Thursday 30th April...............everyone at Westland Sports was saddened to hear the news of Don Woan who sadly passed away on 24th April at the age of 92. Don was a regular at Westland's matches in years gone by and very rarely missed a home game. Unfortunately illness has prevented his attendance in recent years but he is fondly remembered especially for his good humoured banter in the Westlands club after the games. Don knew his football having played as a professional for Liverpool, Leyton Orient, Bradford City, Tranmere Rovers and finally Yeovil Town. Our condolences go to the family of Don who will always be remembered as a larger than life character and a loyal supporter of Westland Sports.
Tuesday 28th April.............another look back into the Westlands archives today and this time we're looking at the top goalscorers in the last ten years. We all love to see the goals go in and a player who can hit the back of the net is a prize asset to any club. Westlands have been blessed with some top goalscorers in the past and the men who took the honours in the last decde are as follows :-
* 2011/12 SAM JARMAN 38 goals
* 2012/13 SAM FARTHING 16 goals
* 2013/14 JOSH PAYNE 25 goals
* 2014/15 LEO HAYWARD 28 goals
* 2015/16 LEO HAYWARD 13 goals
* 2016/17 LEO HAYWARD/JOSH PAYNE 19 goals each
* 2017/18 HAYDN HODGES 20 goals
* 2018/19 ALEX MURPHY 20 goals
* 2019/20 JOSH PAYNE 14 goals
Names to the fore are Leo Hayward and Josh Payne who each topped the chart 3 times in the last 10 years, such a pity Leo's injury prevented that partnership from continuing. The final total of 14 for Josh last season would obviously have been increased significantly had the season been completed as we still had 14 league games to play and we were also still in two cups. Josh Payne has been an outstanding goalscorer for us over the years with a total of 115 goals in the last 7 seasons since he joined us. A look back in the archives reveals that his 100th goal for the club was his second goal against Blandford on 23rd March 2019 when we beat them 5-1 in the semi-final of the DPL Cup. A significant goal, just a pity we didn't realise it at the time when he prodded in a Callum Thomson cross at the far post. Nevertheless belated congratulations to Josh !
Thursday 9th April...................with the season now officially ended it’s probably time to reflect on the past season and look at a few stats and high points. The league tables in the column on the right are the final placings for the season although they will never be recorded in the records and no promotion/relegations will take place as a result of these placings. Bad news for these teams at the top of the league but good news for those threatened by relegation ! From our point of view the first team were in 3rd place in the Dorset Premier League at the close and we could maybe have pushed on into the runners-up spot as we still had Merley Cobham and Hamworthy Recreation to play at home. However, with the league title out of our grasp we were concentrating on the cups and were still involved in the final stages of both the Somerset Senior Cup and the Dorset Premier League Cup so it’s a bit disappointing that these competitions have also been abandoned for this season.
The Reserves had an up and down season in the Dorset Senior League that ended in a mid-table position which was probably about right in the end. It’s been a season in transition for the reserves with new management in place but their main purpose is to support the first team and this season they have provided the transition from Under 18s to first team for three players, Dan Ewens, Isaac Storey and Sam Fuller, so job done in that respect.
In the Somerset U18s League our team again found last season’s champions Bridgwater too strong and once again finished second best in the league and also lost the cup semi-final to them. Nevertheless an excellent season for our Youth squad.
Some stats for the season:-
Top Scorers: First team – JOSH PAYNE, 14 goals, Reserves – SAM FULLER, 9 goals, U18s – RORY THOMSON, 14 goals.
Most goalkeepers clean sheets: MARK CUFF (First team) – 7
Most Man-of-Match Awards : First team – JOSH PAYNE 3, Reserves – SAM FULLER 5, U18s – SEB GODDARD & RORY THOMSON 4 each.
Opinions on the high points of the season for the first team will vary but my choice of the three most memorable matches (MMM) are :-
What a game this was with goals galore and a sending off that undoubtedly helped Westlands’ cause. Sports shot themselves in the foot after 5 minutes with a gift goal but Olly Wake equalised from a free kick so it was already 1-1 when the red card was shown to the Merley centre half in the 25th minute. Westlands then conceded 2 more soft goals before half time but a Louis Irwin goal kept us in the game at 3-2. In the 55th minute Josh Payne turned in a Louis Irwin cross to make it 3-3 and in the 70th minute Josh gave Sports the lead running on to a through ball and slotting in the far corner, 4-3 up. In the 73rd minute Merley made it 4-4 from the penalty spot but four minutes later Jamie Green smashed one into the top corner from 25 yards to make it 5-4 ! Great result for Westlands and a twist on the cup final 4 months earlier when Westlands had been reduced to ten men after 30 minutes, eventually losing 3-2.
This match featured an amazing second half turnaround by Sports after a poor first half that saw them 2-0 down at the break. Westlands piled on the pressure in the second half and on 61 minutes Jonny Manley bundled one in from a corner to make it 2-1 and game on. A minute later Lewis Morgan swept in a Tim Trevett cross to make it 2-2 and 2 minutes later Malik Kamal smashed one in to put Sports in front 3-2. But the goal blitz didn’t end there with Nick Voss stretching the lead to 4-2 in the 65th minute. Westfield were shocked as Westlands had hit them with 4 goals in a 5 minute spell that turned the game round completely. Lewis Morgan smashed in a 25 yarder in the 75th minute to make it 5-2 and just before the end Westfield grabbed a consolation 3rd goal.
A thrilling end to this match saw Sports grab the victory in injury time. After another poor first half Westlands could count themselves a bit lucky to turn round only one goal down. However Sports quickly struck after the break with a Jamie Green penalty to make it 1-1. Gillingham went in front again in the 76th minute from the penalty spot but Sports quickly hit back with a Jack Dicker header to make it 2-2. As we headed into the closing minutes Gillingham scored what they thought was the winner in the 87th minute but Sports silenced their celebrations with an equaliser in the last minute, Jack Dicker deceiving the keeper with a high cross/shot. It looked as if Westlands had snatched a late point but more drama was to follow deep into injury time when Nick Voss smashed in the winner for Westlands ! What a turn up that was, and I don’t think Gillingham quite recovered from that defeat as they went on a losing run from then on.
Three great matches, full of excitement and plenty of goals. Other people will have their own personal favourites but those three games stand out in my memory.
IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN
Saturday 21st March.............today we should have been playing Blandford Utd in the quarter-final of the Dorset Premier League Cup at Alvington, a game we were all looking forward to. However it is doubtful if this game will ever be played now due to the current circumstances regarding the Coronavirus. Coincidentally, almost exactly 10 years ago, on Saturday March 20th 2010, Westlands travelled to Blandford for a league match which Sports won 3-1.
Blandford opened the scoring early on but before half time Westlands had equalised with Sam Farthing netting an Andy Smith cross from close range. In the second half things got a bit physical and when Dean Corden was brought down Mike Rousell tucked in the penalty to put Westlands in front. Then Mike Rousell was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot again. A Blandford player saw red in the resulting melee and Mike again stuck away the penalty to give Sports a 3-1 win. Happy days !!
The season was shut down in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
No league champions were declared and all cup competitions were abandoned.
Sat 22nd February 2020
Over at Sherborne the Dorset Premier League side beat the Peterborough League 1-0 to progress to the semi-final of the FA Inter-League Cup. Below, the DPL starting 11 line up with 3 Westlands Sports players, Jon Manley, Josh Payne and Dan Ewens, in the team. Malik Kamal was also on the bench.