it off with three goals.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.S.Morgan 4.S.Smith 5.J.Manley 6.H.Lawrence-Napier 7.S.Ormrod 8.A.Barratt 9.A.Herrin 10.J.Irwin 11.J.Payne 12.P.Wells 14.O.Wake 15.H.Hodges


Saturday 13th October, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 MERLEY COBHAM 1

With Westlands and Merley Cobham locked together in the league table with the same points total this really was a game we couldn’t afford to lose. As pointed out in the match preview, these opponents have proved difficult for us in recent seasons so we had to bury that ‘bogey team’ tag as well. On the selection front, Manager Harry Gibbs stirred the pot a bit with Sam Plumley returning from injury, and Scott Morgan given a starting slot. Sam Carney and Phil Wells the ones to miss out this week. In a positional switch, Jamie Irwin was given a centre midfield role allowing Steve Ormrod and Josh Payne to take the wide positions.

There was a strong wind blowing up the pitch, end to end, as the teams lined up for the kick-off. The visitor’s won the toss and chose to have it at their backs in the first half which is exactly what we would have done had we won it. Nevertheless, in the early stages playing into the wind seemed to suit Westlands as they surged forward and put the Merley under early pressure. Josh Payne and Steve Ormrod, attacking down the flanks, were causing the Merley Cobham defence problems and a few crosses into the box had to be well defended. Henry Lawrence -Napier made a storming run through the Merley defence but his shot from an angle went into the side netting. Then, against the run of play, the visitor’s took the lead. A wind assisted shot from 25 yards bounced awkwardly in front of keeper Sam Watts and he couldn’t hold on to the ball which was tucked away by the Merley Cobham striker. A soft goal to lose as the player having the shot wasn’t closed down quickly enough and then the loose ball made it a gift in the end. However, we didn’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves as we equalised almost straight away ! Josh Payne made a storming run down the left, drove into the box and squared the ball to STEVE ORMROD who sidefooted in from close range. Just what Westlands required, a quick reply to the visitor’s opening goal.

In difficult conditions both teams were serving up a good game of football but it was Westlands who looked more dangerous and they edged in front just before half-time. The Merley goalkeeper handled the ball just outside his box out near the bye-line. Jamie Irwin fired the ball low and hard across the face of the goal and JOSH PAYNE made a good run to supply the finishing touch. An excellent goal and just the tonic Westlands needed going into the break.

Half time discussions were whether it is easier playing with a strong wind at your back or whether that is a disadvantage. Westlands had certainly played well in that first half with the wind in their faces so an interesting discussion point.

The second half proved to be a bit of a stalemate with the visitor’s coming out fighting and creating a couple of good early chances but Westlands managed to keep them at bay. Gradually the home team began to dominate again and Steve Ormrod had a header cleared off the line. After 60 minutes we had the first substitution which saw the welcome return of Haydn Hodges after a long injury that had kept him out for the best part of two months. Haydn replaced Steve Ormrod who had taken a couple of knocks and he soon began to make his presence felt down the left wing giving the Merley Cobham defence some anxious moments. It was still delicately poised at 2-1 so we were looking for that third goal to ease the pressure and it came with ten minutes left to play.

A throw in just inside the visitor’s half caused a bit of confusion as the Merley players appeared to be waiting for a substitution to be made. Westlands played on and took advantage with a quick throw that put HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER through on goal and he calmly lobbed the keeper to make it 3-1. Merley protested but it’s the old story, you play to the whistle and in this case Westlands did just that and cashed in. A couple of quick substitutions were then made as Westlands looked to close out the match. Sam Carney and Tommy Frampton replaced Ant Herrin and Jamie Irwin both of whom had received yellow cards.

That was the match wrapped up really and the final whistle ended a good contest under tough conditions. To be fair to Merley Cobham they had a couple of influential players missing and didn’t look to be at their best but Westlands had put in a good performance and deserved the win.

The Man of the Match award this week goes JOSH PAYNE who ran the visitor’s defence ragged, particularly in the first half. Add to that a nice goal and an assist and you have a man of the match performance.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.S.Morgan 4.S.Smith 5.J.Manley 6.H.Lawrence-Napier 7.S.Ormrod 8.A.Barratt 9.A.Herrin 10.J.Irwin 11.J.Payne 12.P.Wells 14.T.Frampton 15.L.Martin 16.S.Carney 17.H.Hodges


Saturday 6th October, Somerset Senior Cup, Rnd 2: CHEW MAGNA 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3

On arrival, it was heavy rain and biting winds up in the Mendips for this 2nd round tie, but luckily the rain eased off just after kick-off to the relief of the 3 hardy Westland supporters on the touchline.

Sports made a few changes from the previous match with Scott Smith, Steve Ormrod and Sam Carney returning to the starting line-up and, with Sam Plumley injured, a surprise selection saw Josh Payne line up at right back !

Westlands took control from the start and opened the scoring in the 6th minute. Jamie Irwin swung in a corner from the right and Steve Ormrod thumped a powerful header goalwards which the keeper parried but ANT HERRIN was on hand to turn the ball in at the second attempt. A couple of minutes later Sports had another corner out on the right. Once again Jamie Irwin swung it into the goalmouth where Scott Smith got a good header in that was cleared off the line. This was followed by Chew Magna’s first chance when a poor back pass by Henry Lawrence-Napier put an opposition player clean through on goal but keeper Sam Watts saved his blushes by pulling off a good save. Then as Westlands continued to dominate, another free kick into the box was headed wide by Steve Ormrod.

The home team were looking particularly vulnerable to crosses into the box so it looked like there were more goals there for the taking.

Jamie Irwin then fired in a shot that went just wide before we gifted Chew another chance. This time a sloppy pass out of defence by Scott Smith put us in trouble and Jonny Manley gave away a free kick at the edge of the box. We managed to scramble the kick away but both Chew Magna’s good chances had been gifts from the Westlands defence. Nevertheless, we were still causing them big problems going forward and in the 19th minute made it 2-0. Another Jamie Irwin free kick into the box was headed on by Scott Smith to STEVE ORMROD who put his header in the top corner. Sports were looking comfortable now but had a scare in the 27th minute when an inswinging wind-aided corner came off the inside of the far post and was headed off the line by Sam Carney. That was a let-off but in the 34th minute Westlands added to their tally with a superb third goal. HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER started the move on the half-way line with a lovely diagonal ball down the left to Jamie Irwin who ran on and fired over a cross to the far post where Henry came steaming in to plant a diving header into the net.

That looked to be an unassailable lead for Westlands at half time and we looked forward to adding a few more goals in the second half as the visitors had looked very susceptible to high balls into the box and all three goals had come from crosses.

Unfortunately the spectators' over confidence seemed to have spread to the players as we started the second half very slowly and paid the penalty in the 51st minute when we allowed the visitor’s the goal they desperately needed to get back into the game. The Westlands defence were all at sea when the ball was slipped through to their #8 who was totally unmarked and he ran in and finished nicely into the far corner.

That gave Chew Magna the boost they needed and they began to get the ball forward early and cause the Westlands defence some problems. A few minutes after the goal a Chew player blazed over the bar from a good position with the Sports players in some disarray. We needed to respond and in the 56th minute Ant Herrin slipped a nice pass through the home defence to put Jamie Irwin in the clear but inexplicably he just smashed his shot over the bar when you’d have bet money on a composed finish. Then at last we got a cross in from Phil Wells but Henry Lawrence-Napier’s header was saved by the keeper. In the 67th minute came Westlands first substitution with Luca Martin replacing Ant Herrin.

In 70 minute things took another twist when the home team scored again. Westlands had opportunities to clear their lines but dithered and a Chew attacker, with the help of his arm, got past two defenders and crossed the ball to his team-mate who whacked it into the net while the Westland players appealed for a free kick. The linesman’s flag had gone up for the deliberate handball but the referee gave the goal, explaining that club linesmen were only allowed to give throw in decisions !

Another cross from Westlands saw Henry Lawrence-Napier put his header over the bar as we moved into the last ten minutes which were now a bit nervy with our three goal half time lead reduced to one. Two more subs now for Westlands, Scott Smith came off, Jack Dicker on, and Steve Ormrod came off with Tommy Frampton on.

Although the home team huffed and puffed a bit, there were no real scares as Sports played out time. Sam Watts made a good save in the dying seconds but I think the lad was offside anyway, however too close for comfort.

In the end we were happy to hear the final whistle which was disappointing after the position we were in at half time. Fair play to Chew Magna for their fight back but we had them by the throat couldn’t finish the job.

The Man of the Match award this week goes to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER for another 90 minutes of non-stop effort epitomised by that wonderful goal.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.J.Payne 3.P.Wells 4.S.Smith 5.J.Manley 6.S.Carney 7.S.Ormrod 8.A.Barratt 9.A.Herrin 10.Henry Lawrence-Napier 11.J.Irwin 12.J.Dicker 14.T.Frampton 15.L.Martin



Saturday 29th September, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 DORCHESTER SPORTS 1

Westlands made two changes from last weeks game with Sam Carney and Tommy Frampton replaced by Jack Dicker and Jamie Irwin. The sun was shining, the pitch looked in good nick and Westlands were hoping to get back on track after last week’s disappointing defeat.

The visitors looked busy for the first five minutes but didn’t create much and the first real chance was created by a slick Westlands passing move that opened up the Dorchester defence but Jamie Irwin put the final shot over the top. Nevertheless a promising move. In the 9th minute another chance for Sports came when Jamie Irwin planted a free kick onto Jack Dicker’s head but his glancing header was straight into the arms of the keeper. Then a quick break by the visitor’s saw them create a shooting chance but the final effort was straight into Sam Watt’s hands.

The opposition were working hard and keeping the Sports defence on their toes but when the opening goal came it was a gift by the Sports defence. A harmless looking long ball up the middle was covered by two Westlands defenders and the keeper who came out to gather. All three then hesitated and allowed the Dorchester #10 to nip in and stick the ball in the empty net. A lack of communication there to say the least ! A poor goal to lose but only 12 minutes gone so plenty of time to get back into the game. The visitors were boosted by their goal and kept up their high workrate but Westlands were just looking a bit more dangerous in attack. The equaliser came in the 25th minute when Jamie Irwin drove into the opposition box and was tripped. Penalty said the referee and their was no real protest from the Dorchester players. JAMIE IRWIN took the kick himself and thumped it past the keeper. Westlands should have increased their lead in the 35th minute when Jamie Irwin was clean through but he shot straight at the keeper. Just before the half-time whistle Jack Dicker headed a corner kick over the bar.

Half-time 1-1. It had been a fairly even game up to now with the visitor’s a hard working, quick side but not creating many clearcut chances chances. Westlands had looked a bit sluggish but the hope was for an improved second half performance.

Westlands looked a bit livelier after the break and ten minutes in Jonny Manley met a corner kick flush on his forehead but the keeper managed to save it with his legs. The pressure was building and in the 55th minute Westlands took the lead. Sam Plumley attacked down the right and cut the ball back to Ant Herrin. Ant quickly squared the ball to JOSH PAYNE who was unmarked in front of goal and he managed to knock the ball in at the second attempt, the keeper having blocked his first shot. After the hour mark came two substitutions, Sam Carney replaced Jack Dicker and Steve Ormrod replaced Josh Payne. Westlands were on top now with the visitor’s pace slowing. A deep cross from Ant Herrin to the far post was headed just over by Jamie Irwin at full stretch. Then in the 75th minute came the 3rd goal for Sports and a candidate for ‘goal of the season’. An inch perfect through pass from Jamie Irwin cut open the Dorchester defence and STEVE ORMROD took it in his stride and raced clear. As the keeper came out Steve showed great composure and skill to dink the ball over him into the top corner. Three minutes later a low Jamie Irwin free kick was saved by the keeper down by the post. The final substitution came with about 10 minutes to go and Ant Herrin was replaced by Luca Martin. The final chance of the game came in the last minute when a thumping shot from a Dorchester forward hit the bar and went over the top. A bit of a lapse of concentration there but no damage done. Full time and a 3-1 victory to Westlands.

Good result to get back to winning ways.

The Man of the Match award this week goes to PHIL WELLS who didn’t put a foot wrong at the back.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.S.Morgan 5.J.Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.A.Barratt 9.A.Herrin 10.Henry Lawrence-Napier 11.J.Irwin 12.S.Carney 14.S.Smith 15.L.Martin 16.S.Ormrod


Saturday 22nd September, Dorset Premier League: HAMWORTHY RECREATION 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 0

A bit of pressure on this game as we were already 7 points behind Ham Rec in the title race so didn’t want to fall further behind. Jamie Irwin’s light cast passed the referee’s inspection so he was included in the squad. Apart from that the only change from last week was Josh Payne replacing Steve Ormrod who was unavailable.

The first big incident in the match came with a strong penalty claim from Westlands in the 6th minute. A nice pass from Josh Payne put Henry Lawrence-Napier clean through and as he drove into the box he was pulled down by the opposition keeper but the referee waved play on. With even the home supporters admitting it was a stonewall penalty that was a tough decision to go against us as the first goal is always crucial in these games. A couple of minutes later a free kick for the home side caused the Westlands backline a few problems. As the ball was flighted into the area Sports keeper Sam Watts came to collect but was beaten to it by a Rec player who glanced a header over him towards goal. Luckily Jonny Manley was covering round and he hooked the ball away for a corner. The corner was whipped in and caused a bit of a flap in the Sports defence before the ball was eventually blazed over the bar. The home side were beginning to find their feet and in the 13th minute they grabbed the opening goal. A through ball sliced open the Westlands defence and keeper Sam Watts came diving out to clear. Unfortunately their winger beat him to the ball and was able to square it across goal where his team-mate had a tap in.

In the 17th minute Tommy Frampton had Sports first (and only !) attempt at goal with a low shot that the keeper gathered fairly easily. Westlands were trying hard to respond to going a goal down and Josh Payne had a chance in front of goal but missed his kick completely. Westlands were a bit pedestrian and predictable in their build up play, keeping possession but very often just passing sideways so no penetration. In the 31at minute things went from bad to worse when Rec scored a second goal. The ball was given away out on the right and the resulting space was quickly exploited with a driving run and superb dipping shot into the far corner. In the 36th minute we had a big let off. The Ham Rec right winger drove a shot from an angle behind Sam Watts who was rushing back to make up ground. Sam dived on the ball but his impetus and the wet turf saw him slide over the line with the ball in his arms. However a quick stretch out of the arms with the ball planted on the goal line caused enough doubt in the referee’s mind so he waved play on. But Rec were not to be denied and just before half time they got the third goal. Jonny Manley tried a pass-back to the keeper from out on the wing but miskicked and a Rec player nipped in and buried his shot in the far corner. Half-time 3-0.

It had been a disastrous first half from Westlands and the supporters were shell-shocked in the bar at half time. We had looked shaky in defence and going forward had shown no penetration at all. Mistakes had crept in and they had been ruthlessly punished for the second and third goals. The game looked all over, really, so we just had to hope for a miraculous comeback in the second half.

Sports made two changes at half time with Scott Smith and Jamie Irwin replacing Jonny Manley and Tommy Frampton. Westlands tried to push on a bit in the second half, with Adam Barratt getting forward a bit more but we were still pretty toothless in attack and didn’t really create any decent chances. Another change in the side on 65 minutes saw Luca Martin replace Sam Carney but Hamworthy were comfortable with their 3 goal lead and were just keeping things tight. The odd chance came with Sam Watts making a good save in the 78th minute and shortly after Ant Herrin having a go from distance but putting his shot over the top. Sports best effort came in the 89th minute when we had a free kick just outside the Ham Rec penalty box. Adam Barratt stepped over the ball and Jamie Irwin hit a beauty that hit the post and was cleared.

That was that and another 3 points dropped in our title challenge. The home side had dominated the game today and Westlands, unfortunately, just didn’t seem to be up for the fight on this occasion.

The Man of the Match award this week goes to TOM BEARE who plays a blinder every week for the team.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.S.Morgan 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.Henry Lawrence-Napier 11.T.Frampton 12.J.Dicker 14.S.Smith 15.L.Martin 16.J.Irwin


15th September 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 7 WAREHAM RANGERS 1

Back on home turf, Westlands were looking to get back on track after last weeks disappointment. This week we had a goalkeeping problem with Sam Watts opting out. With back-up Owen Male also unavailable Ben Cochrane was selected to don the gloves. However, after a few back spasms in the warm-up, Ben was pulled out and Haydn Hodges bravely volunteered to step into the breach. We did have some players returning this week and Sam Plumley, Scott Morgan Jonny Manley and Josh Payne all returned to the squad. A new face on the bench was Luca Martin, another youth team prospect being given some first team experience.

Westlands started at a fast pace and hit the visitors with an early blitz that saw Sports score three times in the first 17 minutes. In the 2nd minute a cross to the far post was controlled by TOMMY FRAMPTON who cut inside a defender and drilled the ball into the far corner. Number 2 came 5 minutes later with Tommy Frampton turning provider when he ran on to a lovely ball down the left wing and drove a perfect pass across the face of the goal that HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER side-footed in. Then came the 3rd goal in the 17th minute when a blunder by a defender presented the ball to STEVE ORMROD who ran in and scored with a good low shot.

What a start for Westlands but to their credit, Wareham rallied a bit after this and a couple of shots brought Westlands stand-in keeper Haydn Hodges into the action. With the pressure off, the Westland attacks eased a bit in their intensity and Wareham had a bit more possession, nevertheless the visitors were glad to hear the half time whistle with the score still at 3-0.

It was difficult not to feel the game was over at half time but we had to keep focussed and not get lazy.

A fairly quiet opening to the first 10 minutes of the second half with no sign of a fight back from the visitors gave the Westlands management the confidence to start making changes. First to come on was Josh Payne who replaced Steve Ormrod and 5 minutes later 16 year-old Luca Martin came on for his debut, replacing Henry Lawrence-Napier. Almost immediately Josh Payne held the ball up, drew a defender and slipped in LUCA MARTIN who drilled the ball low and hard into the far corner with virtually his first kick of the game. That made it 4-0 and almost certainly game over. Tommy Frampton was then the victim of a heavy challenge and had to be helped off, being replaced by Jack Dicker. With Jack slotting into the midfield in a more defensive position alongside Sam Carney it gave Adam Barratt licence to get forward and this paid dividends in the 77th minute with the 5th goal. Jack dicker played a peach of a ball over the Wareham backline and Adam Barratt raced through onto it. As the keeper dashed out to challenge Adam squared the ball to LUCA MARTIN who was following up and he had an easy finish into the unguarded net. In the 80th minute came Wareham’s best moment in the game. Their left winger sold Phil Wells a dummy and set off down the left wing at full pelt. His cross was met on the volley by a team mate whose shot cannoned off the post but the ball rebounded to their #7 who smashed it into the top corner of the net. A great goal and you couldn’t grudge them it really as they had shown good spirit after being hit by that early salvo of goals.

But three minutes later Westlands struck again to stretch the score to 6-1. A free kick was awarded on the edge of the Wareham box and Ant Herrin just rolled the ball 5 yards sideways to LUCA MARTIN who thumped it low into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick ! The last piece of action came in the 88th minute when JACK DICKER rose to power in a header from a free kick delivered from the left wing. Finally a word of praise for Mr Jacobs, the referee, who had no assistants to help him but did an excellent job on his own.

Verdict: a convincing win for Westlands but possibly still not firing on all cylinders.

The Man of the Match award this week has to go to LUCA MARTIN, a 16 year old player who came in for his debut and netted a hat-trick in 30 minutes ! A word also for Haydn Hodges who was just denied his clean sheet with 10 minutes to go.

Westlands line-up: 1.H.Hodges 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.S.Morgan 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.S.Ormrod 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.Henry Lawrence-Napier 11.T.Frampton 12.J.Payne 14.J.Dicker 15.L.Martin


Saturday 8th September 2018, Dorset Premier League: SWANAGE TOWN 5 WESTLAND SPORTS 3

Always a tricky venue Swanage, but we had won our last two visits there so we went down to the coast with some confidence. Unfortunately a number of players didn’t make the trip, for various reasons, so it was a much changed side that took the field. Steve Ormrod, Olly Wake, Charlie Gay and Henry Lawrence -Napier came into the side from last week and we had two on the bench, 16 year old Rory Thomson, who was making his debut, and Ben Cochrane who was making his first appearance this season.

The first shot on target was from Swanage after 5 minutes but was an easy save for keeper Sam Watts. After 10 minutes a free kick to Westlands was knocked out to Charlie Gay but he scuffed his shot wide. In the 17th minute Sports took the lead. Sam Carney played a nice through pass to ANT HERRIN who took a touch and drilled the ball low into the far corner. A nicely worked and well taken goal. Then Tommy Frampton put a great ball right across the face of the goal but no takers. Next a Sam Carney free kick was met at the far post by Jack Dicker but his header was turned round the post. In the 28th minute Swanage equalised. A corner kick from the right came across the Westlands area. A couple of defenders made a half-hearted effort to head clear but neither made any contact with the ball which fell to the Swanage #9 who was totally unmarked at the far post and he banged the ball into the net.

It was end to end now with a Swanage forward shooting just past followed by an Ant Herrin effort that flew past the far post. In the 38th minute the home side took the lead with another soft goal from a defensive viewpoint. A through ball down the Swanage left saw Sports keeper Sam Watts come charging off his line to clear. He then seemed to slip and collide with one of his own defenders, anyway they ended up in a heap on the ground and the ball dropped to a Swanage forward who squared it for his team-mate to thump into the empty net ! Two bad goals we had conceded but worse was to follow. A corner from the Swanage right was drilled over and as the Sports defence stood and watched a Swanage player ran in and powered a header into the net from 6 yards out. That goal came just seconds before the half time whistle and sent us in at the break with a two goal deficit.

Not a great first half for Westlands with the defence looking a bit jittery and the home side had taken full advantage.

Obviously Sports needed to up their game in the second half and they couldn’t have got off to a better start. Henry Lawrence-Napier fed CHARLIE GAY out on the right just outside the box and he smashed a right foot shot which flew past the keeper into the far corner. That goal spurred Westlands on and in the 52nd we should have equalised. A through ball to Ant Herrin saw him cut inside the last defender and square to the onrushing Henry Lawrence-Napier. Having bust a gut to get into the box Henry’s final shot hit the keeper and bounced out ! However Sports were not to be denied and 5 minutes later we did draw level. Charlie Gay fed ANT HERRIN in the box and he cut inside, went round the keeper, and tucked the ball into the net. This was more like it, back on level terms, but our euphoria didn’t last long ! Two minutes to be exact and we were dealt a hammer blow. A Swanage player picked the ball up just inside our half when a Westlands player lost possession and with the midfield wide open in front of him he ran forward and let fly from about 35 yards out and the ball just flew into the back of the net. A great goal, take nothing away from the finish, but one which maybe could have been stopped.

Henry Lawrence-Napier was withdrawn now (having taken a knock in the warm-up !) and he was replaced by Rory Thomson who took up a position on the left side with Tommy Frampton moving into the centre. Sports were still creating chances as they tried to get back on level terms for a second time. Tommy Frampton was put through but shot straight at the keeper. In the 70th minute as Westlands pushed forward we were caught on the break. Swanage broke down our right and when the ball came in their player half turned and hooked the ball into the far corner of the net from about 20 yards out. A great opportunist goal for the home side and one that knocked the stuffing out of the Westlands players. Swanage kept the pressure on and Sam Watts made a good save, turning the ball round the post for a corner. From the kick a Swans player got his head to the ball at the far post but missed the target. Then a good run down the wing by Rory Thomson saw him set up Ant Herrin but the keeper again saved the shot. Then Tommy Frampton had a decent chance but put his shot past the post. In the 84th minute another disaster for Westlands when Ollie Wake went down in a heap and had to be helped off the field with what looked like a serious knee injury. Ben Cochrane took his place at the back but time was running out for Sports now. Just one more chance came our way before the final whistle. A nice through ball by Tommy Frampton put Rory Thomson through on goal. As the keeper charged out and dived at his feet the ball broke clear to Rory but he rushed his shot and put it wide of the gaping goal.

That was the story of Westlands day really. We had shot ourselves in the foot with some poor defending but we had also missed numerous one on one chances. The home team had been clinical in their finishing and that really was the difference on the day.

The Man of the Match award this week once again goes to ANT HERRIN. He caused the Swanage defence all sorts of problems and capped his display with two well taken goals.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Ormrod 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.J.Dicker 6.A.Barratt 7.C.Gay 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.Henry Lawrence-Napier 11.T.Frampton 12.R.Thompson 14.B.Cochrane


Saturday 1st September 2018, Somerset Senior Cup, 1st Rnd: CHARD UTD RES 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2

A visit to the infamous Chard slope is always interesting and as our reserves had played Chard Res in a pre-season friendly we knew they would get the ball forward early and long. Westlands would stick to their passing game so it promised to be an interesting clash of tactics.

Westlands made four changes from the previous match with Sam Watts returning in goal, Jack Dicker came in at centre half, Adam Barratt returned to midfield and Louis Irwin also started in the midfield. Olly Wake and Haydn Hodges both had knocks but took places on the bench with Jamie Irwin and Henry Lawrence-Napier who were both given a rest after a tough month with 2 games a week.

Sports were kicking uphill in the first half and soon settled to a patient passing game. The first corner came to Westlands after 5 minutes but was cleared. A couple of minutes later Louis Irwin got his head to a deep Josh Payne cross but it was a simple save for the Chard keeper. Then a free kick from Louis was again easily clutched by the keeper. In the 11th minute a good move down the right by the home side saw the ball come over to the Chard centre forward who was unmarked. He got his shot on-target but Sam Watts dived to his right to tip the ball round the post for a corner.

Westlands were soon pushing on up the hill again and Sam Carney squared to Louis Irwin but he sliced his shot wide of the target. A chance then came Chard’s way in the 24th minute with a shot on target saved by Sam Watts. A minute later Ant Herrin hooked a shot goal-wards which the Chard keeper saved. The opening goal came in the 30th minute and it was no real surprise that Westlands scored it. JOSH PAYNE picked the ball up out on the right wing, cut inside past two defenders and drilled a low left foot shot into the corner of the net. Brilliant goal ! Sports were well in control now, knocking the ball around and keeping possession. The best chance created was in the 43rd minute when Scott Smith met a corner with his head at the far post but put it just wide.

Discussing the first 45 minutes over a half-time pasty, general opinion seemed to be that 1-0 to Westlands was no more that they deserved. After an early scare Sports had pretty well dominated the match and going downhill in the second half they should be able to build on their lead.

We didn’t have long to wait for Westlands to consolidate their advantage. A Louis Irwin free kick into the Chard penalty area was pulled down by ANT HERRIN who controlled the ball, swivelled and thumped it into the net. Another lovely goal and with a two goal lead Sports began to turn the screw. In the 55th minute an Louis Irwin shot crashed off the post with the keeper beaten. Tommy Frampton picked up the rebound but fired his shot over the top from a tight angle. After 58 minutes a free kick from Ant Herrin was heading for the far corner but the Chard keeper dived and just got finger tips to the ball which came off the far post and was cleared. On the hour came the first substitution for Westlands, Josh Payne replaced by Jamie Irwin. A minute later Ant Herrin drilled in a low shot but the keeper got down to save. Then came Sports second substitution, Tommy Frampton going off and Henry Lawrence-Napier coming on. In the 73rd minute a long throw by Jack Dicker fell nicely to Scott Smith but he took a swipe and missed the ball ! Westlands next attack caused a bit of panic in the Chard defence and a defender headed the ball past his own keeper and was relieved to see the ball slip past the post. A minute later Ant Herrin ran on to a through ball and as the keeper came out, he lobbed the ball over him but unfortunately it landed on the roof of the net. Westland should really have had this game wrapped up by now but just couldn’t score.

In the 89th minute Jamie Irwin fired a shot over the bar and with the clock on 90 minutes he repeated the feat having been put in by a nice through ball. In the 93rd minute a Chard player picked the ball up about 20 yards out and, as nobody closed him down, he just smashed the ball into the net to make it 2-1. There was just time to kick-off before the referee blew the final whistle.

On paper this result looked like a close fought cup tie but in reality Westands were in control the whole game and should have stuck away a couple more in the second half. Not a vintage performance by Westlands who looked a bit off the pace all match. The slope is a bit of a leveller and the home side worked hard to produce a shock so all in all, happy to progress to the next round.

The Man of the Match award this week goes to ANT HERRIN. He held the ball up well, always bringing his team-mates into play, and topped off his performance with a good goal as well.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.J.Dicker 5.S.Smith 6.A.Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.T.Frampton 11.L.Irwin 12.O.Wake 14.J.Irwin 15.H.Lawrence-Napier 16. Olly Wake 17.H.Hodges.


Wednesday 28th August 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 GILLINGHAM TOWN 1

The visit of near neighbours Gillingham is always a popular fixture and a good crowd turned out on a fine evening to watch this one. With 3 players still suspended and 2 injured it was no surprise that Westlands manager stuck with the same team that knocked in ten on Saturday. Gilingham looked to be at full strength so a good game was in prospect.

The visitor’s had the first chance after 3 minutes with their #7 finding space but he blasted his shot over the bar. A bright start to the game and in the 5th minute we had the first goal. Tommy Frampton pushed forward and had a good shot on target that the keeper turned round the post for a corner. The kick was taken quickly with a short one to Sam Carney whose cross was powered into the net by the leaping JAMIE IRWIN. A great start for Westlands but they didn’t hold the lead for long. In the 8th minute Gillingham won a throw in out on the right wing. Their lad hurled a long one into the box where it was head-flicked on by a Gill forward and ended up in the far corner of the net with Westlands keeper looking a bit bemused. Both teams were battling hard for supremacy at this point but neither side could create a good goalscoring chance. After 22 minutes, it was another corner for Westlands that caused panic in the visitor’s ranks. When the kick came in Jamie Irwin got a shot away that was cleared off the line, then the keeper blocked the next effort before Tommy Frampton put the final shot over the bar. A minute later a free kick into the Gillingham box was headed just over by Scott Smith although I thought it took a slight deflection. As we passed the half hour mark another long throw in caused a bit of panic in the Westlands ranks. The same scenario as the first goal unfolded with the ball being hurled in and back-headed goalwards. This time however Sports keeper Rich Pippin was on his toes and he pushed the ball away with a strong hand. The final chance of the half fell to the home side when Josh Payne drove over a low cross and a Gillingham defender sliced his clearance over his own bar !

Half time 1-1 and not a lot in it really. Somebody said at the break that this game could go either way and I think that was a fair comment. A quick turn round as the sun was setting and we were soon off again in a fascinating match.

Five minutes into the half and Jamie Irwin fizzed in a low free kick that the Gillingham keeper dived on. Back up the other we went and It was Rich Pippin’s turn to save as both teams battled for the lead. In the 52nd minute Ant Herrin worked a lovely 1-2 with Sam Carney and cut the ball across to Jamie Irwin who blazed his shot over the bar with only the keeper to beat. Then a Gillingham player got on the end of a cross at the far post but put his effort wide. With 60 minutes played it is usually sub time for Westlands and, sure enough, Louis Irwin entered the fray with Tommy Frampton coming off. In the 65th minute Westlands got their noses in front in slightly controversial fashion. Ant Herrin drove down the left, outmuscled a defender and fired a vicious low ball across the face of the goal. Gillingham’s right back, at full stretch, knocked the ball into the net for an OWN GOAL. The Gillingham players protested that Ant had fouled their defender but the referee was having none of it. That goal gave Westlands a lift and they began to look quite dangerous with a number of attacks. After 65 minutes the pressure paid off with goal number 3. Louis Irwin drove into the box and was upended. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and JAMIE IRWIN tucked away the spot kick to give Sports a two goal lead. Westlands made their second substitution now with Steve Ormrod replacing Josh Payne who was suffering a bit after several “strong” challenges. In the 80th minute Ant Herrin fired in a good shot that the keeper could only push out. With 10 minutes to go Gillingham pushed extra men forward and forced Westlands on to the back foot. With a 2 goal lead Sports were happy to face a series of long balls into the box which were well defended by Westlands central defenders Olly Wake and Scott Smith. With numbers behind the ball Sports coped well with the pressure and keeper Rich Pippin only had one real save to make when he turned over a shot from Gill’s right back who had made a good run forward.

The final whistle brought the curtain down on another good win for Westllands. Gillingham were strong opponents and the 3-1 defeat was their first this season so a great effort by the depleted Sports squad.

The Man of the Match this time is OLLY WAKE who marshalled the defence in the face of some direct attacking and looked composed all game.

Westlands line-up: 1.R.Pippin 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.S.Smith 6.T.Frampton 7.J.Payne 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Lawrence-Napier 11.J.Irwin 12.S.Ormrod 14.L.Irwin 15.M.Kamal 16.A.Barratt 17.B.Cochrane


Saturday 25th August 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 10 CORFE CASTLE 1

Another lovely afternoon at Alvington for the visit of newly promoted Corfe Castle who had experienced a difficult start in the DPL, losing their first 4 games. A win therefore was essential for Westlands if we were to maintain a league challenge. With three players suspended and two injured there were opportunities for others and reserves keeper Rich Pippin was drafted in and Tommy Frampton was given his first league start.

The first attempt on goal came from the visitors after only three minutes but Rich Pippin easily gathered the shot from distance. Westlands were soon on the attack and after 5 minutes forced a corner. Tommy Frampton whipped one in to the near post where a bit of a scramble ended with ANT HERRIN hooking the ball in through the crowd of players. That goal hurt the opposition and Sports launched another attack down the right with a good pass from Sam Plumley to Ant Herrin who laid the ball inside to Henry Lawrence-Napier who shot just over the bar.

Corfe Castle responded with a nicely worked free kick routine which gave their player a good shooting chance but again Rich Pippin got down to save the final shot. Westlands took control after this and launched wave after wave of attacks. Sam Carney played a nice ball out to Sam Plumley and his cross was headed just past the far post by Josh Payne. Some excellent one touch football was being played by Sports and the visitors were struggling to cope.

However in the 19th minute they had a good penalty shout denied by the referee who waved play on. A poor clearance was picked up by a Corfe midfielder who skipped through the centre of Sports defence before appearing to be tripped ! A bit of a lucky escape there.

Only a minute later Westlands made it 2-0. Ant Herrin ran on to a through pass down the right, dummied a defender, cut in and laid the ball across to JOSH PAYNE who banged it in from close range.

In the 27th minute Tommy Frampton whipped in a free kick which was dummied to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who drilled it in to make it 3-0 and game over. It was one way traffic now and Jamie Irwin put Tommy Frampton through but his daisy cutter was turned round the post by the keeper. From the corner Scott Smith headed over. Next Jamie Irwin took a free kick which was heading for the top corner until the keeper pulled off a tremendous save, fingertipping the ball over the bar. After 35 minutes Tommy Frampton drove into the Corfe penalty area past a couple of challenges and unleashed a thunderous shot that the keeper again tipped over. Great save.

A minute later the pressure told and Sports made it 4-0. Another Tommy Frampton corner was drilled across low and hard (or did he mis-hit it !!), Ant Herrin and Josh Payne both let the ball run and HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER was once again on the spot to thump the ball into the net. In the 38th minute a Josh Payne header was turned around the post and the corner was whacked just over the bar by Sam Carney. A couple of minutes later a great ball from Ant Herrin put Josh Payne in the clear but he tried to lob the keeper and completely duffed his attempt. Just before the break Josh played a ball out to Jamie Irwin who took it down on his chest and fired a curling shot that just drifted wide of the far post.

Half-time, 4-0 to Westlands and, in all honesty, it could have been more. Sports had played some good stuff and some of the passing moves were excellent. Corfe Castle had given us a couple of early scares but as the half wore on it was their keeper who produced a string of good saves to keep the score down. The second half looked a formality really but could Westlands keep their focus and rub home their superiority ?

The opposition had obviously had a serious chat at half time and it was noticeable that they came out for the second half showing a bit of determination. After about five minutes however Westlands should have increased their lead. Jamie Irwin was put clean through and he unselfishly drew the keeper and then squared the ball to Josh Payne who had an open goal. Instead of tapping the ball into the empty net, Josh took a swing at it and somehow managed to sky the ball over the bar from about 5 yards out !! The miss of the season so far !

In the 55th minute Westlands management introduced 2 subs, Malik Kamal replaced Josh Payne and Steve Ormrod replaced Ant Herrin. For a few minutes the rhythm was slightly upset but Westlands soon settled again and in the 65th minute Steve Ormrod was put through and his shot came crashing off the crossbar and was cleared. A couple of minutes later Tommy Frampton laid the ball across to JAMIE IRWIN who turned inside and side footed the ball into the corner of the net. A fine composed finish from the edge of the box, 5-0 Westlands.

Westlands then made their third and final sub of the day with Henry Lawrence-Napier replaced by Louis Irwin.

In the 70th minute Sports played a short corner out on the right. The ball was crossed in and SCOTT SMITH knocked it over the line from close range to make it 6-0

Then Louis Irwin took a free kick that crashed off the underside of the bar, bounced down and out for a goal kick. With 10 minutes to go a nice through ball left STEVE ORMROD with a side foot finish to make it 7.

A couple of minutes later Sam Plumley bombed down the right, fired over a peach of across, and STEVE ORMROD rose to head powerfully in for number 8.

We then had a moment of slackness by Westlands that cost debut keeper Rich Pippin his clean sheet. When Corfe broke out of defence there was no cover from the Westlands midfield and the defence was left outnumbered down the right. When the ball came over their #9 was unmarked and had an easy side foot finish to make it 8-1.

After 87 minutes LOUIS IRWIN side footed in number 9 after being set up by brother Jamie who cut in from the left and squared the ball across. The final goal came in the last minute when LOUIS IRWIN drove past a couple of shell-shocked Corfe defenders and drilled the ball into the far corner.

That was that, and an impressive 10-1 win to boost the goal difference. Westlands had played well, particularly in the first half when some of the one touch passing was impressive.

As for our opponents, it was a hard day for them, they were a bit understrength but they stuck to the task and never let their heads drop even in the latter stages when they tired a bit and the goals were flying in. Their consolation goal was well taken and they can take some positives from the afternoon.

The Man of the Match award goes to TOMMY FRAMPTON who has waited patiently for a starting slot and put in a good shift in the middle of that midfield. He was always showing for a pass and had a good touch on the ball so a worthy man of the match performance.

Westlands line-up: 1.R.Pippin 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.S.Smith 6.T.Frampton 7.J.Payne 8.S.Carney 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Lawrence-Napier 11.J.Irwin 12.S.Ormrod 14.L.Irwin 15.M.Kamal 16.H.Hodges 17.B.Cochrane


Wednesday 22nd August 2018, Dorset Premier League: SHERBORNE TOWN RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 1

A local derby away from home is always a tough game and this one proved to be no exception. This game is always scheduled for midweek which usually draws in a good crowd and there was a decent turnout for this one with Westlands getting plenty of support. Team-wise, for Sports Olly Wake returned in place of Jack Dicker at the back and Sam Carney replaced Haydn Hodges in midfield. Sherborne had a strong team on show with their full quota of first team players and a few ex-Westlands lads who would be out to impress, so we knew it would be a hard game.

The first 10 minutes were spent scrapping around in midfield before Westlands carved out the first real chance of the game. Henry Lawrence-Napier chased a high through ball into the Sherborne box. As the keeper rushed out Henry headed the ball over him only for a covering defender to hook it to safety. From the corner Adam Barrett and Phil Wells worked a short one that ended with Henry flashing a shot just past the near post.

Westlands were settling now and a lovely passing move ended with Sam Carney just failing to connect properly with Josh Payne’s cross. Further pressure from Sports saw Adam Barrett fire across a corner that was just begging to be touched into goal, unfortunately no takers for Westlands. After 26 minutes a Sam Carney free kick was headed over the bar by Jonny Manley. A few minutes later Sports conceded a soft free kick on the edge of the box and the resulting kick flew just past the post. Finally, in the 38th minute, Westlands made the breakthrough. Ant Herrin spotted JAMIE IRWIN’s run in behind the square Sherborne back line and fed a perfect pass into his path. As the keeper came out Jamie stabbed the ball past him into the net. It was a good goal, and no more than Westlands deserved as they had been the more composed team up to this point, playing a more patient passing game. The goal however stung Sherborne into some retaliation and for the last 5 minutes of the half they had their best spell. They forced a couple of corners and from one a well struck shot came crashing off the Westlands bar. Another chance fell to a Sherborne player following a mistake by a Sports defender but he couldn’t get his shot away quickly enough and the ball was eventually scrambled clear. That brought an end to the first half with Westlands holding a narrow 1-0 lead.

Probably just about the right score as Westlands had played some good football in the first half and put together some good moves but the final pass or cross was just going astray. The home team were getting stuck in but were tending to hit long balls, which suited Sports defence.

The home team needed to do something and it looked as if they had changed their formation a bit in the second half. It almost paid off in the opening minutes when a ball into the box found a Sherborne player unmarked. He appeared to have a clear sight of goal but seemed to fall over the ball and the danger was cleared. In the 52nd minute Ant Herrin wriggled clear out on the right and drove a cross, low and hard, across goal. The keeper spilled it from his grasp but recovered just in time with Josh Payne waiting for a tap in. Four minutes later Westlands had a free kick about 25 yards out and out towards the right wing. Sam Carney swung in a deep one that the Sherborne keeper came to gather but missed completely and the ball came off the inside of the post and bounced to safety. Moving into the last half hour Westlands looked as if they were just making sure they didn’t concede as they didn’t need to go chasing a second goal. Fresh young legs were also introduced with Tommy Frampton, Louis Irwin and Malik Kamal replacing Adam Barratt, Josh Payne and Jamie Irwin. Sherborne huffed and puffed but Sam Watts in the Westlands goal wasn’t really tested and Sports were still causing the home team problems with some quick attacks. In fact it was Westlands who came closest to scoring with Malik Kamal’s goal bound shot taking a slight deflection that put it past the post.

The final whistle gave Westlands the 1-0 victory and three welcome points in our first away game of the season. It had been a tough match, these games always are, but we got the win which was needed after our defeat in the previous match.

The Man of the Match award goes to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who once again provided great energy in the midfield and was also an attacking threat throughout the match.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Herrin 10.S.Carney 11.J.Irwin 12.T.Frampton 14.J.Dicker 15.M.Kamal 16.L.Irwin


Saturday 18th August 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 0 HOLT UTD 2

Two of the more fancied teams this season squared up at Alvington so it was the first big challenge of the season. Westlands were hoping to continue the unbeaten start to the season but made four changes from the midweek win over Sturminster Newton. Olly Wake, Scott Smith, steve Ormrod and Dwayne Forshaw dropped out and they were replaced by Jonny Manley, Jack Dicker, Haydn Hodges and Jamie Irwin.

It was a fairly cagey opening with neither side creating anything of note until Westlands gifted the visitor’s an early lead in the 10th minute. A long ball upfield was missed by Jack Dicker who took his eye off the ball and allowed it to run under his foot. Holt’s lively #10 Saxby ran through, rounded Sports keeper Sam Watts, and slotted the ball into the empty net. Westlands tried to hit back, Jack Dicker went up for a free kick and headed Haydn Hodges cross wide of the post. Then in the 20th minute agood run and cross by the Holt right winger was met on the run with a powerful header and Sam Watts did well to tip it over the bar. A few minutes later Sam Watts was shown a yellow card for handling a long ball outside the box. Westlands Jonny Manly then went close when he went up for a corner and got a shot away which glanced the outside of the post on its way past. After 35 minutes Sports were forced into a change when Adam Barratt came off clutching his hamstring and he was replaced by Sam Carney. Just before half time Josh Payne put over a cross which a Holt defender almost sliced into his own net, the ball going for a corner. The from a good flick-on Sam Carney blasted way over the top. Half-time 0-1.

It had been a frustrating half for Westlands as they had found it hard to create chances against an extremely hard working Holt side who had got plenty of men behind the ball. And now that the visitor’s had a lead to defend they were going to be hard to break down in the second half.

Westlands started the half with a corner that was whipped into the goalmouth. The keeper fumbled it and it was booted off the line by one of his team mates. Sports were pressing hard now and a great cross from Haydn Hodges was thumped goalwards by Jonny Manley but again it was blocked on the line. Was it going to be one of those days ? In the 53rd minute a Haydn corner was headed powerfully by Josh Payne but the Holt keeper made a great save, turning the ball over the bar. On the hour mark Ant Herrin had a good run and shot which was blocked. Josh Payne hit the rebound but the keeper saved. A minute later a pinpoint cross by Josh picked out Jamie Irwin at the far post. He tried to place his header back across the keeper into the corner but put it wide of the far post.With 10 minutes to go Henry Lawrence-Napier was replaced by Tommy Frampton and a minute later Steve Ormrod replaced Sam Plumley in a last throw of the dice for Sports. This was followed by Haydn Hodges being sin-binned which meant we would have to play the remainder of the game with 10 men. Thng were getting a bit desperate now and Steve Ormrod got his head to a cross but put it wide.

In the dying seconds of the match Westlands pushed everyone up for a corner including goalkeeper Sam Watts. From the kick Josh Payne put in a strong header that looked to have crossed the line before seeming to be scooped away by a defender’s hand. Both officials claimed not to have seen the ball cross the line or any handball. While the Westland players appealed the ball was played up to Holt’s Nathan Saxby who had been left standing on his own on the halfway line and he ran through unchallenged and planted the ball into the empty net for the second time in the match.

That was the game over as far as the result was concerned but worse was to come for Westlands. As the players continued to appeal over the disallowed ‘goal’ tempers boiled over, players lost their composure and the referee started brandishing red cards. First Sam Watts got his marching orders, followed immediately by Jonny Manley and then Jack Dicker followed, apparently on the word of the linesman. With Sports now down to seven men the referee quickly blew the final whistle to bring an end to proceedings.

A sad way to end a game and no doubt the Westland players will be looking at their own part in the incidents. Nevertheless, we were runners up in the fair play Trophy last season and we had no yellow or red cards in the first two games this season, so it begs the question, how did we finish this match with one sin-bin, four yellow cards, and three reds in a match that was hard fought but with no malice between the two teams ?

The Man of the Match award goes to PHIL WELLS who gave his usual assured performance and continued to encourage his teammates right to the end. He also kept his head down and his opnions to himself which is an example to us all.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.J.Dicker 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Irwin 12.S.Ormrod 14.T.Frampton 15.S.Carney 16.M.Phillips


Tuesday 14th Aug 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 STURMINSTER NEWTON UTD 0

A couple of changes were made for this our second match in 4 days. Haydn Hodges was injured and Jonny Manley was rested so Scott Smith stepped in at the back and Dwayne Forshaw started wide on the left. A few other positional changes gave the team a different look to the one that had won well on Saturday. Our opponents had suffered a heavy defeat in their first match so a home win was a must.

As it turned out, the new formation just didn’t gell and with the visitor’s looking in determined mood, this match became a bit of a struggle for Westlands. It took Sports about 20 minutes to create an opening when Josh Payne crossed to Dwayne Forshaw but his shot was wide of the mark. Sturminster replied immediately with a good effort that slipped just past the post. Then Olly Wake lost possession in his own penalty area out on the byeline. The Stur attacker ran in and drove the ball past Sports keeper Sam Watts but the angle was too tight and the ball slipped just past the far post. In the 28th minute Westlands created a shooting chance but Josh Payne blasted over the top. The game was opening up a little now and the Sturminster #7 had a shot that flew just over the bar. Back came Westlands with Josh Payne shooting just over. Then the visitor’s keeper smothered a Steve Ormrod shot as the half drew to a close. Half-time 0-0.

Not a classic by any means and the visitors probably had the best opportunities to open the scoring in the first half but failed to hit the target with 3 decent chances. Westlands toiled away but found it difficult to penetrate a solid Sturminster rear guard who were getting lots of men behind the ball.

Some immediate action was taken by Sports management at half time with 2 substitutions and a more familiar look to the team. Steve Ormrod and Dwayne Forshaw were withdrawn and replaced by Sam Carney and Jamie Irwin with Ant Herrin pushing up front.

The reshaped home team came out looking much sharper in the second half and soon took the lead. A bit of a goalmouth scramble ended with Josh Payne thumping a shot off the crossbar and into the net off the head of SAM CARNEY. Westlands were in control now and in the 50th minute a strong run and cross by Henry Lawrence-Napier was met on the run by Ant Herrin but the keeper dived at his feet and made a great block. Then Henry had a snap shot but again the Stur keeper pulled off a good save.

On the hour Westlands made their final substitution with Tommy Frampton replacing Adam Barratt.

Then another bit of sloppy play in the Sports defence put a Stur player clear but Sam Watts dived low to his left and touched the shot round the post. That was a close shave and almost immediately Sam Watts was in action again, pushing away a high cross/shot. Westlands soon went back on the attack and Josh Payne made it a hat-trick of shots put over the bar ! Then Josh made a good run to the bye line and turned the ball across goal but no takers in the box fo a tap in. In the 74th minute Sam Plumley picked out Ant Herrin with a forward pass but Ant drilled his shot just past the post. Then Josh Payne got to the byeline again but again no-one could get on the end of his cut back.Josh was causing the visitor’s defence problems now and another good run saw him beat several defenders before firing a shot past the far post. In the 85th minute a Jamie Irwin free kick flew just over the bar and a couple of minutes later the Stur keeper pulled off a great save from Jamie after he was set up by Josh Payne. Westlands were knocking at the door but with only a one goal lead there was always the worry that the visitor’s would nick one on the break. Finally, with only a few minutes left, JAMIE IRWIN sealed the win for Westlands with a low drive from 20 yards which took a slight deflection and finished in the corner of the net.

That was the points safe and it was just about the right score as the Sturminster keeper had been outstanding in the second half to keep his team in the game for so long. From a Westlands viewpoint it wasn’t one of our better day’s and it had been a bit of a struggle to overcome a lively Sturminster Newton side who worked very hard for the 90 minutes. A bonus on the day was another clean sheet, that's two out of two now !

The Man of the Match award goes to the enigmatic JOSH PAYNE who missed several chances but always looked the player most likely to open up the visitor’s defence particularly in the second half.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.S.Smith 6.A.Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.S.Ormrod 10.A.Herrin 11.D.Forshaw 12.J.Dicker 14.J.Irwin 15.S.Carney 16.T.Frampton 17.M.Kamal


Saturday 11th August 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 8 PORTLAND UTD RES 0

First game of the season and, to make it more interesting, unknown opponents who were newly promoted from the Dorset Senior League.

The pitch was hard, as expected given the recent weather, but some quite heavy rain on matchday made it a slippy surface which would test the first touch. We had lost our opening match last season so with a home match we were looking for a good win to get the season off to a flying start.

Westlands had a two or three players missing but it was a very strong team who took the field with an equally strong 5 man bench which included new signing Jack Dicker.

The teams kicked off in a bit of a downpour but Westlands were looking sharp and were soon zipping the ball around. Sports were having most of the pressure without really troubling the Portland keeper as the visitor’s defended well and looked to attack on the break. Westlands had a shout for a penalty when Ant Herrin was upended in the box but the referee waved play on. The first big chance of the game fell to the visitor’s in the 20th minute. The ball was squared to their number 10 who was unmarked on the edge of the box and he blasted in a shot which Sports keeper Sam Watts tipped over the bar at full stretch. Westlands kept probing at the Portland defence and eventually the breakthrough came in the 29th minute. Ant Herrin cut inside from the left and slipped a neat ball through to STEVE ORMROD who took a touch and drilled the ball into the far corner. Three minutes later came goal number two. Haydn Hodges squared to ADAM BARRATT on the edge of the box and he coolly picked his spot with a sidefoot finish. In the 35th minute it was 3-0 as Westlands turned the screw. A cross came over from the right, the visitor’s keeper seemed to hesitate and JOSH PAYNE rose to head home. In the 38th minute Josh skinned the fullback, got to the byeline, and squared the ball on a plate for ANT HERRIN to sidefoot in goal number four. A goal blitz by Westlands with 4 goals in 12 minutes gave the home side an unassailable 4-0 half time lead

Most people thought Portland had been competitive until that first goal went in but I thought Westlands had always looked a class above their opponents and it was only a matter of time but I was slightly surprised to be four goals up at the break.

As the teams came out for the second half Westlands made their first substitution with Sam Carney coming on for Haydn Hodges. No doubt Portland came out with a plan to tighten up in the second half but that went spectacularly wrong when Sports added a fifth goal only 2 minutes into the half. The ball was played through to JOSH PAYNE on the edge of the box and he turned and fired the ball into the far bottom corner. A neat finish that was followed in the 52nd minute with goal number 6. Josh Payne again did the damage down the left and his pass set up HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who stabbed the ball past the keeper.

Josh Payne was then replaced by Tommy Frampton as Sports made their second substitution.

In the 61st minute came possibly the goal of the game as Westlands knocked the ball around from man to man. Finally Adam Barratt played a through ball to STEVE ORMROD who prodded it past the keeper.

Westlands then made their last substitution with Jack Dicker replacing Henry Lawrence-Napier.

The game dropped down a gear now but Westlands managed another goal in the 79th minute. SAM CARNEY broke through the opposition defence with a nice one-two and his shot went in off the far post to make it 8-0.

A minute later Westlands had a stonewall penalty when Tommy Frampton was wiped out in the box but the referee

again waved play on. However he did so with a big smile on his face which perhaps told a story !

The next action came at the other end when Sam Watts had to make a good save after the Westlands defence got careless and gave away possession in their own half. The final action came from Tommy Frampton who danced through the Portland defence then fluffed his shot past the post with only the keeper to beat.

A good start to the season for Westlands who quickly slipped into gear and looked to be in good form. Hard to assess the opposition really but it could be a long season for them.

The Man of the Match award goes to skipper ADAM BARRATT who looked in control in the midfield and set a good example to his team mates with his unflustered attitude. Add to that an excellent goal and you have a man of the match performance.

Westlands line-up: 1.S.Watts 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.J.Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.S.Ormrod 8.H.Lawrence-Napier 9.A.Herrin 10.H.Hodges 11.J.Payne 12.S.Carney 14.S.Smith 15.J.Dicker 16.D.Forshaw 17.T.Frampton











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