The last game of the season and although the league was won we still had that 35 match unbeaten run to protect. There was also the "Golden Boot" award to be won as Sam Jarman needed just one goal to win it outright. There were four changes from friday night's cup final team with Marc Caines and Steve Lindegaard unavailable due to work commitments and they were replaced by Haydn Binding and Mike Rousell. In addition, Dean Corden and Ben Cochrane were on the bench and they were replaced by Dean Ritchie and Ollie Wake. Westlands took control of the ball straight away and took the lead in the 3rd minute. A corner from the right was not cleared, it fell to STEVE BURTON and his shot took a deflection on its way into the back of the net. Five minutes later came the biggest cheer of the night when a defence splitting ball from Steve Burton put SAM JARMAN through and he drew the keeper before slotting the ball into the bottom corner. This of course meant that Sam had won the coveted "Golden Boot" for the season and everyone was delighted to see him clinch the award. So, 8 minutes gone and it was 2-0, and still Westlands were pressing for more. In the 21st minute came the third. A Haydn Binding cross was completely missed by a defender and MATT DAY said "thanks very much" before slamming the ball into the roof of the net. Shortly after this Dean Ritchie was the victim of a cowardly tackle from behind by their number 5 and had to be carried off, being replaced by Dean Corden. Sports soon settled again and in the 28th minute scored a fourth. A Lewis Morgan shot from distance was parried by the keeper and SAM JARMAN pounced to net the rebound. Four nil with less than half an hour gone looked like game over we just cruised through to half-time without any major incident.
After the excesses of their weekend 'away' the lads flagged a bit in the second half. Also Bridport had obviously had a bollicking for their lacklustre first half performance and had upped their game. So for most of the second half it was Bridport in control but even so, they were finding it hard to create any goalscoring chances. Rich Lindegaard was imperious at the back for Westlands, mopping up the Bridport attacks with ease and tidying up with a string of passbacks to Knibbsy. I've never seen so many passbacks to the keeper since the days when I played and the goalkeeper was allowed to pick them up ! Anyway, on the hour mark, Bridport managed to pull one back. A ball into our goalmouth seemed to bobble around for ages at the far post. Knibbsy had a flap at it and a couple more defenders seemed to get in each others way before a Bridport player eventually put us out of our misery and stuck the ball in the back of the net. A bit of a shambles but it did shake us up briefly and we responded in the 68th minute to maintain our four goal lead. Steve Burton again produced a defence splitting pass, this time MIKE ROUSELL was the grateful recipient and he shrugged off the defenders challenge before rifling a shot into the top corner. For the last 20 minutes we were out on our feet but we held on for a courageous 5-1 victory which ended our season on a high. The three points gives us a 5 point winning margin at the top of the league. It also maintains a 36 match unbeaten run stretching back to 8th October 2011. All in all a season to remember, and one which may never be equalled in the history of this famous old club.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ollie Wake, Haydn Binding, Lewis Morgan, Sam Jarman, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Leo Hayward, Ben Cochrane, Dean Corden.
FRIDAY 18th MAY, SOMERSET SENIOR CUP FINAL:
CUTTERS FRIDAY 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Here we were, three days after clinching the league title at Holt, lining up for the Somerset Senior Cup Final against Cutters Friday at Street. Football just doesn't get any better than this, what a fantastic end of season we have all been lucky enough to experience. There was only one change from the Holt game, Ashley Knibbs flying back from Egypt just in time to replace the injured James Smith in goal. We started pretty well, getting the ball down and trying to get our passing going, but Cutters were working hard to close us down and stop this happening. Early on a Cutters player went down badly injured and was unfortunately stretchered off to hospital. Matt Day was prominent in the early exchanges with a few solo runs but we just couldn't break through a strong Cutters Friday defence. Matt Day had the first clear chance, finding space in the opposition box but screwing his shot wide. Cutters were getting the ball forward quickly and they had a couple of pacy players but so far Sports defence had coped with anything thrown at them. The first goal came in the 31st minute and it was Westlands who deservedly took the lead. A short corner was worked out on the right and when the ball was eventually delivered into the box Ben Cochrane rose above the defenders to head goalwards. I thought he had scored but the header was blocked only for GEORGE MAPLETOFT to slam the rebound into the net from close range. It looked like Sports were in the driving seat now but in the 40th minute we let Cutters back into the game by conceding a penalty. The tricky right winger went past Matt Day to the bye line and was brought down by a diving tackle for a clear penalty which the Cutters player stuck away in the corner for the equaliser. It was a disappointing penalty to concede as we all know to stay on our feet in the box and it was a repeat of a similar penalty conceded at Poole Borough a couple of weeks ago. So, not only had Cutters equalised they had also had a big boost of confidence and for the last 10 minutes of the half (lots of injury time due to injury) they pushed us back and made life difficult. A ball played across goal saw a Cutters player with what looked like a tap in but he somehow fluffed the chance. Another attempt was blocked by Knibbsy as our opponents continued to press and to be honest I was quite relieved to hear the half-time whistle.
As the second half started, it was apparent that Westlands were now back on the front foot and pushing forward again, but finding clear cut chances hard to create. Cutters still had their moments but there seemed no real focus to their attacks and the Westlands defence looked quite comfortable. On the other hand, the Cutters defence were always having to work hard to contain the Sports attackers. After 20 minutes of the half we took the lead again. A Cutters defender dallied on the ball and was robbed by the terrier-like Dean Corden who put a lovely cross in to the far post where MARC CAINES outjumped the defender to head in. A good goal created from an opponents mistake and as the play went on it was evident that the hard work Cutters had put in early on was now beginning to take its toll as gaps were now beginning to appear in their previously tight defence. Cutters had a chance from a free kick just outside the box and a well struck shot flew past the far post. At the other end, Marc Caines found himself in acres of space but dragged his shot wide when you'd have bet on him to score. Ollie Wake replaced Steve Lindegaard and Mike Rousell replaced Sam Jarman as Sports tightened the screw with some fresh legs. In the 80th minute we wrapped it up. A high cross from the left eluded the stretched Cutters defence and MIKE ROUSELL ran in unmarked to power a header past the keeper into the far corner. I think everyone knew that was it and a bit of frustration saw a Cutters player get his marching orders for raised hands just before the final whistle. Skipper Rich Lindegaard was presented with his third trophy of the season and as the celebrations took place it was a moment of reflection as to the significance of what had been achieved. Certainly the 'treble' is a first for Westlands and an outstanding feat that may never be repeated. Or could it ???
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Lewis Morgan, Dean Corden, Marc Caines, Sam Jarman, Matt Day. Subs: Ollie Wake, Mike Rousell, Dean Ritchie.
TUESDAY 15th MAY, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
HOLT UNITED 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
The script was written for this match on Saturday. With Holt having done us a favour and beaten Hamworthy Rec by 3-0 we were now in pole position to win the league and a twist of fate saw us travelling to Holt to try and get the one point we now needed for the championship. We still had another league match at Bridport to play so we had a safety net but really we wanted the league sown up tonight so we could relax going into Fridays Somerset Senior Cup Final. Not to mention the fact the lads had arranged their "end-of-season" trip for this weekend so we didn't really want to play a league decider on the Monday after their boozy weekend ! So, this was it, and the lads were well prepared and in the mood as an unchanged team came onto the pitch for the kick-off. The pitch was looking extremely rough, it had obviously had a hard season, so mistakes were inevitable and too many touches could lead to problems. Nevertheless, Westlands took the initiative in the first half kicking up the hill but no real clear cut chances could be created. Holt showed some pace on the break and their left winger got to the byeline and crossed but no team-mate could take advantage. Westlands continued to have the upper hand and a few set-piece deliveries into the Holt box caused them some problems. In the 35th minute Steve Burton looked to have got his head to a Rich Lindegaard free kick but the keeper charged off his line and wiped him out with the ball bouncing past the post. Steve carried on after treatment but was obviously in some discomfort. James Smith in the Sports goal was looking dominant in the air and took care of a number of high balls into our box before he too got a knock which stopped him from kicking the ball for the rest of the game. The half time whistle ended a half that saw both teams competing fiercely but neither side had created a clear cut chance. At 0-0 though, we had the point we needed so we were halfway there.
Not surprisingly Steve Burton did not appear for the second half and his place was taken by Ollie Wake. Holt, kicking uphill now, began to put a bit of pressure on the Westlands defence with their left winger prominent but they didn't really test our keeper. There was a shout for a Holt penalty when a bit of a scramble developed in our box and the ball appeared to strike a hand but the ref said no. Sports, understandably, were a bit cagy this half playing a slightly deeper game and clearing their lines with longer balls up to Sam Jarman and Marc Caines. This was proving a problem for the Holt defence as several times we were almost clean through and only last-ditch defending kept us at bay. Eventually, in the 60th minute, came the moment we will remember for some time. MARC CAINES burst through the Holt defence down the right wing, cut in and curled a dipping lob/shot over the keeper into the far top corner of the net. A lovely goal and a moment of great composure as he looked up and picked his spot. From where I was standing on the far side it was impossible to tell if the shot was going in or not as it sailed over the keepers head. But suddenly a mighty roar erupted from the Westlands fans on the far side who were right behind the shot and could see that it was going in. A fantastic experience and I think in that moment we knew the title was ours. OK we still had half an hour to play and Holt would always keep battling but I just couldn't see our defence, which had looked solid throughout, conceding two goals. In actual fact it was Westlands who looked more like adding to their lead with a series swift breaks. Holt huffed and puffed but couldn't break down a resolute Westlands rearguard. With 10 minutes to go Sam Jarman was clean through with only the keeper to beat but scuffed his shot wide. A pity really as Sam just needs one goal to clinch the LeagueTop Goalscorer title for this season, never mind, we've still got monday's game at Bridport to get that goal. The final whistle saw wild celebrations from the players and rightly so as they were outstanding on the night in difficult circumstances against a team which made us battle all the way. The League Championship Trophy and medals were presented to the players by Mike Mock, the League President, and he paid tribute to the fantastic achievement of the team in only losing two league games all season. There is no more to be said, just a great night in the history of the club and a night when every player in the squad can be proud of what they have achieved this season, well done lads.
Westland's team:- James Smith, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Lewis Morgan, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Haydn Binding, Ollie Wake.
SATURDAY 12th MAY, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 18 SWANAGE TOWN 1
The last homegame of the season turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as the game was only in doubt for seven minutes by which time Westlands were 2-0 up and Swanage had been reduced to 10 men. It didn't look good for our opponents when they turned up with only eleven players, no subs, no management. Straight from the kick-off Westlands pushed forward and it was obvious this could be a long afternoon for Swanage. In the 5th minute Steve Lindegaard skinned the full back, got to the bye-line and cut the ball back to LEWIS MORGAN who slotted it in. Two minutes later it was 2-0. This time Sam Jarman broke down the left, drew the defenders and squared the ball to LEWIS MORGAN who had the easiest of finishes. At this point a Swanage defender decided to give the referee a bit of advice and got himself red-carded. This was curtains for the Swans and Sports set about them with gusto, scoring almost at will. Goals came thick and fast, firstly in the 9th minute, MARC CAINES went clean through the middle of the defence, went round the keeper and slotted number 3. In a rare Swanage attack 2 minutes later they scored to reduce the deficit to 3-1. The Westlands defence parted like the Red Sea and their no. 7 charged through to score. We ran straight down to the other end and replied with a fourth goal. MATT DAY went through the now non-existant Swanage defence and drove past the stranded keeper. In the 15th minute it was 5, SAM JARMAN running through unchallenged to round the keeper and score. A couple of minutes later Matt Day crossed and SAM JARMAN made it 6-1. In the 25th minute SAM JARMAN completed probably the quickest hat-trick of the season to make it 7-1. The Westland players were obviously aware that goal difference could have a bearing on this season's title race as they showed no mercy and kept banging in the goals. On the half hour STEVE LINDEGAARD cut inside onto his left foot and bent a curler into the far corner to make it 8-1. Three minutes later it was 9, MARC CAINES diving full length to head in a Sam Jarman cross from the left. It was hat-trick number 2 a couple of minutes later when MARC CAINES smashed a low shot into the corner to make it double figures for Westlands at 10-1. Still the goals were coming, in the 42nd minute MARC CAINES ran through and lobbed the keeper to make it 11-1 and just before the break STEVE LINDEGAARD sidefooted in Matt Day's cross to make the half time score an incredible 12-1 !
The second half was only a minute old when LEWIS MORGAN completed his hat-trick with a cracking drive from the edge of the box for number 13. In the 52nd minute we were awarded a penalty for handball and SAM JARMAN smashed the kick in to make it 14-1. Three minutes later it was 15-1 when SAM JARMAN drove in from 12 yards and on the hour it was SAM JARMAN again who made it 16 with a solo effort. In the 67th minute SAM JARMAN breached the Swanage defence again to make it 7 goals for himself and 17 for Sports. Finally LEWIS MORGAN completed the scoring at 18-1 with a good left foot shot. Not a lot to be said about this one really, Sports did all that was asked of them and as for Swanage, well done to the lads who turned up, but they were let down badly by those who didn't.
Westland's team:- James Smith, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Lewis Morgan, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Haydn Binding, Ollie Wake, Leo Hayward.
MONDAY 7th MAY, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 6 STURMINSTER MARSHALL 1
A dry afternoon brought a good Bank Holiday crowd to Alvington for the visit of Sturminster Marshall in the Magna Dorset Premier League. With things tightening up at the top of the table this was a match we were hoping to win to keep the pressure on. We started well and the first chance fell to Matt Day when he raced through, went round the keeper then saw his goalbound shot blocked on the line. Another chance fell to the same player but he smashed it over the bar. In the 21st minute we deservedly went ahead. Mike Rousell chased a long ball to the byeline and cut it back for MARC CAINES to sidefoot in. Westlands kept up the pressure and 5 minutes later came number two. A corner from the right was only partially cleared as far as DEAN CORDEN who took a touch and smashed the ball into the back of the net. Stur were reeling now and four minutes later came goal number three. Steve Burton hit a superb long diagonal ball out to MATT DAY on the left and he drove into the box and sent a low shot across the keeper into the far corner in textbook fashion. Westlands seemed to take their foot off the pedal a bit after this goal and in the 36th minute Sturminster pulled one back. A ball through the middle found their number nine with no support but he ran on into the box and shot past James Smith in the Sports goal to make it 3-1 at half -time. Mike Rousell failed to appear for the second half, injuries taking their toll, and he was replaced by Lewis Morgan. Sam Jarman pushed on up front for the second half with Lewis taking up the midfield role. It took Westlands a few minutes to adapt to the new formation but we were soon back in the swing and in the 53rd minute made it 4-1. The Stur keeper made a good save but MARC CAINES followed up to smash the ball into the roof of the net. Sturminster were not giving up and a few tough challenges kept us on our toes. but despite their efforts they could not halt the inevitable and in the 70th minute we made it 5-1 and a lovely solo effort it was from LEWIS MORGAN. He picked the ball up out on the right wing, cut inside past a couple of defenders and hammered a left foot shot low into the bottom corner. Ten minutes from time came the final goal of the afternoon. A ball into the box was cleared out to the edge of the area where LEWIS MORGAN lashed it high into the net giving the keeper no chance. A good 45 minutes for Lewis and a good result for Westlands who set about the task with determination and were rewarded with three more valuable points.
Westland's team:- James Smith, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Lewis Morgan, Ollie Wake, Leo Hayward.
SATURDAY 5th MAY, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
POOLE BOROUGH 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 6
A visit to Turlin Moor was always one of the trickier away games of the season but Borough's recent form has been so poor that we were confident we could get a result and pick up another three valuable points. We needed to get back on the rails after our poor performance against Chickerell and it was obvious from the start Westlands were in the mood to wrap this match up quickly. It was constant pressure on the home teams goal but they defended bravely and their keeper made a couple of tremendous saves before we eventually took the lead after 20 minutes. A number of corners had been cleared before SAM JARMAN climbed high to head in a Mike Rousell kick from the left. Westlands continued to batter the home defence before, in the 38th minute MARC CAINES cut in from the right onto his left foot and curled a great shot into the far corner. That was all we could manage before the break but it only took three minutes of the second half for Sports to increase their lead to three. MARC CAINES headed goalwards from a corner, the keeper blocked his effort but Marc managed to stab home the rebound. In the 57th minute Matt Day sped off down the left, fired over a low cross, and MIKE ROUSELL sidefooted in to make it four. It was all going Westlands way until the 71st minute when substitute Haydn Binding dived into a rash tackle in the box and gave away a penalty which was neatly converted by the Poole player. Two late goals then gave the final score of 6-1 a more realistic look. Both were scored by MATT DAY who sneaked in at the back post to knock in his first in the 85th minute. In the last minute of the match a ball over the top put MATT DAY in the clear and he lobbed the keeper to finish the scoring for the day. To be honest, we could, and probably should, have had a few more but I'm not going to complain about a 6-1 victory and a dominating display by Westlands.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Sam Farthing, Sam Jarman, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Leo Hayward, Rich Parkinson, Haydn Binding.
TUESDAY 1st May, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
CHICKERELL UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
Having had a weeks rest since the last match due to Saturday's postponement at Holt, we thought the team would have been rested and would come out firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately the reverse seemed to happen as the break seemed to have taken the momentum out of our recent winning streak and we looked sluggish on the night. These end of season games are dodgy and Chickerell is the perfect example of that. A good side, lying in a comfortable sixth position in the league, playing with nothing to lose, and looking for an upset. In games like these you really need to get at them early, dominate the early exchanges and see just how hard they are prepared to fight for no reward. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we were unable to do that, instead we seemed to sit back and it was Chickerell who took the initiative and got at us in the early minutes. The longer this went on the more they gained in confidence and the harder it was for us to gain control. Having said that the team that looked most like scoring in the first half was Westlands. The big moment came when a long ball over the top put Marc Caines through and he smashed a piledriver past the Chickerell keeper only to see his shot cannon back off the inside of the post and bounce to safety. Perhaps if that had gone in things would have been different. In the second half we obviously had to step up the pace but found the game being continually stopped for the most trivial of reasons by the referee. This only frustrated the players but any comment to the official was met by a yellow card which only made things worse. In the 67th minute things went a bit pear shaped with the opening goal for Chickerell. A hotly disputed corner kick was partially cleared but was returned back into the box where a Chickerell player headed into the net at the far post from about a yard out. A big blow but we have ground out some great results from behind already this season so we knew there was still plenty time to turn things round. Chickerell now retreated a bit into defence to protect their lead but it gave Sports the impetus to push forward and look for the equaliser. Problem was we seemed to be playing the referee as well as the opposing team and he then made life very difficult for us by sending Steve Burton off for two yellow cards. Very harsh !! Credit to Sports players, they stuck at it and in the 85th minute got that precious equaliser. Everyone went up for a corner and when it was swung into the crowded box I thought Rich Lindegaard had headed it into the net but it turned out to be an own goal. Nevertheless it was the goal we wanted and with 5 minutes left could we get the winner ? With 10 men we kept trying but with the official still wanting to be centre stage we found it difficult to string any moves together. The frustration of the Westlands players was evident and the game ended with the referee waving his yellow card at anyone who dared to speak to him. At least we got a point in a game probably best forgotten. We will put this one behind us and move on to Poole on Saturday and try to get back to winning ways.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Ollie Wake, Lewis Morgan, Sam Farthing, Sam Jarman, Marc Caines, Dean Ritchie. Subs: Leo Hayward, Rich Parkinson, Gary McAuley.
TUESDAY 24th April, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WINCANTON TOWN 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
A wet night in Wincanton, not the most relished prospect considering they were undefeated at home all season and had already beaten us at Alvington back in the autumn. They are a big, physical side who play to their strengths so we knew we would be under pressure for long spells of the match, but we also knew we can score goals against any team so it promised to be an interesting contest. From the start we had to repel some early attacks, a corner and a free kick, both well delivered, had us defending desperately to win that second ball. There were also a couple of the obligatory long throws to deal with but we were keeping those to a minimum. Having survived the early pressure we began to push forward after about 20 minutes and a couple of times their defence just looked a bit vulnerable. In the 28th minute we went ahead. The ball was played out to Rich Lindegaard who was unmarked on the right. Rich drew the full back and slipped the ball inside to MARC CAINES who took a touch and drove a low hard shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net. A lovely goal and as our hosts tried to respond the tempo was hectic with both teams getting stuck in. In the 37th minute Westlands struck again. This time it was MARC CAINES who drifted out to the right and he was picked out by Steve Burton who slipped an inch perfect ball inside the full back. Marc took the ball in his stride and drove a low shot across the keeper into the far corner for almost a carbon copy of the first goal. Good play by Westlands. Wincanton came back again and a couple of Westlands defenders made timely blocks to prevent the final shot. Half time came with Sports leading 2-0 and we rolled up our sleeves for what we knew would be a testing second half. Lewis Morgan failed to reappear in the second half having been studded in the ribs (by Dean Corden !) and was replaced by Jon Vance. Wincanton soon had us under pressure and had the ball in the net in the 50th minute but it was ruled out for offside. Westlands retaliated and from a nicely worked short corner Jon Vance sent a curling shot in which bounced back out off the far post. Wincanton then had a shot which hit the bar before in the 70th minute they pulled one back. A high free kick beyond the far post was headed back across goal and with the Westlands defence on their heels the ball was smashed in from close range. That put Wincanton back in with a chance and from then on they were piling forward looking for the equaliser. In the 80th minute a powerful header from a corner just flew over the Sports crossbar but we were defending well in numbers and crucially were causing havoc in the home defence with fast breaks. Leo Hayward had come on for Marc Caines and his pace saw him tear through the Wincanton defence a couple of times but the lack of a telling final ball let them off the hook. In the final minute Leo again outstripped the defence and this time his shot came back off the far post. That brought an end to the proceedings and I have to say it was with some relief that we heard that whistle blow. A bit of a rearguard action for Sports in the second half but still always dangerous on the break, so perfect tactics and ones that paid off big time for Westlands with another three points in the bag. Next up another tough match away to Holt Utd on saturday.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Ollie Wake, Lewis Morgan, Sam Jarman, Marc Caines, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie. Subs: Leo Hayward, Jon Vance.
SATURDAY 21st April, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 5 PORTLAND UNITED 1
Back to league business and the visit of new league leaders Portland Utd to Alvington. Westlands made a couple of changes from Wednesday night with Ollie Wake and Haydn Binding, who had both taken knocks, dropping to the bench and Rich and Steve Lindegaard taking over. Portland started well and looked the better side for the first 20 minutes or so but although they were on top I can't remember any clean cut chances or Ashley Knibbs in the Sports goal having any real problems. Nevertheless, it was a relief to see Westlands begin to find their feet and exert some pressure on the visitor's defence. To be fair we didn't really test their keeper either so with both defences on top it was stalemate at half time. As the second half kicked off, we noticed Portland had pushed their centre half up to centre forward in a bid to break the deadlock. Both teams wanted to win this match and the first goal could prove crucial. Thankfully it was Westlands who scored in the 55th minute. MIKE ROUSELL chased a through ball and, as the keeper dashed out his goal, prodded the ball past him and into the unguarded net. Sports had their tails up now and in the 65th minute made it 2-0. Mike Rousell cut through the Portland defence and although his effort was blocked LEWIS MORGAN was on hand to squeeze the ball in at the post. Two nil gave us a bit of breathing space but it didn't last long. Three minutes later Portland swung in a free kick from the right and it was the no. 5 who rose highest to power a header into the net. Game on again we thought, but no, within 2 minutes Westlands had regained that 2 goal lead. LEO HAYWARD, who had replaced Dean Ritchie, latched onto a through ball and slipped it past the advancing keeper. The goals were coming thick and fast now and in the 75th minute we made it 4-1. A cross from the right was headed back across the goal by Matt Day and LEWIS MORGAN was on the spot to slam the ball into the back of the net. The final goal came in the last minute when LEO HAYWARD raced clear of the Portland defence, drew the keeper and coolly fired the ball past him into the net to make the final score a resounding 5-1. An astonishing score really, considering how tight the game had been in the first half, at that point I thought one goal would probably be enough. Portland needed the win so they had to go for it and were subsequently found out at the back. Another large hurdle overcome for Sports and we now look forward to the next one, a trip to Wincanton on Tuesday night.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Lewis Morgan, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Matt Day Subs: Leo Hayward, Marc Caines, Ollie Wake.
WEDNESDAY 18th April, DPL CUP FINAL:
HAMWORTHY RECREATION 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 2 (aet)
(Westlands won 4-2 on penalties)
The eagerly awaited final between arguably 2 of the leagues leading sides did not fail to deliver on a damp evening in Dorchester. Played on a heavy pitch against a backdrop of impending heavy showers, Rec settled to their task quicker and pressed their opponents in their half. Dykes produced a tame shot in the 5th minute, whilst Knibbs in the Sports goal produced a fine save from Notley on 8 minutes. Moments later, Dykes should have scored but wasted from a good position. After another excellent ball from Notley, however DYKES was not to be denied on 14 minutes when he gave Rec a deserved lead after bundling the ball home from close range.
Moments later and a Rec penalty claim fell on deaf ears as Masson went over in the box. Back came Westlands who forced a succession of dangerous corners in the 23rd minute, the second corner saw a free header cleared at the back post. Day tried his luck in the 24th minute with a good shot saved by Leonard in the Rec goal. Further good work from Westlands down the left saw a dangerous cross miscontrolled by Ritchie allowing the Rec keeper to pounce.
In the 28th minute, Westlands drew level when a cross field ball was not dealt with by the Rec defence, leaving DEAN RITCHIE to control and fire a superb shot across the keeper and into the net to make it 1-1. This was no more than Westlands deserved.
The game then entered a period of play when both sides played some good football and a Rec corner caused problems in the 39th minute when a Westland defender skewed his clearance with Knibbs having to tip over. The half finished with both sides forcing corners which were well dealt with by the defences.
Westlands started brightly in the second half and again forced a corner only for Rec to clear and go down the other end and hit the bar with a thumping shot by Masson. Back came Westlands with a shot over the top from Day in the 52nd minute, and Boyt went close for Rec in the 59th minute when he shot over.
In the 65th minute, another flowing Rec move from Masson to BOYT saw the latter curl his shot into the top corner, 2-1 to Rec. Westlands looked to respond and pressed the play and were duly rewarded in the 81st minute when a long ball caused problems for the Rec defence. MARC CAINES pounced and finished with a precision shot to make it 2-2. Both sides tried to find a winner but again defences stood firm, and so to extra time. FINAL SCORE 2-2
Extra time followed the same ebb and flow pattern of the previous 90 minutes as firstly Rec nearly took the lead when a deflected free kick nearly fell to Porter; back came Westlands and Morgan shot narrowly wide. Caines again with good work in the box shot over for Westlands in the 9th minute of ET, and again Morgan went close with a good shot and turn in the 13th minute.
The second half of extra time saw both sides again show good energy as they both continued to push for a winner. Porter again saw his shot tipped over by Knibbs in the Westlands goal in the 18th minute; back came Westlands through a flowing counter attack which saw Caines again denied. With the clock running down towards penalties, a moment of controversy when Rec felt there had been a handball in the Westland defence - the ref waved play on. With moments to go another good Westlands move saw Caines clean through and bearing down on the Rec goal only for a superbly timed tackle from Griffiths to save the day. FINAL SCORE 2-2
[ABOVE MATCH REPORT PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE WEBSITE, www.thedpl.co.uk]
SATURDAY 14th April,DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 2 HAMWORTHY RECREATION 1
This was a game we wanted to win as we faced the current league leaders on our home patch. Captain Rich Lindegaard and top scorer Sam Jarman were missing but this wasn't a factor as Westlands came out on the front foot and poured forward from the kick-off, pinning Hamworthy back with a flurry of attacks. The opening goal came in the 5th minute when LEWIS MORGAN cut inside onto his left foot, and from about 25 yards let go a screamer that flew over the keeper into the net. Sports got at it again from the restart and 2 minutes later Dean Ritchie blasted in a shot which was beaten away by the keeper. In the 14th minute it was two. The ball was played into a crowded box and Mike Rousell, with his back to goal, stabbed the ball out to DEAN CORDEN who smacked it into the back of the net from the edge of the box. Still there was no respite for the visitors, Matt Day was having some joy down the left and in the 20th minute he fired over a lovely cross. Mike Rousell slid in at the far post and agonisingly the ball came back out off the woodwork. Westlands fast start began to fade a bit after this, hardly surprising as we were playing our fourth game in seven days. Hamworthy now started to come into the game, stringing a few passes together and putting some pressure on with a couple of set pieces. On the half hour mark they pulled one back. A Westlands player dwelt on the ball in midfield and was robbed. It was quickly fed out to wide man Andy Masson who evaded a defender's challenge and blasted the ball into the net off the near post. So, 2-1 it was but we had a good response and in the 40th minute should have increased our lead. Once again Matt Day sped down the left and fired over a low driven cross. Again it was Mike Rousell who got on the end of it but somehow he managed to screw his shot wide from 8 yards. As we headed for the break Ashley Knibbs in Sports goal had to look sharp to grab a free kick at the second attempt. At half-time a 2-1 lead was good but the general feeling was we should have been out of sight and we hoped we wouldn't regret those missed chances. After the interval things settled down into a bit of a stalemate with neither side really looking like scoring. We put on three subs to replace tired legs and by the end we were quite happy to play out time. The final whistle ended proceedings to clinch the victory and the three vital points. A good display this from Westlands who really worked hard throughout and thoroughly deserved their victory.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Ollie Wake, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Haydn Binding, Lewis Morgan, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Matt Day Subs: Leo Hayward, Gary McAuley, Marc Caines.
THURSDAY 12th April, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
SHAFTESBURY 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
The early 6.30 kick-off didn't do Westlands any favours as the sun was very low in the sky and right in our faces in the first half. After a slowish start we eventually got to grips with the conditions and the first big chance came after 15 minutes when Steve Burton blasted a free kick from the edge of the box which cannoned off the far post, bounced back , hit the keepers legs and rebounded to safety. We were controlling the game now and shortly afterwards Dean Ritchie had a shot just wide. Against the run of play, on the half hour mark, Shaftesbury took the lead. The ball was given away cheaply in midfield and when it was played into the centre forward our defender was on the wrong side and the ball was tucked into the corner of the net. A bit of a soft one to lose but there was still plenty of time and Sports immedeiately got back on the attack and Ben Cochrane had a header slip by the post. A couple of minutes later Shaftesbury had a good chance but missed the target. On 40 minutes things went from bad to worse with our hosts scoring again. Two Westlands defenders failed to stop the right winger getting his cross over and the ball was knocked into the net at the near post. Two down at half-time was not according to plan but at least in the second half we would be shooting down the slope and have that sun at our backs (for about 15 minutes until it disappeared). We got at Shaftesbury straight from the kick-off and forced a corner on the left. The cross was deep and was headed back into the goalmouth by Ben Cochrane and DEAN RITCHIE stooped to head into the net. Just the start we wanted and it was all Westlands now as we pressed for the equaliser. We had to be patient though and wait until the 62nd minute before it came. Once again, the ball was played into the Shaftesbury goalmouth where an almighty scramble developed. The keeper came out, seemed to have the ball, then lost it and from the mellee that followed the ball was booted into the back of the net by DEAN RITCHIE. Back on level terms and with nearly half an hour left we went looking for the winner. It eventually came from the penalty spot in the 80th minute. A corner from the right was headed goalwards by Ben Cochrane but a defender popped up to head off the line. As Mike Rousell went for the loose ball he was brought down by a desperate tackle and the ref pointed to the spot. With normal penalty taker Sam Jarman absent, LEWIS MORGAN stepped up and slammed the ball past the keeper to put us in front for the first time. In the final 10 minutes we had several good chances to put the game to bed but couldn't put them away and as the game went into injury time, some last gasp pressure from the home team forced Ashley Knibbs into action with a couple of good saves. Not the first time this season we have had to come from behind so in the end it was a good three points.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Haydn Binding, Lewis Morgan, Ollie Wake, Dean Ritchie, Leo Hayward, Steve Lindegaard. Subs: Leo Hayward, Gary McAuley, Marc Caines.
MONDAY 9th April, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 4 MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 0
Back to League business on this Easter Monday and the visit of Merley Cobham to Alvington. With Sam Jarman on holiday for a couple of weeks Leo Hayward got the opportunity to start up front and Gary McAuley also started to give Lewis Morgan a rest. Westlands started with the blustery wind and rain at their backs so we were looking for a half-time lead to give us a buffer for the second half which could be a bit of a test. Cobham started brightly against the wind, getting the ball up to the front lads who looked quite nippy and we were on the back foot for a few minutes. After 4 minutes, in virtually our first attack, we took the lead. Dean Ritchie made a good run down the left wing and his cross was scooped over the keeper by HAYDN BINDING for his first goal of the season. Cobham were a bit shocked by this setback and we pressed home our advantage three minutes later. Haydn Binding turned provider, swinging in a corner from the left which GARY McAULEY headed in strongly from close range. Cobham were at sixes and sevens now and a simple through ball found DEAN RITCHIE totally unmarked and he coolly lobbed the keeper to make it 3-0 with only 10 minutes gone. Westlands continued to dominate proceedings for the rest of the half, Dean Ritchie headed just wide and a Haydn Binding shot went close. With three minutes of the half remaining we scored the fourth goal. Another corner was swung in from the left and this time it was BEN COCHRANE who rose highest to head in. Just before the break Cobham missed a great chance when their lad shot wide with just the keeper to beat, denying them a lifeline for the second half. Westlands started the second half strongly when Dean Ritchie dashed through the Cobham defence and cut the ball back to Gary McAuley whose shot just went past the far post. Westlands soon started introducing the substitutes with Lewis Morgan, Dean Corden and Steve Lindegaard all entering the fray. Understandably, at 4-0 Westlands relaxed a little and Cobham came into the game in the last half hour. Ashley Knibbs had to be on his toes to protect his clean sheet and he clutched several high balls in the wind and pounced on a shot just as it was about to cross the line. The final action saw Knibbsy in action once again, tipping a well struck shot over the bar. The final whistle brought the match to an end and really saw Sports achieve several aims. First and foremost were the three points, secondly no serious injuries to report, and thirdly it was good to see one of our long term injury victims Dean Corden making a welcome comeback and getting 20 minutes under his belt. A couple of days rest and we're off to Shaftesbury for another league game on Thursday, keep them coming !
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Ollie Wake, Gary McAuley, Haydn Binding, Dean Ritchie, Leo Hayward, Matt Day. Subs: Lewis Morgan, Steve Lindegaard, Dean Corden.
SATURDAY 7th April, Somerset Senior Cup, Semi-Final:
WESTLAND SPORTS 8 WINSCOMBE 0
This was the game that never was, with the match virtually ended as a contest after only 4 minutes by which time Westlands had taken a 2-0 lead and the game was as good as over. By the half hour mark it was 3-0 and by the half time whistle it was 5-0 and definitely game over. It was difficult to assess Winscombe on the day as they got off to an appalling start which knocked the stuffing out of them and they never really recovered. The opening goal came when Sam Jarman put over a good cross from the left wing which was headed powerfully in at the far post by LEWIS MORGAN. In the fourth minute a blunder by a Winscombe defender put DEAN RITCHIE in the clear and he coolly lobbed the keeper to make it 2-0. On the half hour LEWIS MORGAN picked the ball up 20 yards out and drove a fine shot low into the corner for the third goal. Winscombe were floundering at this point and eight minutes later it was 4-0. Lewis Morgan sent a looping header goalwards which deceived the keeper and bounced off the crossbar and back into play. DEAN RITCHIE was following up and he knocked in the rebound. In the 41st minute DEAN RITCHIE completed a first half hat-trick by sidefooting in the fifth goal from close range. Westlands made a change at the start of the second half with Leo Hayward coming on in place of Sam Jarman and Matt Day replacing Steve Lindegaard. The two subs quickly made their mark when, in the 50th minute, Matt Day burst down the left wing, fired over a beauty of a cross, and LEO HAYWARD (cough !) headed in from a yard out. That was 6-0 and in the 67th minute it was seven. Leo showed his pace down the right wing to outstrip the Winscombe defence and his driven cross was blasted into the roof of the net by LEWIS MORGAN to complete his hat-trick, the second of the day. Rich Parkinson replaced Dean Ritchie but shortly after Lewis morgan tweaked his groin so had to come off leaving Westlands with only 10 men for the last 15 minutes of the game. It didn't change the game significantly and Sports managed to score another with 5 minutes to to complete the scoring at 8-0. It was that man LEO HAYWARD who scored it. He showed the Winscombe defence a clean pair of heels, racing into the box and finishing confidently under the stranded keeper. Not a day Winscombe will want to remember but for Westlands its a second semi-final win in two weeks and two cup finals to look forward to.
SATURDAY 31st March, DPL Cup, Semi-Final:
SWANAGE TOWN 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
A thriller at Day's Park as Westlands battled through to the Dorset Premier League Cup Final by the slimmest of margins. With Mike Rousell suspended and Marc Caines and Matt Day joining Sam Farthing, Dean Corden & Andy Smith on the injured list, the squad was stretched but we still had a strong lineup with Dean Ritchie partnering Sam Jarman up front and Haydn Binding and Steve Lindegaard on the flanks. Having been warming up for about an hour due to our late arrival, Swanage came out the blocks fast and soon had us under a bit of pressure. Due to the lack of any rain recently the pitch was hard and bumpy but this didn't deter the home team who used the high ball into a very tall centre forward as their main attacking ploy. With some success too, as Sports were kept on the back foot during the opening exchanges. In the 11th minute Swanage went ahead. We failed to clear a corner after losing out on two headers and the ball fell to a Swanage player who tucked it away. This seemed to give us a bit of a wake-up call and we began to put a few attacks together which resulted in us drawing level after 5 minutes. A free kick to Sports on the right side seemed to have been wasted but eventually Ben Cochrane got possession out on the left. Ben drove the ball across goal and LEWIS MORGAN squeezed it in off a defender. Swanage responded to the setback by upping their effort and for a spell were winning possession in the midfield which gave them the opportunities to knock the high ball up to the front man. In the 24th minute the tactic paid dividends, but at a cost. A free kick was pumped into the Westlands box, Ben challenged the big lad for the header and there was a clash of heads. Again we failed to clear and again it was a Swanage player who reacted first, swivelling to drive a shot into the corner of the net. Unfortunately for Swanage that was the last of the action for their big centre forward who had to leave the field with a nasty eye injury. This setback seemed to take the wind out of the home teams sails and it was Westlands who came back and 7 minutes later grabbed the equaliser. Ben Cochrane knocked a ball down the right which Dean Ritchie raced after and caught at the bye line. He whipped in a cross and LEWIS MORGAN was once again there to hook the ball in at the near post. It was Westlands on the front foot now and Dean Ritchie had a good effort blocked on the line. 1-1 at the break was a fair result really, but it was noticeable that Swanage hadn't threatened much since the big target man went off. Did they have a plan B ? The secand half started much the same as the first had finished with Westlands pushing forward, probing for an opening. We had to wait until the 63rd minute for the breakthrough to come. Steve Lindegaard swung in a lovely corner from the left and SAM JARMAN outjumped everyone to plant a header in the back of the net. Play was fairly even for a bit with both teams trying to find an opening but with Westlands in the lead Swanage had to push more men forward to try and force the equaliser. This left gaps at the back and we should really have killed the game off in the last ten minutes with several good chances squandered. First Hayn Binding cut inside two defenders and with only the keeper to beat scuffed his shot into his arms. Shortly after Dean Ritchie set up Sam Jarman but he shot wide. Leo Hayward came on for Sam Jarman up front and almost immediately he set up Haydn whose shot beat the keeper but came off the far post and bounced into the grateful goalie's arms as he turned round. With the minutes ticking away Swanage made one big last effort which we assisted by giving away several free kicks allowing them to get the ball in the box. The final kick of the game was another free to Swanage and with everyone, including the Swanage keeper, in the Westlands box the ball was driven into the crowded area. Suddenly from out of the crowd appeared the gloved hand of Ashley Knibbs to turn the ball over the bar and immediately the referee blew his whistle for full time. This sparked off great scenes of joy (or was it relief) from the Westland players but they deserved their moment as Swanage can be a tough place to come to and they had battled back twice from a goal behind to eventually clinch victory.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Ollie Wake, Lewis Morgan, Haydn Binding, Dean Ritchie, Sam Jarman, Steve Lindegaard. Subs: Leo Hayward
SATURDAY 24th March, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 BLANDFORD UTD 1
Another glorious day at Alvington and the pitch in tip-top shape so no excuses today. Matt Day dropped out just before kick-off so Haydn Binding started in his place. Westlands made the early running and took the lead after only 8 minutes. Sam Jarman put MIKE ROUSELL through and he neatly lobbed the advancing keeper to open the scoring. The game developed into a bit of a midfield stalemate after this but Blandford were pressing more as the half wore on. In the 37th minute Blandford put a long throw into the box which caught the Sports defence napping. Ashley Knibbs, however, was on his toes and dived to tip the first time shot round the post. That was the last major incident of the half so we went in 1-0 up. As the second half got under way a Westlands attack down the right wing was rewarded with a disputed free kick out by the corner flag. As Blandford protested they lost their concentration and when Steve Lindegaard fired over the kick BEN COCHRANE rose to power a header into the net and give Westlands that crucial second goal. Blandford had lost their way a bit now and Westlands cashed in with goal number three in the 54th minute. DEAN RITCHIE had a blast at goal whioch took a nice little deflection off Mike Rousell's heel and finished in the back of the net. At 3-0 Westlands were in control and looked the more dangerous side with Haydn Binding making some good runs down the right wing. But no more goals were forthcoming from Westlands and as the game moved into injury time we had settled for a 3-0 win. Then a Blandford forward blasted the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards to give them a consolation goal. But still the referee found more injury time and Knibbsy had to pull off another good save before the ref eventually blew for time up. A good win for Westlands, nothing spectacular, but a job well done and three more points in the bag.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Ollie Wake, Steve Lindegaard, Haydn Binding, Dean Ritchie, Sam Jarman, Mike Rousell. Subs: Lewis Morgan, Gary McAuley, Rich Parkinson.
SATURDAY 17th March, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WEYMOUTH RESERVES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
A nice day weatherwise but a surprisingly firm pitch and a bouncy ball ensured silky football was at a premium. Weymouth showed little ambition by playing with just one forward, a big lad, and that more or less dictated their tactics from the off. Westlands tried to get the ball down, but didn't have a lot of success, first touches often going astray. However, with Sports defence mopping up the long balls to the big striker, we looked the more likely side in the opening exchanges. On the half hour mark we took the lead. Marc Caines knocked the ball down to MIKE ROUSELL and from 20 yards out he slammed the ball into the far corner. For the remainder of the half, defences were pretty much on top apart from just before the break when Mike Rousell broke through the Weymouth defence but failed to steer his shot past the keeper who blocked his effort. As expected, when the second half began we had to endure a bit of pressure from the home side and their best chance came from a header from the big centre forward which slipped past the post. A couple of other attempts flew over the bar but gradually the attacks petered out and Sports came back into the game. Matt Day came on and immediately caused a bit of havoc in the Weymouth defence before being kicked and having to go off again. Leo Hayward also came on and made a couple of good runs into the box but as time ticked on and with Westlands players looking like they had settled for a single goal win, we struck again. Sam Jarman put MIKE ROUSELL in behind the home defence with a good ball and this time he made no mistake slipping the ball past the advancing keeper into the corner of the net. So that was it, 2-0 to Westlands and although not our best performance, a hard grafted victory and a deserved three points.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Ollie Wake, Jason Sims, Haydn Binding, Lewis Morgan, Sam Jarman, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Steve Lindegaard. Subs: Leo Hayward, Matt Day, Ben Cochrane.
A day of changes in the Westlands lineup at Alvington yesterday. With six regulars unavailable and Dean Corden added to the injury list, James Smith, Jason Sims, Stu Smith, Haydn Binding, Ant Herrin and Leo Hayward were all added to the squad. In the early exchanges it was Cranborne who settled first, as Sports took a little time to find their feet. But after 16 minutes we scored in what was virtually our first attack. A cross from the left was headed firmly goalwards by GEORGE MAPLETOFT at the far post. The keeper scooped the ball out but it had already crossed the line, a decision their keeper disputed. It was very similar to the one we had given against us last week at Peasedown, except that this one went in our favour. This settled the Westland lads and they began to relax and play their football. In the 22nd minute Dean Ritchie skinned the full-back out on the right wing and crossed for MIKE ROUSELL to volley past the keeper to make it 2-0. For the next 20 minutes it was a fairly even midfield contest as Cranborne tried desperately to stay in the game. Two minutes before the break their resolve was broken with the third goal for Westlands. Haydn Binding put in a good cross which gave MIKE ROUSELL the chance to send a shot goalwards. It wasn't hit cleanly but sneaked into the bottom corner with the keeper unsighted. With the half-time break almost upon us there was just time for Lewis Morgan to smash a free kick over the Cranborne wall which their keeper did well to scramble away as it was heading for the top corner. Westlands opened the second half in style, adding goal number 4 in the 49th minute when LEWIS MORGAN deservedly got on the scoresheet by heading in Mike Rousell's cross. Six minutes later it was 5-0, Leo Hayward put MIKE ROUSELL clear through the middle and he rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into the back of the net for his hat-trick. In the 70 minute came one of the goals of the game. Westlands were awarded a free kick just outside the box slightly to the left of the goal. STEVE LINDEGAARD took it right footed, curling the ball over the wall into the top corner. Just after this came the only down point of the afternoon. Mike Rousell was brought down on the edge of the box and reacted with a petulant kick at the defender, an action which saw him receive his marching orders. I don't like to see players trying to get opponents sent off and one or two of the Cranborne players, particularly the no. 4, should be a bit embarrassed by their behaviour in this incident. As it was, Sports going down to 10 men didn't help Cranborne's cause any as it didn't take long before number 7 went in. LEO HAYWARD was on the spot at the far post to head in an Ollie Wake cross from the right. Cranborne had thrown in the towel now and with 5 minutes remaining LEO HAYWARD wrapped up the scoring at 8-0 by running through the static visitor's defence and cutely lobbing the keeper as he came out out. Just as the referee was about to blow the final whistle, James Smith in the Westland's goal had to make his first save of the game, diving low to his right to turn away a snap shot. That was it, all over and an impressive eight goal victory for Westlands, well played lads.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Stuart Smith, Jason Sims, Ollie Wake, Haydn Binding, Lewis Morgan, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Steve Lindegaard. Subs: Leo Hayward, Ant Herrin, Rich Parkinson.
SATURDAY 3rd MAR, SOM SENIOR CUP, 5th Rnd:
PEASEDOWN ATH 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
Its alway interesting in this cup to visit different grounds and yesterdays visit to The Miner's Welfare Ground in Peasedown was apparently (according to the match programme) our first visit there since 1989 when we won
2-0 in the second round. Its a big open pitch there, exposed to the elements, but it was a bit cut up and the groundsman did apologise that he had been unable to get it rolled before the match. It was obvious from the start that the surface was a bit of a problem but we were soon getting the ball forward and some quick passing had Peasedown back on their heels. W e were well in control and the opening goal came in the 12th minute. Mike Rousell chased a ball to the bye line, hooked over a cross and DEAN RITCHIE volleyed in. No more than we deserved and I think everyone expected us to go on and score a few more. We did continue to dominate the game, Ben Cochrane got his head to a corner which was blocked, and we had other chances, but couldn't manage a second goal before the interval. In the first half Peasedown had one attempt at goal, a shot which flew miles over the crossbar, so I think they were a bit fortunate to be only one down at the break. In the second half we wasted no time in getting thaat elusive second goal. Three minutes in and SAM JARMAN turned in a low Dean Ritchie cross from close range. We continued to press and several good chances were passed up. A cute Sam Jarman flick was headed off the line and minutes later Lewis Morgan drilled a shot wide of the near post. Next Ben Cochrane again got his head to a corner, only for the keeper to parry at point blank range. In the 75th minute a long crossfield pass from Lewis Morgan found Sam Jarman in the clear but his attempt to dink the ball over the keeper was saved. It was all a bit too comfortable at this stage and some sloppy play was beginning to creep into our game. We gave away several free kicks and it was from one of these that Peasedown scored in the 80th minute. The kick was delivered from the left wing and it was noticeable we were outnumbered at the far post. The ball came over and was headed goalwards from close range. Ashley Knibbs dived and scooped the ball out but the nearside linesman signalled a goal. One of our supporters who was down that end said a chunk of the ball was over the line but whether the whole ball was over he found impossible to tell. However, apparently the lino had no doubts in his mind at all and so the goal stood which really annoyed Sports keeper Ashley Knibbs who was convinced he had saved it. In the end the goal didn't matter to the final result, but it could have as it inspired the previously listless home side to come to life and they pressed forward for the last ten minutes looking for an equaliser. Their one chance came and went when their attacker shot straight at Knibbsy from 12 yards out, apart from that we defended comfortably. In the end it was a good victory, they all are, but I somehow felt we made hard work of it.Thats the fourth game in a row we have won by the odd goal which speaks volumes for our teams battling qualities and, with the injured list still fairly lengthy, the depth of the squad of players we have.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Ollie Wake, Haydn Binding, Lewis Morgan, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Sam Jarman. Subs: Steve Lindegaard, Marc Caines, Leo Hayward.
SATURDAY 25th FEB, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 2 SHERBORNE TOWN RES 1
After the drama of the County Cup game in midweek it was back to the bread and butter of the league although this weeks game had the added twist of being a local derby. A good crowd turned up for the match but I'm afraid they didn't get the thriller they were hoping for. Both teams seemed to cancel each other out in the first half which turned into a bit of a drab midfield stalemate. The visitors had a lot of territorial possession but their final ball was lacking and they never troubled Ashley Knibbs in the home goal. Westlands, meanwhile, seemed content to sit back and try to knock balls over the top to utilise Mike Rousell's pace. The result was a fairly poor half of football, keenly contested, but lacking quality. It looked as if the Westland lads had a few words of encouragement from the manager at half time as they seemed to move up a gear in the second half. It only took 5 minutes of the second period for Sports to break the deadlock. Mike Rousell sent in a shot from out on the right which looped over the keeper and fell to SAM JARMAN who smashed it into the roof of the net from a yard out. Having got their noses in front, most people expected Westlands to go on and score a couple more, but Sherborne dug in and defended in numbers and as long as it was only one, anything could happen. Matt Day came on for Westlands and immediately began to cause the visitors problems down the left. A couple of times he sprinted clear of the defenders and fizzed crosses across the box, but nobody was able to get on the end of them. Mike Rousell then injured himself trying to reach another Matt Day cross and was replaced by Leo Hayward. Still Westlands could not find a way through the visitors defence and in the 80th minute were caught out by a classic goal on the break. A Sherborne player took off down the left wing and the Westlands defenders all seemed attracted to the ball leaving a gap through the middle. When the cross came over their No 4, Sam Bowers, ran about 30 yards down the middle to get on the end if it and power a header past Knibbsy into the net. But Westland heads never go down, as recent weeks have proved, and stung into action by this shock, we immediately hit back and only took two minutes to go back in front and silence the visitors celebrations. Leo Hayward drove into the box, hooked a cross over to the far post where LEWIS MORGAN was running in to head across the keeper into the far corner of the net. We then took a more pragmatic approach to the last ten minutes of the game, settling for the 2-1 victory and just keeping possession of the ball to run out time. So, on the day, a rather flat performance from Westlands, possibly due in part to their exertions in midweek and in part to a determined effort from the opposition but either way its good to play below your best and still grind out the victory and get the three points. We move on now, its good to be a Westlands player, big games every week now, and next week its Peasedown in the quarter-final of the Somerset Senior Cup, we'll preview this match later in the week.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Lewis Morgan, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Ollie Wake. Subs: Matt Day, Leo Hayward.
WEDNESDAY 22nd FEB, SSCUP, 4th Rnd:
CHEDDAR 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
On a very wet and slippery surface, credit to both sides for producing a thrilling match which had us biting our nails right to the end (again !). Our line up was the same as saturday with the exception of Matt Day who was injured and he was replaced by Dean Corden. The first ten minutes was all Cheddar as they came out the blocks fast and had us back on our heels for a bit, but having weathered that initial storm we began to get a foothold and made some attacks of our own. Cheddar's tactic of knocking the ball over the top for a couple of pacy frontmen was the main danger and Ashley Knibbs had to be quick off his line to block a couple of efforts on goal. In the 21st minute the deadlock was broken and it was the home side who took the lead. Cheddar broke fast down the right, the cross came over and as Rich Lindegaard went to clear, the ball skidded off the wet surface and broke to the advancing Cheddar forward who smashed it into the roof of the net. At that point in time it was probably a deserved lead but as the half wore on we had our own opportunities and forced a few corners. The Cheddar players were working extremely hard off the ball, chasing and harrying and tackling hard, a tactic that is to be expected in a cup tie but one that can be hard to keep up for 90 minutes as Cheddar were to find out later in the game. We went in at half-time 1-0 down but at that point the game could still go any way as mistakes were always on the cards on that surface. The second half started with Westlands taking the game by the scruff of the neck and pushing forward, pinning Cheddar in their own half. Chances were being made but the home side were getting numbers behind the ball and we were finding it difficult to find a way through. As the half wore on, the pressure was relentless, corner after corner was flung across but somehow always scrambled clear. Three times the ball was cleared off the line and once we hit the bar as we desperately looked for the equaliser. All the while there was always the danger of our opponents cashing in on a breakaway and snatching that crucial second goal, Ashley Knibbs was called into action a couple of times to stop shots on the break. But mainly it was a question of Westlands battering away at the Cheddar defence looking for that equaliser we began to think would never come. Rich Lindegaard went off with a hamstring problem and was replaced with his brother Steve who seemed to find acres of space out on the right and fired in a stream of crosses into the box all of which were cleared. The Cheddar players were out on their feet now, their early efforts having taken their toll, and even the partisan home supporters were admitting it only looked a matter of time before we scored. Nevertheless, as the clock ticks on you begin to wonder..........but we shouldn't have worried as the equaliser came at last in the 85th minute. Dean Corden made a good run down the right wing, turned the defender twice before reaching the by-line and whipping in a dangerous cross into a mass of bodies in the goalmouth. This time, however, we got the break of the ball and MARC CAINES forced it over the line for that all-important equalising goal. Extra time was now looming, but the lads were buoyant now and pushing for the winner. In the last minute of normal time STEVE BURTON drove forward right down the middle of the park, and after turning inside onto his right foot fired a cracking shot from 20 yards through a crowd of players into the far bottom corner. A goal worthy of the victory and it was the cue for fantastic celebrations from the Westlands players. This was another show of real battling qualities from the Westland lads as some teams would have folded after going behind under these conditions. Their second half performance was terrific and although it was not a night for scintillating football we still managed to pass the ball and wore our opponents down in the end. A classic cup-tie, I suppose, and an excellent game to watch on a rather cold, wet night.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Ollie Wake, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Dean Corden. Subs: Leo Hayward, Steve Lindegaard, Matt Day.
SATURDAY 18th FEB, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 PARLEY SPORTS 2
Recent history showed us that games against Parley at Alvington are generally close affairs, 3-2 last season, 2-2 the season before. It was no surprise then, when this match went all the way to the wire before Westlands emerged with the crucial three points. With four of last year's first choice midfielders, Andy Smith, Dean Corden, Sam Farthing and Haydn Binding all out at the moment it has been necessary for the manager to utilise other players in these roles. All have done an excellent job, as results show, but it was also good to see Lewis Morgan return to Westlands colours this week after his brief stay with Sherborne, as he will give us an extra presence in midfield. Apart from Lewis on the bench, it was pretty much same again for Sports after the victory last time out against Chickerell. In between times, though, we had two idle weeks when the frost twice caused the cancellation of our Somerset cup tie at Cheddar. The lay-off didn't seem to have affected us too badly as we took an early lead after 7 minutes. Marc Caines cut in from the right and was tripped in the box for what looked a clear penalty. The ref pointed to the spot and SAM JARMAN belted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Westlands. We had numerous chances after this to add to our lead but lack of quality in the final shot and some cracking saves by the Parley keeper kept the score at 1-0. It was noticeable that after about 25 minutes Parley were beginning to get a foothold in the game and we began to wonder if we would regret those missed opportunities. Sure enough, on the half-hour, they equalised. A hard low cross was fired in from the right wing and the centre forward slid in to score at the far post. We reacted well, however, and it wasn't long before we got our noses in front again. this time it was MARC CAINES who struck a left foot drive sweetly into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. A lovely goal and one which put us 2-1 up at the break. The second half saw Ashley Knibbs called into action early on, tipping a shot over the bar. Once again Westlands were creating loads of chances but again we found the Parley keeper in good form. As chances went begging we just knew what was coming, and on the hour mark, our fears were realised. A through pass split the Westlands defence and the No 8 ran through, rounded the keeper, and slotted in to make it 2-2. It was a nervous half-hour now, for although we were creating chances we just looked a bit vulnerable in defence and the visitors always looked capable of scoring again. The two subs, Steve Lindegaard and Lewis Morgan came on and Westlands pressed hard for a winner, but it looked like it might just be one of those days. As chance after chance was missed or saved we were into injury time when the winner came and it was the two subs who created it. Steve Lindegaard drove a cross in from the left which LEWIS MORGAN collected at the far post and smashed into the back of the net. Cue great celebrations from players and supporters and probably as much from relief as anything else as the three points are crucial at this time of the season. Not a vintage display by Westlands, perhaps a bit rusty after the lay-off, but we certainly displayed a lot of guts and character as the lads just wouldn't settle for a draw and really battled for the win and those three vital points.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Ollie Wake, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Lewis Morgan, Steve Lindegaard.
SATURDAY 28th JAN. DPL CUP RND 2;
CHICKERELL UTD 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Our route to the cup semi-final was never going to be easy with a trip to Chickerell to negotiate but on the day Westlands produced a classic cup performance to secure our place in the next round. Chickerell were working extremely hard all over the pitch to close players down and subsequently they had most of the possession but Sports were solid and well organised at the back and always looked more likely to score on the break. The scene was set right from the start when the chickens pressed forward and won an early corner. The ball was cleared to Matt Day who ran about 50 yards with the ball beating two defenders on the way before slipping a pass to Marc Caines whose low cross was sidefooted in by SAM JARMAN. Four minutes gone and we were one up after our first attack and a superb goal it was. Chickerell tried to hit back quickly and Ashley Knibbs pulled off a great save to turn a rasping shot over the bar. This pattern of play continued for the rest of the first half with Chickerell pressing forward most of the time without really hurting us and Westlands hitting on the break with dangerous raids. Mike Rousell shot just over the bar in the 13th minute and in the 25th minute Matt Day's shot went just wide of the post. Sam Jarman also broke through and screwed his attempted lob wide. All the while, for all their effort Chickerell hadn't troubled Knibbsy again in the half. The second half, predictably, began with a bit of a push by the home team and on the hour mark, Ashley Knibbs was in action again, diving low to his left to turn a free kick round the post. Chickerell had their best spell around this time but the Westlands defence stayed strong and were never flustered. Moving towards the last 15 minutes it began to look as if Chickerell's efforts were beginning to take their toll. They brought on a couple of subs but the tide was gradually turning and it was Westlands raids which were looking the most likely to bring a second goal. In the 80th minute a mix-up between two defenders put Matt Day free down the left. Matt ran on before squaring the ball to MARK CAINES who smashed it past the keeper from 12 yards. This was the killer goal that we were looking for and knocked the stuffing out of our opponents. It was also a bit of a relief for Marc Caines who was on a bit of a mini goal scoring drought, his last goal being back on December 10th against Chickerell (!) at Alvington. It was no great surprise when the third goal came in the 88th minute. Dean Corden swung in a cross from the left wing and MATT DAY popped up at the far post to head in. That wrapped up a good victory for Westlands in a difficult match. An away tie in a cup quarter final is always going to be difficult and the effort our opponents put in was no surprise. Unfortunately the draw for the semi-final has given us another mountain to climb with another away draw at SwanageTown. We lost 1-0 in the league down there and as they have knocked out Portland in the quarter-final they will fancy their chances. Anyway, one game at a time, and next week its Cheddar away in the Somerset Senior Cup to look forward to.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Ollie Wake, Sam Jarman, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Dean Ritchie, Dean Corden.
SATURDAY 21st JAN. DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
HAMWORTHY UTD RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
After missing out on last weeks game at Holt due to the frost, we were keen to get going again and the pitch looked in pretty good condition when we arrived at the County Ground. Sports current injury problems are well documented and with several players still missing there was a start for Jason Sims in the defence and Danny Call was recalled to the bench along with Youth team skipper Pete Ireland who was making his first team debut. Westlands were facing the strong wind in the first half but were soon pushing forward and in 9 minutes created the first chance of the game when Marc Caines shot just by the post. Down at the other end a Hamworthy player got his head to a free kick but put his effort over the top. In 16 minutes the lively Mike Rousell shot just past the post as Westlands went looking for that opening goal. It came in the 23rd minute and followed a good passing move down the right wing. Marc Caines eventually laid the ball across the edge of the box to Mike Rousell whose shot at goal seemed to be going wide until SAM JARMAN pounced to sidefoot the ball into the roof of the net. On the half-hour mark another name was added to the injury list when Matt Day was kicked in the face and had to be carted off to hospital for stitches to a nasty mouth wound. Matt was replaced by Dean Ritchie and Sports kept up the pressure on Hamworthy who couldn't seem to handle the wind behind them and kept overhitting their forwards. In the 35th minute Mike Rousell, who was giving the home defenders a torrid time, just failed to turn in a cross from Sam Jarman but it was the same pair who combined for the second goal. Sam cut in from the left and somehow squeezed the ball to MIKE ROUSELL who netted at the near post. That was the way it stood at half time and with the wind at our back, things looked good for the second half. The first chance came 4 minutes into the half when Mike Rousell blasted a good chance over from 7 yards out. We kept pressing and in the 55th minute Marc Caines hit the post following a Mike Rousell lay-off. Hamworthy had a few sporadic attacks but any danger was quickly snuffed out by George Mapletoft who didn't put a foot wrong at the back and so Ashley Knibbs in the Sports goal was never really tested. The third goal came in the 70th minute and came from a corner kick on the left. Mike Rousell sent in a vicious inswinger and a glance from SAM JARMAN's head helped the ball into the far corner. That was the end of the scoring and it only remained to be seen if Westlands could add to their tally. Marc Caines tried hard to get on the scooresheet but unfortunately he blazed over the bar in the 75th minute and saw the keeper tip over a netbound shot in the 80th minute. Mike Rousell retired with a knock after this and was replaced by Danny Call and a few minutes later Pete Ireland came on in place of Steve Lindegaard. There were no further goals and so the game ended with a 3-0 victory to Westlands who were clearly the better team on the day and mastered the windy conditions much better than their opponents. Also pleasing was another clean sheet for Ashley Knibbs.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Jason Sims, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Steve Lindegaard, Ollie Wake, Sam Jarman, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Dean Ritchie, Dan Call, Pete Ireland.
SATURDAY 7th JAN. DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 TINTINHULL 0
This was a game nobody wanted really, our second meeting with Tintinhull in 7 days and third in 8 weeks. Westlands started with exactly the same team as last week which is the first time this season we have done that, while Tintinhull made a couple of changes, most notable absentee being their big centre forward. In a funny way,Tintinhull seemed to benefit from his absence as they were first to settle, knocking the ball around rather than punting it up to the big lad. The visitors had a couple of early corners and it took about 10 minutes for Westlands to wake up from their slumbers, Dean Ritchie firing a shot just over the bar. The game was a bit messy, with some bad first touches and passes going astray, but we were putting a few moves together and began to look a bit more dangerous in our attacks. On 30 minutes we went in front. MATT DAY was fed out on the left by Dean Ritchie and he cut inside and scored at the second attempt. A couple of minutes later and it was looking bad for the visitors when DEAN RITCHIE banged in number two from close range. Tintinhull's best chance of scoring was from set pieces and a couple of soft free kicks given away gave them chances but we made the clearances when required. After the break it was a bit of a stalemate for a while with not much to get excited about. Ashley Knibbs in the Westlands goal made a couple of good saves and his counterpart in the Tintinhull goal denied Marc Caines by turning his shot away. As the game was drawing to a close we managed to stretch our lead to three. A corner on the left was driven into the near post by Mike Rousell and was turned into his own net (OG) by the Tintinhull defender on the post. That was the final moment of excitement and it finished 3-0 to Westlands to give us a welcome three points from what was a rather dull match. The only down side for Westlands were two rather nasty injuries picked up during the game, Dean Corden sustained an ankle injury which put him in crutches and Sam Farthing ended up in hospital when his shoulder dislocated again. Next week its Holt away, always a tough one.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Steve Lindegaard, Sam Farthing, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Mike Rousell, Ollie Wake, Ben Cochrane.
SATURDAY 31st DEC .DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
TINTINHULL 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 5
Westlands won in fine style at Tintinhull on Saturday in the final Magna Dorset Premier League match of the year, Local derbies are never easy but Sports got on top from the first whistle and apart from a 10 minute spell just after half-time, dominated the game. The first attempt at goal came after 2 minutes when Dean Corden got his head to a cross from the right and headed over the bar. We were looking dangerous down the right and in the 5th minute were awarded a free kick midway in theTintinhull half out on the right. Steve Lindegaard sent in a curling free kick which looped over the defenders and was met by MATT DAY coming round the back. Matty controlled the ball and fired a low shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net to put us one up. Westlands continued to press and the hosts were having to work hard to keep us at bay. In the 15th minute came goal number two and an excellent goal it was. Steve Burton drove out of defence and took the ball into theTintinhull half before knocking a crossfield pass out to MATT DAY on the left. This time the ball never touched the ground as Matt chested it down and hit a cracking volley which flew over the keeper into the far top corner. Two-nil up but still Westlands pressed forward and in the 20th minute were rewarded with goal number three. Steve Lindegaard sent a cross beyond the far post where Marc Caines headed it back into the goalmouth for DEAN CORDEN to turn it into the net from close range. With the score at 3-0 after 20 minutes we were in a commanding position and looked well in control. Tintinhull's only forays forward were restricted to long balls up to their big centre forward but with the Sports central defenders Steve Burton and Rich Lindegaard in commanding form we didn't look like losing a goal. Just before half time Dean Ritchie smashed in a fourth goal on the turn which the young linesman wrongly ruled out for offside.The half time whistle I expect brought welcome respite forTintinhull who could now regroup while for the Westlands lads it ended a most satisfactory 45 minutes. As we expected, our opponents came out fired up for the second half and had their best spell of the game. A barrage of crosses and throw-ins were chucked into the Westlands box and although there were a couple of anxious moments, we got numbers back and defended well. After about 10 minutes ofTintinhull pressure their number 8 had a pot-shot from about 20 yards which dipped and bounced off the top of the bar and over. That was the nearest they came to scoring, and with the initial surge over, Sports began to take control again and press Tintinhull back. On the hour mark came goal number four and a well worked goal it was. A lovely passing movement down the left involving three or four Westlands players ended with SAM JARMAN heading in the final cross at the far post. That was the final nail in the coffin and the game rather petered out after this with both teams bringing on subs and the pace dropping a bit. Nevertheless there was still time for Westlands to add another goal to their tally. Danny Call crossed from the right, theTintinhull keeper missed the ball and SAM FARTHING was on hand to turn it into the net. One last incident saw Ashley Knibbs dive to turn a low shot round the post in what was the last chance of the game. On reflection, a 5-0 scoreline was more than we could have hoped for, as these local derbies are always a potential banana skin, but it was an excellent performance from the lads and although, once again, we were forced into changes, you would never have known as everyone worked hard and did their job. Unfortunately due to some bizarre fixture arrangement we have to playTintinhull again next Saturday, this time at Alvington, so we'll have to put this match behind us and make sure we approach next week in the same manner as we did on Saturday.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Steve Lindegaard, Sam Farthing, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Ian Harris, Dan Call.
SATURDAY 17th DEC. DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
CRANBORNE 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
As I suggested in this weeks preview, this match proved to be a bit of a struggle with Westlands having to come from behind to win. Again we had players missing for one reason or another and Matt Newens made his first first-team appearance of the season in mid-field with Leo Hayward also called up from the reserves to take a place on the bench. It was also nice to see Matt Day return to a spot on the bench after his recent injury problems. The match kicked-off with Sports facing a bracing wind but we still controlled the match for long periods with the hosts relying on the odd breakaway. We were struggling a bit with our final ball into the box, one or two half chances were made but nothing to make me reach for my notebook. Just as it looked as if we would be going in at half-time scoreless, Cranborne were awarded a free kick about 35 yards out. The lad decided to have a pot at goal but as Ashley Knibbs the Sports keeper came to collect, the ball seemed to bounce up in front of him, hit his chest and bounced up for a Cranborne player to head into the net. It looked as if we were a bit back on our heels but some credit to Cranborne, they cashed in on probably the only decent chance they had in the half. One nil at half time was harsh on Westlands but we were confident we could turn it round in the second half. We quickly got into our stride and a few minutes in Rich Lindegaard burst forward and was unlucky to see his shot come back off the post. In the 55th minute, a little lob from Mike Rousell put Sam Farthing in behind the Cranborne defence but the keeper rushed out to block his attempt. A couple of minutes later Sam Jarman shot just over the crossbar and almost immediately we tried again this time Steve Lindegaard had his shot saved. Time was drifting on, and in the 70th minute Leo Hayward, who had come on as a sub, found himself with only the keeper to beat but his shot went past the far post. At last, a minute later, we equalised. MIKE ROUSELL got on the end of a Steve Lindegaard ball into the box and swivelled to knock it in from close range. Now we really had the bit between our teeth and it was one way traffic. Steve Burton was now pushing forward into attack with Matt Newens doing the protector role. And very effective he was too, cutting out any Cranborne attempts to break away with crunching tackles. Leo Hayward was also making his presence felt with his pace and quick feet causing the Cranborne defence problems. But still we were looking for that second goal and we were making clear chances now as the Cranborne defence tired. Mike Rousell blazed over the bar in the 75th minute and two minutes later George Mapletoft cut in from the left and shot just past the far post. In the 83rd minute Leo Hayward hit a cracking drive that beat the keeper all ends up but cannoned off the post and was cleared. We were getting a bit twitchy now with the minutes ticking away, but with 88 minutes showing on my watch we scored the winner. Leo Hayward put in a nice cross from the right wing and SAM JARMAN rose like a salmon to outjump the Cranborne defence and plant a header into the net. A cracking goal which sparked off great celebrations among the Westlands players. And why not, they got the points and deservedly so as they had shown great patience in the second half when it seemed a goal would never come. Make no mistake we deserved to win this match and with a bit of luck going our way we would have been comfortable. But thats the way it goes, sometimes you just have to grind out a result and thats what the lads did. From a spectators point of view it made for an exciting afternoon with the result undecided right to the end before that final goal sealed the three points for Westlands.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Ollie Wake, Rich Lindegaard, Matt Newens, Ben Cochrane, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Steve Lindegaard, Sam Farthing, Mike Rousell, George Mapletoft. Subs: Leo Hayward, Matt Day.
SATURDAY 10th DEC. DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 CHICKERELL UTD 1
Back to league football this week and a must-win match really against Chickerell Utd who had crept to within a point of us in recent weeks due to our spate of drawn games. We lined up with a couple of changes from last week. Sam Farthing made his first start of the season after his shoulder op and alongside him in midfield there was a debut appearance for new signing Keith Emerson. Andy Smith and Ian Harris dropped out with knocks. Westlands started well, keeping possession and knocking the ball around confidently. Chickerell also showed their quality in the opening minutes with a couple of quick breaks so the game was shaping up nicely when Sports went in front. Mike Rousell burst through, went round the keeper and was brought down for a penalty. SAM JARMAN stepped up and thumped it down the middle with the keeper diving to his right. So, 1-0 to Westlands but the lead didn't last long. Two minutes, to be precise, and Chickerell were awarded a penalty. Keith Emerson challenged a Chickerell attacker who was heading for the bye-line and appeared to lean on him slightly, enough to send the lad sprawling and for the referee to point to the spot. Appeals were waved away and the penalty was slotted into the corner to make it 1-1. Westlands continued to dominate but the build-up was fairly measured allowing the Chickerell defence time to regroup and subsequently finding a way through was proving difficult. A few half chances were made and one good one in the 35th minute when Mike Rousell was put through but the keeper blocked his shot. In the 40th minute came the breakthrough, MIKE ROUSELL, who was proving a bit of problem to the Chickerell defence, again found a way through and this time drove the ball past the keeper into the far corner. Just what we needed as that put us in at half-time 2-1 up and on a bit of a high. The second half saw Westlands again controlling possession but they appeared to have upped the pace a bit and the visitor's defence were having to work hard now to keep us at bay. In the 53rd minute we tightened the screw with the third goal. A free kick was awarded on the edge of the box and MARC CAINES curled it over the wall and into the corner of the net. A quality strike and one that really put paid to any hopes Chickerell may have had of salvaging the game. They had a go, and moved the ball well when in possession but they couldn't find that final pass and Ashley Knibbs in the Sports goal was not really troubled. Westlands kept pushing until the final whistle but the urgency had gone a bit, the three subs came on and we played out time with some good possession football. A final score of 3-1 was very satisfactory from our point of view and we can take positives from the return of Sam Farthing and the debut of Keith Emerson who looked a strong and accomplished player who will be a welcome addition to our squad for the testing months ahead.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Kieth Emerson, Ben Cochrane, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Sam Farthing, Ollie Wake, Marc Caines, Mike Rousell. Subs: Dean Ritchie, Steve Lindegaard, Tom Coggins.
SATURDAY 3rd DEC, S'SET SENIOR CUP, 3rd Rnd,
DUNDRY ATH 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
A trip to Dundry for the third round of the Somerset Senior Cup was a welcome distraction after a couple of tough league games. A brief inspection pre-match revealed the pitch was on a slope end-to-end, a bit boggy with an uneven surface and I thought it was a bit short lengthwise. Generally though it was OK and with the weather fine, a nice little clubhouse serving hot food, teas and beer we looked set for an enjoyable afternoon. Westlands showed one change from last saturday with Mike Rousell replacing the injured Dean Corden. Dundry kicked down the slope in the first half and were first to have a shot at goal with Ashley Knibbs diving to smother a low shot from twenty yards. The first half developed into a bit of a stalemate with both sides struggling to string passes together and tackles flying in as you would expect on the soft surface. Westlands, however, always looked more likely to score when they attacked and Mike Rousell tested the keeper with a fierce drive. Soon after Marc Caines shot just over and at the other end a Dundry forward squandered a decent opening by scuffing his shot wide. Half-time was 0-0 and although Sports had looked the more likely team to score it was a fair enough result at this stage. Looking forward to the second half, we were optimistic as we would have the benefit of the slope in the second half, and as Dundry had worked extremely hard to hold us in the first half we wondered if "tired legs" might have an effect as the game wore on. As the second half got under way it was noticeable that Westlands were controlling the play now, keeping Dundry mainly penned in their own half. We forced a series of corners, Mike Rousell hitting the post with one and Andy Smith heading just over from another. Eventually the breakthrough came in the 63rd minute. Marc Caines made a good run down the left and cut the ball back to IAN HARRIS who drove it low and hard into the far corner from 15 yards. Sports continued to press and the crucial second goal arrived in the 75th minute. Again Marc Caines was the provider with a sprint down the left wing and a first time cross which SAM FARTHING volleyed into the back of the net with his first touch of the ball after being brought on as a sub. Two cracking goals, and although Dundry continued to battle, the writing was on the wall and Ashley Knibbs in Sports goal was never really troubled. In the 80th minute a free kick from the left ended up in the back of the Dundry net after a glancing header from Dean Ritchie but the 'goal' was disallowed by the club linesman for offside. All that remained was for Sports to play out time and this they did without too much difficulty to complete a solid performance in a match that was always going to be tricky. Dundry were tough opponents but I felt they needed the boost of a goal to fire them up but that never really looked on the cards as the Westlands defence, well marshalled by skipper Rich Lindegaard, looked solid throughout. Next round is the first saturday in February and we're down to the last 16 so it could be interesting, I'll let you know who we've got as soon as the draw is announced.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Ollie Wake, Rich Lindegaard, Ben Cochrane, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Andy Smith, Mike Rousell, Ian Harris, Marc Caines. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Dean Ritchie, Sam Farthing, James Smith.
SATURDAY 26TH NOV, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
PORTLAND UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
After last week's tough away trip to second place Hamworthy Rec we were faced with another tester this week, away to top of the table Portland Utd. As usual, the wind was blowing a gale on Portland and the home side, having won the toss, chose to shoot against it in the first half. Westlands lined up with four changes from last week's side. Andy Smith, Dean Corden and Marc Caines all returned to the starting lineup along with a first start for Ollie Wake who joined us recently from Street. Mike Rousell, on the comeback trail after a knee op, was on the bench as manager Kevin Leigh shuffled the pack a bit. Sports started well, Steve Burton and Andy Smith spraying the ball around in midfield, and some good momentum was built up in the early exchanges. Gradually however, Portland got to grips with the game and one good passing move by our opponents saw their left winger in the clear but his shot fizzed past the far post. A couple of corners increased the pressure on Sports defence and in the tenth minute Portland spurned the chance to take the lead. Rich Lindegaard dived full length to block a shot and handled the ball in the box. Rich claimed it wasn't deliberate but after a discussion with the linesman the referee pointed to the spot. No complaints really as I expect if it had been at the other end we'd have been shouting for a penalty. Anyway, to our relief, and for the second week in a row, they missed the spot kick, keeper Ashley Knibbs diving low to his left to save. Portland continued to press for most of the first half with several dangerous crosses whizzing across the box but we kept our heads and when we had the chance, proved we were still in the game with breaks upfield. It was scoreless at half time, but as Portland had dominated the first half against the wind, we were a bit concerned about the second half when they would have it behind them. As the game got under way it looked as if our worst fears were being realised as Portland took the lead in the 48th minute. A throw in from the left was played across goal, George Mapletoft appeared to be pushed as he went to clear and the ball went to a Portland player whose shot was deflected past Knibbsy by a defender's boot. At this moment in time the writing looked on the wall for Sports but this team are battlers and from that moment on they took the game by the scruff of the neck and attacked Portland. Our opponents were being forced deeper and deeper by constant Westlands pressure and in the 55th minute a shot from Andy Smith flew just over the top. On the hour mark Mike Rousell replaced Ian Harris up front to give us fresh legs and increase the pressure on the home defence. It payed off in the 72nd minute when we equalised. Ollie Wake crossed from the right into the box, Mike Rousell challenged the centre-half and his half cleared header fell to DEAN CORDEN who hit it on the volley from the edge of the box. The ball dipped over the keeper and hit the back of the net before he could move. A classic Dean Corden goal and well deserved, but could Sports now go on and claim all three points. It looked as if we might as a couple of minutes later Portland were reduced to ten men when their skipper and centre half was sent off for a two-footed tackle. Portland had then settled for the point and they got numbers behind the ball and succeeded in frustrating us for the last 15 minutes, much the same as we had done at Ham Rec the week before. So, another draw, but is it a point gained or two lost ? This will only be apparent when we play these teams at Alvington later in the season but for the moment we can reflect on a good battling performance from the Westland lads, but credit really to both sides who gave a big crowd an exciting match under difficult conditions.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Ollie Wake, Rich Lindegaard, Ben Cochrane, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Andy Smith, Dean Corden, Ian Harris, Marc Caines. Subs: Mike Rousell, Tom Coggins.
SATURDAY 19TH NOV, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
HAMWORTHY RECREATION 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
With the squad already down to the bare bones, it was a bit of a blow when Marc Caines had to call off on Saturday morning due to family illness. Nevertheless it was an opportunity for Ian Harris to make his first start of the season up front with Sam Farthing being pulled out of the reserves match to fill the gap. A bit of a gamble this as Sam's only played 70 minutes of football this season, but with an away trip to Hamworthy Rec to negotiate, the manager needed someone he could rely on. The game started with Hamworthy on the attack and they virtually attacked non-stop for the first 15 to 20 minutes. Sports were having to work hard to keep them at bay and several corners and crosses were scrambled away before gradually we began to get a foothold in the game. In the midfield we began to win more of the ball and with the front men working hard the beleaguered defence got a chance to push out. A good move saw Sam Jarman in the clear down the left but his shot went wide of the far post. Then, just as we thought the pendulum was swinging our way, we went one behind in the 28th minute. Hamworthy got the break of the ball in midfield and a high through ball split the Westlands defence. The forward cleverly lobbed Sports keeper Ashley Knibbs as he came out but the ball hit the crossbar and rebounded back into play. Once again the ball fell kindly for the Hamworthy attacker and he smashed the rebound into the roof of the net. Just after this Dean Ritchie was forced to retire with an injury so things didn't look too good for us but the reaction from the team was first class, no heads dropped, and we immediately pushed forward looking for an equaliser. We didn't have long to wait. In the 35th minute Haydn Binding swung a free kick into the Hamworthy box and STEVE BURTON outjumped the home defenders and headed down into the corner of the net. This was a just reward for Steve who showed his experience throughout the match and had his best game yet in Westlands colours. Five minutes later Ashley Knibbs showed his quality as a shot stopper when he tipped a full blooded drive over the bar to keep Sports on level terms at the break. The second half started much the same as the first with Hamworthy pressing forward and Westlands having to defend in numbers. In the 50th minute Knibbsy had to look sharp to dive on a snap shot but still Rec were on the attack and we were finding it difficult to get out our own half. In the 75th minute a well struck free kick was heading for the top corner but once again Knibbsy got across to beat it away for a corner. In the 80th minute came a real moment of drama which could have spelt disaster for Westlands. As a Hamworthy forward tried to go through, a sports defender stuck out a leg and brought him down and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Rich Lindegaard, the Westlands captain, argued long and hard that the offence had been committed outside the box but the referee was adamant it was in and showed Rich a yellow card for protesting too long. In a moment of madness Rich Parkinson then offered his opinion to the referee and was promptly sent off ! Considering he had already been booked this was not the cleverest thing to do and it left us in a seemingly hopeless position, with a penalty to face and 10 more minutes to play with only 10 men. Well, the first problem was overcome when the penalty was blasted over the bar, much to our relief, but the second problem, seeing out the game with only 10 men, had still to be overcome. This was where the remaining Westlands players stood up to be counted. They virtually conceded the midfield and defended the edge of the box in numbers leaving just one man up. This had the effect of forcing Hamworthy to shoot from distance, and with our keeper in good form, the tactic worked. In the 85th minute the ball was headed just over from a corner and in the dying seconds a thumping drive flew just over the bar, but every other attack was stopped by a tackle or any shots blocked by Sports players who were defending doggedly. The final whistle blew to great relief and the point we gained was testament to a tenacious display in which we showed our battling qualities. The whole match was played at a fast and furious pace and was excellent entertainment for those who attended so credit to both teams for that. Last season in this fixture I thought we were the better side but we came away with nothing, this season we were on the back foot for most of the match but came away with a point. Funny old game ! Next week we are off to Portland and with two or three players returning to the squad it could be an interesting game.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, Rich Parkinson, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Tom Coggins, Haydn Binding, Sam Jarman, Dean Ritchie, Ian Harris. Subs: Sam Farthing, Steve Lindegaard, Ollie Wake.
SATURDAY 12th NOV, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 4 WEYMOUTH RESERVES 0
What a start we made to this match ! Gaining possession from kick-off Westlands pressed into the Weymouth half and as the ball was played into Tom Coggins on the edge of the box he was pushed over. The referee gave a free kick and MARC CAINES sent it over the wall and straight into the top corner of the net. Great start, but Sports weren't finished yet, and another slick move saw Dean Ritchie shoot just over from a Marc Caines cross. Weymouth couldn't live with Westlands fast passing and movement and in the 6th minute another lovely move down the right ended with George Mapletoft just failing to turn in Haydn's driven cross. It had to come and in the 10th minute DEAN RITCHIE cottoned on to a through ball and stabbed it past the keeper to make it 2-0 to Westlands. We continued to press and in the 16th minute Haydn Binding shot just over after a short corner. After our whirlwind start the game began to settle a little and Weymouth began to get some possession and push into the Sports half, but the end product wasn't there and Knibbsy was never troubled in the Westlands goal. Sports were still the more dangerous side and in the 39th minute we made it 3-0. George Mapletoft brought the ball out of defence and passed down the line to Sam Jarman who in turn fed DEAN RITCHIE. Dean drove into the box, shrugged off the defender's challenge and slotted the ball past the keeper at his near post to end a good move in style. So, 3-0 at half-time was a deserved outcome for a half that Westlands dominated and with the game all but won we weren't expecting too many fireworks in the second half. So it proved, with Sports probing to increase their tally and Weymouth working hard to keep a good shape and defend well. In the 55th minute George Mapletoft headed in a cross from the right which was ruled out for offside. Sports made their three substitutions and this perked things up for the last 10 minutes. Firstly, substitute Ian Harris headed just past after being set up by Dean Ritchie, then 2 minutes later, we made it 4-0. Marc Caines made a good run and cross out on the left wing which Ian Harris headed back across goal for SAM JARMAN to head in. Another good finish to a good move. With 2 minutes to go Weymouth were denied a consolation when they also had a 'goal' disallowed for offside. A 4-0 result is a good one no matter who you are playing, and this match once again proved the strength of the squad. We have two testing matches coming up now with away trips to Hamworthy Recreation and Portland in the next two weeks, but if we keep our performances up to this standard we'll give them a game.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Parkinson, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Ben Cochrane, Haydn Binding, Tom Coggins, Sam Jarman, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines. Subs: Steve Lindegaard, Ollie Wake, Ian Harris.
SATURDAY 5th NOV, SOMERSET SENIOR CUP, Rnd 2:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 TINTINHULL 0
Westlands made one change from last weeks disappointment at Blandford with George Mapletoft pushing forward down the left flank and Rich Parkinson coming in at the back. I bottled out of predicting the winner of this tie in my weekend preview but I should have had more faith as the Westland lads put me in my place by dominating proceedings from the kick-off. Tintinhull could hardly get a kick as Sports passed the ball around and probed for an early opening, but with Tintinhull's defence well organised it took until the 25th minute for the first good goal attempt when a Marc Caines shot went just by the post. The pressure was beginning to tell now and two minutes later MARC CAINES drifted into space, was picked out by a good ball from deep and turned to slot past the keeper into the far corner. A lovely goal well executed and well deserved. Tintinhull's only forays into the Westlands half were from set pieces but they failed to trouble our keeper Ashley Knibbs. Westlands meanwhile continued to press, Andy Smith and Sam Jarman had that extra quality in midfield and in the 35th minute we scored again to make it 2-0. Marc Caines movement was causing the Tintinhull defence problems and this time he was clean through with only the keeper to beat. The goalie made a good block with his legs but the ball broke to the dogged DEAN CORDEN who picked himself up off the ground and fired the ball into the net off the post. With Westlands still dominating it was no real surprise when number 3 came just before the break. Dean Ritchie drove into the Tintinhull box but was brought down for a penalty. The reliable SAM JARMAN stepped up and scored to make the half time score a resounding 3-0 to Westlands. We didn't really want half time to come as the game was going our way and we were controlling the match and the break would undoubtedly alter the flow of the game. And so it proved in the second half with Tintinhull, having nothing to lose, pushing men forward, and Westlands, with a three goal lead, just keeping it tight and getting behind the ball. Tintinhull had most of the possession in the early part of the second half, stringing some passes together but there was no real goal threat. In fact the best chance of the half fell to Westlands when Ben Cochrane got his head to a corner kick and the keeper tipped his goalbound effort over the bar at full stretch. The last bit of excitement in the game came in the 85th minute when Mr Brown penalised a Westlands defender for pushing in the box and pointed to the spot. But it wasn't Tintinhull's day as Ashley Knibbs managed to push the ball upwards onto the underside of the bar from where it bounced down onto the line and into Ash's grateful arms. That was the last throw of the dice and in the end Westlands played out time without having been really put under pressure. The only downside was we picked up a couple of niggly injuries but we are delighted to progress to the next round of the cup and also well pleased with the performance of the team in what could have been a tricky fixture.
SATURDAY 29th OCT, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
BLANDFORD UTD 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Unfortunately it was two points dropped but it was one of these games where you can't really understand how it happened. I suppose a combination of losing soft goals at one end and missing chances at the other isn't a winning combination but nevertheless I felt we were a bit unfortunate not to win the game. Credit to Blandford, they took their chances when they came along and thats the difference I suppose. As it turned out we got off to the worst possible start in this match going behind to a soft penalty in the third minute. The Blandford attacker pushed the ball past our defender and then ran straight into him and went to ground. I was surprised the referee fell for this old trick but he gave the penalty and Blandford duly scored. A couple of minutes later the Blandford number 10 turned his man nicely on the edge of the box and scuffed a shot into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0. Two goals down in five minutes was not the best position to be in but there was plenty of time left so no need to panic. Sure enough, Westlands soon got back in the game in the 11th minute when MARC CAINES smacked a Haydn Binding cutback into the back of the net. For the rest of the first half it was fairly even, both teams had their moments and we were just anticipating our half-time tea when disaster struck. A lovely interpassing movement between two Blandford players took the No 6 into Westlands box. A defender dived in, but was neatly sidestepped and the lad tucked the ball past Knibbsy into the far corner. So, half-time and back to a two-goal deficit. In the second half Westlands took control and kept Blandford on the defensive. A couple of good chances were created and missed before we eventually pulled one back in the 62nd minute. A cracking goal it was too, the ball was eventually cleared after a corner kick but fell to SAM JARMAN who was lurking outside the box and from 23 yards out he smashed a shot into the corner of the net. Eight minutes later and Sports were level, Marc Caines swung in a good cross from the right wing and SAM JARMAN headed powerfully in. With 20 minutes to go we felt we could go on to win the match but it wasn't to be. We had a few chances, the best falling to Dean Ritchie who was clean through but the keeper rushed out to block the shot with his legs. Blandford rallied a bit late on and the Westland keeper was called upon to make a couple of smart saves so in the end a draw was probably a reasonable result but I just couldn't help thinking it was one that got away. Somerset Cup next week and the first visit of our local rivals Tintinhull to Alvington for what should be an interesting match.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Haydn Binding, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines, Tony Cunningham. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Steve Lindegaard, Tom Coggins.
SATURDAY 22nd OCT, DPL CUP, RND 1:
BRIDPORT RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
Having negotiated a tricky away trip to Sturminster Marshall in the Preliminary Round, we had another difficult draw with an away match at Bridport in the first round proper. Back in early september we beat the Bees 2-1 at Alvington in a league match so we knew we had a tough task awaiting us at St Mary's Field. Sports made only one change from the team that beat Holt last week, Ashley Knibbs being preferred in goal to Jason Bundy. Westlands started the game well, keeping possession and pressing forward into the Bridport half but neither side were able to create a really good chance. Westlands, however, looked the most likely and eventually opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. DEAN CORDEN sent Haydn Binding away down the right wing, Haydn skinned the fullback and crossed for Dean to volley into the back of the net. A lovely goal and deserved at this stage, but for some strange reason we then went off the boil for the next 20 minutes, giving the ball away and generally getting in each other's way. Nevertheless we were still competing well for the ball, and our defence looked reasonably sound so no damage was done during our bad patch. I can only really remember Bridport having two shots at goal and neither of these troubled our keeper. Just before half-time Haydn put a free kick into the box which Andy Smith met with a flicked header which came back off the crossbar and was scrambled clear. The second half was not a great spectacle, Westlands were in control and Bridport were working hard to try to stop us playing. Subsequently, they were creating nothing and our attacks were being rebuffed by force of numbers in the home defence. Bridport were proving difficult to break down but in the 57th minute Marc Caines ran on to a through ball, shrugged off the defenders challenge, and bore down on goal with only the keeper to beat. In my view Marc then chose the difficult option as he tried to chip the ball over the advancing keeper who made an easy save and the chance was gone. In the 65th minute Westlands got that all important second goal. Dean Corden was in their box but heading away from goal when a defender decided to make a tackle which brought Dean to his knees. To be fair to Dean he tried to scramble to his feet and play on but by this time the referee had blown his whistle and pointed to the spot for a penalty. SAM JARMAN slammed in the spot kick giving the keeper no chance. After this the game petered out really as Bridport were unable to mount any meaningful attacks and Westlands, with a 2-0 lead, were not under pressure to push forward so therefore played out time fairly comfortably. Not a classic this one, but the challenges were pretty physical at times and I thought the referee, Mr Underhay, had a pretty good game and kept things going so I'll give him my man of the match award for this week.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Haydn Binding, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Steve Lindegaard, Tony Cunningham.
SATURDAY 15th OCT, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 HOLT UNITED 1
The visit of Holt is always an attractive fixture, and with the sun shining a decent crowd turned out at Alvington despite Yeovil Town entertaining Carlisle just up the road. There was one change to the lineup that failed to find the net last week at Swanage, Dean Ritchie coming in at centre forward in place of Tony Cunningham. Dean could have opened his account in the 2nd minute but shot just past the post. Sports were driving forward and two minutes later Ben Cochrane got his head to a corner only to see his effort come off the post. Mike Rousell just failed to get on the end of a Sam Jarman cross as Sports continued to press. In the 14th minute Ben Cochrane again rose to meet a corner but this time his header was over the top and then Dean Ritchie hit the post from an acute angle after a good run down the left wing. A couple of minutes later Holt's centre forward, who looked a nippy player, shot over the bar as they tried to come back into the game. In the 29th minute Westlands at last took the lead, George Mapletoft drove in a low cross from the left and MATT DAY dived full length to glance a header into the corner of the net. We were having a good half and in the 37th minute Ben Cochrane again climbed to get his head to a corner this time nodding it down for SAM JARMAN to hook into the net and put us 2-0 in front. In the second half, with nothing to lose, Holt pushed more men forward and pressed hard in the first 10 minutes of the half in an effort to reduce the arrears. Their best chance came from a corner palmed out by Sports keeper which was then lobbed back over his head but also over the bar. But back came Westlands and once again we hit the woodwork when Mike Rousell got on the end of a Matt Day cross. Unbelievably Mike then hit the post again a few minutes later after the Holt keeper blocked a Sam Jarman shot which was quickly followed by another Ben Cochrane header from a corner which was tipped round he post. In the 75th minute came the final nail in Holt's coffin. Mike Rousell was brought down just inside the box and as a result of the Holt goalkeeper's protests he was shown the red card by the referee. SAM JARMAN stuck away the spot kick to make it 3-0. Holt, obviously stung by that decision came storming back straight away and scored following a goalmouth scramble at a corner. It was only a consolation however and Westlands played out time to secure the three points. After last week's slip-up this was a 'must win' game and the lads rose well to the occasion and deserved the victory.
Westland's team:- Jason Bundy, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Haydn Binding, Dean Corden, Dean Ritchie, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Marc Caines, Steve Lindegaard, Tony Cunningham.
SATURDAY 8th OCT, DPL:
SWANAGE TOWN 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
It was a long drive home from Swanage on Saturday after seeing Westlands completely control a match from start to finish yet come away empty handed. Westlands attacked from the kick-off and chances were soon being created with good passing and movement. It seemed only a matter of before we took the lead we deserved, but gradually the pattern of the game began to emerge. We had corner after corner, shots flew past the post or were blocked by defenders, headers went over the bar and when we did get anything on target the keeper saved it. Down at the other end Jason Bundy made a cracking save when Swanage had a breakaway attack but apart from that it was one-way traffic in that first half. Its an old adage that you have to score when you're on top and at the half time break we wondered if we would rue those missed chances. In the second half we continued to attack but still with no success and then disaster struck in the 65th minute when Swanage scored with a breakaway goal. Back came Westlands but our efforts were getting a bit desparate now and again the keeper made a couple of unbelievable saves one in particular from Mike Rousell at close range. The final chance came to Andy Smith with a header at the far post that I thought was in but just slipped by the post. It was one of these games, I'm afraid, but credit to our opponents they stuck to the task, defended bravely in numbers and scored when they got the chance, something we failed to do. The Swanage keeper also had a game to remember, but for Westlands its a day to forget, apart from our failure to convert our chances we dominated against a good side so we can take the positives from that.
Westland's Team:- Jason Bundy, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Haydn Binding, Dean Corden, Tony Cunningham, Mike Rousell, Matt Day. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Dean Ritchie.
SATURDAY 1st OCT, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
PARLEY SPORTS 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Amazingly, it was a sweltering hot day at Parley and with Sports not having played for two weeks it was hardly surprising we were a bit sluggish in the first half. The first thing we noticed was that there were no assistant officials provided by the league and we were relying on club linesmen, which was to be a bit of a problem later on. Westlands created the first real chance of the game when a cross from the left was fired past by Haydn Binding who was making a welcome return from injury. It was all very scrappy from then on but we were creating any chances that were made without really troubling their keeper too much. At the other end Jason Bundy could have brought his deck chair out and topped up his tan. In the 40th minute we went ahead. Dean Corden put MIKE ROUSELL through and he held off the defender's challenge and scored via the keepers legs. A few minutes later Westlands had a 'goal' ruled out by the linesman for offside causing strong protests by the Westlands players. One nil to Westlands was a fair result at half time for although we were below our best Parley hadn't offered much to the proceedings. We looked a lot brighter in the second half and within 2 minutes Sam Jarman hit the bar with a good effort. Westlands were in control now but it took until the 70th minute to get that all important second goal. A free kick from deep was flighted into the box by Rich Lindegaard, Aaron Mead flicked it on and SAM JARMAN blasted it into the net. It was all over now but we were still to be treated to the best goal of the game. A cross from the right was cleared by the Parley defence but only as far as AARON MEAD who, from 25 yards, blasted an unsaveable shot into the top corner. A fitting way way to end the scoring in a match that we never looked like losing.
Westland's team:- Jason Bundy, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Aaron Mead, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Haydn Binding, Dean Corden, Mike Rousell, Marc Caines, Tony Cunningham. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Dean Ritchie, Ant Herrin.
SATURDAY 17th SEPT, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
STURMINSTER MARSHALL 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
A deja-vu feeling about this match as the similarities with our cup tie two weeks ago were uncanny. Firstly we had an identical scoreline with Sports once again coming out 3-2 victors. Secondly, the same three players scored our goals as last time. Thirdly, we had an almost identical swirling wind coming down the pitch with Sports once again kicking against it in the first half, and fourthly the home team went ahead in the 13th minute. This time it was a penalty kick which put Sturminster in front, a soft decision greeted with quizzical looks from both away and home supporters. The spot kick was buried to put us behind but we knew we could come back from that as we had started quite well and were looking dangerous going forward. As early as the first minute Matt Day had ripped open the home defence and he continued to cause them problems as he had in the first game. In the 25th minute Sports equalised, Sam Jarman won the ball from a hesitant defender, cut it back to MARC CAINES on the edge of the box and he scored with a curling shot into the far top corner. Sports were looking quite solid at the back and were always threatening on the attack particularly down the flanks. Just before half-time, we went in front. MIKE ROUSELL driving a free kick from the edge of the box low into the far corner. With a 2-1 lead at the break we were in a better position than last time when we were 2-1 down so we were confident we could take control in the second half. That was exactly how it worked out and within 3 minutes we almost extended our lead. Again a free kick on the edge of the box was smashed goalwards by Mike Rousell but this time the ball hit the crossbar. Sports continued to press and eventually got that important third goal in the 55th minute. The Sturminster keeper came rushing out of his goal to clear but made a bit of a hash of it and SAM JARMAN took advantage to fire into the unguarded net. Marc Caines was next to try his luck, shooting just past the post, while at the other end Jason Bundy in the Sports goal tipped a Sturminster shot over the top. In the 75 minute Sam Jarman put a shot just by the post as Sports continued to control the game, before a bizarre goal shocked Westlands. A harmless looking shot from 30 yards seemed to be sailing well over bar when suddenly the wind caught it and it dropped over the backpedalling keeper into the back of the net. That set the match up for a nervy final 10 minutes but Sports stayed cool and almost regained their 2 goal lead when Tony Cunningham rattled the post with a free-kick in the 86th minute. It was a case of playing out time now which Sports did very well to take the three points. Always good to get maximum points away from home but its one game at a time and we must now look forward to Weymouth next saturday.
Westland's team:- Jason Bundy, Rich Lindegaard, Jason Sims, George Mapletoft, Aaron Mead, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Mike Rousell, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Tony Cunningham, Steve Lindegaard.
SATURDAY 10th SEPT, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 2 BRIDPORT RESERVES 1
With Sports resources still a bit stretched defensively due to injuries and suspension, it was a slight concern that we faced a team who had put eight past Holt the week before. Andy Smith was also missing from the starting line-up, Steve Burton took his place, and new signing Jason Bundy made his debut in goal. As usual, though, Westlands started brightly, keeping the ball and putting Bridport on the back foot. The first real chance came in the tenth minute when Steve Burton played a lovely one-two with Marc Caines but his finish was read by the keeper who blocked the shot with his legs. A couple of minutes later Marc Caines headed a Mike Rousell cross over the top as Sports looked for the opening goal. Bridport were having their moments with some quick breaks out of defence which gave the home defence some problems and in 20 minutes Rich Parkinson cleared a shot off the line after a bit of a goalmouth scramble. On the half hour Sports took the lead. A long diagonal cross from George Mapletoft eluded the Bridport defence and fell nicely for MIKE ROUSELL who drove in the opener. The game continued fairly even after this until a couple of minutes before the break when a Bridport attack found the Sports defence isolated and the right winger was totally unmarked to knock in the equaliser. A soft one to lose, seemed to be a lack of bodies getting back to defend and we were punished for it. A slightly downbeat feel to halftime after the equaliser but generally the opinion was it was a game we could, and should, win. Sports went looking for goals after the break and new keeper Jason Bundy, who had looked confident throughout, had very little to do for the whole of the second half. Bridport were still proving a tough nut to crack, however, but we were pressing hard and eventually the goal came in the 67th minute. Some good movement up front saw Marc Caines put over a nice cross from the left and MATT DAY outjumped the Bridport defenders to powerfully head in the winner. This seemed to take the wind out Bridport’s sails and more chances were now being created but unfortunately not taken. In 75 minutes Jason Sims prodded a corner over the bar, this was followed by Tony Cunningham knocking a Mike Rousell cross over the top and finally, two minutes from the end Mike Rousell blasted over from 5 yards after good work down the right by Steve Lindegaard. That was it, a good 2-1 win for Westlands and another three points in the bag, but its early days yet.
Westland's team:- Jason Bundy, Rich Parkinson, George Mapletoft, Steve Burton, Jason Sims, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Lewis Morgan, Mike Rousell, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Dean Ritchie.
SATURDAY 3rd SEPT, DPL CUP, Prelim Rnd
STURMINSTER MARSHALL 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
This match was played in cup-tie spirit with both sides getting stuck in early on to try and get that physical advantage. Subsequently the referee seemed to be constantly blowing for free kicks with the result that neither team could put any passes together. There was a strong blustery wind in the home teams favour but we were having our share of attacking moves and Andy Smith shot over the bar followed by Mike Rousell driving a free kick into the wall. Then James Smith in the Westlands goal had to look sharp to turn a shot round. In 13 minutes the deadlock was broken by Sturminster Marshall. That blustery wind was unsettling the Sports defence and when George Mapletoft miscued a header back across his own goal the forward smashed it in. Sports next chance came when Sam Jarman was put through but the keeper rushed out to block his attempt with his legs. A couple of minutes later though we were level. SAM JARMAN was pushed over in the box and he belted in the spot kick giving the keeper no chance. Sports had several chances to go ahead after this but they were scrambled away by the home defence. Then, just before the break, a Sports defender and the keeper made a mess of clearing a long ball and the striker had an easy job of lobbing the ball into the unguarded goal. We were a bit unlucky to be down at the break but the home side punished us for errors at the back and it was going to be a tough task in the second half. Sports started the second half on the front foot and a mesmerising run from Matty Day ended with MARC CAINES knocking in his cross for the equaliser in the 50th minute. Sports were on top and eventually the pressure told in the 70th minute. The provider was again Matt Day whose cross to the far post was headed in by MIKE ROUSELL for what proved in the end to be the winning goal. Sturminster battled back after going behind but couldn't break down the Sports defence well marshalled by Jason Sims, and their best chance came in the dying seconds when a well struck free kick whistled just past the post. Not a great spectacle this one, just a hard fought cup tie, and we were well pleased to come through a difficult draw.
Westland's team:- James Smith, Rich Parkinson, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Mike Rousell, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Jason Sims, Steve Lindegaard, Tony Cunningham.
TUESDAY 30th AUGUST, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 0 WINCANTON TOWN 2
Sports suffered in the evening gloom and two late goals by the visitors gave us our first taste of defeat this season. Westlands were never firing on all cylinders, credit to Wincanton for that, but in a predictably tough match, we were just not up to the mark. Once again, as in last years fixture, the visitors fielded their long throw expert, and twice in the early minutes we had to scramble high throws away. It was all Wincanton early on but after 10 minutes we began to push forward and created a chance in the 20th minute when Mike Rousell shot over the bar. Five minutes later Ashley Knibbs had to look sharp to turn a low shot round the post. Back at the other end a nice move by Sports saw the ball end up in the back of the net but the flag was up for offside. Half-time came and 0-0 was probably a fair result. Too many long hopeful balls from back to front for my liking, from both teams, so not a great game to report on. In the second half we perked up a bit and began to push Wincanton back into their own half. We were starting to create a few half chances which were squandered but all the same we were getting on top and I began to feel a goal was coming. Unfortunately it did, at the other end ! Another of these predictable long throws seemed to catch the Sports defence napping and the ball was knocked across goal for a tap-in at the back post. Sports tried to come back from this but the cohesion was just not there to produce an equaliser. The final nail in the coffin came with about 5 minutes to go and was another defensive blunder. Rich Parkinson’s header back to his keeper was woefully short , Knibbsy raced out of his box to attempt to head clear, missed the ball and the Wincanton player only had to walk it into the empty net. So, a 2-0 defeat leaves us in second place one point behind the leaders, not bad after six games.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Jason Sims, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Steve Burton, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Mike Rousell, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Tony Cunningham, Rich Parkinson
SATURDAY 27th AUGUST, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 POOLE BOROUGH 1
Someone reminded me just before kick-off that Poole Borough were the last side to beat us at Alvington in the League back in February 2010, and when I saw that skipper Rich Lindegaard and joint top scorer Dean Corden were added to our long list of injured players I got slightly concerned. I needn't have worried as Sports went about their business as usual, and in 14 minutes went ahead when a long cross from Steve Lindegaard to the far post was knocked in by MARC CAINES. We were controlling the game at this point but you could see Poole were a good side and we had to be on our toes at the back as they broke quickly. In the 27th minute we increased our lead to two with another good goal. An inswinging corner from stand-in skipper Lewis Morgan was met by SAM JARMAN who headed in from close range to give us some breathing space. Not for long though as three minutes later Ben Cochrane jumped into a tackle in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. When I played you were told always to stay on your feet in the box, but never mind, we'll forgive Ben for this one as he has been in commanding form for us this season even though he's been struggling with a groin injury. Anyway the Poole lad buried the spot kick and brought it back to 2-1. Spurred on by this we pressed again and didn't take too long to restore the two goal advantage. Lewis Morgan started the move in mid-field with a good turn and pass to Tony Cunningham out on the left. His cross was flicked on by Matt Day at the near post and turned into the net by MARC CAINES sliding in at the back. A good goal to send Sports in with a comfortable 3-1 half-time lead. The second half was a bit of a disappointment. With the wind at their back Poole had a bit more pressure but didn't trouble Knibbsy too much. Their best chances were actually free kicks that we needlessly conceded around the edge of our own box. Luckily they didn't have a dead ball specialist or these slips could have been costly. At the other end Sports were cutting through the Poole defence with ease and their goal led a charmed life. Several one on ones were missed and other good chances were shot wide or over the target. Although perhaps not a vintage Westlands performance, the lads played really well considering the team had to be shuffled around a bit due to injuries and the fact that Poole were the best side we have played so far this season. So another welcome three points in the bag and hopefully the visit of Wincanton Town on Tuesday night will bring us three more.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Jason Sims, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Steve Lindegaard, Lewis Morgan, Tony Cunningham, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Steve Burton, Mike Rousell, Leo Hayward.
TUESDAY 23rd AUGUST, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 8 SHAFTESBURY 0
Another high scoring win for Westlands in the Magna Dorset Premier League as they banged in eight goals without reply against struggling Shaftesbury at Alvington. It only took Sports 9 minutes to open the scoring. A pin-point cross by Steve Lindegaard found TONY CUNNINGHAM at the far post and he shot across the keeper into the far corner. Sports were dictating play and in 20 minutes extended their lead. Lewis Morgan swung in a corner from the right and DEAN CORDEN headed powerfully into the net from close range. A succession of gilt-edged chances were then made and missed by Sports before a BEN COCHRANE header from a Steve Lindegaard free-kick gave the half-time score a more realistic look at 3-0. Unfortunately for Shaftesbury, Sports did not repeat Saturday’s second half lethargy and within three minutes of the restart notched goal number four. Steve Lindegaard was again the provider, driving into the box and squaring for SAM JARMAN to sidefoot in. In 65 minutes the lead was increased to five this time from the penalty spot. SAM JARMAN was brought down just inside the box and picked himself up to blast in the spot-kick. Ten minutes later, 6-0, DEAN CORDEN charged through a bewildered Shaftesbury rearguard and blasted the ball past the keeper who had no chance. With the darkness closing in, George Mapletoft fed SAM JARMAN with a sliderule pass and he ran through to net with ease and complete his hat-trick and Sports seventh. There was just time in the fading light for Sports to crown a memorable night with the best goal of the game. The ball was laid back to Rich Parkinson about 40 yards out. He pinged it into Tony Cunningham who chested it down for SAM JARMAN to drive into the net on the half-volley. A superb goal to end the match and a good alround performance from Sports. Next up it’s the visit of Poole Borough to Alvington and this will no doubt provide us with our toughest test yet. Borough have a good record at Alvington so we will need to be at our best to maintain our challenge.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, Jason Sims, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Steve Lindegaard, Dean Corden, Lewis Morgan, Tony Cunningham. Subs: Rich Parkinson, Leo Hayward, Jon Ritchie.
SATURDAY 20th AUGUST, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 4
Merley Cobham has been a happy hunting ground for Westlands in recent years and so it proved yesterday with Sports romping to an unassailable 4-1 half-time lead and then switching off a bit in the second half. Understandable really with several players carrying injuries and games coming thick and fast at the moment. However there's no let up and with the next fixture on Tuesday against Shaftesbury this is where the larger squad we have this season will come into play. Back to that first half at Cobham, Sports were a little slow out the starting blocks but once they switched on the hosts were in trouble. In 10 minutes DEAN CORDEN charged through and was brought down on the edge of the box. Rich Lindegaard swung in a cross and Dean headed past the static keeper to open the scoring. Two minutes later Dean could have scored his second when the ball came to him six yards out, but he managed to stab wide. Sports were in command and in the 23rd minute scored a well-worked goal. A short corner was taken to Lewis Morgan whose cross to the far post was headed back across goal by Ben Cochrane for TONY CUNNINGHAM to nod in from close range. Sports were cruising a bit now and paid the price in the 39th minute. The ball was given away in midfield and the Cobham player drove in a shot from 20 yards which went low into the bottom corner. This was the wake-up call Sports needed and within 2 minutes we had extended our lead to two again. TONY CUNNINGHAM volleyed a George Mapletoft cross into the roof of the net from close range. Not content with that, Sports added a fourth goal just before the break. It was that man TONY CUNNINGHAM again, this time he gathered in a pass from Rich Lindegaard, turned, and shot low into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick. And so the half ended 4-1 to Sports and we looked forward to maybe adding a couple more in the second half. However it was not to be and a more even second half petered out with very few chances being created at either end. Six points on the road from two away games is always good news regardless of the opposition and Sports now have a run of three home games against Shaftesbury, Poole Borough and Wincanton within the next 10 days so there are valuable points to be gained there.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, Rich Parkinson, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Lewis Morgan, Tony Cunningham, Matt Day. Subs: Jason Sims, Marc Caines, Steve Lindegaard.
WEDNESDAY 17th AUGUST, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
SHERBORNE TOWN RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 6
The annual visit to Raleigh Grove is usually a tricky fixture, but Westlands emerged from this encounter with the three points and six goals in the bag. Although they fought hard throughout, Sherborne always looked second best in this match, Sports dominating proceedings from kick-off. Sam Jarman had an early chance when one on one with the keeper but screwed his shot wide of the far post. Ben Cochrane was next to come close, sending a header just over from a corner kick. It looked as if a goal was coming and on the half hour DEAN CORDEN put us ahead with a thumping effort from 35 yards which flew past the keeper. Sports continued to dominate and on 35 minutes made it 2-0. Rich Lindegaard took a quick free kick to LEWIS MORGAN who smashed a shot from 20 yards into the top corner. That was the half-time score and there only looked one winner in this match and that was Westlands. Any hopes Sherborne may have had of a fight-back in the second half were quickly dashed shortly after the break when they were reduced to 10 men. Sam Jarman was put through and as he advanced on goal was dragged back by a desperate Sherborne defender. The referee showed him just a yellow card but as he had been booked already off he went. Sports were battering Sherborne now and Marc Caines had an attempt cleared off the goal line. The pressure paid off, however, in the 65th minute when BEN COCHRANE got his head to a corner and scored to make it three nil. Sherborne, with nothing to lose, had their best spell of the match now, and Ashley Knibbs had to do a bit of work to preserve his clean sheet. Back came Sports though and DEAN CORDEN dribbled through a static Town defence to make it four. Sports used their substitutes now with the points in the bag and TONY CUNNINGHAM quickly made his presence felt by coolly sidefooting in the fifth goal in the 82nd minute. The final nail in Sherborne's coffin was knocked in by RICH PARKINSON who exchanged passes with Lewis Morgan and slotted in from an acute angle. As is normal with these games the tackles were flying in at times and with a hard surface it was difficult get our passing game going. Nevertheless we'll take 6-0 and look forward to the next match, Merley Cobham away on saturday.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, Rich Parkinson, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Lewis Morgan, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Jason Sims, Tony Cunningham, Jon Ritchie.
SATURDAY 13th AUGUST, DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE:
WESTLAND SPORTS 11 HAMWORTHY UTD RES 0
Westlands opened the new season with a brand new “argentinian” look both in their appearance and flamboyant style. It took the new look Sports only 5 minutes to score their first goal, Matt Day firing over a cross which was volleyed in by MARC CAINES. Sports were attacking at pace and their movement had the visitors defence all at sea. In the tenth minute it was 2-0. Matt Day was again the provider, skinning his full back and whipping in a cross which SAM JARMAN headed powerfully in. Two minutes later, game over as Marc Caines got to the byeline on the right and centred for DEAN CORDEN to sidefoot home and make it 3-0. In the 17thminute it was four, Sam Jarman’s pass was picked up by DEAN CORDEN 18 yards out and he smashed the ball into the top corner. With 4 goals in the first 17 minutes of the new season, Sports were buzzing but Hamworthy somehow managed to battle through to half-time without any further damage thanks to the linesman’s flag on a couple of occasions.
I expected Hamworthy to come out battling for their pride in the second half but it only took Sports 3 minutes to add to their misery and put their heads back down. SAM JARMAN was put clean through and he slotted number five past the advancing keeper. Our visitors were totally demoralised now and the goals came thick and fast.
52 minutes, 6-0, MARC CAINES tapping in from close range.
55 minutes, 7-0, LEWIS MORGAN drove low into the bottom corner after a mazy run by Rich Parkinson.
57 minutes, 8-0, TONY CUNNINGHAM intercepted a short back pass and delicately chipped the keeper.
65 minutes, 9-0, LEWIS MORGAN with another low shot.
67 minutes, 10-0, SAM JARMAN celebrated an opening day hat-trick when he turned the centre-half and slotted into the corner.
88 minutes, 11-0, STEVE LINDEGAARD sidefooted in from 6 yards to complete the scoring.
One of these day’s for Hamworthy I’m afraid, and to complete their misery they had a player carried off with an ankle injury just before the end. For Sports it was a tremendous performance on a day when everything went to plan. There will be stiffer tasks ahead but for the moment we will enjoy being top of the league.
Westland's team:- Ashley Knibbs, Rich Lindegaard, George Mapletoft, Andy Smith, Ben Cochrane, Haydn Binding, Sam Jarman, Dean Corden, Lewis Morgan, Marc Caines, Matt Day. Subs: Steve Lindegaard, Tony Cunningham, Rich Parkinson.