Our previous match away to Nailsea on the first day of the season resulted in a 3-1 win but it had been a difficult game so we knew we were in for a tough match today. Thankfully a torrential rainstorm passed over before kick-off but it was still windy and bitterly cold as the teams lined up.
The visitors took possession of the ball straight away and looked sharp in attack, having a shot in the first minute which just missed the target. They continued to press and after 10 minutes Sports keeper Gabriel Cole had to make a good save to keep them out. Gradually Westlands got a foothold in the game with Seb Goddard and Gabi Nitecki working hard in the midfield where we seemed to be outnumbered. Nevertheless, in the 20th minute, a nice through pass gave RORY THOMSON the chance to show his pace and he raced through and buried the ball in the bottom corner to put Westlands 1-0 up ! A couple of minutes later there was an almighty melee in the Nailsea goalmouth with bodies everywhere before the ball was eventually scrambled away for a corner. The game was fairly even now but after 37 minutes some poor defending by Sports gave Nailsea a good chance but Gabriel Cole pulled off an excellent double save to deny them the equaliser. This was followed in the 40th minute by another good save from the Westland’s keeper as he raced out to smother a through ball. Half-time 1-0 to Sports.
To be a goal up at half time was a good result for Westlands as the opposition had looked dangerous. We definitely needed to up our game in the second 45 to win this one.
The next goal was going to be crucial and unfortunately it was the visitors who bagged it 5 minutes into the half. The Nailsea #7 picked the ball up around the halfway line and ran about 40 yards before slipping the ball under the keeper into the net. A good goal but some terrible tackling (or lack of tackling !) from the home team. Losing that soft goal seemed to spur Westlands into action and they began to create some chances. First, Rory Thomson ran through but shot straight at the keeper. Then a free kick into the Nailsea box was almost turned into his own goal by a defender, the ball just slipping past the post. Finally in the 60th minute Sports took the lead again. Gabi Nitecki and Seb Goddard between them managed to smuggle the ball through a crowd of defenders on the edge of the box and it fell kindly to BEN POUNDER who smashed it into the back of the net. Westlands continued to dominate and a minute after going in front a free kick taken by Tom Jarvis almost sneaked in at the post, just going inches wide. A minute later Ben Pounder cut in and got a good low shot off that was well saved by the Nailsea keeper. It looked as if the third goal was coming for Sports but disaster struck in the 65th minute. Sports keeper, who had been having a good game, came charging off his line to nearly the edge of the box and crashed into a Nailsea attacker who had beaten him to the ball. A crazy challenge, and a certain penalty that was tidily despatched into the corner to make it 2-2. The game could go any way now with the visitors rejuvenated by the equaliser. Both teams were battling hard to find another goal and it came in the 83rd minute and once again it was the Nailsea #7 who scored it. A ball was played over the top, the Westland defenders stood still, and the #7 ran through and slotted the ball in the corner of the net. Poor defending, no other word for it. Things got worse for Sports in the 89th minute when the ball was played in to Nailsea’s #7 who was totally unmarked (!) and he had time to look up and lob the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 4-2.
That was the final score and was Westlands first defeat of the season. What was a bit annoying about the defeat was that all the goals we conceded could have been prevented. OK, we move on to next week and try to get back to winning ways.
The Man of the Match this week is SEB GODDARD who worked really hard in the midfield and very rarely gave the ball away.
We had beaten Axbridge 2-1 in the cup in a tight game so we were expecting a tough one today. The pitch was wet and heavy but playable and Sports had a full squad of 16 on duty. It looked like being a tough day for the visitors though as they lined up at the start with only 10 men !
In the 2nd minute Gabriel Cole had to be alert to save well from an Axbridge player who burst through the Sports defence and fired in a low shot. Westlands gradually began to take control but with the visitor’s tactics to get everyone behind the ball, they were finding it hard to create openings. In the 5th minute Rory Thomson burst through and forced a good save from the big Axbridge keeper. It was one way traffic now for the first 20 minutes of the game but although having all the possession Westlands were finding it hard to break down the packed defence. A couple of corners were forced but were fairly easily dealt with by the Axbridge defenders. In the 21st minute Peter Parke had a shot on target but the Axbridge keeper turned it round the post. Then a Henry Field shot went over the bar as Westlands began to find gaps in the visitor’s defence. In the 25th minute came the first goal as Sports broke the deadlock. Sam Bonds fired over a good cross and RORY THOMSON buried the ball in the corner of the net with a deft glancing header. Having made the breakthrough, that could have signalled the floodgates opening but the Axbridge players stuck to their task and defended in numbers to frustrate the home team. In fact, the nearest to a goal came from the visitors when their player hit a 25 yard dipping shot that Gabriel Cole brilliantly tipped over the bar at full stretch. The remainder of the half was spent with Westlands passing the ball around nicely until they got to the edge of the penalty box when they were crowded out. Half time 1-0.
A totally dominant half for Westlands but with only one goal to show for all their pressure they needed to be careful as Axbridge had shown they carried a threat when they broke forward. However the Axbridge players wouldsurely begin to tire in the second half and gaps should appear for the Westland players.
Straight away Sports took up the attack again and George Sutton headed a nice Morgan Pomeroy cross past the post. In the 50th minute Henry Field put a shot over the top before, a minute later, Westlands gave themselves a bit of breathing space with the second goal. A long crossfield pass from Morgan Pomeroy picked out CONNOR SHARPE on the left and he neatly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 2-0. Chances were coming now and in the 56th minute Morgan Pomeroy missed an easy header. Then a minute later a ball over the top to Muste Abdillahi was laid back neatly to Morgan Pomeroy whose cross into the box was headed wide by Connor Sharpe. A good move there by Westlands that probably deserved a goal. Next a Tom Jarvis pass slipped Peter Parke clear but he smashed his shot off the post. A goal was coming and it came in the 65th minute. TOM JARVIS tried his luck from 25 yards and the ball squirmed through the goalkeeper’s arms into the back of the net. Although a goalkeeping error it was a decent shot on target and if you do that there is always a chance. Right, 3-0 and with the points safely in the bag the game kind of petered out in the last 20 minutes. Except, that is, for a moment of magic in the 87th minute.
RORY THOMSON, who was now playing left back, spotted the keeper off his line and from 25 yds, fired in a dipping shot that flew into the top corner. A good piece of opportunism there and a fitting end to the game. Final score 4-0.
This was one of these games you expect to win but sometimes it’s not that easy and you have to grind out the result. Credit to the opposition who made things very difficult for us today and they never gave up, battling to the end. For Westlands it was a case of being patient and waiting for the opportunities to come.
The Man of the Match this week is RORY THOMSON who put in an energetic performance at centre forward in the first half, scoring a good goal, and then having a solid game at left back in the second half, scoring another good goal..
A full squad, a dry day, pitch looking ok, so no excuses today, we were expecting a good performance. Unfortunately the players didn’t seem to be in the same buoyant mood and it was the visitors who took control of the ball straight from kick off and forced Westlands keeper Gabriel Cole into a good save. Westlands were spectators as in the 4th minute the Burnbridge right winger ran on to a nice through ball and buried it in the far corner. A shock opening goal for the visitors so surely that would be the wake up call Sports needed. Err…. No ! Only two minutes later a long ball over the top left the Westlands defence flat footed and the right winger raced away and finished beautifully into the top corner. Two goals down after 6 minutes left the spectators in shock and with the Westlands defence all over the place we needed to get a grip quickly. At last we did begin to win a few tackles and put a few passes together and in the 11th minute a great run by Seb Goddard set up Rory Thomson with a good chance but he put his shot over the top. Westlands were pushing forward now and a neat dribble through the Burnbridge defence by Lewis Trusson set up Rory Thomson about 6 yards out but somehow he managed to blaze his shot over the bar. But the visitors were dangerous every time they broke upfield and in the 19th minute Gabriel Cole made a good block and the ball was eventually scrambled away. A couple of minutes later another good run by Lewis Trusson again set up Rory Thomson who miskicked in front of goal. We needed a goal and it came out of the blue in the 25th minute. The ball was picked up by HENRY FIELD about 30 yards out and he just let fly with a shot that dipped over the keeper into the back of the net. That was the goal we needed to put us back in the game but it didn’t last long. In the 36th minute Burnbridge won a corner out on the left. When it came over the ball was played back across goal where a couple of Burnbridge players were unmarked and they managed to scramble the ball into the net to make it 3-1 and increase the lead to 2 again. Westlands tried to get back into it and Louis Fergussun had a shot that the keeper saved but the final action of the half was another Burnbridge attack that ripped open the Westlands defence, the final shot going just past the post.
3-1 down and time to reflect at half time on a fairly disastrous first half for Westlands. The visitors had cut through our defence almost at will and although we had created 2 or 3 good chances our finishing had been woeful. Time for changes by the management with Innes Davidson brought on to bolster the defence and Connor Sharpe to hopefully add some punch up front. As usual, Luke Wellington also replaced Gabriel Cole in goal.
We needed a quick goal in the second half to get back into the game and that is what we got. SEB GODDARD showed some quick feet in the box and slotted the ball under the keeper from close range to make it 2-3. Westlands were looking more like it now and were pushing forward into their opponent’s half. The pressure paid off with the equaliser after 55 minutes. A loose ball on the edge of the box was picked up by PETER PARKE and he drilled a low shot into the far corner of the net. Sports were looking confident and 3 minutes later took the lead. HENRY FIELD had a shot that took a massive deflection off a defender which totally wrongfooted the keeper and the ball finished in the back of the net. It was all Westlands now and another good effort by Henry Field was tipped over the bar by the Burnbridge keeper. Then some good skill by Muste Abdillahi gave him a chance but he put his effort just wide. In 67 minutes inevitably Sports increased their lead to 5-3 when RORY THOMSON finished off a good passing move by smashing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box. It was one way traffic now and George Sutton hit the bar with a free kick before the last goal of the game came in the 79th minute when MUSTAFE ABDILLAHI raced on to a through ball and stabbed it past the keeper. That was that, 6-3, but Westlands had another 2 good chances before the end. Louis Fergusson hit the post with a shot as he cut in from the left and George Sutton had the ball in the net following a corner but that one was ruled out by the referee. Final score 6-3.
What a second half that had been with Westlands rattling in 5 goals without response. A complete turn round from the first half so great credit to the management and players for sorting things out at half time.
The Man of the Match award goes to HENRY FIELD whose vision and distribution was first class and a couple of goals as well to top off a good performance.
Sun 10th Nov, Somerset U18 League Cup, 1st Rnd: AXBRIDGE SAXONS 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
The game was played next to Cheddar reservoir in bright sunshine and the pitch was in good condition considering the weather recently.
Due to absentees and a couple of players pulling out because of illness at the point of leaving Yeovil the U18s travelled to Axbridge to play a side who were third in the league with a bare eleven including striker Louis Fergussun who was playing his first game for the club.
A good start to the game led to the Westland side taking the lead after only five minutes, a Tom Jarvis corner was met at the far post by GEORGE SUTTON who made a clean contact to score his first goal of the season.The movement of Rory Thomson up front was too much for the Axbridge defence and several more chances were created with no further addition to the score. The home side were happy to launch the ball long, trying to test a back four with Charlie Baker playing in a new position of centre back and Henry Field playing at right back for the first time ever. The defence was coping well when a lucky deflection fell to the feet of one of the Axbridge midfield players who scored the equaliser with a very good shot from the edge of the penalty area against the run of play.
On the right Lewis Trusson was giving the Saxons full back a torrid time whenever he was in possession and the lead was regained when Lewis won the ball back near the halfway line, dribbled his way past the full back before squaring the ball into the path of RORY THOMSON who made no mistake from eight yards out.
With half time approaching a combination of defensive legs and the hands of Gabe Cole were enough to stop the ball on the Westland goal line even with several Axbridge players in close proximity trying to force the ball home. half time 2-1 to Westlands.
The second half followed the same pattern with Axbridge going long and the makeshift Westland defence holding firm, limiting the home side to a couple of half chances. The Westland midfield continued to create goal scoring opportunities without any addition to the score, although Rory Thomson did hit the bar twice.
In the final ten minutes Axbridge pressed for an equaliser but Sports stayed strong and saw out the game.
A 1-2 win away from home for the eleven who travelled was a great result against a team who will win far more than they lose this season.
Over the past few weeks Westland Sports U18s have had to find a way to win when things were going against them and it is a credit to them as individuals and as a team that they remain unbeaten this season.
Man of the match this week is RORY THOMSON for an excellent performance in both attack and midfield.
Nice to have a full team of 16 on duty as we looked to get our title challenge back on track. It was a fairly even opening 15 minutes with Westlands having the best attempts with a couple of shots that went just wide. After these opening flurries Westlands began to get on top and the first goal came after 19 minutes. A nice through pass put MORLEY GOLD clear of the visitor’s back line and he slotted the ball into the corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Bridgwater tried hard to get back into the game but didn’t really trouble the Westlands defence and 15 minutes after the opening goal Westlands grabbed a second. A good passing move out on the left with Tom Jarvis and Lewis Trusson involved saw the ball finally threaded through to MORLEY GOLD who took a couple of steps and smashed the ball into the corner. 2-0 to Sports and Bridgwater heads went down as two minutes later they conceded a third goal. A nicely weighted Tom Jarvis cross to the far post was headed in by MORLEY GOLD who completed his hat-trick to make it 3-0. Four minutes later it was 4 when CONNOR SHARPE ran on to a ball over the top and neatly lobbed the Bridgwater keeper. Three goals in six minutes had knocked the stuffing out of the visitor’s and they were glad to hear the half-time whistle. Half-time Westlands 4 Bridgwater 0.
The visitors came out battling but it didn’t take long for Sports to dampen their enthusiasm with the fifth goal. Tom Jarvis laid the ball out to LEWIS TRUSSON who cut inside and thumped the ball into the back of the net.
It was damage limitation now for the visitors, but with the Westlands defence a bit disorganised due to several substitutions, they began to have a bit of joy going forward. Luke Wellington in the Westlands goal had to pull off a magnificent save, tipping the ball onto the crossbar to keep the clean sheet. The visitor’s keeper also made a couple of good saves as Westlands kept probing for more goals. But the urgency had gone out of the game now and it took until the 87th minute for Westlands to finally wrap up the scoring. A cross from the left was controlled by the unmarked GABI NITECKI and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net for the 6th and final goal of the afternoon.
That completed fine afternoon’s work for the Westlands team who showed good application and work rate to record a good win.
The Man of the Match award goes to INNES DAVIDSON who was strong at centre half, winning all his challenges.
Westlands were down to the bare bones this week with about 8 players not available. However we managed to rustle up 12 players, but 2 of these were goalkeepers ! Further disaster struck Sports after only 10minutes when Lewis Trusson came off injured and he was replaced out on the wing by goalkeeper Luke Wellington !
The wind was quite strong and slightly against Westlands in the first half but nevertheless Sports were the dominant team and looked most likely to score. In defence Westlands back 4 of Charlie Baker, George Sutton, Innes Davidson and Sam Bonds were looking solid and Gabriel Cole in Sports goal only had to field a few long balls. Morgan Pomeroy down the left looked Sports most likely attacker but we just couldn’t create clear chances.
The nearest to a goal for Westlands came from a mazy run from Innes Davidson that took him through most of the Wincanton team but their goalie pulled off a good save to prevent the opening goal. Just before the break Gabi Nitecki burst through but a defender got across to get a tackle in that sent the ball out for a goal kick. Half-time 0-0.
A battling half for Westlands, solid defensively but lacking a bit of a cutting edge going forward.
The second half was even more one sided than the first. Sports made a change at half time with Luke Wellington taking over in goal and Gabriel Cole going up front. By my reckoning Luke only touched the ball four times in the half, all pass backs ! The highlight of the half was a Morgan Pomeroy shot that came back off the post but nobody could put the rebound in and it was eventually scrambled away. For the last 15 minutes Lewis Trusson came back on for Gabriel Cole in a last ditch attempt to grab a goal but to no avail. The match eventually ended with the result a disappointing 0-0 result from Westlands point of view.
Its 2 points dropped in the title challenge but great credit to the lads who played and gave everything to try and win the game. Special mention to the two goalkeepers who both played outfield for spells and didn't let the side down, great commitment by all the lads.
The Man of the Match award goes to CHARLIE BAKER who never put a foot wrong all afternoon.
After two wins in two games the U18s travelled to Backwell to try to keep their 100% record intact.
With a couple of players out Morgan Pomeroy was paired with George Sutton at the centre of defence for the first time. This proved to be a solid partnership and it needed to be because with the wind and playing down the slope Backwell continually tried to play through or over them.
Gradually the Westland side began to gain more of the possession and started to get the ball into the opposition penalty area from wide.One such attack led to the first Westland goal, CONNOR SHARPE managed to get himself free to score from 12 yards on 30 minutes.
The home side continued to press for the remainder of the first half but were unable to create good opportunities against a strong Westlands back four and a midfield that was always willing to track back to help out.
The second half started with a series of chances for the away team who were now playing with the conditions in their favour. The second goal was created by Connor Sharpe breaking free on the right and crossing beyond the far post where Isaac Storey was able to square the ball to TOM JARVIS who beat the keeper with a fierce shot. Now 0-2 up the Westland side were in command of the game with the defence easily coping with Backwell, who were now only threatening on the break.
TOM JARVIS scored his second of the game before LEWIS TRUSSON completed the scoring five minutes from the final whistle, easily converting when one on one with the keeper.
A special mention goes to Rory Thomson who was unwell in the morning and came along just to do as much as he could but who actually played the whole match with great energy, fantastic commitment.
A win by four goals and the first clean sheet of the season was enough to preserve the 100% record at least until next Sunday when Bridgwater Wolves are the visitors to Alvington for a top of the table clash !
The Man of the Match award goes to GEORGE SUTTON who was solid at the back for Westlands.
After a good win at Nailsea on the opening day, Westlands needed to follow that up with a win at home.
However, Wembdon’s opening day result had been a close 2-1 defeat away to Bridgwater Wolves so we knew they would be a strong team.
After 3 minutes Isaac Storey had the first attempt at goal with a speculative shot from 20 yards that went over the bar. Wembdon replied with a couple of good efforts. First a shot went past the far post and then a low cross was hooked just over the top from close range. Westlands should really have taken the lead after 8 minutes when Isaac Storey put over a cross and Ben Pounder scooped the ball over the bar from 6 yards out. Not a lot between the teams now as a Wembdon player tried his luck but put his shot well over the bar. The same result came from a Rory Thomson attempt as he blasted a raking crossfield pass from Lewis Trusson over the bar. In the 25th minute it was Westlands who took the lead with a lovely goal. Isaac Storey played a defence splitting pass inside the Wembdon right back for LEWIS TRUSSON to run through and bury the ball in the far corner. Wembdon tried to get back into the game but the Westlands defence were coping well with keeper Gabriel Cole untroubled. Except in the 37th minute when a well struck free kick whistled past his far post. Half time came with Westlands one up.
Not a great half of football but Sports just about deserved their narrow interval lead.
Luke Wellington replaced Gabriel Cole in the Westlands goal at half time.
As the second half progressed Westlands were making most of the running but the moves tended to break down at the edge of the Wembdon penalty area and it was from a set piece that Isaac Storey went close, his shot just clearing the bar. Then Ben Pounder had an opening but hit his shot straight at the keeper. Wembdon had a strong attack in the 69th minute but were thwarted by a superb double save from Westlands keeper Luke Wellington. First he turned a header from point blank range over the bar and from the corner he dived again to block a goalmouth shot from close range. But the danger signs were there and in the 71st minute the visitors equalised. Wembdon’s small midfielder danced through 2 or 3 half tackles and slotted the ball in the far corner. Great play by the Wembdon lad but poor defending from Westlands point of view. Westlands were stung into action and a Connor Sharpe shot hit the post after a good Isaac Storey run. A couple of minutes later Isaac put a shot just over the bar as Sports continued to press. In the 85th minute Ben Pounder split the Wembdon defence with a lovely through ball and TOM JARVIS ran in to finish coolly with a sidefoot shot. A great goal and a fitting way to grab the three points. There was no more excitement and the match finished 2-1 to Westlands.
Not a vintage performance from Sports, it all seemed a it casual with a lack of urgency about the play, however they just about deserved the win and its another 3 good points.
The Man of the Match award goes to ISAAC STOREY who was at the heart of most of Westlands good moves.
On Sunday afternoon Westland Sports U18s took a squad of 14 to a very sunny Nailsea for the opening match of the 2019/20 season. In the team for the first time were several new faces, Sam Bonds, Morley Gold, George Sutton, Charlie Baker, Henry Field, Connor Sharpe and Muste Abdillahi.
Playing up the slope, Sports started in a very controlled manner, pressing high and regularly winning possession in dangerous areas. Lewis Trusson was a constant threat on the right hand side.
The first goal was scored by RORY THOMSON, a calm finish from inside the box after a series of quick passes.For much of the rest of the first half the Nailsea side came back into the game creating a couple of chances but without the quality to trouble a back four marshalled by Innes Davidson and Gabe Cole in goal.
After conceding early in the second 45 Westlands showed great character and hit back very quickly, substitute CONNOR SHARPE scoring with a volley from close range on debut after good work from Ben Pounder and Tom Jarvis down the left.
With the home side now resorting to some extremely brutal challenges a series of free kicks resulted in a quality strike from ISAAC STOREY from the edge of the penalty area giving the comfort of a two goal lead.
At 1-3 up Sports now found themselves in complete control and they were able to move the ball around to play out the final ten minutes. A very pleasing start from a side that will only get better.