Saturday 12th August, Dorset Premier League, WAREHAM RANGERS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
Another new season and a nice sunny afternoon for the kick-off at Wareham. We had beaten our hosts twice last season so with some new faces in the squad, confidence was high for the league opener. Westlands were soon pushing the home team back and the first chance was created when Will Ireland fired in a low cross that Dwayne Forshaw just failed to connect with at the far post. A few minutes later a good passing move from Westlands ended with the keeper saving Dwayne Forshaw’s shot. Sports were giving the Wareham defence a testing time down the flanks with Dwayne Forshaw and Matt Day proving a handful. In the 15th minute Westlands took the lead with good finish. Sam Plumley made good headway down the right and his cross found its way to LEO HAYWARD who turned and smashed the ball into the net from 15 yards giving the keeper no chance. It was no surprise really as Westlands were well on top with Wareham’s only outlet a long ball over the top to try and put their speedy winger away. Still Westlands pressed and should have increased the lead when Dwayne Forshaw blazed over from about 10 yards out. In the 23rd minute Wareham had their best chance of the half when another long ball put their winger clean through, but Sports keeper Sam Watts rushed out to dive at his feet and block the final shot. A reminder however for Westlands although up until then the back four had looked very secure with Jonny Manley looking dominant. After this minor scare it was back to Westlands pressure and another unbelievable miss. Sam Plumley made a great run down the right and crossed to the near post. Matt Day came racing in and met the ball flush with his head about two yards out. Unfortunately he caught it flush in the face and the ball flew inches past the outside of the post when it looked as if it had to finish in the back of the net ! Before the break we fashioned a couple more chances but couldn’t add to our lead. First Jonny Manley headed a Will Ireland free kick over the top and then Leo Hayward drove a shot on the run past the far post.
A half time lead is always good but we had squandered several chances in the first half so we hoped we wouldn’t live to regret these misses!
The second half started much as the first half ended with Westlands trying desperately to find that second goal. Matt Day was first to try his luck with a run and shot that the keeper saved easily. Then Dwayne Forshaw worked himself a good shooting chance but blasted his shot over the bar. Then a real let off for the home side. Leo Hayward latched on to a Phil Wells through ball and raced clear of the home defence into the box. A defender grabbed his shirt and tried to haul him back but Leo shrugged him off, stayed on his feet but put his shot wide of the target. The referee had put his whistle to his mouth when he saw the tug but didn’t blow as presumably he gave Leo the advantage as he stayed on his feet. However when the subsequent shot was missed surely the penalty should have been given ! In the 58th minute, a great Sam Plumley cross picked out Leo Hayward free at the far post but he fluffed his shot. We were now 15 minutes into the second half and Westlands had created four chances without scoring so at this point the first substitution was made with Leo Hayward being replaced by Louis Irwin. Ant Herrin moved up front with Louis taking his midfield slot. In the 67th minute we almost got the goal we were looking for. Matt Day blasted a shot at goal which the keeper turned round the post at full stretch. From the corner Henry Lawrence-Napier got in front of the keeper and powered a header into the roof of the net. The sigh of relief from the Westlands contingent was stifled when the referee disallowed the ‘goal’ and blew for a free kick to Wareham. At this point we began to feel a little concerned as you just have a feeling sometimes that this is not your day ! Wareham brought on some subs and began to find some space in midfield to pass the ball around and gradually they began to push forward. Another substitution for Sports with 15 minutes left saw Josh Payne come on in place of Dwayne Forshaw as we still looked for that elusive second goal. Perhaps we should have settled for the one we had as in the 80th minute the home side equalised. A Wareham player shot and the ball fell kindly to one of their subs who coolly took the ball round the keeper and slotted into the empty net. A nice bit of composure from the Wareham player there, something that had been lacking in the away team’s efforts. Westlands responded with an attack down the right. Will Ireland put over a cross which Ant Herrin flicked goalwards with the outside of his boot. The keeper was beaten but the ball hit the far post, bounced out and was cleared. Sports were struggling a bit now as Wareham had overloaded the midfield and Westlands were still pushing men up looking for another goal. We paid the penalty with three minutes to go. A deep cross from the left was put back into the centre where a Wareham player was first to react and he drove the ball into the net for the winning goal.
A cruel blow to Westlands but we had sufficient chances to have been out of sight in this game but couldn’t find that finishing touch in front of goal. Wareham, to their credit kept plugging away in the second half and when their chances came they took them. We were also on the wrong end of a couple of decisions which kept it at 1-0 keeping the home sides hopes alive. Not the start to the season that Westlands had hoped for but maybe the wake up call they require, we shall see.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to JONNY MANLEY for a solid debut at the heart of Sports defence. Some good defending and good distribution of the ball kept Sports on the front foot especially in the first half.
Saturday 19th August, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 1 HAMWORTHY RECREATION 0
Our first home match of the season saw a decent turnout on a fine but blustery afternoon. You have to go back to season 2012 to find the last time Sports beat Ham Rec in a league game so we were keen to end that run. In addition, our poor result on the opening day of the season meant we really had to get something from this match or we would be playing catch up for the rest of the season. We had four changes from the Wareham game with Scott Smith, Jamie Green, Jamie Irwin and Haydn Hodges being given starting places in what looked a strong line up.
The early sparring was fairly tentative but it was the away side who created the first goal scoring threat after 8 minutes. A free kick out on the left was pumped into the box where keeper Sam Watts went up to catch. Unfortunately he dropped the ball at the feet of a Hamworthy player who lobbed the ball goalwards where it hit the face of the bar and rebounded into the grateful keeper’s arms. It took Westlands 12 minutes to get a shot on target, Jamie Irwin’s effort being easily saved. In the 16th minute Sam Watts had to be on his toes when another free kick was headed goalwards. Ham Rec were employing a neat short passing game whereas Westlands tended to use the pace of the attackers to run at the opposition defence and this was paying off with several good raids. In the 33rd minute a timely block by a Sports defender stopped an unmarked Hamworthy attacker from getting a shot on target. Then just before the break Leo Hayward raced off down the right wing and drove over a cross that the onrushing Haydn Hodges just failed to reach at the far post.
Although we hadn’t seen any goals it had been an entertaining game and the draw at half time was about right. Ham Rec had played some nice football but hadn’t caused our defence too many problems and at the other end it was the same story, Westlands had mounted a number of attacks with Haydn Hodges prominent, but the opposition defence had been pretty solid. With good goal scoring chances few and far between and defences mainly on top, it didn’t look like we would see many goals but it was an intriguing game nevertheless.
Westlands came out the traps quickly in the second half and in the 47th minute caught the Hamworthy defence napping. A free kick on half way line was taken quickly to Henry Lawrence-Napier, and with the visitor’s defence in disarray, he set off for goal. As he reached the penalty box his shot was blocked by a last ditch tackle but the ball fell to LEO HAYWARD who controlled it and drilled a shot hard and low into the far corner. A couple of minutes later Haydn Hodges had a shot blocked by a desperate challenge after Leo Hayward had set him up with a good run and cross. As time moved on it was a bit of a stalemate with both sides finding it hard to create an opening. In the 67th minute Henry Lawrence-Napier head flicked a free kick but the ball slipped past the far post. A few minutes later a good run and shot by Matty Day brought a good save from the Ham Rec keeper. Moving into the last 10 minutes Westlands went into their shell a bit to protect the one goal lead and the visitor’s began to press looking for the equaliser. In the 84th minute a dangerous free kick was punched clear by Sam Watts in a crowded box. Ham Rec then created another opening but the final shot went way over the bar. Westlands defence was standing firm but in the 87th minute Sam Watts had to rush out and dive at a player’s feet to clear a dangerous situation. That was the last chance of the game and the final whistle was celebrated by the Westland’s players who had battled hard all afternoon and I thought they just deserved their victory. It was a great team performance with everyone giving everything they had to give us the win we needed.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to SAM WATTS. After that early mistake he never put a foot wrong and pulled off a couple of crucial saves late in the game when Rec were pushing for an equaliser.
Tuesday 22nd August, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 5 SHERBORNE TOWN RES 0
A fine evening at Alvington Lane and a good turnout for the local derby, which, in years gone by, could have been been staged in the Roman Coliseum ! Unfortunately, tonight’s offering was a much more tepid affair and a bit scrappy to be honest. Westlands manager Harry Gibbs decided on some squad rotation for this one and so there were starting slots for Dwayne Forshaw, Josh Payne, Sam Carney, Ant Herrin and Tom Budden at the expense of Matty Day, Henry Lawrence-Napier, Jamie Irwin, Phil Wells and Leo Hayward. We had played well on Saturday to beat Ham Rec so a few eyebrows were raised when 5 changes were made. Nevertheless Westlands were still strong favourites for this clash as our opponents had yet to pick up a point from their first three games.
Sherborne looked a little nervous at the start and Sports were quick to cash in, opening the scoring in the 3rd minute. It was a well worked goal started out on the right where Josh Payne ghosted past two opponents like a latter day Nureyev and slipped a nice ball to Sam Carney who had made a good run into the box. Sam looked up and picked out ANT HERRIN at the far post and he did the needful with aplomb. That really took the wind out Sherborne’s sails, (which were looking a bit droopy anyway !) and it was no surprise when Westlands made it two in the 20th minute. Haydn Hodges drove into the Sherborne box and went to ground in Tom Daleyesque fashion when he was clipped. ANT HERRIN stepped up and put away the penalty although the keeper guessed right and got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out. The match went into a bit of a lull for a while as both sides were giving away possession too frequently but it was Westlands who were always in control and eventually, in the 43rd minute we had another goal. And it was another good passing build up that gave Dwayne Forshaw a sight at goal and he hit a piledriver that came off the crossbar and fell to HAYDN HODGES who despatched it neatly into the far corner. That made it 3-0 at half time and, in all honesty, I don’t think there was anyone in the ground who thought Sherborne could come back from that score.
Sports came out in the second half on the attack and Ant Herrin drove a shot just past the post. Then Sherborne had a crack with a shot going wide but at least we were now getting a bit of goalmouth action. Will Ireland had replaced Jonny Manley at half time and he hit a 30 yard screamer on target but the keeper turned it round the post. In the 61st minute Ant Herrin picked out Sam Carney who burst through the Sherborne rearguard and thumped the ball past the keeper only to see it come off the post. Luckily SCOTT SMITH was following up (what was he doing up there ?) and he tucked the ball away into the net to make it 4-0. A flurry of subs from both sides disrupted the game at this point but in the 71st minute Westlands went nap with goal number five. A corner kick was knocked beyond the far post where Scott Smith headed it back across goal where ANT HERRIN headed the ball in to complete his hat-trick. Westlands were in full cry now with the subs on looking for goals. An Ant Herrin header from a Dwayne Forshaw cross was well saved by the Sherborne keeper and then a Jamie Irwin rocket crashed off the crossbar. In the dying minutes Leo Hayward raced through the tiring Sherborne defence and went round the advancing keeper but a heavy touch allowed a defender to cover round and make the block.
Final score 5-0 to Sports and a job well done. Not one of our best performances but the lads did what they had to do and a clean sheet as well as five goals is a good night’s work regardless of the opposition. Also the manager obviously knew best as his rotation plan gave more players some game time as we will need our large squad as the season progresses.
The Man-of-the-Match award has to go to our hat trick man ANT HERRIN. A good all round performance from a player who can deliver from several positions, tonight he was the main striker and proved he can do a job up front.
Saturday 26th August, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 1 HOLT UTD 1
Another fine sunny afternoon for the visit of current league champions Holt Utd to Alvington Lane. Westlands had won their two previous matches and the visitors were undefeated so a good match was in prospect and a decent crowd turned out in the sun to watch the spectacle unfold. Westlands were without centre half Jonny Manley with a groin injury and so there was a return to the Westlands team for Ollie Wake who lined up alongside Scott Smith at the back. Jamie and Louis Irwin were also unavailable so it was a bit of a blow when Sam Carney also pulled out after the warm-up with a niggling injury ! We still had a strong line-up on paper but having to change things around every game doesn’t help develop any continuity.
Nevertheless, it was Westlands who settled quickest and in the 5th minute Josh Payne cut inside a defender and fired in a shot that the keeper saved. Then a few minutes later a peach of a ball from Leo Hayward over the top put Josh in behind the Holt defence but his final shot was a bit weak and again the keeper saved. Holt began to settle into the game after this and in the 15th minute their player fired a good shot just past the post. That gave them a bit of a boost and in the next attack Scott Smith picked up a yellow trying to stem another attack. The warning signs were there and in the 20th minute the visitor’s took the lead. Holt’s number 9 Mike Haskell is a real target man for them and when they had a free kick out on the right just over the half-way line he was the man they were looking to pick out. Unfortunately, once again he won the header and knocked it back across for an unmarked team-mate to plant a header past Sam Watts in the Westlands goal. A simple, well worked goal but a disappointing one to lose as it was a bit predictable and we failed to set up properly to deal with it. The next chance came when a Holt player burst through and shot just past the far post. A good spell for Holt but Sports were still having their moments and the opposition #2 picked up a yellow card when he flattened Dwayne Forshaw. Just before the break Westlands had a good chance with a free kick awarded on the edge of the Holt penalty area but Haydn Hodges chipped the ball over the wall into the keeper’s arms.
Half time and 1-0 down was not according to plan but we had given a good account of ourselves and this match could still go either way.
For the second week running the half time pep talk seemed to do the trick as Westlands came out buzzing and scored straight away. After some excellent interpassing down the left with Ant Herrin, HAYDN HODGES burst through the Holt defence and as the keeper came out slotted the ball past him into the corner of the net. A great goal and just the boost Westlands needed and with the scores now level it was end to end stuff. Haydn had another snap shot saved in the 51st minute and a few minutes later Holt’s #9 again won a header but his team-mates shot was saved by Sam Watts. In the 58th minute a free kick into the box caught the Holt defence flat footed and Scott Smith ran in totally unmarked but missed his header with only the keeper to beat. On the hour mark we were pleased to see the Holt #9 limp off as he had caused us a few problems and this seemed to be the signal for all out Westlands attack. Ant Herrin tried a hook shot from a free kick but the ball went wide then Leo Hayward had a shot on the run that was saved. In the 65th minute Sports made their first substitution with Henry Lawrence-Napier replacing Dwayne Forshaw. Leo Hayward took on the Holt defence as he charged into the box but he took too long to get his shot away and was crowded out. Then a blunder by the Holt defence put Leo in again but this time he was foiled by a great stop by the keeper who also then saved the rebound from Haydn Hodges. In the 75th minute Steve Ormrod came on in place of Leo Hayward to give us a bit more of a physical presence up front. In the 83rd minute Steve headed down a cross to Ant Herrin whose shot was saved. In the dying minutes Holt sensed an opportunity to nick the three points and Sam Watts had our hearts in our mouths as he charged from his area to tackle a Holt player out on the right wing. A final shot by Holt was over the top and that signalled the final whistle.
The 1-1result was not what we wanted but having been one behind at the break it had been a good second half from Sports. The chances were there to win the game but on the other hand, Holt had always looked dangerous so perhaps the draw was about right.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to SCOTT SMITH for a solid performance at the back.
Wednesday 30th August, Dorset Premier League, MERE TOWN 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
A 6.30 pm kick off at Mere, which is a 45 minute drive from Yeovil, is not ideal on a late August evening when it gets dark at about 8pm ! Can't really understand why we have to do this.
On the team front we had one change from the Holt game, Henry Lawrence-Napier starting at the expense of Leo Hayward.
We eventually kicked off about 5 minutes late (!) and Westlands immediately poured forward into the attack winning a free kick just outside the box. The ball into the area was glanced away by a defender's head for a corner kick. The ball was swung over to the far post where Scott Smith directed a firm header goalwards but the defender on the line managed to head it away. Westlands had the home side pinned in their own half and although the pressure was constant we were already finding it difficult to create clear cut chances. However, in the 12th minute Dwayne Forshaw ran onto a cross from the right and met it flush with his head but the ball rebounded from the crossbar to safety. Four minutes later a free kick from Haydn Hodges was head-flicked goalwards by Ant Herrin but it was an easy save for the keeper. After 30 minutes Mere had their first shot at goal when their player had a pop from about 40 yards which Sam Watts caught easily. Then Henry Lawrence-Napier hit a low daisy cutter that took a deflection and finished going past the wrong side of the post. We continued to press until half time but a lot of moves were breaking down before we could get a shot away and the Mere defence were defending doggedly.
The 0-0 half time score did not reflect play but there was just a slight worry about our failure to convert our possession into goals.
The second half started as the first had ended with Westlands totally dominant. The first good chance came in the 50th minute with a good run and shot from Dwayne Forshaw that the keeper dived to save low down at the post. A minute later a free kick from Haydn Hodges was headed over the bar by Henry Lawrence-Napier and a couple of minutes later a Josh Payne shot went over the bar as well. In the 60th minute we thought we had made the breakthrough. Sam Plumley put over a perfect cross to Dwayne Forshaw who met it on the volley at the far post but the ball agonisingly whistled past the far post with the keeper beaten. With the score still even the home side were gaining in confidence and in one of their sporadic attacks Sam Watts had to dive full length to turn a deflected free kick round the post. Westlands then brought on Leo Hayward for Dwayne Forshaw in an attempt to find a goal. In the 70th minute a good passing move between Sam Plumley and Josh Payne put Sam in on goal but his well struck shot was well saved by the keeper. In 78 minutes Haydn Hodges came off and was replaced by Steve Ormrod as Sports desperately looked for a way to break the deadlock. The game was getting very scrappy now and constant free kicks were stopping the flow of the match which suited the home team who were now in time-wasting mode as they were happy to hang on for a draw. This was very frustrating for the Westland players as the game was constantly being stopped and the whole game was developing into a bit of a farce as darkness fell. A moment to savour was when Sam Plumley took a quick throw in from outside the fence and the referee stopped play and awarded the throw to Mere ! Wrong on both counts there I think but anyway just an indication of the way the game was going. (There was more silliness but I won't say any more or I may get into trouble). Still there was time for Westlands to create another good chance. Steve Ormrod got up well to a cross and nodded the ball on to Leo Hayward whose header was well saved by the keeper. That was it, a 0-0 draw and a disappointing result for Sports as it was a game we should have won.
One good point was another clean sheet for the Westlands defence who never really gave the opposition a sniff all evening and for that reason the Man-of-the-Match award goes to OLLIE WAKE who strolled through the game with good positional play and some excellent distribution.
A glorious day up at Weston-super-Mare as Sports took on Hutton in the County Cup first round. A lovely country setting with the ground looking pristine for this, the home sides first season in senior football. Westlands starting eleven was upset with Scott Smith dropping out with an injured shoulder sustained at home. Then fellow central defender Jonny Manley felt a twinge in his groin whilst warming up so he too was dropped to the bench. The versatile Jamie Green dropped back to centre half where he was supported by Ollie Wake. Sam Carney and Matty Day both returned to the midfield with Leo Hayward getting the nod up front.
Westlands soon settled to the task and an early corner followed by a free kick saw dangerous balls delivered into the Hutton box. Then after 10 minutes, the injury jinx struck again as Matty Day went down clutching his knee after an innocuous challenge. An old injury that has plagued him for the past few seasons reared its ugly head once more and will no doubt mean a lengthy lay off. Haydn Hodges deputised and Sports went back on the attack. In the 12th minute Dwayne Forshaw made a good run into the box but when he looked like he had an open goal he chose to pass to Leo Hayward whose shot was wide of the mark. Then Leo made a great run to the byline and drove the ball low and hard across goal but Haydn Hodges couldn’t connect at the far post. In the 20th minute we opened the scoring, and it had been coming. Sam Carney won the ball in midfield and drove into the opposition half. His final pass to ANT HERRIN was sliderule and a sidefoot into the bottom corner finished the job. A few minutes later the Hutton keeper made a hash of an attempted clearance and presented the ball to Leo Hayward whose lob towards the unguarded goal bounced off the post. On the half hour mark their keeper made a good save from an Ant Herrin header and then saved another Ant effort. But eventually, in the 34th minute he was beaten for goal number two. The ball was played out to DWAYNE FORSHAW on the left and he cut inside two defenders onto his right foot and drilled a daisycutter into the far corner. Two minutes later the keeper made another blunder and this time he was punished. An attempted pass out to a defender went straight to ANT HERRIN who knocked the ball into the open goal from 40 yards to make it 3-0. With 40 minutes gone Haydn Hodges swung in a corner, Ant Herrin glanced a header goalwards but a defender cleared off the line. In the 44th minute Sam Watts had to make his first save when he clutched a free kick that cleared the wall. There was just time for one more effort from Westlands before the break. A good passing move down the right saw Sam Plumley square the ball to Leo Hayward who looked to have an open goal but he scooped his shot over the bar from 10 yards out.
It had been a good first half for Sports and the game looked to be beyond the home side now.
Westlands continued to attack and a good ball from Haydn Hodges put Ant Herrin through but the keeper made a good diving save to block his shot and then dived again to save Leo Hayward’s follow. In the 55th minute we went 4 up. Sam Plumley raced to the byeline and cut the ball back to ANT HERRIN who completed his hat-trick with a sidefoot finish high into the net. Five minutes later Ant was subbed and replaced by Josh Payne ! The home defence were looking rather leg weary now and the chances were coming thick and fast. A free kick on the edge of the box was chipped over the wall into the keeper’s arms by Jamie Green before we made it 5-0 in the 67th minute. A good passing move saw the home defence carved open and the final dinked lob from LEO HAYWARD over the keeper into the top corner was exquisite. Then Haydn Hodges missed a sitter followed by Josh Payne who cleared the bar from about 10 yards after being set up by Will Ireland’s downward header. Then Leo was put clean through, a shot looked on but he passed to Josh Payne who tried another pass and the chance was gone. Then Leo charged down the right and squared to Josh in front of goal and again the final shot went over the top. With all the Westlands player going gung-ho for goals we didn’t need, we were caught short handed at the back when Hutton had a breakaway attack and their number 10 ran through to score neatly. A lack of discipline there and a reminder if you lose your shape you are always likely to lose goals. Sam Watts, Sports keeper, was fuming (as were the bench!) but Westlands went down to the other end and scored immediately to placate the anger. Dwayne Forshaw muscled his way down the right and squared the ball to JOSH PAYNE who got his finish spot on as he rifled the ball into the roof of the net. That goal completed the scoring but Sports created four more good chances before the final whistle. First Sam Carney hit a piledriver that the keeper managed to tip onto the crossbar. From the resulting corner Will Ireland rose highest to power a header goalwards that crashed off the bar then Leo Hayward thumped in a shot that smashed off the post and finally, in the last minute, Haydn Hodges ran right through the whole Hutton defence but as the keeper came out he fluffed his attempted chip into the keeper’s arms.
So, 6-1 and a job well done for Westlands who progress into the next round. It could have been more with a bit of composure in front of goal, so still some work to be done.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to PHIL WELLS who never put a foot wrong all afternoon. No lack of composure in this department with good reading of the game and when he got the ball he passed it quickly to a team mate.
Saturday 9th Sept, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 5 STURMINSTER NEWTON 0
A couple of changes in the Westlands line-up for this one with Josh Payne replacing the injured Matt Day and Jonny Manley restored to the back line. Difficult to know what to expect from any team at this time of the season but today’s opponents had made a decent start with 3 wins, 3 losses and a draw so they occupied a safe mid-table position. Some heavy rain showers seemed to clear as the match kicked off so the conditions were almost perfect.
Early pressure by Westlands soon had the visitors on the back foot and in the 7th minute the pressure paid off with the opening goal. Leo Hayward whipped over a corner and skipper JAMIE GREEN rose unmarked to power in a header. Westlands kept the pressure on and a good sweeping move from right to left saw Jamie Green again get his head to the final cross but the effort just cleared the bar. In the 12th minute Dwayne Forshaw had a shot blocked but a minute later came the inevitable second goal. Some neat inter-passing out on the right wing created an opening and when the cross came over DWAYNE FORSHAW smacked it into the roof of the net. It was nearly three when Jamie Green hit the bar from another corner after 21 minutes so with still 25 minutes to go until the break it looked as if Sports could rattle in a few more. Then Josh Payne’s quick feet took him through the visitor’s defence but his final effort was toe-poked just past the post. On the half hour mark Dwayne Forshaw was put clean through but he blasted his shot over the top. A minute later a superb passing move, ending with a sublime flick by Ant Herrin, put Sam Carney clean through with only the keeper to beat but again we missed the target. In the 44th minute Ant Herrin burst through, rounded the keeper and squared the ball across goal where Jamie Green just failed to connect.
Half time and the 2-0 score line did not reflect Westland’s superiority as once again we had squandered several good chances after taking an early two goal lead.
Any thoughts of a possible fight back by Sturminster Newton were quashed straight after the interval. A clever ball dinked over the top by Jamie Green was chested down by DWAYNE FORSHAW and buried in the far corner to make it 3-0. Five minutes later Ant Herrin was again the provider as he neatly slipped a through pass to Jamie Green but his shot was wide of the post. Sturminster then had their best attempt so far with a well struck shot from distance but Sam Watts in the Westland’s goal clutched it securely. Then the visitor’s had another shot which was deflected just past the post. Then it was the Stur keeper who had to dive and turn a Leo Hayward shot round the post. With an hour gone it was sub time and Josh Payne was first to make way, being replaced by Haydn Hodges. That was followed by Jamie Irwin replacing Dwayne Forshaw. In the 70th minute Haydn Hodges was clean through with only the keeper to beat but he tried a side foot shot which the keeper blocked. With 15 minutes to go Ollie Wake was replaced by Tom Budden as Sports made their final substitution. Then a moment of madness from Sam Plumley who copped a straight red for verbally abusing the far side lino who was, in fact, the Sturminster Newton club linesman as we had only a referee appointed this week. Bit of a shortage of officials I believe but not ideal when you have club linesmen. Anyway, with about 15 minutes to go Stur Newton took advantage of Westlands temporary reorganisation to mount an attack and Sam Watts made a great save from a well struck shot from 20 yards. Then the visitors had a good header from a corner fly over the top as they continued to press. Westlands were still dangerous and with 5 minutes to go put the game beyond any doubt with the fourth goal. Leo Hayward sprinted down the right wing and fired over a vicious cross that the keeper came for and missed. Like a thief in the night HAYDN HODGES was lurking at the far post to plunder an easy goal knocking the ball into the unguarded net from close range. Haydn was on the rampage now as he jinked through the Stur defence and fired a shot just past the far post. Then in the final minute, it was HAYDN HODGES who put the icing on the cake when he cut in from the left and drilled a shot into the far corner to make it 5-0.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to skipper JAMIE GREEN who led from the front with a hard working ninety minutes. He set the team on the road to victory with the opening goal and could have had a couple more with a bit of luck. Add to that a nice assist for the third goal and it all adds up to a man of the match performance.
Saturday 16th Sept, Dorset Premier League, BLANDFORD UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
After a good win at home last week, we were looking to take that good form on the road for our away trip to Blandford. Always a bit tricky at Blandford with the side to side slope having an effect on the game. There is always much more room up on the 'high' side as play generally graduates down the hill. Westlands made three enforced changes from the team that banged in five last week. Regular keeper Sam Watts was working so Chris Bennett was between the sticks. Sam Plumley was suspended so Scott Smith was restored to the central defence with Olly Wake moving over to right back and Sam Carney had picked up an injury so Haydn Hodges was given the playmaker role in central midfield.
Sports made the early running and forced a couple of corners one of which was headed well over the bar by Josh Payne. Then a bit of a let off for the home side when their keeper spilled a Haydn Hodges shot at Ant Herrin's feet but his shot was blocked for a corner. When the ball came over it was headed into the net but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for an infringement. Then in 17 minutes Blandford broke through and Chris Bennett had to be quick off his line to clear. Scott Smith then headed a free kick over and a Blandford long throw was blasted high over the top. Then a Blandford tried his luck from 30 yards but again it was well over the top. In the 26th minute Westlands broke the deadlock when they scored the crucial opening goal. Leo Hayward drove a corner across low and hard and JOSH PAYNE neatly slotted home at the near post. Blandford tried to hit back in the 32nd minute with their favourite tactic of a ball over the top for their speedy #11. He was in behind our defence which was a bit square but luckily the combined efforts of Chris Bennett and Scott Smith managed to block his shot for a corner. Worryingly, only three minutes later we were caught square again and once again #11 broke through only for the final shot to be blocked once again. A couple of minutes after these scares Josh Payne squared the ball to Ant Herrin in front of goal but he just scooped his shot wide. Then Haydn Hodges made a good run beating three men but his final shot was ballooned over. Chances for both teams in the 1st half with Westlands having the greater share of the pressure so it was Sportss who went in with a deserved one goal lead at the break.
A decent first half for Westlands, a couple of dodgy moments at the back but generally we had controlled the game so the omens looked good for the second half.
Westlands were soon pushing forward after the break and a good cross into the box was met on the stretch by Leo Hayward about 5 yards out but his effort went wide.The 2nd goal for Westlands came in the 53rd minute and a cracking goal it was Josh Payne laid the ball back to Olly Wake out on the right and he delivered pin-point cross into the box that was hooked first time into the far top corner of the net by LEO HAYWARD. Sports looked fairly comfortable now and continued to press. Dwayne Forshaw turned the full back inside out and squared the ball to Ant Herrin who fired a shot just past the far post. Then Haydn Hodges hit one from 20 yards that just went wide as Sports kept the pressure on. Josh Payne was up on the high side this half and with the benefit of the extra space, he was leading the home defence a merry dance. In the 65th minute he romped past the beleaguered Blandford defence and cut a ball across the front of the goal that was just begging to be knocked over the line. Unfortunately no-one had kept pace with our twinkle-toed wide man and so the chance went begging. A minute later Blandford had a break but the final shot was an easy save for Chris Bennett. The 66th minute saw the first substitution with Jamie Irwin replacing Dwayne Forshaw. That was soon followed by a sensible second sub with midfielder Will Ireland replacing Leo Hayward as Sports looked to consolidate their two goal lead. In the 72nd minute Jonny Manley got his head to a corner but the keeper saved. Then Josh Payne had a great run and shot that the home keeper saved well, tipping the ball over for a corner. Five minutes later another shot from Josh was saved again at the expense of a corner. In the 81st minute Westlands were given a bit of a wake up call when a free kick into the box wasn’t cleared and Blandford’s Rob Manson slammed the ball into the net to reduce the deficit to one. Oops, this wasn't in the plan, but Sports had soon stretched their lead to two again with a well crafted goal in the 85th minute. Haydn Hodges perfect through pass put JAMIE IRWIN in behind the home defence and he produced a cool finish to slide the ball into the far corner. There was one more chance for Sports before the final whistle when Josh Payne shot just over the bar.
A 3-1 victory on the road is always a good result and although we made heavy weather of it at times all 14 players can be congratulated for a job well done.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to HAYDN HODGES who really took hold of that central midfield and the way he ran at the Blandford defence caused them a lot of problems. He also provided the pass for the third goal to cap a man of the match performance.
Saturday 23rd Sept, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 2 HAMWORTHY UTD 0
Another grand day at Alvington for the visit of Hamworthy Utd Reserves who have been picking up a few useful results recently. Sam Plumley was still suspended and Scott Smith was unavailable so Olly Wake moved back into central defence with Will Ireland taking over the right back spot. One other change saw Jamie Irwin getting the nod out wide on the left.
Hamworthy made the first chance in the opening minute but their centre forward skied his shot. Then Westlands attacked and a good through ball from Ant Herrin was cleared for a corner. Jonny Manley got his head to the cross but couldn’t get a clean header and that too was blocked for a corner. The next cross caused a bit of a melee in the goalmouth and several efforts were saved or blocked before the ball was hacked away. Hamworthy bounced back and had the next chance with a good shot that flew past the post. With 15 minutes on the clock Ant Herrin fired in a daisy cutter and the Hamworthy keeper dived low to smother the shot. It was a good contest and the visitor’s were showing their mettle with some good approach play. Westlands however always looked the more dangerous but were a bit wasteful with the chances they created. Haydn Hodges had a free kick saved, Phil Wells put a 20 yarder over the top, and Leo Hayward followed suit before the referee blew the whistle for half time.
This was a well poised match and the feeling was that the first goal could be crucial. Westland’s had probably shaded the first half but with no goals to show for it they needed to up their game a bit now and take their chances.
Sports looked quite lively in the second half and in the 59th minute almost opened the scoring with a lovely move which opened up the Hamworthy defence. Jamie Irwin knocked a nice pass over to Haydn Hodges who squared the ball back across goal to Leo Hayward whose shot hit the post and rebounded to safety. A few minutes later Josh Payne cut in and fizzed a shot past the far post. Westlands were beginning to test the Hamworthy defence now and eventually the pressuretold and the deadlock was broken in the 70th minute. Haydn Hodges fired over a low corner to the front post where JOSH PAYNE drilled the ball into the back of the net. Sports continued to turn the screw and in the 75th minute Ant Herrin put a header just over the top. A minute later it was 2-0 and another cracking goal from Westlands. Jamie Green clipped a good ball into the box, Haydn Hodges cleverly let it run to JOSH PAYNE who took a touch and smashed a shot into the net from about 12 yards out. Westlands looked to be in total control now and the focus was on not conceding as we now had the two goal lead. As a result the game kind of petered out although with a couple of minutes to go Hamworthy did create one last chance but their centre forward thumped the ball into the side netting.
The final whistle ended what had been a tough match and the Westland players can be pleased with the way they had managed the game. The visitor’s are a good side, the best I’ve seen in Hamworthy colours for a few years and they will make things difficult for any side in the league this season. On the day, Sports looked solid in all departments and another clean sheet is always a bonus.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week is a bit of a foregone conclusion and goes to JOSH PAYNE for a starring role in the team victory. Josh is in top form right now and his two goals were quality strikes. Apart from that he always looked dangerous out on the right wing, lurking like a cobra ready to strike !
Saturday 30th Sept, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 3 DORCHESTER SPORTS 1
This looked like a tough match with the visitor’s currently lying in second place in the league. Westlands line up showed two changes from last week with Scott Smith returning at centre half and Henry Lawrence-Napier replacing Ant Herrin in the midfield. Sam Plumley returned after suspension but had to make do with a place on the bench. Dorchester tried to confuse with numbers 15, 16, 23 & 77 in their starting line-up whereas Westlands stuck to the traditional 1-11.
Dorchester were on the front foot straight away with their right back cutting in and letting fly with a shot that was deflected for a corner. The kick came over but was scooped well over the bar. Nevertheless an early warning for Westlands who responded with a Henry Lawrence –Napier shot that was blocked by the goalkeeper. Dorchester were giving the Westlands defence some problems with their fast raids another attack in the 18th minute was defended for a corner. The visitor’s took a quick one and caught the Westlands players at sixes and sevens. The ball was played across to their unmarked #4 about 25 yards out and he smashed a dipping volley into the far top corner of the net. Sam Watts, Westlands keeper, had no chance with that one but the home defence were caught a bit on the hop there. The next chance came to Dorchester and Sam Watts saved a header from a cross as they continued to press. Westlands were trying to put together some attacks and the best of these was when Leo Hayward raced clear of the defence and was unceremoniously hacked down from behind. The referee only gave the culprit a yellow card which was generous to say the least as Leo was clean through with an obvious goal scoring chance. When Haydn Hodges put the resulting free kick over the bar the injustice was complete. Just before the half time break Olly Wake was forced to come off with a shoulder injury and he was replaced by Sam Plumley.
It had not been a good first half for Westlands, the visitor’s looking much sharper and #23 in particular causing us some problems with some strong runs from midfield. Westlands defence had been hard pressed at times with some timely interventions and tackles from Jonny Manley keeping the visitors at bay. We had looked a bit sluggish and needed to up our game in the second half if we were to get anything from this match.
Whatever the management said at half time had the desired effect as Westlands definitely upped the pace in the second half and were soon pressing forward. A free kick into the box was headed over the bar by Henry Lawrence-Napier as Westlands went looking for that equalising goal. And we didn’t have long to wait as it came in the 55th minute. Henry Lawrence-Napier, out on the right, chipped a lovely ball to LEO HAYWARD that took out two defenders. Leo steadied himself with a touch and thumped the ball under the diving keeper to make it 1-1.
Westlands were dominating the midfield now with skipper Jamie Green prominent and continued on the front foot. The effervescent Haydn Hodges put over a swirling cross that deceived the keeper and bounced off the top of the bar and was scrambled away. In the 67th minute Haydn picked the ball up about 25 yards out and drove into the penalty box where he was upended for a stonewall penalty. HAYDN HODGES took the kick himself and blasted the ball high into the top corner to put Westlands in front 2-1. We were almost caught napping a couple of minutes later when a Dorchester player was given a free header but he put it wide of the post. The next chance came to Josh Payne but he shot over. In the 82nd minute Westlands got the crucial third goal that virtually put the game to bed. Leo Hayward was the provider, setting up JAMIE IRWIN who provided his usual clinical finish, driving the ball into the far corner. That goal was well received around the ground and although the visitors tried hard to respond time was running out for them. A subdued Josh Payne was then replaced by Dwayne Forshaw as Westlands made their second sub of the day. With only 2 minutes left a Dorchester player was put clean through but Sam Watts made a great save to protect our lead. Will Ireland then replaced Leo Hayward to complete the substitutions. Westlands were perhaps getting a little complacent now and Haydn Hodges headed a shot off the line after a corner kick. Dorchester continued to throw men forward and were almost caught on the break in the final minute when Dwayne Forshaw raced clear but was thwarted by the Dorchester keeper who dived to save with his legs. An excellent save by the keeper as he had been injured a few minutes earlier and could hardly walk. That was the last action of the game and the final whistle ended an exciting last few minutes.
Post match the general view was that Dorchester had been the better team in the first half and that Westlands had turned the tables in the second period and in the end just deserved the victory. It was a win we needed to keep in touch with the league leaders so a good result for Westlands to beat a very good Dorchester Sports outfit.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to Westlands goalkeeper SAM WATTS who looked in dominant form throughout. He had no chance with the goal we conceded but made several good saves and generally spread confidence in the defence.
Sat 7th Oct 2017, Somerset Senior Cup Round 2, WESTLAND SPORTS 3 MIDDLEZOY ROVERS 1
The County Cup always brings a new challenge and we were expecting a tough match from a side well placed in the county league Premier Division. Regarding team selection, from last week, Sam Plumley replaced the injured Olly Wake in defence and Dwayne Forshaw came in to replace the unavailable Leo Hayward up front. On the bench, Sam Carney and Ant Herrin returned and Charlie Gay made his first appearance of the season.
A blistering start saw Westlands race into a two goal lead inside the first ten minutes. Josh Payne posted an early warning to the visitors in the 2nd minute when he raced clear and rounded the keeper, only to see his final shot from an acute angle drift wide of the far post. But the first goal wasn’t long in coming and in the 7th minute SCOTT SMITH went up for a free kick, lost his marker with a good run, and thumped a powerful header into the net. What a start for Westlands and more was to come. Only 2 minutes later HAYDN HODGES made himself some space in the box and fired a low right foot shot into the far corner of the net. The visitors were rocked but gradually they began to settle into the game and began to show their quality. After 22 minutes Sam Watts in Westlands goal was called into action for the first time when he made a good save from a low shot. It was a fairly even contest after this but 5 minutes before the half time break Middlezoy pulled one back. Westlands keeper Sam Watts came charging out for a cross and only got a hand to it. A shot from a Middlezoy player was blocked but the rebound was thumped into the back of the net. That was a good time to score for the visitors as they could go into the break knowing they were back in the game after their slow start.
Middlezoy came out for the second half with renewed belief and tested Sam Watts with a low shot that he gathered by the post. Westlands hit back with a Dwayne Foshaw shot that was turned round the post by their keeper. In the 55th minute a deep cross into the Westlands box was missed by Sam Watts but fortunately a Middlezoy player blasted his shot well over the bar. Once again it was a fairly even match but Westlands always looked the more likely side to score and so it proved in the 62nd minute. Henry Lawrence-Napier fed a nice through ball to JOSH PAYNE who took a touch and drove the ball across the keeper into the far corner. The third goal took a bit of the sting out of the visitors and they resorted to long balls, mainly by their goalkeeper, that were mopped up by the Westlands back division. Sam Carney came off the bench for Westlands now and his calm precise passing set the tone as Westlands just lowered the tempo and played out time. One last chance for Sports to increase their lead fell to Charlie Gay (who had replaced Josh Payne) when he got on the end of a low cross only to see his shot hit the post and rebound into the keeper’s arms.
The final whistle signalled another good result for Westlands against difficult opponents. That win takes us into the third round of the competition for the first time in several years so we now look forward to a good run.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to JAMIE GREEN for a hard working performance in the midfield. Playing a more defensive role is not the most glamorous but is an important part of the team tactically, and the skipper was solid in the position.
Sat 21st October, Dorset League Cup Round 1, WESTLAND SPORTS 1 BRIDPORT RESERVES 0
Weather warnings were out for gale force winds and rain so it was one eye on the sky as the teams lined up for this one. Westlands had a bit of a blow when Jonny Manley had to pull out just minutes before kick off when his back siezed up during the warm up. Luckily we had a top class replacement on the bench in Olly Wake so he stepped into the starting line up. Josh Payne was also a non-starter after being injured playing for the league representative side last week so Szymon Matuszewski deputised and with Dwayne Forshaw at a wedding there was also a starting spot for Ant Herrin who played up front. Sam Carney and Leo Hayward gave us a strong bench.
We kicked off with a strong wind blowing across the pitch and it was obvious this was going to have an effect on the game and these are the days when you get shock results so we were hoping we wouldn’t get the forecast downpour as well. As the teams tried to get the measure of the conditions, some final passes were going astray and balls in the air were very risky and the first chance fell to the visitors when a back pass from a Westlands defender was short. A Bridport player nipped in but thumped his shot well over the top. Westlands started to get into their stride after this and with quarter of an hour gone Ant Herrin put over a lovely cross which seemed destined for Haydn Hodges head until a defender just managed to touch the ball away for a corner. Nothing came of that and it was Bridport who had the next chance. A free kick was fired in and flew past Sam Watts far post. Back down at the other end Jamie Green got a good head to a corner but saw his net-bound effort cleared off the line. Once again Bridport responded and a well hit shot from their #9 was tipped over the bar by Sam Watts. It had been a decent first half hour considering the conditions but going into the last 15 minutes Westlands started to put the pressure on. Haydn Hodges started it off with a lovely pass inside the fullback for Szymon Matuszewski to run on to. Szymon met it on the run and his drive for the top corner whizzed just past the angle of the goal. A couple of minutes later Haydn repeated the move with another defence splitting pass through to Szymon. This time he took the ball on and fired it low and hard across the face of the goal where Jamie Irwin just failed to connect. In the 35th minute some neat inter-passing between Haydn Hodges and Ant Herrin created a chance but Haydn’s shot went over the top. The final talking point in the half was a couple of minutes before half time when Szymon Matuszewski ran on to another pass from Haydn Hodges and was barged to the ground. Large shouts for a penalty from all round the ground but the referee was having none of it.
So, 0-0 at half-time was a bit disappointing as Westlands had come on quite strong in that last 15 minutes but if we could keep that up surely the goals would come ?
Bridport had put on a Brazilian sub at half time and he soon showed his pace with a good run but his shot missed the target. In the 50th minute another good chance for the visitors but this time the final shot slipped by the far post. A good opening five minutes for Bridport but Sports were soon back knocking on the door at the other end. Jamie Irwin ran on to a through ball and as the keeper came out he tried to sidefoot it past him but the shot was weak and the keeper saved. Again on the hour mark Jamie Irwin had a chance but again the keeper saved his shot. Just after this Szymon Matuszewski was replaced by Sam Carney. Szymon hasn’t played for well over a year so it was a good hour of competitive football for him and he received a good round of applause as he came off. In the 65th minute a good run and cross by a Bridport attacker gave his team-mate a chance but he blazed his shot over the top. Then a bizarre incident occurred which saw a Westlands player being “sin-binned” for the first time this season. Haydn Hodges tried to take a quick free kick on the halfway line but a Bridport player who was 2 yards away stuck out a leg and blocked the kick. Haydn picked the ball up expecting perhaps a yellow card for the Bridport player but was amazed when the referee gave a free kick against him for hand ball ! Haydn’s subsequent complaints saw him banished to the sin-bin for 10 minutes. The referee explained post match that if you try to take a quick free kick the opposition are entitled to block it no matter how far from the ball they are ! It’s news to me !!! And when is a quick one not a quick one ? The management made another sub at this point bringing on Leo Hayward in place of Ant Herrin. This gave us a different style up front with Leo’s hard running offering a different option to Ant’s back-to-goal hold up style. The opposition defenders were a bit shaken up as Leo began to immediately cause them a few problems with his pace. With Sports pressing now we forced a corner in the 75th minute. Leo Hayward curled an inswinger to the far post where SCOTT SMITH rose to plant a header into the net. A good goal from Scott, his second in two games. A couple of minutes later a free kick to Westlands was fired goalwards by Leo but the keeper made a good save. In the 83rd minute Leo Hayward showed an audacious bit of skill to nutmeg a defender out on the right wing. He then cut inside and as the keeper came slipped the ball past him but it agonisingly hit the post and bounced out. That was the last real chance in the game and Westlands closed the match out with no more problems.
Not the most convincing of results for Sports but sometimes you just have to grind out a win and that is what we did. The strong wind hadn’t made it easy for the players but they gave the spectators quite an exciting game nevertheless. We are through to the next round of the League Cup so we have to be pleased with the result at the end of the day.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to HAYDN HODGES despite his history making sin-bin. Haydn’s hard work and commitment on the pitch was outstanding and he was influential in most of Westland’s attacks, especially in the first half.
Saturday 28th Oct, Dorset Premier League, WESTLAND SPORTS 3 MERLEY COBHAM 5
Westlands defence, who had previously not conceded more than one goal in any match, shipped five as they slumped to a 5-3 defeat to Merley Cobham at Alvington. Aided by a goalkeeping blunder Lee Wilkins opened the scoring for Merley after only 10 minutes and when Josh Pickering put Merley two up after a swift attack in 13 minutes the home side had their work cut out. Westlands huffed and puffed and created a couple of good chances that were squandered, both of these in the ‘sitter’ category. Half time 0-2.
When Asa Phillips punished another mistake to put the visitors three up in the 52nd minute it looked like game over but Westlands briefly fought back to 3-2 after 70 minutes with goals from LEO HAYWARD, with a shot on the run, and HAYDN HODGES from a free kick. However a quick reply by Lee Wilkins, who hooked in a corner kick, restored Merley’s two goal lead and when Asa Phillips cashed in on another goalkeeping error with a fifth goal in the 87th minute the game was effectively over. A late penalty by HAYDN HODGES added a bit of respectability to
the score but this was not Westland's day and Merley Cobham took full advantage to record a good win.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to HAYDN HODGES for another all energy performance capped by t
After last week’s disappointing result we were looking to get back to winning ways and no better time to do it than in the Senior Cup with the visit of last season’s Somerset County League Premier Division champions. A couple of changes were made, Jonny Manley, Olly Wake and Ant Herrin all started at the expense of Haydn Hodges, Henry Lawrence-Napier and Jamie Irwin.
The first real attack of the match came after 3 minutes when the Westlands players backed off the Watchet #9 and he ran about 20 yards before having a shot which flew well over the top. The #9 had been identified as a danger man before the game so some slack play by Sports to allow him that time and space. Westlands first chance came when they forced a corner in the 7th minute. Leo Hayward swung it in and Jonny Manley headed over. It was an even contest but after 20 minutes the Watchet #9 was again given too much space but his chip shot went just over. In the 25th minute Jonny Manley conceded a free kick on the edge of the box and was booked for his efforts but the kick came to nothing. The next chance fell to Jamie Green who blasted off a shot which was blocked. As half time approached Westlands produced the move of the match so far and took the lead. SAM CARNEY laid the ball off to Josh Payne whose neat back heel return pass put Sam in a shooting position about 15 yards out. His shot for the far corner was helped into the net by a desperate lunge by a defender but he only succeeded in looping the ball over the keeper. That goal gave Westlands a slim half time lead which they just about deserved in what was a fairly evenly matched game.
The visitor’s were fired up for the second half and the #9 blasted a shot over the bar. Then as Westlands pressed Jonny Manley tried a hook shot which went over the top. On the hour mark Josh Payne was withdrawn and was replaced by Szymon Matuszewski. A few minutes later an Ant Herrin through ball picked out Szymon but his shot found the side netting. Then Sam Carney had a good break but as he tried to slip the ball through to Szymon a defender’s foot got in the way. With nothing to lose, Watchet pushed more and more men forward and this paid off in the 70th minute with the equaliser driven in from close range after a low cross from the left wing. Buoyed by the equaliser the visitors kept on the attack and another good cross and shot forced a diving save from Sam Watts. Just as we began to think the tide had turned against us we scored. A corner dropped to ANT HERRIN in the 80th minute and he smashed it in to make the score 2-1. With only 10 minutes left Leo Hayward was withdrawn and Henry Lawrence-Napier took the field. This looked like ‘shut up shop’ time for Westlands and this was soon followed by Jamie Irwin coming on to replace Ant Herrin. Watchet were not finished yet and with their big centre half pushed up front they made one last big effort and it paid off ! Another low cross into the danger area, an attempted clearance and finally the ball was forced over the line to great joy from the visitors. So, 2-2 it was and into extra time.
In the added 30 minutes it was Westlands who put their disappointment behind them and began to get on top but they were finding it difficult to put the finishing touch to some decent chances. Jamie Irwin was causing the Watchet defence some problems and he set up Szymon Matuszewski but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. Szymon was finding space down the right and just before the turn round he ran through the tiring Watchet defence but delayed his shot and a defender made a saving tackle.
Into the second half of extra time and again Szymon Matuszewski burst through the Watchet defence. The keeper got down to save his first shot and the second effort went just wide of the post. At this point a second yellow and subsequent red for a Watchet defender didn’t help their cause and Westlands kept up the pressure. With two minutes to go, maybe less, Jamie Green had a good shot turned round the post for a corner. The kick was half cleared out to Jamie Irwin on the right wing and he put over a peach of a cross that SCOTT SMITH headed in to put Sports ahead again. Watchet’s heads were down now and the icing on the cake came in injury time. SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI latched on to through ball and from close range smashed the ball into the roof of the net off the keeper’s legs to make it 4-2 and put the match beyond doubt.
A real thriller at Alvington and great credit to Westlands for battling through a tough spell in the second half and coming on strong in injury time.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to SAM CARNEY for an excellent performance in Westland’s midfield. Sam showed good composure on the ball and very rarely loses possession so he keeps things ticking over in the engine room. Also the first goal was crucial and he was instrumental in that.
Saturday 18th Nov ,Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 BALTI SPORTS 1
Playing against the side currently 2nd in the table, Westland's needed a win to stay in the race for the league title so the stage was set for a good game. We were without Olly Wake and Jamie Green but Jonny Manley reported fit so we had a strong side. Manager Harry Gibbs was also unavailable for this one so Ben Cochrane took over the reins for the day.
Westlands were quick out the traps and when Leo Hayward made a great run to the byeline and cut the ball across goal it looked as if the ball must finish in the back of the net. A melee ensued with a defender almost putting the ball in his own net at one point and Jamie Irwin unable to force it home. An early let off for Balti but Westlands had their tails up and kept the pressure on. In the 6th minute a corner swung in from Leo Hayward was met on the run by JOSH PAYNE and he powered a header into the back of the net to make it 1-0. A minute later Leo almost made it two with a great run and shot that was parried by the Balti keeper and then seemed to run along the line before being cleared.
What I start for the home team and they could have been three up in the first seven or eight minutes. As it was, with only one goal in it, the visitor’s then began to get a foothold in the game and their first attempt at goal in the 12th minute flew just past the post. A few minutes later they forced a corner and put a header just wide. A decent response by the visitor’s and in the 16th minute, they equalised. A through ball was played out to their right winger and he scored from 25 yards with a curling inswinger that deceived Westlands keeper Sam Watts and dropped in at the far post. There was a big shout for offside by the Westlands players but the referee waved the protests away after a word with his assistant. Its all to do with first and second phases apparently ! All to play for now with the teams on level terms and the next good chance came Westlands way in the 25th minute. A good passing move down the right wing, a good cross from Josh Payne and a Leo Hayward header just over the bar. Great effort but there was better to come in the 32nd minute. Good skills by HAYDN HODGES saw him burst into the box and fire a low shot towards the far corner of the net. The Balti keeper got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep out so 2-1 to Westlands. Home keeper Sam Watts was called into action 10 minutes later when the Balti #7 got a good shot away but Westlands were soon on the attack again and could easily have scored 2 minutes before half time. Haydn Hodges put a dangerous free kick into the box and once again Josh Payne powered in a header that came off the post with the Balti keeper beaten all ends up. Then Leo Hayward raced through the Balti defence, rounded the keeper and from an acute angle sidefooted the ball goalwards. Agonisingly the ball rolled along the line past the far post and continued towards the corner flag before being booted clear.
That was the last action of the first half and although we had to be pleased with a 2-1 half time lead, it could have been more with a bit of luck.
Within 10 minutes of the restart Balti fell foul of the new sin bin rule to go down to ten men. Westlands quickly took advantage when JOSH PAYNE ran on to a nice through ball and thumped in goal number 3 across the keeper into the far corner. Balti's discipline problems continued and they now found themselves down to nine men with another player banished to the sin bin for dissent. This time Westlands couldn’t take advantage and with Balti eventually back to full strength Sam Watts made a good double save to keep them out. However in the 76th minute Westlands made sure of the points when SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI volleyed the fourth goal into the top corner after some excellent play down the right wing had opened up the Balti defence. Play got very scrappy now with substitutions being made by both sides so the last 15 minutes produced very little in the way of chances and I think both teams knew the points were in the bag for Westlands.
A good result that keeps the title hopes alive and good discipline shown by the players throughout.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to JOSH PAYNE for some clinical finishing. Composure in front of goal has been a bit of a problem at times this season but Josh showed how it should be done with two excellent goals and only the post prevented him from notching a hat-trick.
Saturday 25th Nov ,Dorset Premier League: PARLEY SPORTS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
An away game for a change this week so we had to make sure there were no slip ups as away games to any opponents are tough in this league. It was sunny but bitterly cold as the teams lined up and Westlands showed a couple of changes from last week. Dwayne Forshaw was given a starting slot in place of Jamie Irwin who was on the bench and Henry Lawrence–Napier replaced Sam Carney in the midfield. Jamie Green returned to the squad but had to make do with a seat on the bench.
Westlands made a good start with a long diagonal ball from Ant Herrin putting Dwayne Forshaw away down the left but his low driven cross was fielded fairly easily by the Parley keeper. The next major incident was a fairly long stoppage while a Parley bloke found a shovel to remove some dog mess from the pitch ! Grass roots football ! That was followed by a corner for Westlands, Haydn Hodges got a shot away but it was blocked. After 10 minutes the home side mounted an attack which ended with a Parley player scooping a shot just over the top after a bit of a scramble in the Westlands goalmouth. The game then settled down to a period when neither team could put a move together and there were no good chances created. Westlands had a couple of efforts, Josh Payne heading a corner wide and Haydn Hodges having a low shot saved. In the 25th minute came the first of several contentious incidents. Leo Hayward raced into the Parley penalty area and was sent sprawling. Stonewall penalty we thought but the referee waved play on ! In the 32nd minute Leo had a good shot at goal saved as Westlands began to get on top. However, in the 34th minute we were rocked when Parley scored. A good through ball put their player in behind the Westlands defence and he held off a challenge to slot the ball in the far corner. A well taken goal but it did look as if Westlands had overcommitted for an attack at the other end and when the home side broke we were always struggling. Parley had their tails up for a few minutes now and had another shot go just wide before Westlands regrouped and forced a corner. When it came over Henry Lawrence-Napier made a great leap but put his header just over the top. Then with 5 minutes to go before half time came more drama as Westlands captain Scott Smith was sin-binned for querying a referee’s decision. Two minutes later Haydn Hodges was also sin-binned when he showed his displeasure at another decision. Suddenly things had taken a turn for the worse and we played out time and ended the half 1-0 down and reduced to 9 men !
This was an unbelievable groundhog day moment for me, and those of you who read the Weekend Preview will understand why. Luckily enough, back in 2010 we had to play the whole second half with 9 men, this time it was only for another 6 minutes.
We came out focussed to get through the time and we did it fairly comfortably in the end with the home team only creating one chance, a header from a corner that Sam Watts in the Westlands goal saved fairly comfortably. So, in 51 minutes we had a shot in the arm when we were restored to 11 players and it seemed to kick-start Westlands who finally began to put some decent moves together. In the 60th minute we equalised. Henry Lawrence-Napier made a strong run into the opposition half and released JOSH PAYNE with a lovely pass and he ran on and smashed the ball past the advancing keeper. Westlands tails were up now and 10 minutes later some prolonged pressure brought the second goal. Phil Wells made a good run down the left and put the ball low into the box where HAYDN HODGES picked it up but was pulled back as he turned a defender. Haydn took the spot kick himself and tucked it away to put Westlands in front for the first time in the match. I think perhaps everyone in the Westlands camp thought we had the game in the bag now because only 5 minutes after taking the lead we found ourselves pegged back to 2-2. It was another nice finish by the Parley forward who picked up a simple through ball and buried it in the corner of the net. To be fair Westlands hit straight back and in the 78th minute scored a third goal to take the lead again. JAMIE IRWIN, who had replaced Dwayne Forshaw, made a great run across the box to the near post and when Josh Payne put the ball over Jamie smashed it into the roof of the net. Great joy from the Westlands players and management but perhaps more a feeling of relief as we had got our noses in front again. There was still 15 minutes to go but Westlands were in control now and had three more chances before the final whistle blew. Henry Lawrence-Napier again got his head to a corner but put it over the top and Leo Hayward tried his best to get on the score sheet but the Parley keeper made a couple of good saves to keep him out. Nevertheless it was a relief when the final whistle blew after about 10 minutes of extra time on my watch and we could reflect on three good points gained.
It had been a tough match and Parley had fought all the way but the over-riding feeling was that Westlands had a narrow escape by falling foul of the sin-bin rule but to be fair it’s only the second match this season where we have had players sin-binned. However, lessons must be learned but I think perhaps I should save my thoughts on this new rule until the end of the season. Can’t fault the Westland players though as they kept battling and that battling quality is result of the team spirit within the club and is something money can’t buy.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to JONNY MANLEY who provides a dominating presence at the back for Sports.
Saturday 2nd Dec ,Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 6 BRIDPORT RESERVES 0
Another home game and another one we had to win to keep our challenge going. Leo Hayward was missing today but Olly Wake returned to the bench after injury so we had a strong squad of 14 on duty.
After a couple of minutes Westlands had the first shot of the game when a Haydn Hodges effort went past the post but in the early stages it was Bridport who were on top. They were dominating possession and several long balls in behind for their number 7 to chase had the Sports defence back-pedalling. Westlands forced a corner in the 14th minute and from the kick Bridport broke fast out of defence and only a heavy touch from their centre forward saved the day. A minute later, Westlands opened the scoring. Haydn Hodges gathered the ball out on the left, cut back onto his right foot and put a good cross over to the far post where JOSH PAYNE scored with a diving header. A quality goal, if somewhat against the run of play at this point in the game. Gradually Westlands began to get a grip on the match and the chances began to come. Dwayne Forshaw rushed a shot and put it wide and then a neat dummy by Henry Lawrence-Napier put Josh Payne in but he also missed the target with his shot. We really should have been testing the Bridport keeper as he was a bit short in stature for a goalie but so far he hadn’t been tested apart from the goal. In the 32nd minute Dwayne Forshaw skinned his full back and got to the byeline where his lay back was scuffed wide by Jamie Green when it looked easier to score. After 40 minutes an excellent move from Sports cut open the Bridport defence but Haydn Hodges miscued the final ball into the box and the danger was cleared. Four minutes later the mounting pressure eventually told with Westlands scoring again. Josh Payne cut inside on an excellent run, ghosting past two defenders before flicking the ball out to Haydn Hodges on the wing. Haydn fired a low hard cross across the face of the goal where HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER was steaming in to force the ball over the line at the second attempt.
A great finish to the half for Westlands and with a two goal lead they now looked firmly in the driving seat.
The second half started as expected with Sports dominating possession and after 10 minutes it was no surprise when the third goal came along. Josh Payne made a break down the right and fired a shot for the far post that was cleared for a corner on the left. Haydn Hodges put over an inswinger and HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER leapt highest to head in from only 6 yards out. In the 65th minute Westlands made it 4-0 with another close range header. Haydn Hodges was again the provider sending over a free kick that JAMIE GREEN rose to head in. Shortly after Haydn Hodges was replaced by Szymon Matuszewski but in the 70th minute Haydn found himself in action once again, taking over from one of the linesmen who retired with a calf injury ! A couple of minutes later Jamie Irwin replaced Josh Payne as the management tried to give everyone some game time. The game was as good as over now with only ten minutes left but Sam Plumley managed to get himself in the referees book for a silly challenge. Bridport’s keeper, who had taken a knock earlier, couldn’t cerry on and was replaced between the sticks by an outfield sub. It wasn’t Bridport’s day as the sub keeper miscued a kick straight to SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI who thumped it into the empty net to make it 5-0. In the 88th minute DWAYNE FORSHAW made it 6 when he cut inside and smashed the ball into the far corner. Westlands kept pressing and Jamie Irwin ran on to a nice through ball from Ant Herrin but put his shot over the bar. Then Ant tried to get his name on the scoresheet with a shot that flew just wide.
A good afternoon for Westlands, six goals and a clean sheet is always welcome. It had been an entertaining game, well refereed by Mr Brokenshaw, but one I’m sure Bridport will want to forget as nothing went right for them.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to HAYDN HODGES who had an interesting afternoon. He provided the crosses for our first four goals, was then substituted, and finally ended the game running the line after an injury to one of the linos.
Saturday 9th Dec ,Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 0
Another must win game for Westlands against Swanage as we sat one place behind them in the league, one point adrift but they also have a game in hand. A defeat today would have put them 4 ahead plus the game in hand so we needed the win. With the winter snows blanketing most of the country Alvington was a little oasis of dry sunny weather and most of the regulars turned out in festive mood for what was anticipated to be an entertaining game. The pitch was in good nick, a little soft, but pretty decent for this time of year. The management made a couple of changes for this one with Olly Wake and Jamie Irwin replacing Scott Smith and Dwayne Forshaw.
Sports showed their intent from the start with a great ball from Jamie Green sending Josh Payne flying down the right wing. Josh drove a low hard cross into the box where Jamie Irwin was steaming in. Jamie ended up sprawled on the deck to huge claims for a penalty but the referee was having none of it and waved play on. A couple of minutes later Josh Payne again made good headway down the right and as he headed into the box he was barged to the floor by a defender. That looked a penalty to me, and most others around the ground, but again the referee waved play on. In the 7th minute, as Westlands continued to push forward, Josh Payne put a low shot past the post. It had been a good start by Westlands and it wasn’t until the 9th minute that Sam Watts, the Westlands keeper, was called into action as he dived to smother a low shot. Sports were really getting into top gear now and when the first goal came in the 18th minute it was no great surprise. Jamie Irwin and Ant Herrin combined well to set up JAMIE GREEN who was out on the right hand side of the penalty box. The skipper steadied himself and drove a great shot across the keeper and it squeezed into the far corner off the inside of the post. That opening goal was crucial and the celebration that followed showed what it meant to the Westlands players. Sports were flowing now and some one touch passing between Sam Plumley, Josh Payne and Henry Lawrence-Napier ended with Jamie Irwin just failing to get on the end of the final cross, what a goal that would have been ! Then, with 32 minutes gone, Haydn Hodges fired over a perfect free kick but Jamie Green managed to screw his header wide from in front of goal. Swanage then had a rare attack and Sam Watts, who hadn’t had much to do, saved the final low shot. In the 35th minute Westlands scored their second and it was a really well worked goal. ANT HERRIN put Haydn Hodges away with an audacious back flick. Haydn returned the compliment with a slide rule pass to Ant who despatched the ball into the corner of the net with a side foot finish from 15 yards. Great stuff and more was to follow only 2 minutes later and with the visitor’s reeling. And again it was that man ANT HERRIN who this time combined with Jamie Irwin to take his return pass on the run and smash the ball past the keeper from 20 yards out. This was great to watch for the home supporters and although Westlands kept the pressure on we were unable to add to our three goal lead by half time.
The half time tea tasted sweet as we reflected on what had been an excellent half from Westlands. They had produced some great football and that was reflected in our healthy 3 goal half time lead. The second half was going to be a bit tricky, should Sports shut up shop or try to keep playing that free-flowing football we had seen in the first half ? Swanage, with nothing to lose, would obviously come out fired up by their management to have a go so it would be interesting.
The visitors made some inroads in the opening 10 minutes of the second half and in the 53rd minute their #11 had a good run and shot but once again Sam Watts saved. Two minutes later Westlands had a free kick in the Swanage half and Haydn Hodges put a cross into the goalmouth. Henry Lawrence-Napier, with his back to goal tried to bring the ball down but it bounced free to Jamie Green who riflrd it into the top corner of the net. Unfortunately the referee ruled Henry had used an arm and disallowed the goal. The game was just developing into a bit of a midfield battle as Swanage tried desperately to get a foothold back in the game but they weren’t creating any real chances against a well drilled Westlands defence who were giving nothing away. A bizarre incident that didn’t help Swanage’s cause came around now when one of their players was sent to the touchline to have some blood wiped from his knee. As he tried to return to the pitch the referee spotted some blood on his white sock and informed him it would have to be changed as well. A few minutes later, as the Swanage player waved his sock in the air asking the official to show him where the blood was, he was then “sin-binned” for 10 minutes for dissent ! You couldn’t make it up ! After the game one of the Swanage management asked the referee for an explanation of the “bloodgate” incident, brilliant ! Anyway, back to the game, with an hour now gone Westlands introduced their first sub with Dwayne Forshaw replacing a wearyJosh Payne and this was quickly followed by Leo Hayward coming on in place of Ant Herrin. Dwayne Forshaw soon made his presence felt with a run to the bye line and a cross that ran along the goal line before being cleared.
The final substitution in the 75th minute saw Szymon Matuszewski replace Jamie Irwin. As the game drifted to its inevitable conclusion Sam Watts made a good save, diving on a low shot, to protect his clean sheet. And finally the Swanage keeper made a good save from a Szymon Matuszewski shot.
This was a good result and an excellent performance from Westlands particularly in that first half where some of the football was top class. Although the second half didn’t match that standard we never really looked threatened and comfortably saw the game out.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to JAMIE GREEN who really led from the front in this match. He scored that crucial opening goal, had one disallowed and went close with a header while still managing to do his defensive work. An excellent all round performance from the skipper.
Saturday 6th Jan 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 6 SHAFTESBURY RESERVES 2
With games falling thick and fast to the weather it was a relief to find the pitch in pretty good condition for this DPL fixture. The pitch was soft and the overnight rain had given it a greasy top but there was no standing water at all, a tribute to the groundsman’s rolling and spiking regime. As our last match had been a good win against Swanage, the manager stuck basically with the same squad for this game. A couple of changes were unavoidable with Jamie Green and keeper Sam Watts being unavailable so they were replaced by Sam Carney and reserve team stopper Chris Bennett. The weather was bitterly cold but no sign of any rain so we looked forward to a good game.
The first action in the 2nd minute saw a Josh Payne run open up the visitor’s defence. He fed Henry Lawrence-Napier out wide on the right and when his cross came over Haydn Hodges blasted it over the bar. A couple of minutes later Ant Herrin and Josh Payne exchanged passes but Josh’s final shot was blazed over the top. In the 10th minute Jamie Irwin had a shot blocked by the Shaftesbury keeper and a minute later Haydn Hodges again put a shot high over the bar. After 15 minutes Ant Herrin fed a nice through ball to Jamie Irwin but his final shot was wide of the target. Westlands were dominating the game but the chances were being wasted which was becoming a bit of a concern. These worries, however, were banished in the 20th minute when Westlands took the lead. Henry Lawrence-Napier laid the ball off to HAYDN HODGES who beat a defender before driving a low shot into the corner of the net. It was no more than Sports deserved and they kept the pressure on with Ant Herrin putting a shot just past the post in the 35th minute. After half an hour Westlands went 2-0 up with a brilliant opportunist goal that had the crowd on their feet (!). Ant Herrin caught Shaftesbury napping with a quick free kick which put Jamie Irwin away down the left wing. Jamie drove into the box and played a perfect square pass to JOSH PAYNE who made no mistake with a clinical sidefoot finish. Westlands then took their eye off the ball and only two minutes later Shaftesbury pulled one back. Lee Gale made a strong run down the right and chipped over a cross that their big striker Scott Sharp tucked away with a good header.
That made the half time score 2-1 which was a bit annoying as Westlands had dominated the first half and should really have been out of sight by now. Nevertheless Sports had played some good football in the first 45 and a repeat of that would surely reap some dividends in the second half.
Shaftesbury came out for the restart with their big striker Scott Sharp in goal, keeper Chris Fitzpatrick having taken a knock in the first half. Westlands went for the kill and the stand-in keeper did well to save an Ant Herrin shot with his legs. But in the 52nd minute Sports consolidated their lead with the third goal. Haydn Hodges drove into the box and squared the ball to JAMIE IRWIN who buried it at the far post. Westlands were in full cry now and unfortunately Haydn Hodges finished off an excellent passing move by putting his shot over the top.
In the 60th minute some neat inter-passing between Sam Carney and Haydn Hodges teed up ANT HERRIN and he thumped the ball in from 15 yards to extend the lead to 4-1. Only two minutes later it was 5-1 as ANT HERRIN drilled in a Jamie Irwin pass with the Shaftesbury defence all at sea.
With the game as good as won Westlands introduced 3 subs at this point. Seventeen year old Malik Kamal came on for his first team debut replacing Josh Payne, and Szymon Matuszewski and Scott Smith replaced Sam Carney and Sam Plumley. In the 76th minute Jamie Irwin made a good run down the left and fired a low pass across the face of the goal but no takers. In the 78th minute Westlands made it 6-1 with MALIK KAMAL marking his debut with a neat left foot shot from the edge of the box after exchanging passes with Jamie Irwin. Westlands then switched off and Shaftesbury hit back with a good goal in the 84th minute. It was a solo effort from their substitute Sam Harris who raced into the Westlands half, shrugged off a challenge, and drilled the ball into the far corner. The visitors almost added another a couple of minutes later when they had the ball in the net again but this one was offside. Awakening from their slumbers Westlands finished the match on the front foot with a final flurry which saw a Jamie Irwin glancing header deflected just past the post and the subsequent corner kick being headed over the bar by Jonny Manley.
A final score of 6-2 was obviously a good result and a welcome start to the new year. The team played some good stuff with everyone contributing so that makes the Man-of-the-Match award this week extremely difficult to choose. However the award goes to ANT HERRIN for an excellent performance in the number 9 shirt. He held the ball up well, the distribution was good and two clinical finishes as well so a top class performance.
Saturday 13th Jan 2018, Dorset Premier League Cup, Rnd 2: MERE TOWN 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 5
The weather was fine and the pitch at Mere was looking good as we lined up for this League Cup tie. Our last couple of games here had been 0-0 and a 1-0 win so goals had been hard to come by on this pitch. Westlands made 4 changes from last week, Sam Watts returned in goal, Scott Smith replaced Jonny Manley, Jamie Green came in for Sam Carney and Dwayne Forshaw started in place of Josh Payne.
Westlands opened brightly and in the 2nd minute Haydn Hodges put a great pass over the right back’s head for Jamie Irwin to race onto and bear down on goal. The Mere centre-back, who is very quick, gave chase but his desperate tackle brought Jamie down and earned him an early yellow card. Haydn Hodges took the free kick but his shot was fairly easily saved. Nevertheless a good start for Westlands and it didn’t take long for the pressure to tell. Haydn again put a lovely ball through for Jamie Irwin to chase and once again the centre half had to sprint across and put the ball out of play. The home team went to sleep on the throw in and Ant Herrin fed it on to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER and he deftly lobbed the advancing keeper to open the scoring. A well worked goal, beautifully finished and just what Sports wanted, that early goal. Westlands were dominating the midfield and in the 11th minute went 2-0 up. Ant Herrin burst into the box on the right side and squared the ball for JAMIE IRWIN to sidefoot in from 6 yards. In the 15th minute a Haydn Hodges free kick was head-flicked just over by Henry Lawrence-Napier as Westlands continued to press.
A minute later Westlands made it 3-0. A Haydn Hodges pass picked out DWAYNE FORSHAW and he controlled the ball and slotted it neatly into the far corner. This was a fantastic start to the game for Sports but there was still a long way to go and a lot of football to be played. With nothing to lose now the home side began to get into the game but found it difficult to find a way through the Westlands defence and subsequently keeper Sam Watts didn’t really have a serious save to make.
Half time came and with a 3-0 lead things looked pretty good for Sports but we did not want to concede an early goal in the second half and give the home side a lifeline.
Mere came out fired up to get that early goal and a header was easily saved by Sam Watts. Then a nice build up by the Mere forwards saw the final shot deflected for a corner which was cleared. Having weathered that little storm Westlands were soon back up the other end and forced a corner in the 49th minute that was cleared. A minute later, Haydn Hodges curled in a free kick from out on the right, Henry Lawrence-Napier head flicked it on and SCOTT SMITH came charging in at the far post to chest the ball into the net. At 4-0 the game looked as if it was beyond Mere but they kept plugging away and their #7 controlled a cross well and drove a shot past the post.
On the hour mark the Westlands management decided to make a couple of changes with the introduction of two subs. Dwayne Forshaw had taken a nasty one to the ankle a couple of minutes earlier so he hobbled off and was replaced by Josh Payne. Haydn Hodges had also put in a good shift in the midfield so he was also withdrawn and replaced by Malik Kamal. Josh quickly got involved and he combined well with Ant Herrin to open up the Mere defence and the final shot was scrambled off the line. The home side had a good five minute spell after that and their forward scuffed a shot wide when in a good position at a corner. A few minutes later a Mere free kick was delivered deep to the far post where it was headed wide. With Mere pushing forward Westlands punished them in the 75th minute with a lovely goal. Jamie Irwin broke away down the left and squared the ball to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who controlled the ball and smashed it low and hard into the corner of the net from 15 yards. The game was over as a contest, but in true cup tie tradition, both teams kept the pace up and gave us an entertaining last 15 minutes. In the 80th minute Sam Watts made a save from a good shot and a minute later, up at the other end, Scott Smith headed an Ant Herrin corner over the bar. Then Malik Kamal played a nice through ball to Jamie Irwin but the leeper rushed out and made the block. In the 85th minute the Mere keeper made a hash of a clearance and presented the ball to Josh Payne but he rushed his finish and smashed the ball wide of the near post. In a final flurry Mere had a couple of chances as they looked for a consolation goal. Their forward was clean through but put his shot wide of the target and finally Sam Watts kept his clean sheet safe with a comfortable save from a long shot.
So, a 5-0 win was more than we could have hoped for and we move into the quarter finals now. Also pleasing was the manner of the victory, as we played some good stuff and, on reflection, never really looked troubled by the opposition. A very dodgy chorus of ‘twist and shout’ in the changing room ended a very good day.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who put in a power of work in the midfield. Two top class goals as well made it a match winning performance.
Saturday 3rd Feb 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 PARLEY SPORTS 2
After 2 weeks of postponements there was optimism in the air with several dry (ish !) days leading up to the weekend, but steady rain on Saturday dampened our hopes. However a morning inspection passed the pitch as playable and a final pre-match inspection by the officials gave it the thumbs up, game on !
There were still some threatening black clouds around and it was bitterly cold as the teams came out in their short sleeved kits to line up for kick off ! Sports had a couple of changes from last time out at Mere. With both central defenders that day, Olly Wake and Scott Smith, missing Jonny Manley returned to be partnered by Scott Morgan who stepped up from the Reserves after some impressive performances. Ant Herrin was also missing today so Josh Payne took over the number nine shirt.
Westlands were kicking with the breeze in their favour and, before I had time to sharpen my pencil, they scored the opening goal. JAMIE IRWIN picked the ball up on the left wing, cut inside onto his right foot and let fly from about 20 yards with a dipping shot that flew over the keeper into the net. Parley were definitely caught cold there, particularly the keeper who had perhaps strayed a bit off his line. What a start for Westlands !
The match settled down now and it was obvious the conditions were “testing” but both teams were having a go and it looked like we were in for a good game. In the 10th minute Parley created their first opportunity with a ball up front to their #9, who laid it off for his team-mate to get a shot away that went just past the post. A minute later their right winger had a go but Sam Watts saved fairly comfortably. Westlands then had a free kick in a good position on the edge of the box, but Haydn Hodges put his shot just past the far post. Parley were mounting some good attacks, with their left winger in particular looking dangerous. It was an even game but in the 28th minute Westlands scored again. A through ball put Josh Payne clear and as he headed goalwards he was upended by the Parley centre half. No doubt about that one, definite penalty, and HAYDN HODGES stuck away the spot kick to give Westlands a two goal lead. Only two minutes later Parley were really suffering as Westlands scored a third goal. A bit of controversy about this one concerning a throw in that was awarded to Westlands out on the right wing. Parley players were adamant it should have been their throw and, to be honest, I had to agree with them. Anyway, as they moaned and groaned Westlands took the throw and Josh Payne got to the bye line and cut the ball back to HAYDN HODGES who just managed to get to the ball before a defender and smash it into the net. Parley protested furiously about the throw in decision and, to make matters worse, their skipper ended up in the sin bin. You could say he was a bit lucky actually as some of the verbals he was giving the referee was more ‘foul and abusive’ than ‘dissent’. Back to the game and as two players clashed out on the right the Parley player caught a flying arm in the mouth and received a bleeding lip. The lino, who was right on the spot, said it was an accidental collision but got an earful from the Parley player who was promptly sin-binned as well. I can’t say I’m a fan of this sin-bin, its just too confusing and nobody really knows whats going on. As you would imagine Westland were in control now and a lovely move involving Jamie Irwin and Dwayne Forshaw ended with Jamie shooting just over the top. Then just before the break Dwayne Forshaw made a strong run down the right wing and he cut the ball back to JOSH PAYNE who drilled it into the net to make it 4-0.
A four goal lead at half time was slightly flattering to Westlands as Parley had looked useful going forward in the early stages of the first half. Unfortunately they had lost their composure in the later stages and had been punished by the home side.
The conditions were strength sapping and the pace did drop a bit after the break with Westlands perhaps resting on their laurels having built up a comfortable lead. In the 59th minute Jamie Irwin shot wide for the home team but in the 65th minute Parley pulled one back. A simple ball through ball put their #10 away and he raced on, drew the keeper, and fired a neat shot into the far corner. This sparked Westlands back into life again and a good run and shot from Josh Payne drew a save with his legs from the Parley keeper. In the 72nd minute Haydn Hodges had a shot come off the post as Westlands kept the pressure on. Three minutes later a superb through ball from Jamie Green saw JAMIE IRWIN racing through on goal. He kept his composure, went round the keeper, and slotted the ball into the net from an acute angle. A cool finish from the young Westland player.
With 10 minutes remaining a Parley player skied a shot over the bar and then a few minutes later Malik Kamal had a shot for Westlands that went past the post . As the match headed for the 90 minutes Josh Payne hit the bar with a good shot. Still time though for another goal as Westlands Scott Morgan made a rather rash challenge to bring down a Parley player at the edge of the box. The lino was once again on the spot and he immediately signalled for a penalty so the Westlands players appeals fell on deaf ears. The Parley #10 slotted away the spot kick for his second goal of the game to make the score 5-2. One final attack by Westlands saw Haydn Hodges cross the ball for Josh Payne to head over the bar.
That was it, a 5-2 win, plenty of goals and some incidents to discuss in the post-match debate in the Airfield.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to HAYDN HODGES who revelled in the conditions and drove Westlands forward, particularly in the first half. Two goals as well so a good day for Haydn.
Saturday 17th Feb 2018, Dorset Premier League: HAMWORTHY UTD RESERVES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 4
No weather problems this week as we were on the 4G pitch at the County Ground and it looked immaculate as the teams warmed up. Sports had only one change from the team that beat Parley last time out, Olly Wake returning to centre half to replace Scott Morgan. Ant Herrin and Scott Smith also returned and were joined on the bench by Steve Ormrod.
In Sports first attack Dwayne Forshaw was clobbered by the Hamworthy left back who was a bit lucky to escape with only a ticking off. From the free kick Haydn Hodges hit a wayward shot over the bar. A couple of minutes later Westlands had another free kick in a dangerous position but this time Haydn’s shot hit the wall and the ball was deflected for a corner. Haydn whipped the corner over and Josh Payne hooked the ball goalwards where the keeper parried it and eventually it was hacked clear. It took about 5 minutes for the home team to settle and they then began to test out the Westlands defence for the first time. A free kick to Hamworthy was hit straight into the wall and in the 10th minute the home side had a good effort by their centre forward with a run and shot that flew just over the bar. A bit worrying that the Westlands players had backed off and allowed the #9 to run about 20 yards deep into our half before he got his shot away. The Westlands management could be heard voicing their displeasure at this point ! In the 12th minute Haydn Hodges made room for himself out on the left and when his cross came over Josh Payne just failed to get a clean header on it. Then a superb passing move by Westlands (I counted at least 10 passes) ended with a rather tame shot from Dwayne Forshaw when the move deserved more. In the 19th minute came the breakthrough for Sports with the first goal of the match. Phil Wells fed the ball down the left to Jamie Irwin who took on the full back and left him trailing. A perfect cross from Jamie to the far post picked out unmarked skipper JAMIE GREEN and he thumped the ball into the net from close range. An excellent goal and one that stung the home side into a response with a couple of attacks but they were finding it hard to break down Sports defence. Their centre forward almost managed it in the 24th minute when he burst through only to be foiled by onrushing Westlands keeper Sam Watts who dived to block his effort at point blank range. After half an hour Dwayne Forshaw turned a Josh Payne cross into the net but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for offside. Then Sam Watts came to Sports rescue with another superb save. Hamworthy had a free kick just outside the box and the shot at goal took a wicked deflection and looked to be heading for the corner of the net. The Westlands keeper, who had been heading in the other direction, somehow managed to dive and turn the ball round the post. What a save that was and a couple of minutes later Sam was in action again, this time a fairly simple clutch from another free kick. In the 40th minute Haydn Hodges tried a curling effort but was just over the top and just before the break Jamie Irwin fired over an inviting cross but there was no-one there to turn it in.
A 1-0 half-time lead was just about right as the home side had put together some neat passing moves but Westlands had always looked more dangerous and carried more of a goalscoring threat. Most Westland supporters in the tea bar at half time seemed reasonably confident we would go on to win this one so we emerged in positive mood just as the teams kicked off.
Before I had time to make my way round to my vantage point on the far side Westlands scored ! Sports had come out in determined mood and a Hamworthy player was robbed of possession just inside his own half. The ball was quickly pushed through to Josh Payne whose run into the box was thwarted by a great sliding tackle by a Hamworthy defender. Unfotunately for him the ball went out to Jamie Irwin on the left wing and his driven low cross was turned in by HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER at the far post. A mistake by the home side had been ruthlessly punished by Sports and the players were jubilant as they knew the importance of that second goal. Westlands looked in control now and in the 55th minute came the first substitution with Ant Herrin replacing Dwayne Forshaw who I don’t think had fully recovered from that early knock. Ten minutes later it all went pear shaped for the home side when their #10, who had received a yellow card in the first half for a rash tackle, went flying in on Sam Plumley and picked up a second yellow and resulting red. In the 70th minute another substitution saw Josh Payne retire, being replaced by Steve Ormrod. Westlands pushed their defenders up for a corner and were almost caught out when Hamworthy cleared the ball upfield. The quick break was defended well with the final shot being blocked for a corner which Sam Watts came and clutched confidently. More drama in the 75th minute when the Hamworthy #12 was sin-binned for dissent and he then gave the referee another mouthful and got a straight red ! That really killed off any slim hopes that the home side may have had about a fight back and with 15 minutes still to play, there was an opportunity for Westlands to perhaps score another 2 or 3 to boost the goal difference. In the 80th minute Sports notched the third goal. With men over as they attacked, Jamie Green passed the ball to ANT HERRIN about 15 yards out and he drilled a low shot past the diving keeper. The final substitution was then made with Scott Smith coming on for Jamie Irwin. In the 85th minute, Scott made his presence felt when he powered a header goalwards from a corner kick. The keeper could only parry the header and as the Hamworthy players got in each others way JAMIE GREEN hooked the ball into the net for goal number 4. An opportunist goal by the skipper but not sure it merited the ‘Ronaldo-esque’ celebration ! Westlands seemed content with the scoreline now and were happy just to knock the ball around for the remaining minutes although in the dying seconds goal number 5 looked a possibility. Haydn Hodges played a good long pass out to Steve Ormrod who cut in from the right but found the angle too narrow and put his shot into the side netting.
That was it, an excellent four goal victory, a clean sheet and no disciplinary issues, so an excellent day all round.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to SAM WATTS for an excellent display of goalkeeping, showing why he’s the league’s number 1.
Saturday 24th Feb 2018, Dorset Premier League: MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
Always a difficult away trip this one, but we had a fine, if cold, day and the pitch looked in decent shape. Westlands had one change to the line-up from last week with Ant Herrin replacing Josh Payne up front.
Merley had the wind behind them and started as if they meant business and a deep cross to the far post in the second minute had to be cleared for a corner. That was cleared but not very far as Merley kept the pressure on and a good move saw a shot fly over Westlands bar. We were waiting for Sports to settle down and begin to turn the tide but at the moment it just wasn’t happening as the home team seemed to pick up all the loose balls. In the 7th minute a long throw in was flicked on and almost turned in at the far post. A minute later a deep cross was met by a Merley head but Sam Watts, the Westlands keeper, parried it away. A few minutes later another long throw was met by a Merley head and again Sam Watts turned it away for a corner. From the kick their player put a shot just past the post. All this and we had only played quarter of an hour. But at least now Westlands mounted an attack with Sam Plumley putting a good ball across goal which was cleared. Back up the other end and another free kick was scrambled away for a corner which was headed wide. Westlands defending had been a bit desperate at times but we were still holding out after 30 minutes so if we could hold out until half time at 0-0 that would be a good result. Then unfortunately, fate turned against us as we conceded the first goal. A great tackle by Jamie Green in the midfield was wrongly penalised and a free kick given. The ball was clipped into the Westlands box where Sam Watts looked to be impeded as he came out to collect. The ball went free, a Merley player had a shot that was blocked and it fell to another Merley player whose shot was also blocked but finally it was thumped through the crowd and found the back of the net. We had been under severe pressure but it was still annoying to lose a goal like that. Merley sensed they had us on the ropes now and they kept the pressure on to try and kill the game off. Another long throw was scrambled away but not fully cleared and when the ball was returned into the box again a Westlands player managed to scramble it clear. Moving into the last 5 minutes of the half another cross flew straight across the Westlands goal with no-one making contact. Then another free kick caused a bit of mayhem in the Westlands box before it was cleared for a corner. The corner came over and was headed over the bar. The pressure eventually told when we conceded the second goal. We lost possession in midfield and a Merley player battled through three challenges before feeding the ball through to his centre forward who took it first time and hit a blistering shot that flew into the top corner. The final action of the half saw Sam Watts pull off a good save and we managed to clear the resulting corner.
The general opinion at half time was that Westlands had not been at the races and could well have been 3 or 4 behind as the home side had numerous chances. There was some hope, however, as we would now have the wind behind us and we hoped the half time ‘chat’ would see an improved performance in the second half.
Sure enough, as the half began we were pushing forward and in the 48th minute forced a corner, possibly our first of the match. A high kick was cleared fairly easily by the Merley defence who had been dominant in the air all game. Perhaps a short corner might have paid dividends. Josh Payne was then introduced for Dwayne Forshaw as Westlands tried to get back into the game. A free kick into the Merley box was cleared for a corner. Again we crossed high and again the Merley defence cleared. Jonny Manley then damaged his wrist and had to be replaced by Scott Smith in a straight swap. Westlands huffed and puffed but were not finding a way through the home defence who seemed quite happy to defend their two goal lead. With 20 minutes to go the ball was laid back to Haydn Hodges and he hit a screamer from 18 yards that flew inches past the post with the keeper beaten. The ball was then played in to an unmarked Ant Herrin in the box but the keeper managed to block his shot and the chance was gone. Then Josh Payne made a good run down the right and fired a great cross to the far post. Ant Herrin met it with his head but he couldn’t direct his header away from the keeper who made the save. You just knew then it wasn’t our day. Malik Kamal then replaced Sam Plumley in a last throw of the dice for Westlands. We immediately put together a good move with Henry Lawrence-Napier putting Malik away down the right wing. Malik fired over a cross which went deep beyond the far post but Ant Herrin gathered the ball and laid it off to Haydn Hodges who’s shot cleared the bar. There was just time for Haydn to have another go before the final whistle but again he cleared the crossbar.
So ended our 7 match winning streak in the league and this was our second defeat to Merley Cobham this season. We didn’t do ourselves justice on the day, there is no doubt about that, and the manner of our defeat caused much soul-searching by the management after the game. This result is a severe blow to our title hopes but with still 14 league games to play there is time to go on another winning run and we still have all the other top sides to play who knows ?
In a flat performance by the whole team this week the Man-of-the-Match award goes to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER.
Sat 10th Mar 2018, Somerset Senior Cup, Quarter-Final: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 STOCKWOOD GREEN 2
Despite heavy overnight rain the pitch was in reasonable condition with the going described as ‘soft’. Sports had only one change from the previous match with Josh Payne returning to the starting lineup.
Westlands drove forward straight from the kick-off and forced a corner. Haydn Hodges whipped it in and there was panic in the visitor’s defence with a defender almost turning the ball into his own net before it was eventually cleared for another corner. The second kick was hacked away for yet another corner which was eventually scrambled clear. What a start from Westlands with the opposition looking a bit shell shocked. It was pretty much one way traffic so it was no real surprise when HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER ran on to a through ball in the 10th minute and sidefooted it past the keeper to open the scoring. Westlands kept the pressure on and in the 15th minute a good run from Sam Plumley set up Josh Payne for a cross that was put over the bar by Jamie Irwin. A couple of minutes later Jamie returned the favour, cutting the ball back to Josh Payne who’s shot forced a good save from the keeper. Then Sports had a decent position with a free kick on the edge of the box but Haydn Hodges blasted it high and wide. In the 25th minute Jamie Irwin made a good run but his cross was cleared for a corner which the keeper did well to punch clear. The a free lick into the opposition box caused a bit of panic before it was eventually cleared In the 30th minute Jamie Irwin picked the ball up just inside the Stockwood half and sprinted clear. His final shot for the far corner was just clawed away by the keeper’s fingertips. Then Haydn Hodges was taken out on the near touchline by a reckless tackle by an opposition player who was lucky to escape with just a yellow card. From the free kick Henry Lawrence-Napier’s header was cleared off the line. A minute later Haydn Hodges had a header saved and as Westlands kept up the pressure only a mixture of wayward finishing and some excellent saves from the visitor’s keeper kept them at bay. However, as often happens, you get punished for not taking your chances. Against the run of play Stockwood equalised in the 36th minute. A good run down the right and a low cross into the box was not cleared properly and their striker drilled the ball into the back of the net. Ant Herrin then had a shot saved in the 43rd minute and 1-1 looked like being the half time score until just before the whistle when JOSH PAYNE got on the end of a corner and thumped it into the net to restore Westlands lead.
There was no doubt Sports deserved to be leading at the interval but really we should have been well ahead with the chances we had. The passing and tempo had been good in the first half and if Westlands could keep that up they should go on to win this one.
Five minutes into the second half Sports increased their lead with a lovely goal which drew murmurs of approval from the discerning spectators behind the fence. HAYDN HODGES played a ball to Josh Payne out on the right and continued his run into the box. Josh put a slide rule pass through into Haydn’s path and he drove it under the keeper. With a two goal lead Westlands turned up the heat. Ant Herrin made a great run down the left and put over a lovely cross into the path of Josh Payne who was following up. Josh tried to open up his body and knock the ball in with his right foot but only succeeded glancing the ball wide of the target. The visitors were looking weary now and some rash tackles started flying in. Westlands stayed cool and in the 75th minute JAMIE GREEN picked up a loose clearance 25 yards out and fired a lovely shot into the corner to make it 4-1. Two minutes later Josh Payne caught one flush but the ball just cleared the bar. In the 80th minute number five came when a Haydn Hodges cross was controlled and thumped in by DWAYNE FORSHAW. Obviously game over now but things began to deteriorate with some stupid tackles going in and the Westland players inevitably being dragged into it. The referee was struggling to keep control possibly as a result of letting some dodgy tackles go unpunished earlier. We had another incident where things almost boiled over when Sam Plumley took exception to being attacked by the opposition #9. All very poor but eventually we continued with the football and Westlands goalkeeper Sam Watts conceded a free kick after allegedly picking the ball up outside the box. The ball was chipped across the face of the goal where it was headed in off the underside of the bar. Was it over the line as it bounced down and out ? The referee didn’t think so and allowed play to continue but eventually gave the goal after the linesman flagged. In the 85th minute Dwayne Forshaw set up Malik Kamal with a good pass but he rushed his shot and put it over the top.
That was the end of the action and we were glad to hear the final whistle. A fairly comfortable win for Westlands really and it could have been more but for an excellent display by the visitor’s goalkeeper.
The Man-of-the-Match award is always difficult as everyone usually pulls their weight in a team performance. This week it goes to HAYDN HODGES, who took some rough treatment but was always willing to take the opposition on and got his usual goal to cap a good performance.
Saturday 17th Mar 2018, Dorset Premier League: DORCHESTER SPORTS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
It was a bitterly cold day with some signs of snow, but the pitch was playable so we were glad the match was on. Sports had a couple of senior players, Olly Wake and Haydn Hodges, missing so Under 18 player Malik Kamal was given his first start upfront and another Under 18, Tommy Frampton, was given his debut on the bench.
Westland’s keeper Sam Watts was first in action with a fairly routine save in the 2nd minute but the Westland’s management were a bit perplexed when Jamie Green was shown an early yellow card for what looked like a good tackle. Sam Watts then made another fairly easy save as the home side made most of the early running. After 15 minutes Westlands began to respond and some good play by Josh Payne down the right led to Ant Herrin having a shot which the keeper saved. A minute later Josh cut in from the right wing and fired a left foot shot wide of the far post. After 20 minutes Westlands had a good chance to open the scoring when a sliderule Ant Herrin pass put Josh Payne clear through the middle. As the keeper came out, Josh skipped round him but, from an angle, put his shot into the side net. Dorchester’s next attack saw Jonny Manley harshly penalised for a good tackle with a free kick awarded right on the edge of the box. Thankfully the Dorchester player blasted the kick over the bar. On the half hour Jamie Irwin made a good run down the left and cut the ball back to Josh Payne who blasted his shot high over the top. Then Henry Lawrence-Napier had a header saved as the game swung from end to end. Another free kick conceded on the edge of the box gave Dorchester another chance but this time Jonny Manley headed clear. Then the home side were denied by a great save by Sam Watts from a point blank header and the first half ended with Jamie Irwin being yellow carded for kicking the ball away.
Half time, nil nil, and a pretty even game so far. Both sides had created chances so it was all to play for in the second half.
The half began with the sides exchanging shots that went wide of the target, Sam Plumley putting the Westland’s effort over the top. Then after we gave the ball away in midfield Sam Watts made a good diving save to turn the ball away for a corner which was cleared. However in the 52nd minute we conceded the first goal. A ball into the box was headed clear by Jonny Manley but only as far as a Dorchester player about 16 yards out and he volleyed the ball on the drop into the far corner. A well struck shot that gave the keeper no chance as it came through a crowd of players. Westlands immediately tried to hit back and only 2 minutes later missed a glorious chance. Josh Payne cracked in a shot which the keeper parried and the ball fell to Jamie Irwin’s feet with the goal gaping. Somehow Jamie managed to put his shot over the bar from about 5 yards out. Then a corner kick fell to Malik Kamal, but his shot went over as well. With just over an hour on the clock Westlands equalised. With the pitch cutting up a longer ball over the top looked a good option to exploit our pace up front. Scott Smith pinged one in behind the home defence and their goalkeeper came dashing out to the edge of the penalty area to clear. Under pressure he lost possession to JAMIE IRWIN who took the ball round him and walked it into the empty net. Just what we needed and could we now go on to win the points ? It was anyone’s game now and Westlands made their first substitution with Tommy Frampton replacing Sam Plumley who had pulled up with a hamstring problem. Westlands pressed on and, from a corner kick, Scott Smith thumped in a shot that came off the crossbar and was cleared for another corner. From the second kick Jonny Manley got his head to the ball and his looping header unbelievably came off the bar as well ! Then Dorchester had a great chance but the final shot flew inches over the top. Malik Kamal was replaced by Dwayne Forshaw as Westlands went looking for the winner. As we entered the last 10 minutes it was still in the balance and Dorchester had a dipping header that dropped just over the bar. That was followed in the 86th minute by a contentious incident. A through ball put Josh Payne racing through the middle with a couple of defenders in hot pursuit. As Josh prepared to shoot he was brought down and the ball rolled past the keeper and came off the post. It looked a certain penalty as from my viewpoint it looked as if Josh had his heels clipped by one defender and was pulled back by the other ! Considering some of the soft free kicks that had been given for tackles earlier this was nailed on. The referee then waved play on to the dismay of all concerned in the Westlands camp. If that incident had happened anywhere else on the pitch it would have been a free kick and possibly a yellow card so we were upset by that decision. But worse was to come as 2 minutes later Dorchester grabbed the winner ! A big kick by their keeper sailed well into the Westland’s half and Sam Watts came out to the edge of the area to clear. Unfortunately his clearance fell to a Dorchester player about 35 yards out and he fired a shot over everyone’s head into the back of the net ! What a disaster, having gone from a possible winning position to a losing one in 2 minutes was hard to take for the Westlands players and it was difficult not to agree with their sentiments.
That was it, another defeat on the road and a bitter pill to swallow, but that’s football for you ! We had numerous chances but didn't take them and on the day we didn't have much luck to be honest.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week it goes to JOSH PAYNE. Perhaps a slightly controversial choice considering he missed a couple of good chances, but he was always the danger man for Westlands and always looked our most likely match winner.
Saturday 17th Mar 2018, Dorset Premier League Cup, Semi-Final: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 BALTI SPORTS 1
The first of two semi-finals saw Westlands make two changes from the side that lost last week. Ant Herrin was replaced by Dwayne Forshaw and Haydn Hodges returned to replace Malik Kamal. The weather was fine and the pitch had been rolled and spiked so no problems there.
Westlands looked to be up for this one back on home soil and were soon pressing forward. After 5 minutes some excellent interplay by Jamie Irwin and Josh Payne down the right won Westlands a corner which Jonny Manley headed just past the far post. A few minutes later Dwayne Forshaw made a good run down the left and forced another corner. The kick caused a bit of a scramble in the Balti box with a shot being blocked then half cleared out to JONNY MANLEY on the edge of the box and he thumped a low shot through the crowd into the back of the net. Just the start Westlands were looking for and in the tenth minute it was very nearly two ! Dwayne Forshaw slipped a pass to Haydn Hodges who moved the ball onto his right foot and let fly with a piledriver that hit the inside of the near post and flew straight across the goal-line with the Balti keeper rooted to the spot. After a quarter of an hour we had Balti’s best chance so far with a header that went past the post. Then Dwayne Forshaw tried to lob the Balti keeper from about 30 yards with the ball dropping on the roof of the net. Another chance for the visitor’s on the half hour mark but again the effort missed the target, going well wide. In the 37th minute Josh Payne was brought down in the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Not a lot of argument from the opposition about that one and HAYDN HODGES smashed the ball into the top corner to open up a two goal lead for Westlands. A few minutes later Haydn almost got on the scoresheet again. He burst down the right wing and miscued his cross, which flew towards goal forcing the keeper to dive up and tip the ball over the bar. With 42 minutes gone Josh Payne made another good run to the byeline and cut the ball across the face of the goal. Dwayne Forshaw slid in and got a touch but a defender just managed to get back and hack the ball clear as it crossed the line. Balti then had a chance but once again failed to find the target, the shot going past the post. The final action of the half saw Josh Payne create some space in the box but his shot was over the top.
A good first half for Westlands with a nice two goal lead which, with a bit of luck, could have been more. A nice sensible second half and we should clinch our place in the final, we just had to make sure we didn’t let the pace drop and let our opponents back into the game.
The second half started with Westlands almost conceding a goal straight away ! Jamie Green conceded possession in midfield and we were caught out with no cover for the defence. Luckily Westlands keeper Sam Watts was on his toes with an excellent save to prevent a disastrous start to the half for Westlands. Dwayne Forshaw then had a chance as he cut in onto his right foot but the shot was blazed over the bar. In the 51st minute Sam Watts again had to make a save, clutching the ball to his body as Balti carved out another shooting chance. The visitor’s, with nothing to lose, had upped their game in the second half and Westlands were looking a bit ragged. Then we had another setback which could have been costly when Haydn Hodges got himself sin-binned for continuing to argue with the referee despite several warnings. Balti Sports were encouraged by this turn of events and immediately piled forward and put several balls into the Westlands box. Some dogged defending and two good saves, one after the other, from Sam Watts kept them at bay. In the 60th minute a welcome attack saw Josh Payne shoot over the bar but it gave the Westlands defence a nice breather. Back came Balti and another shot flew just past the post. That was followed by a Balti attacker bursting through the Westlands backline but once again Sam Watts rushed out to dive at his feet and smother the ball. Sam Plumley then suffered a re-occurrence of the hamstring problem from last week and had to retire being replaced by the experienced Olly Wake. This was followed immediately by Haydn Hodges return from the bin so Westlands, back to full strength, looked to get back on the attack having survived a spell of Balti pressure. In the 70th minute Westlands put together a great move to score their third goal. Haydn Hodges started it with a great tackle in midfield to win the ball and he fed a lovely pass through for Jamie Irwin to take in his stride. As the keeper rushed out, Jamie took the ball past him to the byeline and chipped it across the face of the goal where JOSH PAYNE powered in a header that went in off the underside of the bar. At 3-0 the game looked to be safe now and surely Weslands would just shut up shop with no silly mistakes. With 15 minutes to go a bitter blow for the home side when Josh Payne went down clutching his hamstring and he had to be helped off, being replaced by Malik Kamal. Westlands had a chance a minute later when Dwayne Forshaw fired in a shot which the keeper parried but the ball fell to Malik but he screwed his shot wide. Then with 5 minutes left on the clock Balti were awarded a penalty when their forward was felled in the box. No real argument with that decision either although it did look as if the forward had handled the ball just prior to the penalty. Anyway, the kick was drilled in to make it 3-1. Dwayne Forshaw was then replaced by Tommy Frampton as Westlands looked to keep it tight for the last 5 minutes. With a couple of minutes to go Tommy was set up nicely by Haydn Hodges in front of goal but he scuffed his shot straight at the keeper.
That was the last action of the match and obviously a good victory as it gives us a cup final to look forward to, so congratulations to players and management. The downside was a couple of bad injuries at the busiest time of the season but, with top class replacements in the reserves, hopefully it will not cause too much disruption.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to SAM WATTS who definitely bailed the team out when we were down to 10 men. Several good saves kept Balti at bay when they had their best spell of the match. Showed why he is the best keeper in the league.
Sat 7th April 2018, Somerset Senior Cup, Semi-Final: WESTLAND SPORTS 0 CHILCOMPTON SPORTS 2
The pitch was fine after a morning inspection and the rain had gone off so we were all set for a good game and a decent crowd had turned out. Westlands made one change from the team that won last time out, Ant Herrin replacing Josh Payne who was struggling with a hamstring problem but was still included on the bench. Sam Plumley also had a hamstring problem but he surprisingly started the game suitably strapped up.
The visitors settled quickly and were knocking the ball around nicely in the early minutes. Westlands players looked a bit heavy legged but hopefully they would grow into the game. Chilcompton continued to push forward and got their reward in the 7th minute with the opening goal. Westlands were guilty of careless marking at a corner as the opposition #3 was picked out unmarked standing on the corner of the box. As he lined up to shoot Jamie Green rushed out and blocked the shot but it bounced up and back to the Chilcompton full back who had another go. This time he didn’t connect very well but the ball bounced through the crowd and ended up in the far corner of the net leaving the Westlands players standing looking at each other. A poor goal to lose and just what the visitors wanted, an early goal and they were well on top after this. In fact it was in the 25th minute that Westlands had their first effort on goal, an Ant Herrin shot that went past the post. Then we had the opportunity to push everyone up for a free kick but it was headed clear. In the 33rd minute we were staring defeat in the face when Chilcompton scored again. Again it was a corner from the left that was swung into the goalmouth. The opposition #9 made a run from back to front and headed the ball in from close range in the middle of the goal with Westlands players looking flat footed. That stirred Westlands up a bit and before half time they had a couple of decent chances. First Jamie Irwin picked out Dwayne Forshaw with a nice pass but his shot was well saved by the keeper. Then Haydn Hodges made a great run into the box beating several defenders but his final shot was beaten away by the keeper for a corner. From the kick Henry Lawrence-Napier headed just over the bar. A spirited response by Westlands but we needed a goal and the half time whistle ended our best spell in the match.
Not much to be optimistic about at half time as the visitors had been the better team and Westlands had never got out of first gear.
Two substitutions were made at half time with Sam Carney replacing Jamie Green and Josh Payne taking the place of Dwayne Forshaw. Josh began to cause the opposition a few problems down the right and his shot in the 50th minute was deflected over the top for a corner. 5 minutes later some more good dribbling by Josh set up Jamie Irwin with a chance but his shot was saved. Chilcompton were still very dangerous and a shot from a corner was deflected over. With about 20 minutes left came the last throw of the dice for Westlands with their final substitution being made. This saw Ant Herrin being replaced by Steve Ormrod to give us a more physical presence up front, although perhaps we should have kept them both on and taken off a defender ? To be fair Chilcompton were still controlling the game, and although Westlands were having a bit more pressure now I think perhaps the visitors were being a bit cautious and were protecting their two goal lead. With time running out and chances few and far between for Westlands it was Chilcompton who finished the game with a couple of decent chances, one flying past the post, another over the bar.
No complaints from the Westlands camp after the game, sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit you were beaten by the better team on the day. Chilcompton were up for it from the start, passing and moving when they had the ball and hounding Westlands into errors when they didn’t. An impressive 90 minutes by the visitors and I would put money on them lifting the trophy this year. Meanwhile its back to the drawing board for Westlands who had some weaknesses in the team exposed on the day.
Man-of-the-match is HAYDN HODGES who ran himself into the ground as usual. You can’t fault his effort and he is always looking to be involved in the game.
Sat 14th April 2018, Dorset Premier League: STURMINSTER NEWTON UTD 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 4
This was the theatre of dreams on Saturday with the sun splitting the skies and not a black cloud to be seen. Throw in a good win for Westlands, some excellent hospitality from our hosts, plus the Grand National to watch and it made for a good afternoon all round. (not to mention the cheap beer !)
Sports made only one change from last week’s team with Josh Payne taking Dwayne Forshaw's place out on the right. Sports took command from the start and only some excellent goalkeeping and some poor finishing kept them from opening the scoring in the first few minutes. In the 2nd minute Sam Plumley played a good ball down the right wing for Josh Payne who skinned the Stur full back and cut the ball back to Ant Herrin who half hit his shot into the keeper’s arms. Sturminster Newton replied with a shot from 25 yards that went well over the top. Then Henry Lawrence-Napier cut in and had a shot which the keeper turned away for a corner. Haydn Hodges took the kick but Josh Payne headed the cross over the bar on the run. Ten minutes gone and its been almost constant Westlands pressure. Next Jamie Irwin set up Ant Herrin but again the Stur keeper turned the ball round the post for a corner. Scott Smith got his head to the kick but put his effort over the top. A good passing move then saw Jamie Irwin fire in a shot but again the keeper saved. What a game he was having ! Then, inevitably, in the 12th minute, Westlands took the lead. A Haydn Hodges free kick into the box was flicked on by Jonny Manley for ANT HERRIN to head in at the far post. Henry Lawrence-Napier then set up Ant Herrin but once again the keeper turned his shot round the post. After 20 minutes Sturminster Newton had their best attempt so far with a 30 yard drive that drifted wide of the goal. In the 22nd minute Sports missed a sitter when Ant Herrin managed to head the ball over the bar from about 2 yards out after good play by Haydn Hodges. The home side were working hard to try and get into the game but they were too reliant on a hopeful long ball up to the lone striker who was well shackled by Jonny Manley and Scott Smith. Nevertheless, in the 34th minute they engineered a chance but the finish was again wide of the target. Three minutes later it was 2-0 to Westlands when Ant Herrin turned his man and made a good run into the box. He drove the ball low and hard across goal for JOSH PAYNE to turn in at the far post. A couple of minutes later Henry Lawrence-Napier fired in a good shot which the keeper parried. Josh Payne tried to turn in the rebound but his shot was deflected onto the post and behind for a corner. From the kick Jonny Manley had a free header but put it over the top.
That was the last chance of the half so we went in with a nice two goal lead but in all honesty it should have been a lot more. Credit to the Sturminster keeper though, he was having a blinder and was instrumental in keeping the score to two. That and some careless finishing by Westlands ! Sports looked as though they could go on and score a few more in the second half as the home team hadn’t troubled us at the back and keeper Sam Watts had not been asked to make a save.
Westlands came out with keeper Watts resplendent in his smart cap ready to face the sun in the second half for the first time in months. Sturminster made an effort in the first few minutes of the half but still couldn’t force Sports well dressed keeper into a save. After 7 minutes of the second half a superb cross field pass from Ant Herrin put JAMIE IRWIN in the clear and he drew the keeper and drilled the ball into the far corner to make it 3-0. In the 54th minute a neat pass put Josh Payne clean through. As the keeper came out Josh stroked the ball past him only to see it roll past the outside of the post ! A minute later Josh was through again but as he was about to shoot he was just clipped from behind and the ball was cleared. Then Henry Lawrence-Napier had an open goal but he took a swing at the ball and completely missed his shot. On the hour, Jamie Green was replaced by Olly Wake in a like for like change in Westlands midfield. Haydn Hodges then set up Josh Payne but he put his shot past the post. Another sub for Westlands in the 67th minute saw Josh replaced by Malik Kamal on the right wing. Malik got into the action straight away, cutting inside the full back and firing a shot past the far post. A minute later Malik set up Henry Lawrence-Napier who again duffed his shot in front of goal. After 75 minutes Jamie Irwin shot past the far post again after some good work by Malik Kamal. Then came Westlands final substitution with Jamie Irwin being replaced by Dwayne Forshaw. A couple of minutes later this proved to be an inspired substitution ! Jonny Manley strode out of defence with the ball and played a lovely ball over the top to Malik Kamal who drove down the right to the bye line and cut the ball back to DWAYNE FORSHAW who smashed it in off the underside of the bar. Sturminster tried desperately to get a consolation and got a shot on target which Sam Watts saved fairly easily. The last action was a run and shot from Haydn Hodges which was saved by the Stur keeper to cap an excellent game for him.
A comfortable win for Westlands and nice to get back to winning ways. Sports now face a hectic programme with eleven fixtures to complete before the end of the season so still everything to play for.
Man-of-the-match this week is SCOTT SMITH who had a solid game at the back for Westlands. Won every tackle and header and contributed to a fine clean sheet for the team.
Wednesday 18th April 2018, Dorset Premier League: SHAFTESBURY RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 4
A nice dry evening at Shaftesbury and a firm pitch underfoot. Ant Herrin was unavailable so Josh Payne switched to centre forward with Malik Kamal starting out wide. A welcome face on the bench was Adam Barratt, who made his first appearance of the season after sustaining a knee injury in pre-season that required surgery.
Shaftesbury had the first attack which ended with a shot which flew well over the top. They then put a free kick into the area which eluded everyone and ended up going for a goal kick. A brisk start by the home team but gradually Westlands worked their way into the game and in the 5th minute Josh Payne had a shot blocked for a corner. A few minutes later Jamie Irwin made a good run down the left, getting past a defender and crossing to Malik Kamal who scuffed his shot. The pressure was building now and in the 12th minute Westlands took the lead. Jamie Irwin laid the ball back to Haydn Hodges who let fly with a piledriver that the keeper could only parry out. JOSH PAYNE was quickest to react and he blasted the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards out. Sports had a dominant spell now, keeping possession and knocking the ball around with confidence. In the 25th minute Malik Kamal set up Josh Payne but his final shot flew past the far post. After half an hour with Westlands having failed to add to their one goal lead, the home team had perhaps weathered the storm and began to push forward. Their two burly midfielders began to win some tackles and were able to turn the Sports defence. One ball in behind caused a bit of chaos as Sports keeper Sam Watts charged out of his box but didn’t manage to collect the ball so had to beat a hasty retreat back to his goal. The ball was cleared for a corner which flew across goal without anyone getting a touch. Westlands still had their moments, Jamie Irwin cut in and had a shot which the keeper saved and Malik Kamal headed over a free kick from a good position. The final action of the half saw Sam Watts make a save from a long distance shot.
It had been a good first half for Westlands, we had played some good stuff and always looked dangerous in attack. The only worry really was that we had failed to get that important second goal.
The second half began with Josh Payne dancing through the Shaftesbury defence and letting fly with a shot which the keeper palmed out. Unfortunately there was no Sports player on hand to take advantage. It was noticeable that the Shaftesbury keeper never held the ball, he always punched or parried, so perhaps there were opportunities there. Two minutes into the half we got the second goal we had been looking for. Haydn Hodges fired over a corner and JOSH PAYNE rose highest to power a header into the top corner. What a goal and with that buffer behind them the Sports team could relax a little. The home side tried to respond and forced a corner which their player scuffed wide. Shaftesbury had a 10 minute spell now where they had territorial advantage but they were never really able to create any clear chances. Westlands then decided to use their subs and Adam Barrett was first to take the field, replacing Malik Kamal. This was soon followed by Dwayne Forshaw replacing Josh Payne and Jamie Green replacing Haydn Hodges. With the home team also making substitutions the game got a bit scrappy for a while with neither side creating much of note. As we moved into the last 10 minutes Westlands settled into their rhythm again and really turned it on. First Dwayne Forshaw beat his man out on the left and, cutting in onto his right foot, bent a shot round some defenders which cannoned off the inside of the post, flew across goal and was cleared. The keeper never moved for that one, beaten all ends up ! In the 85th minute Adam Barratt put a lovely ball through to Dwayne Forshaw who controlled it well and slid a pass through to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who made a strong run from midfield and prodded the ball past the advancing keeper. That was game over but Westlands still had another sting in the tail in the 87th minute. Olly Wake picked up a crossfield pass and from about 25 yards rifled in a shot which the keeper parried. It was a real scramble then with Adam Barrett trying to get a shot away which, I think, hit a defender, rebounded off the post and fell to OLLY WAKE again who forced it into the net from close range. A rare goal for Olly which was the icing on the cake after a well disciplined and controlled Westlands performance. A clean sheet for the defence for the second match in a row was good news and the attack always looked dangerous. No injuries to report so a good night all round.
Man-of-the-match is JOSH PAYNE who looked in the mood tonight and scored two cracking goals.
Saturday 21st April 2018, Dorset Premier League: HOLT UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
Westlands had a couple of changes from midweek for this important clash. Scott Smith was unavailable and Olly Wake stepped in at the back. In addition, Dwayne Forshaw started at centre forward with Josh Payne switching to the right in place of Malik Kamal who was on the bench with Adam Barratt and the returning Ant Herrin.
Westlands were kicking down the slope and were soon putting on the pressure. In the 3rd minute we forced a corner and Henry Lawrence-Napier just failed to get a head to Haydn Hodges’ corner. A second corner was taken short but the final cross was blocked for another corner as Sports kept the pressure on. Dwayne Forshaw had a shot on target but that was well saved by the Holt keeper and he then tried to lob the keeper from 20 yards but that effort went well wide. Holt’s best chance to date was a deep cross from out on the right to the far post which found their #10 unmarked and Sam Watts, Sports keeper, had to dive and block. After 20 minutes a good passing move involving Henry Lawrence-Napier, Dwayne Forshaw and Jamie Irwin led to another corner but Haydn Hodges put the cross wide. Josh Payne then beat two men down the right and drilled the ball across goal for Jamie Irwin to sidefoot into the net but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside. Jamie Green then waded in with a strong tackle and got himself yellow carded. It was a hard match with both sides getting stuck in but Westlands were dominating, we just needed that crucial opening goal. A free kick after half an hour saw Henry Lawrence-Napier get a glancing header but it slipped past the far post. Then Henry had another chance from a corner but he blasted his shot over the bar. Jamie Irwin then tried a curler which flew wide of the far post. In the 40th minute Josh Payne again made headway down the right and put the ball across to Haydn Hodges whose shot was saved at full stretch by the Holt keeper. The last chance of the half saw Jamie Irwin set up Josh Payne with a great pass but Josh blazed the ball way over the bar.
It had been a good half by Westlands who had been well in control. Their strikers had been kept very quiet by Jonny Manley and Olly Wake and that had given us the platform to press forward. It was just a bit worrying that we had not taken any of our chances as Holt would now be shooting downhill in the second half.
These worries quickly came to fruition five minutes into the second half when Holt scored. For once their #9 managed to turn and slip in their #10 who was foiled by an excellent save by Sam Watts who turned the ball round the post for a corner. The kick came over and was headed clear but only as far as their full back on the edge of the box and he smashed a shot through the crowd and it finished in the back of the net.
After 55 minutes Dwayne Forshaw squared the ball to Henry Lawrence-Napier who put his shot just over. In the 65th minute Josh Payne put a shot over from the edge of the box, we were creating chances but couldn’t get a shot on target. Haydn Hodges was next to have a go and he was really unlucky not to score. Picking up the ball just inside the Holt half he drove forward and unleashed a rocket of a shot that cannoned off the face of the post and was scrambled away. At this point you think it’s perhaps not your day but with about ten minutes to go Holt had a player sin-binned so they were reduced to 10 men. Westlands immediately put on fresh legs with Ant Herrin and Adam Barratt replacing Dwayne Forshaw and Sam Plumley. Ant Herrin was immediately busy and he set up Josh Payne in the box with a nice pass but Josh again shot over the bar. Ant made inroads again and crossed for Josh who this time put his shot wide of the mark. Holt’s keeper was taking his time (!) with every goal kick much to the annoyance of the Westlands players. Don’t really blame him for that but the referee should really have had a word. Apparently he said he was adding on the time. Fair enough, but there is a point to be made here. The time was happening when Holt were down to 10 men but the time would be added on at the end of the game when they were back to full strength ! Also, having to wait for about a minute for every goal kick to be taken took the sting out of a situation when Westlands were pressing hard for an equaliser ! Not a criticism, just a point of view.
A last substitution in the dying minutes for Sports saw Malik Kamal replace Jamie Green but it was not to be and the referee’s whistle ended a disappointing afternoon for Westlands.
We had played well, no doubt about that, but you really have to take your chances in these tight games. We created several good situations but failed to even hit the target on most occasions.
Man-of-the-match is JONNY MANLEY who marked their dangerous centre forward tight all game and won just about everything in the air.
Wednesday 25th April 2018, Dorset Premier League: SHERBORNE TOWN RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
A couple of changes in the Westlands team for the midweek derby match. Jonny Manley has a dodgy back so wasn’t risked for this one with Scott Smith returning to partner Olly Wake at the back and Adam Barratt made his first start of the season in midfield. With Ant Herrin unavailable, Josh Payne played up front with Dwayne Forshaw moving out wide.
Westlands made the first attacking move winning a corner in the first minute but from then on both teams went to sleep and it developed into a match of misplaced passes and poor first touches from both sides. Sherborne managed a long range shot at goal which went well wide but it was 20 minutes before Westlands had a shot. This one was fired high and handsome into the woods behind the goal by Josh Payne. That shot just about summed up the quality on show so far but it did waken up the Westlands team a bit and they began to push forward with a bit more purpose. In the 25th minute Sports had a corner and the resulting shot was palmed round the post for another corner. The second kick was swung into the box and was clearly handballed by the Sherborne centre-half. HAYDN HODGES stroked the spot kick into the corner to put Westlands one up. It was all still very scrappy with neither team really creating much. Sherborne had a pot shot from 20 yards that flew over the bar. Just before half time Josh Payne picked the ball up from keeper Sam Watts on the halfway line and ran at the Sherborne defence. Leaving two defenders trailing in his wake he cut in from the left and shot for the far corner but he screwed the ball past the far post.
Half time then and Sports ahead by a goal to nil so the game was far from won at this stage but you just felt Westlands hadn’t really got out of first gear yet so hopefully they would up the pace in the second half and put the game to bed.
It certainly looked as if Westlands had a wake-up call from the management at half time as they quickly took control in the second half and soon had the Sherborne team pinned back. A corner from Haydn Hodges was met on the run by Josh Payne but his shot whistled past the post.
On the hour mark Josh got down the right to the byeline and cut the ball back but there was nobody in position to take advantage. The pressure told in the 66th minute when Westlands went two up. Keeper Sam Watts fed the ball out to Dwayne Forshaw who put Josh Payne away down the left wing. Josh cut in to the byeline and drilled the ball across low and hard to HAYDN HODGES who smashed it into the roof of the net from close range. With a two goal lead Sports were in total command now and in the 68th minute Adam Barratt drove forward and hit a good shot just wide. That was Adam’s last action as he was replaced a couple of minutes later by Jamie Irwin, having got a good 70 minutes under his belt.
That substitution was soon followed by the second with Dwayne Forshaw being replaced by Malik Kamal. In the 81st minute Haydn Hodges squared to Jamie Irwin who shot low past the post. Then Haydn had a shot well saved by the Sherborne keeper. Finally with 7 minutes left Sports were reduced to 10 men with Jamie Irwin being sin binned for dissent. Sports were under no pressure at all so the game just petered out then.
Another win for Westlands which was crucial after the loss to Holt at the weekend and although not a great performance thay always looked comfortable against a team struggling against relegation.
Man-of-the-match is HAYDN HODGES, two goals and another match where he pulled the strings in midfield, particularly in the second half when Sports were well on top.
Saturday 28th April 2018, Dorset Premier League: HAMWORTHY RECREATION 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Westlands arrived buoyant following a midweek derby win at Sherborne Reserves. Ollie Wake stepped in to centre midfield, Jamie Irwin came in on the wing, Jonny Manley returned at centre half, with man of he moment Haydn Hodges taking a place on the bench.
Hamworthy Rec started the better, putting Sports under pressure, with midfield runners and wingers finding space. Thankfully no clear chances came about and Westlands gradually eased their way in the game. Sports front four looked a threat and started to create chances.
Ollie Wake played a through ball for Dwayne Forshaw, who failed to convert a one on one, with the keeper saving well. In the 20th minute, Josh Payne burst down the right wing, beat a couple defenders and cut back to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER, who caressed the ball into the bottom left hand corner. 1-0 Sports !
Shortly after, Henry had another chance but this time his header went just over the bar. Westlands also had a chance cleared off the line.
Ham Rec then started to up the pressure, predominately down their left wing. Rec’s number 7 found space, played in to the box, Sports tried to clear with the ball ricocheting off a Rec player, into the path of their striker, who looked suspiciously offside. Sam Watts saved brilliantly at first but the ball fell kindly at the feet of the same player, who passed in to an empty net. Half time: 1-1.
Whatever was said at half time had an effect, as Westlands started the second half quickly, going forward with wave after wave of attack.
Sports could feel that the game was there for the taking and had a number of corners, which couldn’t be converted. Jamie Green had a chance cleared off the line and Scott Smith couldn’t convert two difficult chances. Finally the breakthrough came in the 60th minute. JAMIE IRWIN attacked down the left, bamboozled the Rec defenders with his foot work and finally unleashed a sweet strike in to the bottom right hand corner. 2-1, Westlands back in front ! As expected Ham Rec pressed and became more direct, with Sports defenders dealing with it well and allowing our attackers to hit on the counter attack. Ham Rec were awarded a corner in the 70th minute, which was delivered to the front post which was not cleared. It went through a number of players and fell to a Rec striker who lashed it in to the roof of the net. 2-2 ! Game on !
Following this Sports made their first change, with Ant Herrin replacing Jamie Green, who had put in a great shift even though he too was carrying a knock from wednesday. Sports knew that only a win would do in this top of the table clash and again went on the offensive. Another sub was made, with Haydn Hodges coming on for Josh Payne, who had caused their defence problems all game. Sports could smell blood and knew they needed a late goal to keep their title challenge alive. Time was running out. I’n the 88th minute, HAYDN HODGES picked up the ball in the centre of the pitch and beat a Rec player, which created an opening. He scuffed the ball “accurately” with the ball bobbling past the diving keeper, into the bottom left hand corner! 3-2! The players ran over to the dugout in celebration! What a time to score! The Westlands management team reacted, replacing Dwayne Forshaw with Malik Kamal, who would add fresh legs in the dying minutes.
Ham Rec, as expected piled on the pressure, with balls in to the box, which Sports dealt with in route one style. Finally, the full time whistle was blown and there were jubilant Sports celebrations! A massive win, that keeps the league alive !
Man of the match goes to JAMIE IRWIN, who looked a threat throughout and took his goal extremely well !
Wednesday 2nd May 2018, Dorset Premier League: GILLINGHAM TOWN 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Nice evening at Gillingham, if a bit cold, and a good covering of grass on the pitch for this time of year. Sports made one change from the team that won so well at Ham Rec, Josh Payne being rested to the bench and Haydn Hodges taking his place. Westlands were kicking up the slope in the first half, which would normally be good but as the evening sun was setting it was shining directly into keeper Sam Watt’s eyes.
The home team showed their intentions straight away hitting a couple of long balls to test the Westlands defence who were looking a bit tentative in the opening minutes. In the 5th minute Gillingham had a throw in out on the left about 20 yards out. The ball was thrown to their #11 who controlled it, turned inside a defender and hit a thumping left foot that flew into the back of the net. 1-0 to the home team and an early blow for Sports. Not great defending either from a throw by the Westlands team who looked a bit bemused. A couple of minutes later Sports keeper Sam Watts came out for a long high punt, missed it completely and Sam Plumley had to head the ball over the bar from virtually on the goal line. We’ll put that one down to the blinding sun ! At last, in the 9th minute Westlands got a shot on target. Haydn Hodges cut in and fired in a shot but the Gillingham keeper saved fairly comfortably. The home side were having slightly the best of these early exchanges but after about 30 minutes the sun disappeared behind the Sports Centre next door so the long balls were not so effective now. Westlands began to make a few more attacks up the hill with Haydn Hodges prominent and from a Haydn free kick Jonny Manley headed over the bar. Then a close shave as a Gillingham attacker robbed Jonny in his own half and ran through on goal. As Sam Watts came out he fired his shot wide of the far post. In the 41st minute Dwayne Forshaw had a shot saved and just before the break Sam Watts saved from the Gill #17.
Half time, 1-0 down so lots to do in the second half. We hadn’t played well in the first 45, perhaps that was down to the quality of the home team, but we could see there was room for improvement from Westlands and kicking down the slope in the second half would definitely test the opposition especially as they tired later in the game. Westlands manager didn’t hang about and made two substitutions during the half time break ! Jamie Green was replaced by Adam Barratt and Josh Payne came on for Sam Plumley.
The first attack of the half was from Gillingham as their attacker burst through and fired off a shot that Sam Watts saved with his legs. However, in the 52nd minute Westlands got the early equaliser we were looking for. Adam Barratt put a high cross into the box and JAMIE IRWIN rose and headed the ball down into corner. Fine execution there by the Westlands striker. Gillingham tried to get back in front immediately and Sam Watts made a good save, tipping a diving header over the bar. Westlands began to turn the screw now as their passing began to click and in the 59th minute Henry Lawrence-Napier slid a nice through ball to Dwayne Forshaw and he made a good contact with his shot but it flew just past the post. A minute later Dwayne returned the favour as he squared the ball to Henry who had an open goal but he blasted the ball way over the top. Then Josh Payne and Dwayne Forshaw opened up the home defence but the final shot was blocked. This was better from Westlands and another goal looked on the cards until the officials took a hand. A long hold up ensued while the referee and his assistant discussed a decision. The outcome was a sin-bin for Adam Barratt for dissent ! Chaos followed as it was pointed out Adam had played no part in any incident. Another long discussion by the two officials resulted in Ollie Wake being brandished a red card for foul language to the assistant referee ! A quick upgrade of the offence by the officials with it being changed from a sin-bin to a red card ! Bizarre to say the least ! Down to 10 men could spell disaster for Westlands but they took on the challenge and went in front only four minutes later ! JAMIE IRWIN ran on to a ball over the top and drove towards goal. The Gill keeper came out and blocked his initial shot aimed for the far corner. However the ball rebounded to Jamie who found a gap between the keeper and two defenders who had rushed round to cover, and he calmly side footed the ball into the net. With still 20 minutes to go with only 10 men, we faced a difficult finish to the match but we had a lead to defend now ! At this point the manager made the final substitution of the game bringing Ant Herrin on to replace Dwayne Forshaw. We were under a bit of pressure now as Gillingham pushed for an equaliser but we were getting men behind the ball and defending well in numbers. In the 80th minute Ant Herrin turned his man and squared the ball to Henry Lawrence-Napier in front of goal but he again smashed his shot over the bar. Some desperate defending now for Westlands with the ball coming off the post in one goalmouth scramble and several crosses blocked or headed away. Anxious looks at the clock for the Westlands contingent but as we approached the 90 minutes we scored again and what a goal it was ! Ant Herrin picked up a clearance on the half way line and he held the ball up well waiting for support to arrive. That came in the form of Jamie Irwin bombing down the left and Ant picked him out with a perfect pass. Jamie cut inside a defender and played a slick little reverse pass to HAYDN HODGES who was tanking down the outside. Haydn took a touch and slotted the ball under the keeper to make it 3-1 and job done !
This was a good result, make no mistake, as Gillingham had won 10 and drawn 1 of their last 11 matches including a win over Holt and two defeats of Hamworthy Recreation ! So an excellent result for Westlands and great battling qualities shown after the harsh sending off had reduced them to 10 men.
Man of the match goes to JAMIE IRWIN, who is in top form at the moment, banging in the goals.
Saturday 5th May 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 BLANDFORD UTD 1
A scorching hot day at Alvington saw the beginning of summer and we still have 8 games to play ! After a couple of good results we needed to keep the wins coming so it was a ‘must win’ match, as simple as that ! There were a couple of changes with Henry Lawrence-Napier and Dwayne Forshaw being rested and Adam Barratt and Josh Payne coming into the starting line up.
There was a kind of ‘end of season’ feel to the game which Westlands needed to dispel and make sure they took the points. They settled quickly and Ant Herrin set up the first chance with a good turn and cross which Josh Payne almost got his head to. Westlands were dominating possession but it was all done at a fairly leisurely pace and the visitor’s were getting men behind the ball and making it difficult to break through. In the 15th minute Ant Herring made a good run to the bye line and cut the ball back to Josh Payne whose shot was blocked by a diving defender. The ball looped up in the air and Josh got his head to it only to see his effort come off the face of the crossbar. Westlands were well on top and the next effort came from Jonny Manley who saw his header tipped over the bar by the Blandford keeper. In the 32nd minute Ant Herrin put the ball in the back of the net but was flagged offside then Ant had a shot blocked by the keeper after a good through ball from Josh Payne. Josh then put a header just past the post........ the missed chances were beginning to mount up ! A soft free kick conceded allowed Blandford to get a ball into the Westlands box but that was cleared for a corner that was headed away. Back down the other end Jamie Irwin cut inside but didn’t really get hold of his shot and the Blandford keeper saved easily. Then Josh Payne thumped a shot over the bar as the chances continued to be missed. At last, in the 40th minute we made the breakthrough ! Some quick passing between Ant Herrin, Haydn Hodges and JAMIE IRWIN ended with Jamie sliding the ball under the keeper to the far corner. A defender slid in and helped the ball over the line by booting it into the roof of the net. Having broken the deadlock we were expecting Westlands to put the game to bed fairly quickly now but instead the opposite happened ! Two minutes after the opening goal, Blandford equalised ! The ball fell to their #10 about 20 yards out and he hit a low bobbler that went under keeper Sam Watts diving body. That goal looked a bit of a soft one to concede but the damage was done and we were back on level terms. Westlands went back on the attack and Haydn Hodges had a shot turned round the post by the Blandford keeper who was having an inspired match. Just before the break, Ant Herrin neatly beat a defender and cut the ball back to Jamie Irwin who sliced his shot wide.
Half-time then, 1-1 and still a lot of work to be done. Blandford had made it difficult for us but we had played at a rather slow pace and our finishing was poor, a familiar story this season.
The second half started with Westlands awarded a free kick just outside the box. Unfortunately the shot was well over the bar, Adam Barratt the culprit this time. In the 53rd minute a lovely crossfield pass by Jamie Irwin towards Josh Payne was intercepted by a Blandford defender who belted the ball just over his own bar. Another good crossfield ball by Jamie picked out Sam Plumley and his shot was tipped over the bar. From the corner Josh Payne made good contact with his head and the ball was blocked on the line by the arm of a defender. The referee pointed to the spot for a penalty and showed the red card to the defender who handled. A double whammy for Blandford and just to make matters worse they had another player red carded for his opinion of the referee’s decision ! Just for good measure one of their team on the bench also received a red card for gobbing off ! So, when the dust settled, HAYDN HODGES calmly stroked the ball into the corner of the net to put Sports in front. Blandford were down to 9 men now and with nearly 30 minutes left on the clock surely Westlands would go on and score a few goals ? Josh Payne was substituted by Malik Kamal and Sports laid siege to the Blandford goal. Jamie Irwin had a shot, but put it over the top. Then Malik set up Henry Lawrence-Napier with a nice pass but he too, blasted over. With 20 minutes left Blandford had a free kick and put a good ball into the box that Sports keeper Sam Watts pushed for a corner and then came out and clutched the resulting kick. A Westlands corner was then met by the head of Jonny Manley but a defender made a good block. Then Jamie Irwin and Malik Kamal both had shots saved in quick succession as Westlands toiled to put the ball in the net against a resolute Blandford 9 men, 8 of whom were getting behind the ball and making life difficult for the home team. Another substitution was made and Dwayne Forshaw replaced Haydn Hodges as we moved into the last ten minutes. Then a most bizarre incident occurred when, with his team down to 9 men, the Blandford #8 decided he was going out for the evening so had to go ! Whereupon he left the field and reduced his team to 8 men, with 10 minutes still to go ! Westlands piled on the pressure now and Dwayne Forshaw had a good strike saved and then hit the post with a rasping shot. Jamie Irwin then had one saved before the pressure told and Sports made it 3-1. DWAYNE FORSHAW cut in from the left wing and drilled the ball into the far corner. A couple of minutes later Jamie Irwin put a header over the top. Blandford were out on their feet now, it had been a great battling performance by them and in the 88th minute it was 4-1. ANT HERRIN cut inside a defender and buried the ball in the top corner. Just before the end Westlands made it 5-1. A corner from the left carried to Malik Kamal out on the right side. Malik slid a pass to Jamie Irwin who squared it to DWAYNE FORSHAW and he thumped in the final goal of the game.
5-1 sounds like an easy game but this was far from that. Sports toiled in the hot afternoon sun, and although making lots of chances couldn’t get past an in-form Blandford keeper. The games are coming thick and fast now and we can’t expect top notch performances every match, however a 5-1 victory isn’t too bad for an off day !
Man of the match goes to ANT HERRIN who worked hard all afternoon and set up several good chances for his team-mates. A good performance was capped with a cracking goal.
Monday 7th May 2018, Dorset Premier League: SWANAGE TOWN & HERSTON 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Another scorcher down on the coast at Swanage as Westlands fulfilled a Bank Holiday fixture in the Dorset Premier League. This would be a tough one as the opposition had a home record of won 10 lost 2, so Sports knew only a good performance would reap any rewards here. A couple of injuries meant Adam Barratt and Ollie Wake were ruled out being replaced by Henry Lawrence-Napier and Jamie Green in the midfield. Josh Payne was also rested, giving Dwayne Forshaw a starting spot out on the right after his two-goal cameo performance on Saturday.
Malik Kamal and Jake Wolfe completed the squad.
In the opening couple of minutes both teams had opportunities with free kicks into the opponents box but both were mopped up by the respective defences. Swanage pushed forward and a header went wide of the post followed by a shot that was blazed well over. Jamie Irwin was first to show for Westlands as he cut in from the left and shot but missed the target. In the 17th minute Scott Smith got his head to a free kick and powered in a header, but straight at the keeper. A couple of minutes later Ant Herrin made ground out on the left and put the ball across to Dwayne Forshaw who laid it back to Haydn Hodges 20 yards out. Unfortunately Haydn got right under this one and ballooned it over but it had been a good build up and showed Westlands were getting into their stride. After 20 minutes we had a drinks break which I’m sure the players enjoyed in the hot sun but it just seemed to halt the Westlands momentum a bit and it was Swanage who attacked next and Sports keeper Sam Watts made a great save from a well struck shot. Westlands were soon back in control and a good pass from Dwayne Forshaw to Ant Herrin saw Ant let fly with a great shot which the keeper somehow beat away. In the 29th minute Westlands took the lead. Another good build up saw Henry Lawrence-Napier feed the ball out to DWAYNE FORSHAW just inside the right corner of the box and he drilled a low shot under the keeper into the far corner. Swanage were stung by the goal and immediately mounted a strong attack but were thwarted by a good block by Sam Plumley, good defending there. Then another shot was blocked by Sam Watts with his foot before we got the danger cleared.
On the front foot again Westlands left back Phil Wells made a strong run down the wing and slipped a nice pass inside to Ant Herrin who let fly with another sizzling shot which once again, the Swanage keeper saved. The ball went back out to Phil who put it back into the area where Ant got in a strong header from point blank range which the keeper somehow clawed away. Then Haydn Hodges slipped in Henry Lawrence-Napier and he raced in and got a touch to the ball as the keeper came out, trying to lift it over his head. Once again the Swanage keeper tipped the ball away, what a game he was having with 3 or 4 exceptional saves in the first half alone.
Half time was blown with Westlands leading 1-0 and good value for their lead.
We were expecting a big push by the home side after the break but it never really came as Westlands defenders looked comfortable dealing with a few long balls punted up for their #9. He did get a shot in but it was an easy save for Sam Watts. Westlands responded with Ant Herrin making a run through but again the Swanage keeper saved ! Then in the 58th minute Westlands struck. A long ball down the right by Henry Lawrence-Napier was chased and controlled by Ant Herrin who cut in and slipped a perfect through ball into the path of the onrushing DWAYNE FORSHAW and as the keeper came out he banged the ball past him into the net. A good goal and a crucial one as it gave Sports that 2 goal cushion. Westlands were looking fairly comfortable now and although Swanage kept trying to push forward they weren’t causing us too many problems at this stage. In the 67th minute Dwayne Forshaw tried to trip an opponent out near the half way line to “take one for the team” and foil a Swanage attack. Unfortunately he missed the bloke completely and then picked up a yellow card anyway for intent ! The attack was mopped up but Dwayne had to tread carefully now as the last thing we want are players suspended with the cup final imminent. Shortly after this the Swanage skipper made a lunging tackle at Jamie Green and was shown his second yellow card of the game and obviously a red followed ! The Swanage #9, who had been generous with his advice to the officials all afternoon now overstepped the mark and was sin-binned for dissent ! One rash tackle and suddenly Swanage were reduced to 9 men for the next 10 minutes and 10 men for the rest of the game ! Westlands made their first substitution a few minutes later and sensibly it was Dwayne Forshaw who was withdrawn, being replaced by the fleet-footed Josh Payne. Jamie Irwin had given the Swanage defence problems all game and in the 72nd minute he evaded 3 defenders but scooped his final shot over the bar. A minute later and Swanage had another man sin-binned for dissent leaving them with 8 men for the next 5 minutes ! With Westlands pressing forward Swanage pulled everyone back into defence and were slowing the game down as they waited for their sin-binned players to return. This suited Westlands perfectly as with a 2 goal lead they were in no hurry ! In the 80th minute we thought we had increased our lead ! A perfect free kick by Haydn Hodges was met on the run by Henry Lawrence-Napier who bulleted in a header from about 6 yards out and, unbelievably, the Swanage keeper got a hand to it and turned it away ! What a save that was, and what a performance by the Swanage keeper !
Haydn Hodges ws then replaced by Malik Kamal as we moved into the last 10 minutes. In the 83rd minute, Sam Plumley, out on the right, drove the ball low and hard across the face of goal and JAMIE IRWIN was on hand at the far post to sidefoot in. At 3-0 and surely game over Westlands made their final substitution with Jake Wolfe coming on to replace Henry Lawrence-Napier and steady the midfield. Nevertheless Swanage threw everything forward in a last attempt to score and they forced a couple of corners with Sam Watts pulling off an outstanding save to preserve his clean sheet. The final action of the match ended, predictably, with another great save by the Swanage keeper. Jamie Irwin bolted down the left wing and squared the ball to Josh Payne who met it sweetly but the keeper saved his shot from point blank range !
Another excellent result this for Westlands with every player playing their part in a well disciplined team performance. However, we move on now to the next game in 3 days time !!
Man of the match goes to DWAYNE FORSHAW who scored two excellent goals and looked a real threat down the right particularly in the first half. Good strikes for his goals and following 2 last Saturday he is a striker in form.
10th May 2018, Dorset Premier League: BRIDPORT RES 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
Westlands named an unchanged side for the match at St Mary’s Field after their good win at Swanage on Monday. There were a couple of changes on the bench with Josh Payne dropping out with injury and being replaced by Adam Barratt. Scott Morgan also took a place on the bench in place of Jake Wolfe. The pitch looked good and it was a dry but cold evening once the sun had gone down. It was also another ‘must win’ game to keep the pressure on the league leaders.
Bridport started brightly, forcing a corner in the first minute and generally keeping the Westland defenders on their toes with some long balls. Eventually, after 5 or 6 minutes Sports had their first real attack and they nearly made it pay ! Jamie Irwin made good ground down the left and passed the ball inside to Ant Herrin who lifted it over the advancing keeper but it dropped wide of the far post. Then a Westlands corner was palmed out by the keeper to Jamie Green who hooked the ball over the bar. The 2 Bridport strikers #9 and #10 were looking lively and #10 raced through and shot but it was straight at Sports keeper Sam Watts who gathered easily. In the 25th minute Henry Lawrence-Napier got in a good header from an early cross and the Bridport keeper just managed to tip the ball over the bar at full stretch. Immediately following this Westlands central defender Scott Smith had to leave the field injured and he was replaced by Scott Morgan. Looked a rather serious injury which is worrying at this time of the season and the cup final looming. A bit of a scare after this as a Bridport corner flew right across goal but their player screwed his shot wide. After half an hour Haydn Hodges tried his luck from a free kick but his shot flew just over the bar. Then Bridport had a go with a thumping shot flying just past the far post. As half time approached, in the 43rd minute, Westlands went ahead. Haydn Hodges put a dangerous free kick into the box and JAMIE GREEN had his header blocked by the keeper but managed to scoop the rebound into the top corner. The perfect time to score we thought but a shock was in store for Westlands seconds before the half time whistle. The ball fell to a Bridport player about 25 yards from goal out on the left wing and he just smashed in a shot that dipped and cannoned in off the far post. What a strike that was and I think it took everyone by surprise, but a great goal for the home side.
So, it was a shell shocked Westlands contingent who mulled things over at half time. To be fair, Bridport had given as good as they got in the first half and had looked a good, hard working side so the Westland lads would need to up their game in the second half. It was generally agreed Sports hadn’t played all that well in the opening 45 so there was plenty of room for an improved showing in the second period.
Bridport got on the attack straight away and their #10 hit the outside of the post with a shot in the 46th minute. After that attack it was Westlands who began to get on top and in the 52nd minute, they took the lead. A corner from the right was drilled low and hard across to DWAYNE FORSHAW out on the edge of the box and he thumped a shot through the crowded box into the corner of the net. A well taken goal and one that took the steam out of the home team a little. Bridport then made two substitutions and surprised us by taking off both front men, numbers 9 & 10, who had looked quite dangerous in the first half. However the Bridport boss knew what he was doing as the #16 he put on turned out to have electric pace and gave Sports full back Phil Wells a testing time for the rest of the game. Luckily most of his runs came to nothing with the Westlands back four mopping up everything that came their way but a threat nevertheless. Sports also made a substitution with Adam Barratt replacing Haydn Hodges in the midfield. In the 70th minute Dwayne Forshaw, who was on a final warning from the referee, was replaced by Malik Kamal in a straight swap. Westlands were looking solid now, just probing away at the Bridport defence, looking for that third clinching goal. We had to be wary though as Bridport were still capable of mounting dangerous attacks and one slip could spell disaster. In the 84th minute we scored again ! A free kick out on the right was curled in by Adam Barratt with his left foot and ANT HERRIN got the run in front of his marker and planted a header into the net from about 12 yards out. That was the one we wanted and made it three goals from set pieces for Westlands in this game. With 2 minutes to go Ant Herrin was put through but the Bridport keeper made a good save to prevent a fourth goal.
Another good win on the road for Westlands, not the greatest performance of the season, especially in the first half but in the end there was no doubt Sports were just a bit too strong for an excellent young Bridport side. A word of praise as well for Scott Morgan who played at centre back for the last 65 minutes of this game and never really put a foot wrong. Quite a feat considering he had put in 90 minutes for the reserves the night before ! I should also comment on the excellent discipline of the team tonight, nice to see.
However, the Man of the Match for this game goes to JAMIE GREEN, who worked hard in the midfield winning the ball and giving it to a team-mate, nice and simple. He also got us off the mark with the opening goal so a good night for the skipper.
Saturday 12th May 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 WAREHAM RANGERS 0
Hot day, hard pitch, not ideal conditions for this match considering also it was Westland’s fourth in seven days ! The injuries are beginning to kick in and all three of Sports regular central defenders, Scott Smith, Jonny Manley and Ollie Wake were ruled out with Jonny Manley being named on the bench just in case. Scott Morgan and Jamie Green formed a new partnership in central defence and with Josh Payne and Haydn Hodges rested Adam Barratt and Malik Kamal started in a much changed line-up.
Westlands took a while to settle but Jamie Irwin seemed to be enjoying his central midfield role and in the 11th minute he thumped in a shot from the edge of the box that bounced off the face of the bar with the keeper beaten. A couple of minutes later an Ant Herrin header from a corner flashed just past the post. Westlands were looking for the opening goal and in the 21st minute a Malik Kamal low cross just eluded his team mates. A minute later an Ant Herrin snap shot went just wide and we began to wonder if it was going to be one of those days ! After half an hour Scott Morgan came storming out of defence with the ball into the Wareham half. He exchanged a nice 1-2 with Malik Kamal but as he lined up his shot a defender dived in and blocked him off, conceding a foul. Dwayne Forshaw took the kick and hit in a low shot that the keeper saved fairly easily. Ant Herrin then beat 2 men in the opposition box but his shot was cleared for a corner. Just a minute before half time a Westlands corner caused chaos in the Wareham defence. Four shots were blocked, then a Jamie Irwin effort came off the post and was cleared.
Half-time 0-0. Westlands had chances in the first half but weren’t exactly setting the heather on fire so we were looking for them to go up a gear in the second period. Injury unfortunately caused Jamie Irwin’s substitution at half time so Haydn Hodges ‘rest’ was ended and he took the field.
The second half was only five minutes old when Westlands broke the deadlock. Ant Herrin did well out on the right and he squared the ball across to Haydn Hodges whose shot was blocked but DWAYNE FORSHAW picked up the rebound and smashed the ball into the net. The loss of the goal gave Wareham a bit of impetus and they put together a nice move that ended with a shot over the bar. Another good effort by the visitors a couple of minutes later was turned round the post by Sports keeper Sam Watts. With 20 minutes to go Malik Kamal chased a long ball down the right and laid it back to Henry Lawrence-Napier whose shot was beaten out by the Wareham keeper. Westlands then made their second substitution with Josh Payne replacing Dwayne Forshaw. Then came a disastrous moment for Westlands with skipper Jamie Green receiving a red card. Adam Barratt tried to play the ball back to him but mistimed the pass and it turned into a nice through ball for the Wareham #11 to run on to. Jamie Green lunged at him from behind and brought him down and we held our breath as the referee pulled out his cards. The incident was about 35 yards out from goal so we wondered if the referee would take the view that there was time for another defender to cover round. No such luck as he brandished the red card and the realisation slowly dawned on everyone that he would now miss next week’s cup final. What a blow for the skipper and for the team. As far as the game went, the dismissal seemed to inspire Westlands and the 10 men began to pile on the pressure. Jonny Manley was then brought on to shore up the depleted defence at the expense of Malik Kamal. In the 80th minute Westlands went 2-0 up. A nice ball down the right to Josh Payne was turned first time across goal where ADAM BARRATT was steaming in to score with a first time shot. An excellent goal that one, the pace of it completely opened up the visitor’s defence. In the 85th minute Josh Payne showed quick feet to bamboozle a couple of defenders but the keeper made the save, diving at his feet. Then Ant Herrin danced through and unleashed a tremendous shot but the keeper beat it away. With a couple of minutes to go great interplay by Haydn Hodges and Josh Payne saw the keeper make another good save. But the pressure was incessant and in the last minute Westlands made the score 3-0 with another excellent goal. Josh Payne made a good pass to Haydn Hodges and his cross was sIdefooted in by ADAM BARRATT.
That completed the scoring and ended the match with a convincing scoreline but at what cost ? The loss of the skipper for the cup final is a blow but the injuries are still mounting up. Nevertheless a seventh straight win for Westlands in just over 2 weeks so great credit to them for keeping it going.
The Man of the Match for this game goes to ANT HERRIN who led the line well, linking play well with his team-mates and always an eye for a shot.
Tuesday 15th May 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 GILLINGHAM TOWN 0
As we have had a few injuries lately it was good to see a strong Westlands teamsheet for what promised to be a tough match. Josh Payne, Haydn Hodges and Jonny Manley were all returned to the starting line up and we also had a very strong 5 man bench.
Another pleasant spring evening brought out a decent crowd to Alvington to see the game.
Westlands were first to threaten, forcing a corner in the 3rd minute which Josh Payne thumped over the bar. Two minutes later Haydn Hodges fired in a good shot with his left foot forcing the first save of the night from the Gillingham keeper. The visitor’s then replied with a shot on target that Sam Watts, Westlands keeper, saved. In the 9th minute Westlands went ahead with a cracking goal. Ant Herrin spotted PHIL WELLS overlapping down the left and played a lovely ball into his path. Phil took it in his stride and thumped a low shot into the far corner that the keeper got a hand to but couldn’t stop. What a goal and what a start by Westlands ! Gillingham tried to respond straight away and Sam Watts had to turn a shot round the post. Sports settled into a good rhythm then with some quick one touch passing keeping the Gill defenders on their toes. Josh Payne made a good run but his shot was blocked by a defender. After 25 minutes the visitors had a good spell and Sam Watts was called into action to make a save and then a snap shot on the turn cleared the Westlands crossbar. Westlands were soon back on the attack and Josh Payne went on a run through the Gillingham defence that ended with a left foot shot just wide of the far post. In the 35th minute Sports scored again. Haydn Hodges spotted the run of HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER into the box and threaded a perfect pass into his path. As the keeper came out Henry stabbed the ball past him into the net to make it 2-0 ! Westlands were in control now and kept the pressure on until the half time whistle.
The Westlands contingent were well pleased with the situation at half time. Not just the score, which was great, but the performance of the team had been excellent and they were good value for their lead.
Westlands really had a firm grip on the game now and the visitor’s couldn’t really make any impression on a resolute Sports defence. A feature of Gills attacking play was a long ball over the top but these were being gobbled up by Westlands #5 Jonny Manley who headed everything away. Ten minutes into the second half some clever quick passing between Haydn Hodges and Ant Herrin created an opening but Ant scuffed his shot over the bar. After 60 minutes, with Westlands still dominating, the first substitution was made with Dwayne Forshaw replacing Ant Herrin. Perhaps the manager now had an eye on Saturday’s cup final as 10 minutes later two more subs were sent on, Malik Kamal replaced Jamie Irwin and Louis Irwin made a welcome return to the colours replacing Haydn Hodges. In the 80th minute a nice through ball put Louis Irwin clear and his driven shot just whistled wide of the goal. Two minutes later Louis, who was looking very sharp, dribbled through the tiring Gillingham defence and put a shot just past the post. In the 87th minute it was that man Louis Irwin who caused havoc again, this time he drove down the left wing and squared the ball across to DWAYNE FORSHAW who turned it in at the far post. That made the score 3-0 to Westlands and two minutes later it was four ! Sam Plumley picked up a short corner out on the right and crossed low and hard for DWAYNE FORSHAW to thump in his second goal of the evening.
What a finish to the game and Gillingham looked a bit shell-shocked as the final whistle blew bringing down the curtain on a fine display by Westlands who had been solid in all departments. Everyone did their job well and that adds up to a good team performance.
The Man of the Match award goes to JONNY MANLEY for a cultured performance at centre half. He formed a solid partnership with Scott Morgan and, as indicated earlier, never missed a header.
Saturday 19th May 2018, Dorset Premier League Cup Final:
WESTLAND SPORTS 2 HAMWORTHY RECREATION 0
It was a lovely sunny day for the final and on the coach to Sturminster Newton the players looked relaxed but
determined not to let this chance slip. Westlands made one change from the team that beat Gillingham in midweek. Scott Morgan, who had put in a couple of excellent performances recently, was replaced by the more experienced Ollie Wake. Skipper Jamie Green was unfortunately suspended for this match so Adam Barratt continued in the midfield role and took the captain’s armband. Scott Smith was also fit enough to take a place on the bench after missing the last couple of games. The pitch at Barnett’s Field looked excellent, obviously a bit hard but there was a good covering of grass so in perfect shape.
From the kick-off Sports grabbed the initiative and attacked the Hamworthy goal. In the first minute a free kick from the left wing was drilled across the box but no-one could get on the end of it. A minute later another free kick picked out Josh Payne at the far post but his sidefoot shot went past the post. Then we had a corner and Josh got off a shot which was blocked on the line. A couple of minutes later Sports carved out another great chance. Josh Payne got past the full back down the right and cut the ball back to Henry Lawrence-Napier who blasted in a shot that the keeper saved with his legs. Phew, what a start and only 6 minutes gone !
The game settled down a bit now with Ham Rec having a bit of possession but it was Westlands who had the next chance in the 11th minute when Ant Herrin got on the end of a Phil Wells cross but he put his shot over the top. Five minutes later Hamworthy had their first real chance when a decent cross was sliced over the bar by their striker. Westlands were still on top but Hamworthy were beginning to get some balls forward into Sports half but they were finding the Westlands defence in mean mood and couldn’t really create any clear cut chances. In the 23rd minute Sports had another good chance when Jamie Irwin crossed to Josh Payne whose snap shot went inches past the near post. Then Henry Lawrence-Napier and Haydn Hodges combined but Haydn’s shot was well saved by the keeper. Westlands were pressing the opposition and forcing them to play long balls out of defence to clear their lines. Most of these were met by the head of Jonny Manley or were swept up by Ollie Wake who were a solid partnership at the back for Westlands. Subsequently Hamworthy’s prolific goalscorer up front was given virtually no service at all and Westlands keeper Sam Watts had not been tested. In the 31st minute Westlands deservedly went ahead. Josh Payne headed a deep cross from the left wing powerfully back across goal to HENRY LAWRENCE-NAPIER who bulleted a header into the roof of the net from close range. An excellent goal, all done at great pace, and what run by Henry to get into the box and finish off the move. Hamworthy tried to respond and had some possession in Westlands half but were still finding it hard to create a decent chance. Their best effort was in the 40th minute and came directly from a Westlands corner. A fast break saw Sports defence outnumbered but the final shot was over the bar.
The half time whistle ended an excellent half for Westlands, one goal up but it could have been more had we taken our chances. The worry is you will come to regret these misses but the reality was Westlands had dominated the half and looked pretty comfortable so the omens were good for the second half.
The first chance of the half fell to Westlands and was so near to the second goal. Josh Payne fizzed over a low cross from the right which flew right across the face of the goal with the lunging Jamie Irwin just failing to connect. Then in the 50th minute Jamie Irwin set up Josh Payne who made space for himself with some neat footwork, then belted the ball over the bar ! Haydn Hodges then followed suit with a shot over the top and on the hour mark Sam Watts had to make a save, diving on a low trundler. The next Westlands attack saw Josh Payne cut in and, guess what, put a left foot shot over the bar ! Then in the 62nd minute Westlands made one of the chances count. Haydn Hodges was fouled in the box but managed to slip the ball to Sam Plumley who was on the overlap and he drilled the ball into the far corner of the net. A good advantage played by the referee there to allow play to go on, and a great finish by Sam for his first goal of the season ! What a time to score it and also it meant Sports now had that two goal cushion. Hamworthy tried to respond but still couldn’t find a way through the Westlands defence. In the 70th minute the Sports bench began the “management” of the game by putting on some fresh legs up front. Ant Herrin, who had made an excellent contribution, was replaced by Dwayne Forshaw, whose energy would be another headache for the opposition defenders. In the 76th minute Westlands went close again. A free kick was put into the penalty box by Haydn Hodges and Henry Lawrence-Napier got up highest to head goalwards but the ball slipped just past the post. Hamworthy kept probing and Sam Watts fielded a couple of corners but no real danger. In the 85th minute another significant change by the Westlands management as they shut up shop with central defender Scott Smith coming on to replace Josh Payne, who had been a problem to the Hamworthy defence all game, I expect they were happy to see him go ! As Westlands went into their shell Hamworthy had their nearest effort of the match in the 88th minute. A good shot was drilled in from the edge of the box and hit the bar and went over the top. Sam Watts looked as though he had it covered and when the referee gave a corner I thought perhaps he had tipped the ball onto the bar but I was told later it had taken a slight deflection off a Westland player's foot. Anyway Sam came out and clutched the corner so the moment passed. In the dying minutes Malik Kamal was given a few minutes on the pitch, replacing Jamie Irwin, as Westlands played out time.
The final whistle sparked off the celebrations and rightly so, the team had put on an excellent display and deserved their moment. Everything had been right on the day, every player had done their job and the tactics were spot on. We had played a very good side who will probably be crowned league champions so an excellent Westlands performance everyone can be proud of.
The Man of the Match award is almost impossible to choose. I asked a few spectators after the match who they would pick and they all chose different players ! Jonny Manley was the league sponsor’s choice and well deserved but for the club award we’ve picked SAM PLUMLEY who gave his usual 100% performance and to save his first goal of the season for the cup final was a fairytale.
Tuesday 22nd May 2018, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 MERE TOWN 0
Another lovely evening at Alvington and a decent crowd in to watch another ‘must win’ match for Westlands with Mere Town the opponents tonight. Westlands made one change from Saturday’s cup winning side with Adam Barratt dropping to the subs bench as he probably wouldn’t get there in time for kick off. In his absence, Scott Smith started in central defence with Ollie Wake moving forward to a midfield position.
The incidents started straight away ! In the second minute Jamie Irwin beat a defender and drove into the Mere penalty box where he was dragged back by the chasing defender. The referee pointed to the spot immediately and with Haydn Hodges picking up the ball we thought Sports were about to take a very early lead. Haydn sidefooted the kick past the diving goalkeeper but it hit the inside of the post and flew across the goalmouth to safety out near the corner flag. A chance missed but as the game developed Westlands were well on top and even at this stage, the visitors looked to be struggling. In the 8th minute Josh Payne and Haydn Hodges combined well with Josh’s final shot blocked for a corner. Mere didn’t have a lot to offer at this stage with their coach encouraging them to punt long balls forward which played into Westlands hands with Scott Smith and Jonny Manley in charge at the back. After 20 minutes a superb crossfield ball from Henry Lawrence-Napier put Josh Payne away and his thumping shot was well saved by the keeper. A minute later Sports scored the opening goal. ANT HERRIN picked up the ball in the box, turned well and fired a low grounder into the far corner of the net from 12 yards. A good goal and well deserved at this point in the game. As usually happens, the opposition tried to fight back after the loss of a goal and a good shot on the run flew just over the Westlands bar. Back came Westlands and in the 25th minute they extended their lead with a super goal. Ant Herrin played a perfect ball down the right for Josh Payne to run on to. Josh crossed the ball first time low and hard and JAMIE IRWIN was running in to belt the ball into the net. With a 2-0 lead Westlands looked to be in a winning position already as Mere hadn’t shown much up to now. After 35 minutes Haydn Hodges put over a lovely free kick but 2 Westands players got in each others way and the ball went out for a goal kick. Just before the interval Westlands virtually put the game to bed with the third goal. Josh Payne cut in from the right and let fly with a left foot shot that the keeper parried. However, JAMIE IRWIN was on the spot to pick up the rebound and drill the ball into the corner.
So, 3-0 to Westlands at half time and really the discussion at the break was how many would Westlands score ?
The second half began at a slow pace with Westlands looking a bit off the pace now and Mere just looking to keep the score down. Ten minutes into the second half Jamie Irwin was blatently tripped in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. SAM WATTS, Sports goalkeeper, who was the only player in the team not to have scored this season, was called up to take the penalty. Sam sidefooted the ball in with the keeper diving the wrong way, so great celebrations from his team-mates ! With an hour gone and the game looking secure the substitutions came as the Westlands management took a hand in proceedings and started looking ahead to Saturday. Ollie Wake, who had passed a late fitness test to play, was pulled off and replaced by Adam Barratt. At the same time Haydn Hodges came off, Malik Kamal the replacement. This was followed a couple of minutes later by Jamie Irwin coming off with a hamstring twinge, being replaced by the prolific goalscorer Dwayne Forshaw. Eventually the game settled down again and Mere had a good shot turned round the post by Sam Watts for a corner which was cleared. Westlands replied with a corner by Malik Kamal which found its way to Josh Payne who blazed a shot inches over the bar. The game had gone off the boil now with neither side creating much. However, in the 85th minute we had some more drama to keep the spectators interested. A good passing move from Westlands ended with Dwayne Forshaw smashing the ball into the net but the referee blew up and gave offside. Certainly didn’t look off side but the lino had been flapping his flag so presumably the right decision. Then, under questioning from the Westlands management, the linesman confirmed he had raised his flag, not for offside but because a Mere player had given him some abuse and he wanted to report this fact to the referee. A bit of a misunderstanding there so the referee just stuck with the offside decision and we played on ! Then in the 88th minute more drama ! Josh Payne, who was on the byeline 15 yards from the goal but facing the corner flag, was hit from behind by the Mere goalkeeper who charged from his goal and lunged two footed into Josh from behind. The referee pointed to the spot immediately but the goalkeeper escaped further punishment ! Josh hobbled from the field and eventually the kick was spotted up. Malik Kamal was given the honour this time and he blasted in a shot that looked to be heading for the top corner until the Mere keeper stuck up a hand and turned the ball over the bar. Big celebrations by the Mere keeper but some people were asking if he should still have been on the pitch after his tackle. That kept the score at 4-0 and the referee soon concluded the action just as the sun was disappearing below the horizon.
A fairly easy win in the endt with an amazing three penalties awarded to Westlands, which is surely a record unless somebody out there knows otherwise ? A pity we missed two of them but as it turned out it was of no consequence.
The Man of the Match award goes to JAMIE IRWIN who ran the Mere defenders ragged, scored two good goals and was fouled for two of the penalties. Always a danger with his driving runs.
Saturday 26th May 2018, Dorset Premier League: BALTI SPORTS 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
The final countdown to the season saw Sports faced with another ‘must win’ game to keep the title a possibility if Hamworthy Rec lost at Bridport. One last challenge, then, for a Westlands team who have performed miracles in the last few weeks. Could they raise their game one more time ? The sun was beating down as the teams took the field with Jamie Green returning to the Westlands team and Scott Smith dropping to the bench.
Westlands steamed forward and forced an early corner which came to nothing. After 5 minutes, with Sports still on the attack a good move down the left involving Phil Wells, Haydn Hodges and Ant Herrin saw Ant cut the ball back to Henry Lawrence-Napier whose shot hit the post !
Anither attack saw a free kick put into the box but no-one attacked it and it went harmlessly out of play. Then a corner for Westlands came to nothing – Sports were creating opportunities but just not finishing the moves. After 20 minutes, with their first attempt, Balti opened the scoring. A pass in behind the Westlands defence was covered by Ollie Wake but instead of clearing the danger he tried to turn with the ball, slipped, and the Balti forward passed to a team mate who drilled the ball low and hard into the far corner to make it 1-0. That’s how to take your chances.
Sports responded shortly afterwards with a shot by Ant Herrin from 20 yards that hit the bar and went over ! We then had a scrappy period in the game with lots of free kicks awarded and yellow cards brandished. Sports were pressing again but a corner was easily headed away by a Balti defender with no challenge and a free kick into the box was easily caught by the Balti keeper. Balti were giving Westlands defence a hard time in the air as their players were winning most of the big kick outs. In the 42nd minute another free kick sailed straight through to the keeper but a minute later Haydn Hodges had a good shot blocked by a defender’s foot. The corner however came to nothing.
Half time, 1-0 down and the news that Hamworthy Rec were drawing compounded the misery. Westands had tried hard in the first half, too hard probably, as everything seemed a bit frantic. All was not lost though, we were only a goal down, and hopefully the team would relax in the second half and play it simple.
A half time substitution was made with Jamie Green, who was in the referee;s book, being replaced by Adam Barratt.
It was the home team who looked refreshed after the break and a thumping shot crashed off the Westlands crossbar and was cleared. In the 49th minute disaster struck as we conceded a second goal. Not only conceded it, but scored it as well ! A Balti player tried a low cross from the right that Sports keeper Sam Watts came off his line to collect. Unfortunately Jonny Manley got in the way and the ball hit his leg and trundled into the corner of the net with Sam trying desperately to get back. Oh dear, don’t know what happened there, but the worst possible start to the half for Westlands. Five minutes later Dwayne Forshaw replaced Haydn Hodges (another yellow card victim) as Westlands tried to add some firepower up front. Adam Barratt then put Josh Payne away down the right, he beat the full back and fired a low ball across the face of the goal but no takers. Then a good move opened up the Balti defence but Ant Herrin fluffed his final shot. Balti were next to attack and a clumsy challenge by Jonny Manley in the box saw the referee point to the spot. If Balti scored now to make it 3-0 that was it game over ! But wait, have faith, Sports keeper Sam Watts dived to his left and beat away the spot kick to keep the game alive for Sports ! A great save and hopefullyone that would galvanise the Westlands team into one last big effort as there was still half an hour to go ! Josh Payne again made space down the right and got a cross over which was scrambled away. With 30 minutes to go Westlands were pressing hard with Balti looking happy to defend their 2 goal lead and getting bodies back behind the ball. In the 63rd minute Ant Herrin made a good run down the left and cut the ball back to Adam Barratt 20 yards out but his shot cleared the bar. A minute later Josh Payne put over a cross which was eventually scrambled away after two shots had been blocked. Five minutes later, another cross into the Balti box and again scrambled away. In the 70th minute a shot from a Balti attacker cleared the Westlands bar and that was followed by a corner which was headed past the post by an unmarked Balti player.
Jamie Irwin then got a shot on target for Westlands that was parried by the keeper and headed away for a corner. In the 75th minute Ant Herrin laid the ball back to Henry Lawrence-Napier on the edge of the box and he smashed in a first time shot that cannoned off the face of the bar and fell to a Balti defender who cleared. With 10 minutes to go, at last Sports got a goal on the scoreboard. Josh Payne, who was causing the Balti defence problems, beat his full back again and fired the ball across goal where DWAYNE FORSHAW turned it in at the far post. At last Westlands were back in the game and only a minute later we nearly equalised. Jamie Irwin drove into the box and let fly with a shot that the keeper parried up into the air. It dropped onto the top of the crossbar, bounced up again and finally landed on the roof of the net. Then a Dwayne Forshaw shot just shaved the post as Westlands grew more desperate. Keeper Sam Watts was now coming up for set pieces and he nearly got caught out on one occasion when Balti broke and he got a yellow card for stopping the attack. The final chance came in extra time when a free kick was flicked on by Scott Smith but Jamie Irwin just failed to connect.
The final whistle also brought the news that Hamworthy Rec had won their game to clinch the title so our loss didn’t really matter, except to our pride. Balti had been tough opponents and had made things very difficult for us and on this occasion we couldn’t find the answers.
A disappointing last match but it’s been a great season for Westlands and everyone can be justifiably proud of their efforts, players, management, committee and supporters who have been behind us all season.
The Man of the Match award goes to ANT HERRIN who was involved in everything creative for Westlands today.
A much changed line-up from last season took the field for the first match of this campaign and it paid off with Sports claiming their first victory of the season on the opening day. Last season it took us 6 months to notch a win in the league so this was an encouraging start.
LIAM STOBBS put Westlands one up in the first half with a neat lob over the keepers head and it stayed that way until half time. In the second half some slack play led to a Poole Borough equaliser but Sports stormed back and JAMIE BURT smashed in the winner after a corner kick wasn’t cleared by the visitor’s defence. A good performance all round and a well deserved win.
The Man of the Match award goes to JAMIE BURT for a strong game at the back and not forgetting the winning goal as well.
Westlands had what looked like a difficult away game to Broadstone, with a few missing and only 2 on the bench. Sports started what seems to be the normal way, slowly. Broadstone kicked off and after a few minutes Westlands had not touched the ball, but that all changed when they finally woke up and joined the game.
Sports then took control, with Charlie Gay causing havoc down the right-side. A great ball in from Charlie was met by Liam Stobbs on the edge of the six yard box, forcing a great save from the quick to close Broadstone keeper. A few minutes later Charlie again ghosts past two defenders but sees his shot hit the outside of the post. This pressure continued for the next 15 to 20 minutes. Nat Carney worked a great opening and was clean through on goal but the Broadstone keeper made another good save. Another ball in from the right found Brandon Scott open on the far post, but his side foot attempt drifted wide.
Steve Ormrod then had a header cleared of the line, it’s all one way traffic at this point but Westlands just can’t seem to convert their chances. Sports again worked an opening down the left, and Charlie Gay was put through, but as he sees the keeper coming out, his lob is a little heavy and goes over the bar. Again it’s that man Charlie Gay, rampaging down the right wing, going past 3 Broadstone players and driving a great ball across the six yard box, but no Sports player to meet it. Westlands came under pressure towards the end of the first half, looking a bit weary in the last 10 minutes, but the defence with Jamie Burt, Matt Watson, Johnny Will and Scott Morgan were dealing with the pressure well. Final action of the first half saw Steve Ormrod pick up a long ball from Stu Smith on the right hand side of the six yard box, he connected well but a brave Broadstone defender got his body in the way. Sports worked extremely hard in that first half and dominated most of the game.
The 2nd half.
It’s a more even affair now with both teams creating half chances. Sports keeper Chris Bennett was controlling his box well but had still not really had to make a save.
55 minutes in and Westlands break down the right, STEVE ORMROD drives into the box and hits a low shot into the back of the net to make it 1-0. Sports had finally got the breakthrough they deserved. Broadstone changed their formation and added men to their attack which saw a little more pressure from the home side.
Sports were beginning to look tired now, the work rate from the first half starting to show. The management introduced some fresh legs, Lewis Howchin coming on for Liam Stobbs and Matt Philips a few minutes later for Brandon Scott. Sports were creating a few half chances but the Broadstone defence were working hard to keep us out. Liam Stobbs then came back on for a tired Charlie Gay who had worked hard down the right. Liam and Steve Ormrod had chances but the Broadstone keeper was in good form and kept them out.
With 6 minutes to go, a long hopefully ball over the top caught the Sports defence napping and the Broadstone striker ran through to convert, 1-1. Westlands looked deflated and Broadstone smell blood now. With 2 minutes left, a long ball down the Sports left sees a Broadstone attacker get past Matt Watson, who pulls him down on right edge of our box. The resulting free kick finds a Broadstone player unmarked at the back post and he pops in a simple header from 4-5 yards out to make 2-1.
Sports tried to rally but with little time left the game is lost.
The Man of the Match award goes to STEVE ORMROD who put in hard working performance that had the Broadstone defence worried all afternoon. He capped that with a goal so a good performance all round.
Sat. 7th Oct, Dorset Senior Lge: DORCHESTER SPORTS RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
The Reserves got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Dorchester Sports Reserves at Weymouth College. WILL IRELAND managed to bundle the ball in off a couple of defenders after he followed up Alex Murphy's penalty that the keeper blocked. That was midway through the first half and there was no more scoring with defences on top for the rest of the match.
The Man of the Match award goes to STU SMITH who rolled back the years with a masterly performance for Sports. As they say, there is no substitute for class !
This was another tough test on the road for Westlands facing last season’s champions on their home patch. And a nice patch it was with the pitch looking immaculate in the Autumn sun.
Westlands opened quite brightly and were playing with 2 up front, Liam Stobbs and Steve Ormrod, a little and large combo that was causing a bit of concern in the opposition defence in the opening minutes. Witchampton looked neat and tidy on the ball but in the 5th minute they were behind. LIAM STOBBS picked up the ball and drove at the home defence. It looked as if he could have slipped Steve Ormrod in but instead he turned inside on to his right foot and hit a purler into the top corner off the underside of the bar. A cracking goal and the perfect start for Westlands. Witchampton were knocking the ball around but all their moves were stifled by a Westlands team who were defending in numbers. In the 14th minute a bit of a let off for Sports when a corner kick hit the post but in general Witchampton, although having the lion’s share of possession, were not troubling Chris Bennett in the Westlands goal who was looking in confident mood. With 20 minutes gone Sports scored again and it was another excellent goal. LIAM STOBBS picked the ball up just inside the Witchampton half and raced off towards goal with the home defence trailing in his wake. As the keeper came out Liam showed good composure and drilled the ball low into the corner of the net. A wonderful goal and with Westlands now two up it was all looking good. Unfortunately, things went a bit pear shaped in the 32nd minute. Stu Smith had an opportunity to clear his lines but somehow managed to lob the ball across goal to a Witchampton forward. In an effort to atone for his error Stu then charged across the box and managed to block the attackers shot at goal. However the challenge was not to the referees liking and he pointed to the spot. Couldn’t see a lot wrong with the tackle myself, bit of a high foot possibly ? Anyway their lad stuck the kick away and it was game on at 2-1 to Sports. Witchampton huffed and puffed for the rest of the half but didn’t really trouble the Westlands defence and so it was 2-1 at the break.
It had been a good first half for Sports, we had been on the back foot for periods of the game but had looked dangerous when attacking.
As the second half developed it looked as if Westlands had decided to defend their lead as they were dropping very deep and defending in numbers. This was a risky strategy as we virtually handed the impetus to the home team. They had attack after attack but the stuffy Sports defence were giving nothing away and although we conceded several corners, we defended them well with Jamie Burt now on to add some more height to an already tall defence. Unfortunately we were so deep now we just couldn’t put any attacks together and it was 62 minutes in before we managed a shot in the second half, Liam Stobbs firing in a good effort that the keeper saved well. A close shave then for Westlands as a corner was met well on the volley but the effort flew past the post. Then we had another bad moment when Tom Budden won the ball on the edge of the box but the referee pointed to the penalty spot. I couldn’t see the problem with the tackle but once again the Witchampton lad stuck it away to make the score 2-2. That goal proved to be a bit of a wake-up call for Westlands. Instead of sitting back deep and letting the opposition attack us, the management tweaked the shape to push Stu Smith forward into midfield in front of a back four. With the backline now pushing up Westlands began to enjoy some possession in the middle of the park and began to exert some pressure on the home defence. This eventually paid dividends in the 85th minute when JAMIE BURT rose to meet a corner and his bullet header flew into the top corner. It may have glanced off a team-mate on the way in but definitely Jamie’s goal. That rocked the home side a bit and a couple of minutes later Will Ireland should really have wrapped things up but scuffed his shot in front of goal. With a couple of minutes to go Steve Ormrod galloped down the wing heading for the corner flag when he was wiped out by a scything tackle from a Witchampton defender. Play on said the official who then gave Steve a red card for his protests. Can’t say too much about the incident as it could result in a hearing but I can report the Westlands management were not happy with the decision. That took a bit of the gloss off what was an excellent win for Westlands.
The Man of the Match award goes to LIAM STOBBS for those two superb goals in the first half. To be fair, he was well shackled by the home defence from then on but the damage had already been done. Its goals that win matches so a worthy winner this week.
The Reserves kept their good run going with a 3-0 win at Allendale in the Senior League. Westlands took a 1-0 lead into half-time thanks to a twice taken CHARLIE GAY penalty and two more goals in the second half from LIAM STOBBS and ALEX MURPHY underlined Sports superiority.
The Man of the Match award goes to goalkeeper CHRIS BENNETT for an excellent display between the sticks and another clean sheet.
In the Dorset Senior Trophy 3rd round Westlands Reserves travelled to Cranborne and came away with a resounding 7-0 victory. ALEX MURPHY led the way with a hat-trick and there were singles for MATT PHILLIPS, LIAM STOBBS, LEWIS HOWCHIN and CHARLIE GAY.
The Man of the Match award goes to ALEX MURPHY, the hat-trick man.
Having beaten the same side 7-0 in our previous match, it was a big disappointment to lose to them two weeks later. The main highlights appear to be a sitter missed by Liam Stobbs early in the game which would have put Sports ahead and then the ball was given away by Jake Wolfe and that gave Cranborne their chance to score the only goal of the game.
The Man of the Match goes to BRANDON SCOTT who, despite being a bit under the weather, put in a battling performance.
A real high scoring match down on Portland on a bitterly cold day. Westlands were 4-2 up at half-time but the home side pulled it back to 4-4 before Westlands finally pulled away scoring three times to make the final score 7-4. Scorers for Sports were LIAM STOBBS (2), CHARLIE GAY (2), MATT WATSON, ALEX MURPHY and an OG.
The Man of the Match this week goes to ALEX MURPHY who worked hard and kept the opposition under pressure.
Sat. 2nd Dec, Dorset Senior Trophy, Rnd 2: BALTI SPORTS 1 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3
In a huge upset at Weymouth College, it was Westland Sports 2nd string who upstaged their higher ranked opponents to book a place in the next round . Balti Sports from the DPL was always going to be a tough task especially away from home but we're used to playing on the road with this our ninth away game on the trot !
Sports started slowly, as seems to be our way, and with only one sub on the bench it was looking like a hard afternoon ahead. Then, within the first 10 mins, we made it the worst possible start by conceding an early goal to a neat finish from a Balti striker so things definitely didn't look good at this point. Perhaps this was what Westlands needed as we began to wake up and start playing. A great ball in from the right saw an Alex Murphy side foot shot sneak just past the outside of the post and Sports were beginning to get on top but the long balls from Balti were still giving us some problems. Then Alex Murphy hit the bar with a great header from a corner and Jamie Burt’s follow up cannoned off one of his team mates and over the bar.The Balti goal scorer should really have doubled the hosts lead but missed when in a one on one situation and how costly that miss was to be. After 30 minutes Liam Stobbs picked up the ball on the left and went on one of his trademark runs, skipping past the Balti defenders and into the box where a Balti player took him out. Definite penalty, and STEVE ORMROD stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-1, game on !
Westlands had their tails up now and in the 35th minute Alex Murphy picked the ball up, drove across the box and put a peach of a ball in for STEVE ORMROD to meet it on the run with an almost superman like diving header to make it 2-1 to Westlands. Sports were now playing good football against a strong Balti outfitt who tried to apply some pressure but were unable to probe the Westlands back line who were standing firm. Again that man Murphy went on a great run down the right and his final ball across the box was cleared last ditch by a Balti defender. The home team then caught Westlands slightly napping on the break with a long ball. Balti have real pace in attack but the attempted overhead went out for a throw and that was the last action before half time.
Great first half from Westlands but we knew thay would come out fired up after the break so maximum concentration would be required.
Balti come out second half and really applied the pressure creating quite a few chances which Westlands defended with heart and body, most body though ! 10 mins into the second half and Chris Bennett made a great save to keep them out. Sports just couldn’t get hold of the ball and it was all one way traffic at this point with Westlands not crossing the halfway line. Balti took their 4th corner of the half, it was cleared by the ever present Sports defence but we then gave away a foul on the edge of the box but the resulting free kick is shot high and wide. Balti were huffing and puffing but couldn't break down the outstanding Westlands back four of Johnny Will, Matt Watson, Jamie Burt and Scott Morgan. Liam Stobbs broke well with pace down the left to relieve the pressure but the Balti keeper made a great save, turning the ball out for a corner. That was the first attack of the half for Westlands on 60 mins but the resulting corner was cleared well by the big Balti defenders.
Balti kept the pressure on but a combination of poor finishing by the home side and never
say die defending from the Westlands defence kept them at bay. Then finally, in the dying minutes, Steve Ormrod broke down the left and with Balti pushing everything at us, we aught them out on the break. Steve squared the ball across the box for an energetic ALEX MURPHY to bang the ball into the net to put the icing on the cake and finish the game off at 3-1 final score.
A great result this for the Westlands lads and all 12 can be proud of their performance.
The Man of the Match this week goes to MATT WATSON who was superb at the back for a Westlands team who had to defend for long periods in this game.
Sat. 9th Dec, Dorset Senior Lge: POOLE BOROUGH 4 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2
Disappointment for the reserves in the Dorset Senior League as they were beaten 4-2 by Poole Borough at Turlin Moor. Westlands were leading 1-0 from a CHARLIE GAY goal at half time but lost their way in the second half, shipping 4 goals with a NAT CARNEY goal a late consolation.
The Man of the Match this week goes to CHRIS BENNETT who was in excellent form with several good saves.
Sat. 16th Dec, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 WINCANTON TOWN RES 0
After several days of rain the pitch was very soft and with more rain forecast it looked like being a chilly afternoon. Teamwise, we had a couple of regulars missing. Goalkeeper Chris Bennett was promoted to first team duty and skipper Jake Wolfe was ill, luckily Louis Martin was back from university so he filled the gap between the sticks. Scott Morgan, Alex Murphy and Jonny Will all returned to the squad of 14. Wincanton turned up with a couple of ex-Westlands favourites, Tony Cunningham and Jordan Fletcher, in their line up, so hopefully not a pleasant return to Alvington for them !!
Wincanton made the first chance in the 3rd minute when their young left winger put over a nice ball to the #10 but his shot missed the target. Charlie Gay was already causing the Wincanton rearguard some problems and when he got a low cross over in the 6th minute, ALEX MURPHY found the net after two attempts. Just the start Westlands wanted and the visitors heads seemed to go down a bit. Sports were dominating and in the 12th minute we had a contender for miss of the season. It was a good build up, Steve Ormrod found Charlie Gay with a nice pass and Charlie laid one on a plate for Alex Murphy but he leaned back and blasted the ball over the bar from 5 yards out ! Five minutes later another great move from Westlands opened up the Wincanton defence. Liam Stobbs won the ball in midfield and played it forward to to Steve Ormrod who made a good turn and laid the ball in to ALEX MURPHY who drilled the ball in from 18 yards thus redeeming himself for his earlier miss.
In the 20th minute Charlie Gay opened up the Wincanton defence with a perfect ball to Liam Stobbs and he slipped the ball past the keeper but also past the far post ! A rare chance for Wincanton came in the 35th minute when a free kick into the box was met with a glancing header but the ball went just past. Just before the break Westlands made it 3-0 when a cross from the right was knocked in by STEVE ORMROD at the far post. Didn’t see this one very well as I was halfway up to the tea bar for a much-needed half time Bovril when the goal was scored !
With a 3 goal lead at half time Sports looked home and hosed as the opposition hadn’t really shown much fight or resolve in that first 45.
The 2nd half saw Westlands in charge and Brandon Scott hit the bar with a good shot 10 minutes in. Then Charlie Gay had a good run and shot that which just drifted wide. The game deteriorated now with subs coming on and off and although it has to be done it does upset the rhythm of the team a bit. Still, regardless of who was on the pitch Westlands had a firm grip on the game and it was just really a case of could we score any more goals ? In the 80th minute the question was answered with the 4th goal of the game. Charlie Gay hit a thumping drive that the keeper could only palm up into the air and STEVE ORMROD was following up to make sure. A couple of minutes later Steve Ormrod hit the post as Sports came to life again and went looking for more goals. With 85 minutes gone Alex Murphy rose to head in a corner kick but unfortunately he was denied his hat-trick when the referee disallowed the ‘goal’ for an infringement. The final chance came when Lewis Howchin put a through ball into Charlie Gay’s path and his shot just slipped past the post.
That was that, a good win for Westlands who had looked quite impressive with a nice balance to the team and a good team spirit going.
The Man of the Match award goes to SCOTT MORGAN who never put a foot wrong at left back. Won his tackles, distributed the ball well, and got round to give valuable cover to his central defenders on several occasions.
With the Christmas break over and almost 4 weeks since the Reserves last game, the first game back was looking a tough challenge. After beating DPL side Balti Sports in the last round, the Reserves had an even tougher fixture against DPL league challenging outfit Dorchester Sports in the last eight.
After some heavy rain the Alvington pitch was looking surprisingly good, although a little heavy.
The match kicked off with a bitterly cold wind blowing across the pitch, and Westlands started well, dominating possession with Steve Ormrod and Alex Murphy proving to be a difficult pair to handle for the Dorch back four. We had started brightly and created a few half chances so at this stage it’s looking good for the underdogs.
20 mins in Westlands keeper Chris Bennett is yet to make a save in anger and the midfield of twinkle toes Nat Carney, the elusive Jake Wolfe who seems to be everywhere, and no nonsense Brandon Scott, were controlling the game well and keeping the technically good Dorch midfield quiet.
After 24 mins and the first big scare for Dorchester as Steve Ormrod drove a fierce shot onto the crossbar. The ball rebounded to Alex Murphy whose usually deadly finish eluded him, the shot is straight at the Dorch keeper. We created a few more half chances but nothing to write home about. Liam Stobbs work rate down the left backed up by the solid Scott Morgan was causing real problems for the visitor's right side, they just didn't know how to deal with the young Stobbs and Morgan pairing.
In the 35th minute Dorchester had a free kick on the edge of our area, the first real test for the Sports defence, and the Dorch player clipped the free kick into the far top corner of the net to put us 1-0 down. Westlands rallied and put pressure on the Dorch defence and on the half time mark the pressure paid off. Brandon Scott picked up the ball on the half way line and drove at the Dorch defence, tracked closely by their midfielder, who can’t handle his strength and fouls him on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was drifted beautifully to the back post by Liam Stobbs, Jamie Burt rose high to win the header and gave a perfect knock down to ALEX MURPHY who wasn’t going to miss a second time, and he neatly stroked the ball home. A deserved goal for Alex who had plagued the Dorch defence all game.
Half-time, 1-1 and all to play for.
Dorchester come out for the second half and upped their game, playing nice football and starting to trouble the ever solid Westlands back four of Johnny Will, Matt Watson, Jamie Burt and Scott Morgan. Chris Bennett, the Westlands keeper, was having to do a little more work this half.
10 mins in and Dorch were starting to control the game as the Westland boys were showing the effects of the four week break and the fierce work rate of the first half. A Dorchester player picked up the ball in the Westlands half and hit a thunderous shot that cannoned off the bar, a wake up call and the Sports management reacted to make some changes.
On the hour mark a fresh legged Charlie Gay came on for Alex Murphy who had really put a phenomenal shift in. Then, as Dorch were starting to push more men forward, a ball to Charlie up top caught them out one on one on the half way line. Steve Ormrod's tireless work rate to get up in support left the lonely Dorch defender trying to cover the two attackers. He opted to mark the runner which was a mistake, as CHARLIE GAY drove direct for goal and slipped the ball neatly through the keeper's legs ,,,,,,, 2-1 up !!.
Sports made another subestitution with Jake Wolfe being replaced by Lewis Howchin. It had been a great effort from Jake and a deserved rest. Lewis Howchin dropped into centre mid and immediately grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck alongside Natt Carney. Their slick touch and tight control was dominating the midfield with those fresh legs helping Sports retain the ball.
The second half continued with both teams creating a few chances but by far the best falling to Westlands. Steve Ormrod was still working relentlessly, he’d been a real thorn in the Dorch back four’s side all game.
With 15 mins left the Dorchester midfield worked a neat opening, carving open the tiring Westlands defence and winning a corner. The Westland defenders cleared but the ball fell to a Dorch man on the edge of the box who hit a clean strike through the crowd, but cat like Chris Bennett pulled of the save of the season, diving one handed down to his right.
10 mins to go and Westlands are losing players to cramp and injury. First victim was the solid Scott Morgan who had to be subbed but Matt Philips was more than up to the challenge and he slotted in at left back, this being the third and final sub for Westlands..
Next it was Brandon Scott cramping up badly, but the heroic attitude of the entire Sports team rallied round to hold off Dorchester to the end. Westland Sports Reserves 2 - 1 winners !!
The Man of the Match award goes to SCOTT MORGAN for an outstanding performance but also a mention to the whole team who played out of their skins.
Level 1-1 at half-time, Sports appeared to be in total control when they moved into a 3-1 lead in the second half. Two good chances were then missed which would have made it 5-1 before Westlands switched off. Before they knew it the match was level at 3-3 and the home side had their tails up. We then went 4-3 up before Corfe equalised and they then snatched the points with virtually the last kick of the game. At least 2 of the goals were put down to mistakes by Westlands players who looked tired, both mentally and physically, by the end. The Sports goals were scored by LIAM STOBBS, NAT CARNEY, ALEX MURPHY and SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI.
The man of the match award goes to team captain JAKE WOLFE who always leads from the front with good communication and is a driving force in the midfield.
The Reserves got back on the winning trail with a 5-1 demolition of Allendale. ALEX MURPHY and SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI had two goals apiece and CHARLIE GAY had one in a fairly comfortable victory for Sports.
The man of the match award goes to SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI who, after a long lay-off, is now getting match fit and beginning to show his quality.
The Reserves had no problems as they turned over Witchampton 3-0 to stay in touch at the top of the Senior League. STEVE ORMROD opened the scoring from the penalty spot midway through the first half and LIAM STOBBS added another just before the break from a free kick that the keeper appeared to misjudge. 2-0 at half time put Westlands in the driving seat and when the third was scored the points were in the bag as Westlands defence, marshalled by the evergreen Stu Smith, were looking pretty solid. Szymon Matuszewski set up the goal with a great run into the box and he squared for LIAM STOBBS to finish.
Man of the Match goes to BRANDON SCOTT who, being injury free this season and building on his match fitness, is beginning to fulfil some of the promise he showed a couple of seasons ago.
Sat 10th March, Dorset Senior League: CHICKERELL UTD 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2
A tricky venue this with the steep slope which makes it a bit of a “home” pitch. The added wet conditions made it an even more difficult task for a Westlands side with Chris Bennett, Brandon Scott, Charlie Gay, Alex Murphy and Szymon Matuszewski all missing. Luke Silcox returned in goal for only his second game this season and Tommy Frampton was called up from the Under 18s to make his debut.
Chickerell started strongly and within three minutes had a superb chance to open the scoring when a cross into the Westland box was headed over the bar. However, a promising opening spell turned to disaster for the home team, when Sports went down the other end and opened the scoring via a free-kick to the back post that was sidefooted in by JAMIE BURT. Five minutes later, Luke Silcox dashed out to clear a through ball but the opposition player got there first, rounded the Westlands goalkeeper and fired home the equaliser from an acute angle. Chickerell were now dominating the match but could not dent a stuffy Sports defence and the two sides went in level at half-time.
In the second half the home team continued to press and Luke Silcox made a couple of good saves to keep the scores level. The crossbar then came to Westlands aid as the home side kept up the pressure and in the 65th minute they took the lead.
A goalmouth scramble was only half cleared and a Chickerell player hooked the ball back over everyone and into the back of the net to give them what was probably a deserved lead. The home side had their tails up now and continued to dominate but they couldn’t add to their lead. Then a bit of poetic justice occurred with only a few minutes left. A Chickerell player was deliberately time wasting, messing around with the ball in the corner, when the referee gave a free kick against him. From the kick, Westlands launched the ball upfield where a Chickerell defender tried to knock it back to his goalkeeper. The keeper raced out to try and clear under pressure from TOMMY FRAMPTON and the ball rebounded off the Westland player and into the Chickerell net to make it 2-2 !
“I’ll take that !” said Westlands manager Craig Stobbs commenting on the result after the match which keeps Sports outside title hopes alive.
The Man-of-the-Match award was given to TOMMY FRAMPTON who did well when he came on for the last 35 minutes culminating in that important equalising goal.
Sat 17th Mar, Dorset Senior Trophy, S/Final: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3 POOLE TOWN DEV 1
Our battling Reserve team pulled off another shock by beating Poole Town Development 3-1 at Alvington to book their place in the final ! The ground looked in decent condition for the match but there was a bitter cold wind blowing down the pitch from the Airfield Tavern end. The opposition are basically the reserve team of Poole Town but they are billed as an Under 21 side and play in the Wyvern League, which is a midweek floodlit league in Dorset & Hampshire. We knew they would be a good young side as they had beaten some good teams to get here including a 3-0 win over current DPL league leaders Hamworthy Recreation and they are currently unbeaten at the top of the Wyvern League. Mind you, Sports Reserves had beaten some good teams as well to reach this stage so it was all set up for an intriguing match. Team wise, Luke Silcox continued in goal for Sports with regular stopper Chris Bennett on holiday. Charlie Gay and Liam Stobbs were both carrying knocks so they were on the bench, but it was a strong looking team that lined up from the start.
Westlands were kicking with the wind behind them in the first half so were looking to try and build some sort of lead to take into the second half. Poole quickly showed their quality with slick two-touch passing but they also tried to play everything out from the back and were looking to knock the ball around in their own half. Westlands have an abundance of willing workers in the team and pressed them high up the pitch so that every pass was made under pressure. This paid off perfectly in the 15th minute when Sports took the lead. The ball was rolled out from the keeper to a Poole defender who took a heavy touch when controlling the ball. ALEX MURPHY was on it like a flash, robbing him of the ball and sticking it in the back of the net with only the keeper to beat. The match continued in much the same vein with the visitors trying to knock the ball around in neat triangles and Westlands chasing and harrying and attacking with pace when they won possession. In the 30th minute, as a Poole defender hesitated, SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI was on him like a shot, winning the ball and drilling it past the keeper to make it 2-0 ! This was just what Westlands had hoped for but there was a bit of a setback in the 38th minute when a Poole player reacted first to a cross into the Westlands box and smashed the ball into the net to make it 2-1. A bit of a blow that one but the Westlands lads stuck to the task and were rewarded just before half time. Once again it was a mistake at the back that was pounced on by ALEX MURPHY and he thumped the ball past the keeper to restore Sports two goal lead.
The first half had worked out perfectly for Sports but there was just a nagging doubt that the lead may not be enough as the visitor’s had shown they were a good team and with the wind at their backs it could be a problem.
Westlands were determined not to lose an early goal as the longer the game went on the more desperate the visitors would become. The tactics being adopted by Sports in the second half were totally different now to those in the first. Where we had pressed them high up the pitch with 3, 4 or even 5 men, we now backed off into our own half leaving only one man up. This meant they were able to knock the ball around at the back but now we were quite happy for them to do that. As soon as the ball came into the Westlands half the Sports players chased and harried, threw themselves into blocks and generally defended magnificently with Matt Watson a tower of strength at the back. The visitor’s were unable to find a way through for that second goal they needed to get back into the game, and when the final whistle blew it signalled another triumph for the underdogs.
It had been a tactical masterclass by the Westlands team and great credit must go to the management team of Craig Stobbs and Wayne Scott for their game plan which was spot on. All the players deserve great credit for another brilliant giantkilling display with 100% effort from everyone. Some tired legs at the end but well worth the effort with a cup final against Holt Utd to look forward to.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to MATT WATSON for a sound display at the heart of Westland’s defence.
Sat 24th March, Dorset Senior League: CORFE CASTLE 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3
Sports Reserves travelled to league leaders Corfe Castle knowing they had to win to keep their title hopes alive. But they got off to the worst possible start, conceding a goal after only two minutes. However, showing the battling qualities that have been evident all season, they fought back and two goals from ALEX MURPHY (2) and one from STEVE ORMROD put the reserves 3-1 ahead. Corfe then scored a second goal made it a nervous finish for Sports but they defended doggedly and held on for the crucial three points.
The Man-of-the-Match award this week goes to MATT PHILLIPS for some excellent defending.
Sat 24th March, Dorset Senior Trophy Final: HOLT UTD 4 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
A dull night for the final but the lads looked in good spirits as we lined up for the preliminaries.
In the first minute an early ball put in by Jonny Will to the back post caused the Holt defence a problem but Szymon Matuszewski just couldn’t connect properly at full stretch.
Holt replied with a ball into our box and somehow the #10 was free. Luckily he couldn’t bring the ball under control and Westlands keeper Chris Bennett made the block. Then Holts #11 had a shot which Chris saved low down. Jonny Will then put another good ball in and we won the first corner of the game which the Holt keeper dived on.
In the 7th minute a nice through ball put Alex Murphy in behind the Holt defence but he was flagged offside. He hit the side netting with his shot anyway. Nevertheless, it had been a bright start by Westlands.Jamie Burt then blocked a shot full on in the ‘midriff’ but it was worth it to stop a goal bound shot ! As we passed the 20 minute mark, Holt were putting on the pressure but Sports were holding a good shape and defending in numbers. A deep cross then found the unmarked Holt centre forward and his volley clipped the bar !
Then a Holt free kick travelled a long way and the back post header was won a bit easily but Chris Bennett pulled off a fine save diving to his right. From the resultant corner the Holt centre half should probably have put his free header on target. Marking is getting a bit sloppy now as Holt look for that opening goal. A nice break by Szymon Matuszewski won a free kick on the corner of the box and Szymon took it himself and flashed a shot just wide of the far post.
As Westlands continued a good little spell Alex Murphy got in a cross but Steve Ormrod’s header was easily collected by the Holt keeper.Then Steve put a delicious through ball but the slick surface pushed the ball inches from Szymon Matuszewski’s reach.
Back came Holt and Sports keeper Chris Bennett came out and missed the ball but the Holt header came off the top of the bar. The follow up shot was then saved well by Chris.
Brandon Scott picked up a harsh looking yellow for a tough tackle. It looked like a foul but I’m not convinced it was a yellow. The free kick travelled 50 yards into our box and the the Westlands defence appeared to hesitate, Chris Bennett charged out his goal to try and clear but unfortunately the Holt centre forward was first to the ball and headed into an empty net.
A bit of a blow to go 1-0 down just before half time and the reserves now need to achieve something the first team couldn’t do on Saturday and score a goal.
And it nearly happened after 5 minutes of the second half as a deflected Westlands shot hit the post and was cleared. So close that one !
On the hour mark captain Wolfe departed and our first sub Charlie Gay came on with Jamie Burt taking the armband.The rain was coming down but no sign of a breakthrough for Westlands although we were definitely on top now.
In the 65th minute there was a nice build up by Westllands down the left and when the ball came over there was a bit of a scramble in the box. The ball fell nicely to SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI and he drilled the ball into the corner from about 10 yards. Definitely a deserved equaliser, 1-1 now and game on. Only 2 minutes later a ball into the Westland’s box was not dealt with and a Holt player slammed it home from 18 yards !. Back to a goal down almost immediately after equalising, still, plenty time left but it was looking difficult for Westlands at this stage.
Then more slack play and Holt score again ! A shot curled in from the edge of the box. 3-1 down now and we’re looking a bit tired. We’ve put in a shift.
With 70 minutes gone another substitution as Syzmon Matuszewski is replaced by Liam Stobbs.
Oh dear, it’s becoming a bit one sided now. A neat move down the left and the small Holt #10 headed home unmarked from two yards out. 4-1 down now and Sports in danger of a complete collapse.
With ten minutes left Lewis Howchin replaced Jonny Will for Westlands third and final substitution.
A Westlands free kick into the box fell short and it had been noticeable that we’ve consistently failed to hit one of our big men from free kicks. Ten to go and we’d lost a bit of shape and Holt were cutting through us at will. We needed to be resolute to the end and to be fair the Westlands players, although very tired both physically and mentally, managed to hold out including three added minutes.
Full time and 4-1 to Holt. Deserved on the night but a valiant effort from the Westland lads.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to SZYMON MATUSZEWSKI who worked really hard all night. Was involved in all our dangerous moves and got that equalising goal.
Thurs 3rd May, Dorset Senior League: BEAMINSTER 3 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3
The reserves also came from behind in their match at Beaminster in the Dorset Senior League. Trailing 3-1 at half time they fought back to claim a point in a 3-3 draw. Not bad considering they finished with 9 men, Nat Carney picking up 2 yellow cards and Stu Smith a red ! LIAM STOBBS, STEVE ORMROD and ALEX MURPHY all scored in the second half fight back.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to SCOTT MORGAN who was outstanding at the back for Westlands particularly when we were down to 9 men.
Thurs 10th May, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 0 PORTLAND UTD RES 1
Sports Reserves lost 1-0 to Portland Utd Reserves last night in the Dorset Senior League at Alvington. Westlands went behind early in the second half to the softest of penalties awarded for a handball, which was obviously accidental. The visitors then hung on to take the points. Westlands had numerous good chances throughout the game to score but could not put the ball in the back of the net. The bar and the post also came to Portlands rescue in their smash and grab victory.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to SCOTT MORGAN who was solid at the back all night.
Tues 15th May, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3 CHICKERELL UTD 4
Matt Watson headed in a last minute winner in last night's Dorset Senior League match at Alvington. Unfortunately it was into his own net and gave opponents Chickerell Utd a 4-3 win ! After being 3-1 down Sports fought back to 3-3 but were undone by that last minute OG.
Westlands had a chance to take the lead in the first minute when Liam Stobbs was put clean through but a terrible first touch allowed the keeper to gather the ball. Then Sports keeper Chris Bennett tipped a Chickerell shot over the bar and from the corner they had a header go just wide. A long ball through the middle then put a Chickerell player through but he blasted over the bar. After 15 minutes the visitors took the lead. A simple ball into the box fell to an unmarked Chickerell forward right in front of goal and he had an easy sidefoot finish. Some poor marking there !
Ten minutes later Chickerell had the ball in the net again when they had 2 players unmarked at the far post after we had given the ball away in midfield ! Luckily this one was ruled out for offside, but in the 30th minute they scored one that counted to make it 2-0. A long ball again had Westlands defence all over the place. The Chickerell #10 ran through unchallenged, rounded the keeper and slotted in from an angle. Things were looking bad for Sports but in the 35th minute we were given a lifeline. A free kick into the Chickerell box saw Matt Watson have a couple of shots blocked before the ball fell to STEVE ORMROD who banged it into the net. Just before half time Steve had another chance but put his shot over the bar.
Only 2-1 down at half time was a bit of a bonus for Westlands as the Chickerell forwards had been running through the defence at will in the first half.
However, ten minutes into the second half they put that right with their third goal. A corner was half cleared to a man on the edge of the box and he curled a nice shot into the far top corner. The writing looked on the wall for Westlands now but they kept plugging away and in the 78th minute scored a 2nd goal. CHARLIE GAY made a great run down the left, drew the keeper, and slotted the ball into the far corner. Chickerell were rocking a bit now and 2 minutes later Westlands drew level at 3-3. ALEX MURPHY ran through and drilled the ball into the far corner of the net to spark off great celebrations from the Westland players. Sports now looked the most likely winners but the game seemed to be ending in a draw when a Chickerell player pumped a hopeful ball into the Westlands penalty area. Matt Watson misjudged the flight of the ball and managed to plant a header into his own net with keeper Chris Bennett floundering. That was that, final whistle blown and a shell-shocked Westlands team who thought they had grabbed a point after being 2 goals down.
The Man-of-the-Match award goes to LEWIS HOWCHIN who was influential in mounting numerous attacks down the right flank and showed great energy throughout.
This match should have been played at Holt FC’s ground at Gaunt’s Common but was switched at the last minute to the Ferndown Leisure Centre, a huge complex with numerous pitches. We were on the furthest away pitch which was a good 5 minute hike from the changing rooms but there was one bonus as the line of trees forming the boundary provided some welcome shelter for the spectators. The rain was sweeping down the pitch and Westlands had it at their backs so we probably needed to take advantage of that in the first half.
We started well and forced 2 early corners the second of which was scrambled off the line after a bit of a melee in the goalmouth. A promising start and in the 8th minute Malik Kamal was put through by Andre Anjos but the home keeper saved his shot on the run. The home side looked comfortable in possession and they had a decent spell which ended with Sports keeper Hamish Amor dashing off his line to block a dangerous through ball…….just !
In our next attack we scored. A defence splitting pass put Malik clean through, he thumped in a shot that the keeper did well to block but ANDRE ANJOS was following up and he buried the rebound to put us 1-0 up. Andre and Malik were combining well up front and in the 13th minute Malik was put through again but he dragged his shot wide. Holt & Wimborne tried to respond with several good build ups but they were finding it hard to break down the Westlands backline with Tom Budden, Todd Morgan and Dan Ewens battling hard to repel the attacks. At the other end, Sports were always dangerous against a rather dodgy home defence and in the 24th minute we scored our second goal. Andre Anjos picked the ball up at least 20 yards out and let fly with a ferocious wind-assisted shot which cannoned off the underside of the crossbar, bounced down on the line and was headed into the back of the net by STANLEY WALDRON who had followed up and reaped the dividends for his effort. That took the wind out the home teams sails for a bit and a few minutes later Andre burst down the left and tried to lob the keeper as he came out but unfortunately his effort cleared the crossbar. It was end to end now and Malik then had a shot well saved before, in the 34th minute we conceded a goal. The home side had looked dangerous down their right and once again their player got to the bye line and whipped over a cross that was buried first time. That was a bit of a blow but not really unexpected as some of the Wimborne & Holt attacks had been quite dangerous. Nevertheless the Westland players did not let their heads go down and and in the 42nd minute we went two in front again. Andre Anjos put nice pass in behind the home defence for MALIK KAMAL to chase. Malik won the race with the keeper and knocked the ball past him into the far corner.
That was a crucial goal as the two goal lead gave us something to defend in the second half when we would be facing the wind and rain.
As the second half got under way, the rain seemed to get heavier and it was really driving down the pitch now. The home team had nothing to lose and they began to pin us in our own half as they piled on the pressure. However, we defended well for 10 minutes when a bit of bad luck saw us concede a second goal. A well struck shot came skidding across the wet grass towards our goal and Hamish Amor came out to gather it. Unfortunately he lost his footing and as he slipped the ball flew under his body into the net. At 3-2 the home team began to believe they could get something from the game and we had to defend in numbers to keep them at bay. But we were defending doggedly with 10 men behind the ball and only Malik up front as an outlet. However that outlet proved very effective in the 65th minute. Malik chased a long ball down the left, muscled past a defender and squared the ball across goal where STANLEY WALDRON was on the spot to slide the ball into the net. What a goal and great work by Stanley who had sprinted about 50 yards in support of his striker and, once again, he had reaped the reward for his hard graft. With our two goal lead restored it made life just that bit easier for our overworked defence as we had a bit of breathing space now but there was still 25 minutes to go so there was still some work to do. The wind and rain was so strong now it was proving to be a bit of a hindrance to the attacking side as well as the defenders. Corners and crosses were going behind the goal and long balls were just doing likewise. There were a few dodgy moments as we just managed to hack the ball away but we had a few attacks as well and in the 70th minute Malik hit a great shot on the run which the keeper dived to tip round the post. Still the Sports defence, marshalled by skipper Tom Budden, held firm and as we entered the last 15 minutes Hamish Amor made a great save, clutching the greasy ball high up by the post.
The home side were getting a bit desperate now and some of the tackles were getting a bit wayward but the referee kept things in check with a few yellow cards handed out. Westlands were now within sight of the winning post and the supporters huddled under the trees were anxiously checking their watches. The last scare came in the last minute when a cross shot just slipped by the far post.
It had been a great start to the season for the team and they can be proud of their efforts in very testing conditions.
Several contenders for the Man of the Match but this week but a good performance from MALIK KAMAL wins him the award. He was a constant threat to the home defence all afternoon, combining well up front with Andre Anjos in the first half and often fighting a lone battle up front in the second half when we were under a bit of pressure. And he scored a good goal to cap a good afternoon’s work.
Sunday 17th September, Dorset League Div 1, WESTLAND SPORTS 4 RINGWOOD TOWN 3
Sports lined up for this, their first home match of the season, with almost the same line up that had won well last week. One welcome addition was the return of Tom Laney, who captained our U16s to a league and cup double two seasons ago. Ringwood won the league last season and they would undoubtedly present a strong challenge so we looked forward to a good game. After a period of early sparring in which Westlands looked to be settling to play some good football, we were rocked in the 13th minute when the visitor’s took the lead. Their #7 picked up the ball on the edge of the box and dinked a lovely lob shot into the far corner with the outside of his foot. A fine goal but slightly against the run of play and within two minutes Westlands had equalised. Jake Tailby hit a free kick goalwards that the keeper turned round the post for a corner. The corner was knocked deep beyond the far post, Andre Anjos headed it back into the danger area and
DAN EWENS smashed it into the roof of the net. A good goal and it inspired Sports to have a good spell of pressure. On the half hour mark Malik Kamal made a good run down the left and cut the ball back to Jake Tailby who missed an open goal. Then Jake cut the ball across the goal but there was nobody there to turn it in. Next another good deep cross from Malik picked out Andre Anjos but his shot just slipped past the far post. In the 38th minute Dan Ewens put over a super cross that Malik headed wide. Then Malik was put clean through with only the keeper to beat but inexplicably he just chipped the ball into the keeper’s hands. As we approached half time a Ringwood player let fly with a well struck shot that flew just over the top. Then finally, Malik Kamal was clean through on goal again and this time he slipped the ball past the keeper but unfortunately past the far post as well.
A 1-1 draw at half time didn’t really reflect the way the half had gone. Both teams had worked extremely hard and played some nice football but Westlands had undoubtedly created more goal scoring chances. Some of these had been gilt edged so we hoped we wouldn’t live to regret these misses.
The second half was only 5 minutes old when we took the lead with our second goal. A nice through ball from Tom Laney put MALIK KAMAL through again and this time he drove the ball into the far corner giving the keeper no chance. Then calamity struck as we conceded straight away. A deep cross was fired over into our box, keeper Hamish Amor came for it and missed it and a Ringwood player headed it in. That goal rocked us back on our heels and Ringwood soon took advantage. In the 60th minute their #10 ran on to a through ball and slotted it in the far corner to put them back in front again at 3-2. It looked like the game might be slipping away from us but the lads got going again and gradually began to work their way back into the game. We began to put on a bit of pressure and won a free kick about 20 yards out. Dan Ewens put the ball into the penalty area where it was half cleared out to the edge of the box where ED JONES smashed it with his trusty left peg and it flew through the crowd into the far corner. Back on level terms but the minutes drifted by and it looked like the match may end in stalemate until we had a dramatic winner in the dying seconds. Westlands forced a corner outon the left and everyone moved up into the crowded box. Over came the coss, a deep inswinger and out of the crowd rose DAN EWENS to plant a header into the net and send the Westland lads wild (and the spectators !).
That was it, game over, and Sports had nicked the points in the dying seconds.
It had been a thrilling match with the lead changing hands three times and both teams had played very well.
Several contenders for the Man of the Match but this week and PAUL JOHNSON gets the vote this week for a non-stop performance in the middle of the park. Chasing and harrying the opposition for 90 minutes is a valuable asset in winning games and also when he had the ball he always gave it to a team-mate. Dan Ewens can count himself unlucky after his two goals but sometimes the lads who do the hard work in the engine room are just as important to the team effort.
Sunday 1st October, Dorset FA Youth Cup Rnd 1, WESTLAND SPORTS 4 STALBRIDGE 1
The first round of the cup with a home draw was a game we wanted to win but surprisingly we were only able to muster 12 men for the occasion. We had beaten Stalbridge in a pre-season friendly so we were favourites but we knew they would be stronger today as they were riding high in Division 2 having only lost one game.
The early indications were that our opponents were working hard to try and close us down quickly and this was having the desired effect with Westlands unable to string any passes together. This forced us into punting long balls forward into the opponents half which is not our usual game plan. However, this did pay off in the 5th minute when a long deep cross from Todd Morgan found MALIK KAMAL at the far post and he headed into the net as the Stalbridge defence hesitated. Nice start from Sports and they continued to have the majority of the pressure in the visitor’s half. Malik was a constant threat up front and Tom Budden was in complete control at the back so more goals looked likely. In the 12th minute Jacob Tailby hit a thumping shot that came down off the underside of the bar, bounced on the goal line (or was it behind ?) and was headed into net by Sam Fuller. The referee gave the goal but then gave offside after consultation with the Linesman. It was a hard game to watch as neither side could string any passes together and subsequently it turned into a bit of a midfield muddle (I was going to say battle but that would be pushing it !). Stalbridge hadn’t much to offer going forward so it always looked like Westlands would add to their lead. The second goal eventually came in the 36th minute. A long ball was put through the middle and the Stalbridge keeper came charging out to clear. Unfortunately for him, MALIK KAMAL was chasing down the pass, and although the keeper got there first his clearance came off Malik’s legs and rebounded towards goal. Another race developed between Malik and a defender to get to the ball first and this time it was Malik who won and he turned the ball into the net at the far post. It only took another 4 minutes for Westlands to score again. A through ball saw the Stalbridge defence spread-eagled and MALIK KAMAL ran through and lobbed the keeper from about 25 yards out.
With a 3-0 half time lead Westlands looked home and dry as nobody could see the visitors scoring four goals in the second half.
In a more relaxed mood Westlands began to play a bit better in the second half, with the passing much more fluent. Perhaps this was a result of Stalbridge beginning to tire or perhaps they had decided to concentrate on defending in the second half to prevent a potentially embarrassing scoreline. For whatever reason, Sports were playing much better now but were running into a packed defence so scoring chances were not so frequent. Stanley Waldron worked a bit of space and let fly but his shot was over the bar. Then some good play gave Malik a chance to shoot but he pulled his effort wide of the far post. In the 70th minute Stalbridge caught us on the break and made it 3-1. A through ball into Sports half was chased by the opposition #9 who slotted the ball neatly past Hamish Amor who had come dashing off his line. I think on this occasion our keeper would have been better to have stayed put as he was never going to win that ball. Could the visitors stage a fightback ? No was the answer as Westlands restored their 3 goal lead only 2 minutes later. A neat through ball picked out SAM FULLER and he deftly chipped the keeper for a lovely goal, inch perfect lob. Game over really and the last 15 minutes or so were played out with the visitor’s just keeping the score down and Westlands seemingly happy with what they had. There was still time for Jacob Tailby to pick up a yellow card for something silly just before the final whistle.
Not a vintage performance by Westlands but job done, a decent 4-1 score line, and we progress to the second round, happy days.
The Man of the Match award goes to MALIK KAMAL who was a constant threat up front and, of course, bagged a first half hat-trick.
Sunday 22nd October, Dorset Youth League Div 1, WESTLAND SPORTS 6 POOLE TOWN WESSEX 5
The pitch had been played on the previous day but was looking surprisingly good considering the foul weather we had experienced in the last couple of days. Thankfully the wind had dropped but there were some showers in the air as the teams lined up. This was a big test for Westlands as Poole Town Wessex are a good side and amongst the favourites for the title so accordingly Manager Darren Tailby had assembled what was near to his strongest side for this match. Unfortunately his plans were upset a bit when Andre Anjos dropped out having picked up a knock the previous day but we still had a line up we felt could do the job.
After both teams kind of weighed each other up for the first five minutes there was a bit of a flap in the Westlands defence as we tried to defend a corner that was cleared eventually. In the 10th minute Westlands first good chance came when Jamie Irwin put over a good cross and two Westlands players went for it with neither connecting, I think they actually got in each other’s way ! Never mind we were soon in front in the 16th minute and a class goal it was. Jake Tailby put a defence splitting pass through to CHARLIE BERRINGTON who showed his pace to outstrip the defenders, round the keeper, and slot the ball into the empty net. A super goal, well created and executed with great composure and there was more to come ! Only six minutes later we made it 2-0 with another scintillating move. Charlie Berrington started this one off with a nice ball through to Jamie Irwin who picked out the run of TOM LANEY with a sumptuous little back heel and Tom drove the ball into the far corner of the net. Poole were reeling now and we should have made it three when a good move again opened up the visitors defence but two chances to put the ball in the net were squandered before the ball was cleared. Westlands kept the pressure on and on the half hour mark JAMIE IRWIN robbed a defender who dwelt on the ball and rifled a shot into the top corner to make it an unbelievable 3-0 to Westlands. This was great stuff by Sports but unfortunately they got a bit carried away and forgot they still had to defend. Poole were given a lifeline in the 37th minute with the softest of penalties. They won a corner and put it into the box where Owen Male, Sports keeper, came out to catch. A Poole forward backed into him and the referee’s whistle blew. I was expecting a free kick to Westlands but he pointed to the spot ! A Poole player stuck the kick in the corner to make it 3-1. Sports had lost their focus completely now and 3 minutes later a Poole player ran on to a through ball unchallenged and stuck it away in the corner to make it 3-2. This was silly but worse was to come. With Westlands in disarray a Poole forward was allowed to run through and then a despairing tackle in the box brought him down for another penalty. This one was tucked away and suddenly we were level at 3-3. We had conceded three goals in six minutes but luckily we were able to get through to half time on level terms.
It had been an unbelievable first half, to be 3-0 up after half an hour and come in drawing 3-3 was a big blow and the management would have their work cut out at the break to revitalise the Westlands team.
The second half was only a few minutes old when Charlie Berrington made a good run and squared the ball to Jamie Irwin whose finish was screwed wide of the target. Disaster then struck in the 55th minute, when a cross into the box was headed into the net by a player who seemed to be totally unmarked right in front of goal. Well, 4-3 down, but we now showed a bit of character and equalised three minutes later. Jamie Irwin fed Charlie Berrington in the box with his back to goal. Charlie laid the ball back into the path of TOMMY FRAMPTON who sidefooted it into the corner of the net from just outside the 18 yard box. A beautifully worked goal and we were back on level terms and beginning to take control. In the 65th minute Tommy Frampton picked the ball up on the left side of the goal facing the corner flag. The keeper rushed out and made a rash challenge bringing Tommy down and the referee pointed to the spot. JAMIE IRWIN stepped up and drilled the ball into the roof of the net to make it 5-4 and put Sports back in the lead. Westlands were on top now and Jamie Irwin had a golden chance to increase our lead in the 70th minute when he was clean through with only the keeper to beat. Normally clinical in these situations Jamie just hesitated and the keeper was able to dive on the ball. In the 80th minute Jamie Irwin was put clean through again. This time he beat the keeper with his shot but a defender managed to get back and clear for a corner. When the kick came in it fell to Jamie again but this time his final shot was weak and the keeper saved fairly easily. We were made to regret these misses in the 85th minute when a long ball into the Westlands box was met at the far post by an unmarked player who banged it in to equalise at 5-5 with just five minutes to play. We couldn’t believe it, back level again, were there any more twists possible in this match ? Yes was the emphatic answer from the Westland lads in the 88th minute. Charlie Berrington raced through the tiring Poole defence, drew the keeper, and unselfishly squared the ball to JAMIE IRWIN who had a tap in. That goal sparked great scenes of jubilation but hang on, its not over yet ! No it wasn’t quite over as a minute later Charlie Berrington again outstripped the visitors defence, drew the keeper and slipped the ball past him only to see it roll inches wide of the far post. That was finally that and the final whistle brought to an end a very entertaining match that was in the balance right to the end.
What a thrilling win in the end for Westlands and all the players contributed to a victory I thought was well deserved. Some fantastic goals were scored and we will concentrate our minds on them rather than some of the rather soft ones we conceded.
The Man of the Match award goes to JAMIE IRWIN who, along with Charlie Berrington, formed a strike force that Poole Town Wessex just couldn’t live with. A well taken hat-trick wins Jamie the award this week.
Sunday 29th October, Dorset Youth League Div 1, WESTLAND SPORTS 2 HAMWORTHY UTD 0
After a good result last week we had another tough match against the current league leaders. Unfortunately we were forced into 5 changes with Owen Male, Todd Morgan, Jamie Irwin, Tom Laney and Charlie Berrington all dropping out and they were replaced by Hamish Amor, Ed Jones, Bayley Pitman, Andre Anjos and Sam Fuller, with new signings Jai Myall and Tyler Nicholson also added to the squad. The manager changed the shape slightly with a back 4 this week and Malik Kamal forging a lone furrow up front. It was soon obvious this was a good move as Hamworthy played with two out and out wingers which may have been a problem with a back three. With so many personnel changes and a change of shape it took Sports about 10 to 15 minutes to find their feet and during that time Hamworthy showed their quality with some good movement and passing. However, as the team settled Westlands began to put on the pressure and in the 18th minute Stanley Waldron just failed to connect with a long free kick into the box. A few minutes later some good work by Andre Anjos gave Malik Kamal a chance but he fired his shot over the top. Then Malik made a good run and cut the ball back in front of goal but there were no takers. Next some excellent passing gave Andre a chance but his shot slipped just past the post. The pressure was mounting and in the 38th minute, Sports made the breakthrough. Malik Kamal burst through the opposition defence and was brought down from behind about 22 yards out. He was clean through but the only punishment was a free kick, I am told red/yellow cards are no longer dished out for these offences. However, as it turned out, JACOB TAILBY curled a beauty of a free kick round the wall into the net so justice was done. What a goal that was, best free kick I’ve seen this season ! Another good build up by Westlands ended with a Paul Johnson shot, but he didn’t make a good contact and the keeper saved. Then Hamworthy had a good attack but their player put his final shot over the top and the final action of the half was an Andre Anjos shot which their keeper saved.
Half time and 1-0 to Westlands was a good position as Sports new backline were looking solid and with Hamish Amor looking sharp in goal we didn’t really look like we were going to concede. We were also causing the Hamworthy defence some problems with our attacking players so it was looking positive.
One minute into the second half Malik Kamal was through again and again he was brought down for a free kick just outside the box. Again Jacob Tailby lined up to take it, was this groundhog day ? Not quite I’m afraid, as he curled his kick over the wall and saw it hit the post and come out ! Another cracking free kick from Jacob that deserved a goal. Malik was beginning to run riot now and another strong run saw him just blocked off as he went through. In the 57th minute we got the second goal we were looking for and a superb goal it was. Andre Anjos picked the ball up in his own half and drove into the opposition half before sliding a pass to Malik Kamal. Malik turned inside and laid the ball across the box into the path of PAUL JOHNSON who had made a great supporting run and he slotted the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the net. A perfect finish to an excellent move ! Five minutes later, in the 62nd minute Tommy Frampton picked out the run of Stanley Waldron with a superb reverse ball that took the Hamworthy defence by surprise. Unfortunately it seemed to catch Stanley by surprise as well as he duffed his shot with only the keeper to beat ! Westlands were looking quite secure now and with 15 minutes to go Andre Anjos was withdrawn to the defence and experienced defender Jai Myall introduced so it looked as though Sports were sensibly shutting up shop. Westlands should have put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute when Stanley Waldron made a good run into the opposition box and was brought down for a penalty. Tommy Frampton took it, sending the keeper diving the wrong way before stroking the ball past the post ! I actually thought it was in so it must have just shaved the post. The final action saw Stanley Waldron shoot just past the post before the referee blew the final whistle.
It was a most satisfying game for many reasons, obviously the result was right but when everything else falls into place it is very satisfying. The tactics were right and all the players played well but more importantly, played to the team plan which was excellent. One last point, how nice it was to have an experienced linesman on the flag today rather than a sub. When he can make some important input to the lads it makes a big difference, so thanks to Scott for his efforts.
Moving on to the Man of the Match award and that presents a real headache this week as there are so many genuine contenders. The final selection is DAN EWENS who had an impressive game at the back for Sports. These awards usually go to attackers who score the goals but victories like this are often build on the foundations of a solid defence and Dan and Tom Budden formed an outstanding partnership. If you don’t lose goals you don’t lose games and the clean sheet, the first of the season, was a real bonus in this tight match.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 5th Nov, Dorset FA Youth Cup 1st Rnd, RINGWOOD TOWN 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
The Under 18s had a tough draw away to Ringwood Town in the first round of the Dorset FA Youth Cup and unfortunately they suffered a 3-2 defeat. Sports went 1-0 down but MALIK KAMAL scored for Westlands to make it 1-1. Again we went behind only for JACOB TAILBY to equalise again from the penalty spot after Malik had been pulled down. A third goal headed in from a corner for Ringwood settled the issue and Sports went out by the odd goal.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to STANLEY WALDRON for another all action performance in midfield.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 19th November, Dorset Youth League Div 1, PARLEY SPORTS 4 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
Westlands could only muster 12 men for this match against the bottom of the table side Parley who were without a win this season.
An early chance for Westlands came to nothing when Jacob Tailby fired a free kick from the edge of the box over the top. The home team responded and Hamish Amor made a good save on the ground. The game was scrappy, neither team could string any passes together and with little or no movement off the ball, Westlands were reduced to lumping hopeful balls forward which the tall Parley defenders mopped up easily. In the 27th minute Parley got a man in with a good reverse ball And Hamish Amor had to dive and save. A couple of minutes later Dan Ewens got his head to a Tom Budden free kick but his effort slipped just past the post. Parley were growing in confidence as they began to realise Westlands did not have a lot to offer. Another shot from a Parley player flew just wide before, in the 36th minute, they opened the scoring. A long ball through the middle caught the Westlands defence out and a Parley player ran through to plant a good shot past the advancing keeper into the net. Westlands players looked a bit bemused and Parley had an excellent chance to double their lead 2 minutes later but their player shot wide. Next another long ball through the middle wasn’t dealt with and a Parley player was through again but again the shot was wide of the mark.
Half time, 1-0 down but plenty of time to put things right.
We started the second half on the front foot and a good break saw Sam Fuller shoot wide. Then a free kick on the edge of the box was put into the wall by Dan Ewens and finally Sam Fuller missed a sitter in front of goal after Westlands had worked a short corner. A substitution saw Under 16s player Peter Park come on for his debut and a change of formation to 3-5-2 which would hopefully give us a bit more control in midfield. We needed that equaliser but were rocked back on our heels in the 60th minute when Parley scored again. A corner from the left was not dealt with and bounced at the far post, then hit a Parley player’s knee and rebounded into the net. A bit of a flukey finish but rather poor defending of the corner. Westlands kept trying, but things went from bad to worse in the 73rd minute. Tom Budden miscontrolled a through pass and a Parley player nicked the ball and ran through unchallenged to score in the far corner. This was getting embarrassing but our best attacks were coming from the direct runs of youngster Peter Park down the right wing and he fired over a couple of good crosses but nobody could get on the end of them. In the 79th minute we pulled one back with a route one effort. PETER PARK chased a long through ball and the Parley keeper came out to clear. It was a close race but the keeper got the first touch which then came off Peter’s legs and left him with the easy job of steering the ball into the empty net. A tiny glimmer of hope for Westlands with a couple of minutes still to go. But that was dashed when Parley immediately scored again with their player rifling a beauty into the top corner from 20 yards. The late flurry of goals was completed right on full time with probably Westland’s best move of the match. Some good passing down the left ended with JACOB TAILBY thumping the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box. An exciting end to a disappointing match with the 4-2 defeat being our first league defeat of the season.
A fairly downbeat report this week but there's no way to put a gloss on this display. The players who played should be capable of better than this but it must be remembered those players who couldn’t be bothered travelling to an away game are just as much to blame as the lads who made the effort.
On a brighter note, the Man of the match award goes to STANLEY WALDRON who gave his usual 100% performance.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 26th Nov, Dorset Youth League Div 1, POOLE TOWN WESSEX 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
A tough match ahead and once again we only managed to scrape together 12 men for a difficult trip to one of the top sides in the county. The venue at Milborne St Andrew was excellent with a big flat pitch and the sun was shining so we looked forward to a good game.
Poole started as we expected, knocking the ball around and keeping possession but gradually Westlands got a foot in the game and actually created the first real chance after 5 minutes. Malik Kamal fired over a good cross and Dan Ewens got his head to it but just couldn’t get his effort on target and it went wide of the far post. Then Hamish Amor made a good save from a low shot as Poole broke dangerously. With the wind behind them Westlands were now on top and Tommy Frampton had a good effort that flew just wide. On 29 minutes Tommy drove into the opposition box and fired a shot across the keeper that hit the inside of the far post and bounced back across the goal before being scrambled away. From the corner Andre Anjos put a header just over the bar as Sports continued to press. Then, against the run of play Poole Town scored the opening goal. A fast run down the left and a low cross was just touched in by their player who managed to get in front of his marker. A blow for Westlands but they only took three minutes to hit back and equalise. A good passing move made inroads into the opposition penalty area and the keeper rushed out to try and grab the ball. MALIK KAMAL got there first and knocked the ball past the keeper and into the net. It was end to end stuff now and Poole had a thumping shot come back off the Westlands post with the keeper beaten. In the 40th minute Malik chased a ball played over the top of the home defence as the keeper charged off his line to try and clear. Malik got there first and headed the ball over the keeper who was late with his challenge and wiped Malik out with a reckless charge on the edge of the box. Unfortunately the header went just past the post but with Malik flat out on the ground the referee showed the keeper a straight red for his challenge. Luckily for Poole they had a spare keeper on the bench so although down to 10 men, they did have a proper keeper in goal. We were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box which Dan Ewens played low into the danger area. Andre Anjos got on the end of it and thumped a shot goalwards but it crashed off the crossbar and was cleared.
Half-time and a score of 1-1 didn’t really reflect the balance of play as Westlands had created more chances but the fact that we hadn’t taken them was a bit of a worry. We would have to face the wind this half but the opposition were down to 10 men so we knew we had a chance.
Poole’s tactics for the second half soon became evident as they got men behind the ball and used the wind to hit long balls over the Westlands back line for a couple of quick lads to chase. And a very good tactic it proved to be only three minutes into the second half when they regained the lead. A long ball was not cleared and their player steadied on the edge of the box and fired a cracking shot into the top corner. Sports kept pushing forward looking for the equaliser but the Poole defence were well organised and well proving a tough nut to crack. In the 55th minute, after an interchange of passes with Tommy Frampton, Malik Kamal looked as if he must score but the Poole goalkeeper and a couple of defenders threw themselves at the ball and somehow managed to block the shot. The rebound fell to Andre Anjos but again a defender managed to block his attempt at goal. In the 60th minute the pressure told as we equalised. A free kick into the box was headed towards goal by Dan Ewens, the header was half blocked and as the ball bounced a yard out STANLEY WALRON followed up to head it over the line. With half an hour to go there was still plenty of time but we had to work hard and concentrate as the opposition were always dangerous in attack. However, the winning goal when it came in the 65th minute was a disaster for Westlands. A free kick was conceded out by the corner flag and their player thumped it hard across the face of the goal. To our dismay the ball flew straight into the far top corner of the net. I assume it was wind assisted but still a fluke of a goal to say the least and a soft one to lose. There was still plenty of time but the opposition could see the finishing line now and their tails were up. Another Poole attack saw a shot cleared off the line by Paul Johnson. Both teams had penalty claims turned down and in the dying minutes Tommy Frampton put a header just over..
A 3-2 defeat was a bitter pill to swallow considering the opposition had played the whole second half with 10 men and the manner of the winning goal. But credit where it’s due the opposition worked their socks off for the victory and to win the match under these circumstances was commendable. From Westlands point of view we didn’t do a lot wrong and certainly gave a good account of ourselves. However, we can’t keep going to away games with a threadbare squad of players like we have for the last two weeks. We are still well in the hunt to win this league and with a bit of commitment we can get our season back on track. In January we also have the league cup starting so it’s up to the players to rally round.
Sunday 10th December, Dorset Youth League Div 1, HAMWORTHY UTD 6 WESTLAND SPORTS 4
The artificial surface was wet and slick and in the early stages Westlands couldn’t keep hold of the ball. The home side took advantage with a couple of attempts that Hamish Amor was able to save quite comfortably. Sports then began to get a bit of a foothold in the game and forced a couple of corners. From the first George Hooper, who had been drafted in from the U16s, headed just over the bar. Tommy Frampton got his head to the second but the keeper saved. After 17 minutes came the best chance of the match so far when a Hamworthy player was clean through and he slipped the ball past the keeper and past the post. A minute later they made amends by scoring the opening goal. A couple of Westland defenders seemed to slip over allowing a Hamworthy player to burst through and square the ball to his team-mate who buried it with a sidefoot finish. A few minutes later a Hamworthy player hit a dipping shot from about 40 yards that came back off the crossbar ! Sports had been struggling a bit with the surface but they were gradually beginning to get things going in midfield with Tommy Frampton prominent. Then Jamie Irwin made some headway into the Hamworthy box but, under pressure, fired his shot over the top. We then had a lengthy stoppage for an injury to the Hamworthy keeper which was fair enough but the referee was stopping the game rather a lot, even to let Hamworthy players tie their bootlaces ! This began to frustrate the Westlands players who were trying to get back into the game. Jamie Irwin then fell foul of the official for kicking the ball away after an offside decision and he received a yellow card. After about half an hour Westlands had a free kick on the edge of the box but Tommy Frampton missed the target with his kick. Then Tommy slipped in Malik Kamal but he shot wide as well. Just as we thought we were coming back into the game we conceded again ! A Hamworthy player evaded a couple of challenges on the edge of the box and thumped the ball into the back of the net. Straight away Westlands attacked and a scramble in the Hamworthy box ended with Malik Kamal netting at the far post but the goal was disallowed for offside by the lino. Nevertheless, the pressure was mounting and a minute later JAMIE IRWIN was tripped in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Jamie sidefooted in the penalty and we were back to 2-1 ! Three minutes later some good work down the left ended with JACOB TAILBY smashing the ball in to make it 2-2. Westlands were rampant now and Tommy Frampton had a well struck shot saved by the keeper. With Hamworthy all over the place Jamie Irwin cut the ball back to MALIK KAMAL and he rifled it into the top corner to put us 3-2 up ! Just before the half time whistle Tommy Frampton had another shot saved.
What a finish and Sports didn’t really want the half to end as it would give our opponents a chance to re-organise. However we had shown they were not too clever under pressure so, with our one goal lead, we could be confident going into the second half.
The first chance of the second half came when Malik put Jamie Irwin through on goal but a heavy touch gave the keeper a chance to clear. Then in 55 minutes we gave away a really soft goal. A Hamworthy attacker was going nowhere really, a Westland defender puts a hand on his shoulder, penalty kick. The Hamworthy player stuck it away and we were level again at 3-3. Not for long, on the hour mark Jamie Irwin slotted a lovely pass in behind the Hamworthy full back for JAMIE THOMPSON to go clear and he slotted the ball in the corner to make it 4-3 to Westlands. Then a free kick was awarded to Hamworthy deep in their own half. Jamie Irwin stood over the ball until the referee told him to get back. As he was walking away from the ball the Hamworthy keeper grabbed it and kicked it against Jamie’s legs then claimed encroachment. The referee went for it, brandishing a yellow card which, of course, meant a red following his soft yellow in the first half. Hamworthy were cock-a-hoop and I think the high fives the keeper got from his team-mates said everything. In the 75th minute we conceded a free kick on the edge of the box. The first effort was blocked but the rebound was smashed in to make it 4-4. With 15 minutes still to go and down to 10 men Westlands were up against it and in the 83rd minute we went behind. A good run down the right and a good ball was cut back to their centre forward who smashed it into the net. Five became six in the 89th minute. The referee awarded a soft free kick and the cross was headed in from 6 yards out. The Westland players were frustrated and Malik Kamal and Tommy Frampton both spoke out of turn and received yellow cards. Westlands finished the game with a corner that George Hooper got his head to but couldn’t get right over it and the ball flew over the bar.
Another disappointment for Westlands. It was a game we could have won but we shot ourselves in the foot when we were in a good position. Once again we’ve picked up 4 yellow cards, and not one of them for a hard tackle !
On a brighter note, the Man of the match award goes to TOMMY FRAMPTON who was the driving force behind most of Westlands attacks.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 4th February, Dorset Youth League Div 1: WESTLAND SPORTS 1 RINGWOOD TOWN 1
Our first game for 8 weeks but we had 14 players available so that was good. However, four of these players hadn’t played at all this season so we had a lot of players not match fit which was a bit concerning. We also had a lack of defenders so Coby Salter started at left back and Andre Anjos was dropped in at centre half. The pitch had been played on the day before so was badly cut up but it was perfectly playable and although the weather was bitterly cold at least it was dry.
We kicked off and the visitor’s immediately took control of the ball with the Westlands players still looking around wondering who was playing where. An early free kick was conceded which we managed to clear and Ringwood also had an early corner that we scrambled away. Sports were struggling to settle with players having to play out of position and with the opposition knocking the ball around things didn’t look too promising. Eventually, after 5 or 6 minutes we made some progress upfield and won a free kick on the edge of the Ringwood box. Jacob Tailby had a go but put his shot over the top. It was mainly dogged defending from Westlands with the odd attack to relieve the pressure. In the 10th minute Malik Kamal made a good run forward and squared the ball to Tommy Frampton whose shot was smothered by the keeper down by the post. That was more promising for Sports but we were conceding far too many free kicks in our own half for rash tackles and that was heaping pressure on our defence. Having said that, although lacking in a bit of height, the back four of Brandon Hennessey, Andre Anjos, Dan Ewens and Jack Hirst (who had replaced Coby Salter) were standing firm and managing to repel all attacks. Ringwood were pressing constantly with good passing football but their attacks were tending to break down before they could get a shot in at goal and, although we were under the cosh a bit, goalkeeper Hamish Amor didn’t have that much to do and anything that did come his way he dealt with confidently. As time went on we were definitely settling into our shape and in the 42nd minute we scored ! Jamie Thomson fed MALIK KAMAL who showed good control and fired a shot into the far corner. An excellent goal for Westlands and the perfect way to end the first half.
A 1-0 lead at the break was against the run of play but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We had defended well and battled hard all over the pitch so the effort was there from all the players. One worry was the number of free kicks we were conceding as it was putting us under pressure and Jamie Thomson had already picked up a yellow card.
Into the second half and it was more of the same really, Ringwood attacking and Westlands defending with the odd ball up to Malik to try and relieve the pressure. Ringwood had moved their very tall centre half up front but they continued to try to pass the ball through us and on a bobbly pitch these quick passing moves invariably broke down. It also meant they were not getting any crosses in for the big lad which was a relief as he towered above our defenders. On this type of pitch the Westlands tactic of knocking longer balls up front was probably just as effective but unfortunately a lot of these passes were going astray. In the 65th minute Ringwood had an opening but their player shot over the bar. Five minutes later, same scenario, a shot over the bar. Some of our defending was getting a bit frantic now and a desperate lunge by Dan Ewens saw his name in the referees book and another free kick on the edge of the box. That one was cleared but 2 minutes later we conceded another free kick in a dangerous area and this time the shot hit the wall and was cleared. In the 75th minute the pressure told when Ringwood equalised. Yes, it was from a free kick on the edge of the box and this time their player curled the ball into the corner of the net. With 15 minutes to go and Ringwood having their tails up it was going to be difficult for Sports to hang on. Legs were tired on both sides now but Westlands were still managing to break up most of the Ringwood attacks before they got into the penalty area as the visitor’s tried one pass to many on the dodgy surface. Andre Anjos had to come off injured now and Jacob Tailby dropped into centre half for the last 10 minutes. Luckily we still hadn’t seen one cross go in to their tall centre forward so in a way they were playing into our hands. Jacob Tailby had to clear the ball over his own bar at one point but we defended the corner and got the ball upfield where Jamie Thomson put a shot well over the bar. When the final whistle blew we were all delighted to hear it and take the point from the 1-1 draw.
It had been a difficult day for Westlands. We are struggling to get a settled side but the 14 lads who played put everything into it and it was good they were rewarded for their efforts.
The Man of the match award this week goes to ANDRE ANJOS who, despite playing out of position, put in a solid, no nonsense display at centre half that was an example to his team-mates.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 18th February, Dorset Youth League Div 1: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 POOLE TOWN WESSEX 5
A dry day at Alvington and although the pitch was played on the previous day, it was quite firm if a bit rough. Westlands had a tough task with a young team taking on strong opposition.
We started quite well, competing well in midfield and winning our fair share of the ball, which was encouraging. Poole looked quite slick on the ball but it took until the 8th minute before a goalscoring chance was created with their player curling a shot over the bar. After 24 minutes however, we went behind and it was a bit of a soft goal to lose. A defender’s clearance hit a Poole player and rebounded nicely to his team mate who stuck it away. A pity to lose that opening goal, but we kept going and we had a chance with a free kick but Jacob Tailby couldn’t find the target with his shot. In the 33rd minute the visitor’s went two up. This time there was no excuse, just poor defending I’m afraid. A cross came over from the right, nobody attacked the ball and a Poole forward ran in unchallenged and sidefooted into the net. No communication from the defenders so a poor goal to lose. Sports were flagging a bit now and the opposition were in control. A shot hit the outside of the Westlands post in their next attack and in the 40th minute we conceded again to go three down. A good goal this one, as they attacked with pace down the right, got the ball across and their player chipped the keeper. We were hoping for the half time whistle now so that we could re-group when suddenly we scored ! Their keeper appeared to block a shot which then hit one of his own players and ended up in the back of the net for an OG.
That goal was a real boost as we now went in at half time only two goals behind so still everything to play for. Realistically, Poole had been the better side in the first half but Westlands had tried hard but just seemed to lack a bit of confidence. Hopefully we'd come out fired up for the seond half.
Unfortunately the opposite seemed to happen as Sports got off to the worst possible start by conceding straight away. Don’t quite know what happened there as their player seemed to be unmarked in front of goal as he turned the ball into the net. Things looked bleak now, but the spirits were lifted when Sports scored a couple of minutes later. Will Hall ran onto a nice through ball and, as everyone was screaming for him to shoot, he squared the ball nicely to JAI MYALL who drilled it into the net to make it 4-2. A spell of Poole pressure followed and in the 55th minute Hamish Amor, the Westlands keeper, made an excellent save from a close range shot, beating the ball away. Ten minutes later, with Westlands still defending a very deep line, Hamish again pulled off another good save. In the 75th minute however, Hamish parried a shot but a Poole player was following up and he scored to make it 5-2. With about 15 minutes still to play there was a distinct danger of this becoming an embarrassing scoreline, but to their credit, the Westland players kept battling to the end and there were no more goals scored. In fact, it was Sports who had a decent chance near the end when Malik Kamal was put through but he took a swipe at the ball and scuffed his shot wide of the target.
Although beaten by a better side, Westlands can take a lot of positives from this game. They never threw in the towel but kept going right to the end which was nice to see. OK, some of the marking was a bit slack and we lost our shape sometimes but these are things we can work on when we have a more settled side. Nice to see Todd Morgan back at the club after a break and credit as well to Andre Anjos, who had an ankle injury and probably shouldn’t have played but put in a good 45 minutes for the team which was appreciated.
However, for the Man of the match award this week we have picked JACOB TAILBY. Having had a strong 45minutes in his regular midfield holding role, Jacob then moved back to replace Andre at centre half in the second half and put in another determined 45 minutes. Great attitude.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 11th March, Dorset League Cup (U18s) Round 1: WESTLAND SPORTS 1 VERWOOD TOWN 2
We had the bonus of a full team + two subs so that was good news and with the pitch reasonably firm we looked forward to a rousing cup battle.
Unfortunately the Westlands players didn’t look in the mood for a battle and conceded possession to the opposition right from the start. In the 2nd minute Verwood forced a corner, their player was first to it, and Hamish Amor had to make a save by the post. Then another shot a couple of minutes later flew past the post as they continued to press. We were just giving the ball straight back to the opposition whenever we got a touch so there was no way out at the moment. In the 7th minute another corner into our box caused chaos as we failed to clear and finally a shot went just past the post. After 12 minutes Sports managed to put a good move together as Malik Kamal squared the ball to Paul Johnstone but the keeper saved his shot from 6 yards out. Then Sam Fuller put over a great cross but there was no-one there to take advantage as it flew across the goalmouth. Just as we thought perhaps Sports were beginning to get their act together, we conceded a soft goal in the 16th minute. A ball was played into the box and the Westlands defence stood off, causing a bit of a panic which eventually led to Paul Johnstone (I think) scuffing the ball into the net for an own goal. Poor defending there, nobody attacking the ball with any determination. Verwood were settled by the goal and continued to cause us problems every time they attacked with the #9 and the small #17 being given far too much room to gather the ball and run at our defence. In the 27th minute they made it 2-0. A big wind assisted punt by the Verwood keeper was allowed to bounce, not once but twice, in the Westlands half, and the #17 ran onto it and slotted the ball into the corner to make it 2-0. Again some poor defending really, there’s no way to disguise that fact. We continued in much the same way until half time with the visitor’s looking dangerous and Sports having the odd attack.
The half time assessment was that Westlands had played poorly so the hope was the management could somehow put some fire into them for the second half.
The second half began in a downpour of monsoon proportions and with both hands employed on the umbrella I was unable to take further notes. However, I am pleased to report that Westlands, with the wind (and rain!) behind them turned the game round in the second half and proceeded to pin the visitor’s in their own half for most of the 45 minutes. Unfortunately Verwood defended their goal much better than we had done in the first half and with their goalkeeper in superb form, they managed to stop us getting the goal we needed to get back into the game. Time after time we thought the ball was going in until a defender or the keeper would suddenly pop up to clear. Eventually in the 75th minute we scored. TOMMY FRAMPTON chased a through ball, and as the keeper came out, he managed to bundle the ball past him and walk it into the net. The pressure was on now and it looked as if Sports must get the equaliser but a couple of outstanding saves from their keeper and a clearance off the goal line by a defender, kept us out.
In the end we were disappointed to go out of the cup after a stirring second half that we won 1-0, but the damage was done in the first 45 when we just didn’t play as if this was a cup tie.
The Man of the match award this week goes to PAUL JOHNSON for a tireless display in midfield. As the weather deteriorated and the pitch got heavier he seemed to get stronger, great effort.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 25th March, Dorset League (U18s) Div 1: RINGWOOD TOWN 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
Lots of regulars dropping out this week due to easter holidays so the squad of 14 was boosted by the inclusion of six players from the Under 16s. So it was a full Under 17 side that took the field and, perhaps understandably, they looked a bit tentative in the early stages.
Ringwood won a corner in the 3rd minute and played it short. The second player swung in a high cross which our keeper left only to see the ball hit the crossbar. An early warning sign there but it was from a similar move that Ringwood took the lead in the 9th minute. A free kick was crossed deep beyond the far post, again our keeper didn’t come for it and their player headed it back across goal to a team-mate who smashed it in unchallenged about a yard out. Not the best of starts for Westlands and things went from bad to worse when Ringwood went two up in the 20th minute. A simple pass into the box didn’t look particularly dangerous but a Ringwood player was allowed to take a touch, turn, and thump the ball into the back of the net. It was not looking good at this stage but Sports responded immediately with an attack down the left and a shot that went over the bar. That was followed in 25 minutes by a Peter Park shot that came off the post and a few minutes later Malik Kamal had a shot turned round the post by the Ringwood keeper. With a couple of minutes to go before half time we had a free kick on the edge of their box but Jacob Tailby blasted the ball over the bar. Then with seconds to go before half time disaster struck as we conceded again. A free kick from inside their own half was punted forward and bounced into the Westlands penalty box where their player was unmarked as he rolled the ball past the keeper into the net. Not the best of defending as it was a set piece so we had time to organise.
So, that was it, 3-0 down at half time so we would need to up our game in the second half. Difficult to be too critical, considering the circumstances, but we could perhaps have done the basics better, attacking the ball, marking, picking up runners, talking to each other, are things we should be doing regardless of age.
The first real action of the second half saw Hamish Amor, the Westlands keeper, beat away a thumping shot from 12 yards. This was followed by a Ringwood player blazing the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score. There was no doubt we were competing a lot better this half, getting some tackles in and as a consequence, not giving the opposition time on the ball. In the 68th minute the Ringwood centre forward tried a spectacular overhead kick which flew into the corner of the net but the “goal” was ruled out for offside. Ten minutes later Hamish Amor made a tremendous save tipping the ball over the bar. As we moved into the last fifteen minutes we pushed two men up front and Malik Kamal and Luca Martin began to give the Ringwood defence some dodgy moments. We were putting some passes together now as confidence built and with a couple of minutes to go almost scored. Some slicking passing down the left put Luca through and as he cut in from the left at a tight angle the keeper came out to meet him. Luca managed to scoop the ball over the keeper’s head but the ball agonisingly bounced inches wide of the far post !
So, no consolation goal but a good half from the Westlands team. We competed much better and although we had ridden our luck at times, we had our moments in attacking situations so that was a plus as well.
Man of the Match goes to PAUL JOHNSON who put in some crunching tackles in the second half. His workrate and determination were an example to his team-mates.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sunday 15th April, Dorset League (U18s) Div 1: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 VERWOOD TOWN 3
Another problem day with only 11 players left after Sunday morning call offs which are just unforgiveable.
However the 11 we had showed up well early on in the game, definitely having the upper hand. In the first minute we had a free kick which was driven low across the box with Stanley Waldron just failing to get a touch. Then a nice ball put Jacob Tailby through but his attempted lob did not have near enough height and the keeper clutched it easily. Then, out of the blue in the 10th minute we conceded the first goal. A Verwood player tried a speculative shot from 25 yards which looped over the Westland keeper’s head and finished in the far corner of the net. A bit of a shock that as we were the better side up to then. Stanley Waldron then tried a 30 yarder which their keeper saved and Malik Kamal was put through but the keeper stuck out a leg and made the save. Then Malik had a header which went past the post as Westlands continued to press. After 15 minutes we had the ball in the net but it was correctly ruled out for offside. In the 21st minute we went two down to a free kick from 40 yards out that Sports keeper Hamish Amor allowed to slip through his hands. We managed to fight back after this body blow and only three minutes later we pulled one back. A good ball from Malik Kamal put Paul Johnson through and he squared the ball to SAM FULLER whose shot took a deflection and looped up into the top corner. Just what we needed but, instead of upping the pace the Westlands team began to look a bit leg weary and played out the rest of the half without creating another chance.
Only a goal down at half time there was still a chance for Westlands to take charge of the game if they upped the workrate a bit and started communicating better.
Wishful thinking, I’m afraid as we came out for the second half and immediately conceded another goal. A high cross into our penalty box was headed in from about 10 yards with about four Westlands defenders and the goalkeeper standing looking at each other. No communication there obviously. Verwood looked quite happy now, just keeping their shape and hoping to hit us on the break to take advantage of our dodgy defending. In the 50th minute Malik Kamal had a decent effort that went past the far post, that was followed by a Verwood player putting a header just wide. Things perked up in the 56th minute when MALIK KAMAL was put through by Sam Fuller and he slotted the ball into the corner to make it 3-2 ! Westlands tried for the equaliser but found chances hard to create. We had a chance when a free kick was put into the Verwood box but the attempt at goal was hoofed well wide. Malik made a good turn in the box but then scuffed his shot wide of the post. Time began to run out and Sports didn’t really have any spark to save the game and in the end it was Verwood who almost added to their lead. A driven shot hit the bar and then the post before Westlands keeper Hamish Amor was able to dive on the ball.
That was how it finished, 3-2 to the visitors and a poor result for Westlands. We just didn’t seem able to summon up the enthusiasm to really take hold of the game against a side who were decent, but not great. We should be doing better than this on our home pitch.
Man of the Match goes to BRANDON HENNESSEY who worked hard for 90 minutes and showed a great attitude.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
UNDER 16 TEAM
Sun 3rd Sept, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div.1: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 CHICKERELL UTD 2
On a rain swept terraces Sports overcame the elements and Chickerell to get of to a winning start. After an even 10 min with a couple of half chances at both ends Sports started to edge possession and carve out chances. After a strong headed defensive clearance from George Hooper, LUKE MANLEY broke from his own box on a superb run and played a smart one-two with Luca Martin before slotting into the far corner. This lead was unfortunately short lived as a short back pass gave Chickerell an easy chance and their forward rounded the keeper to make it 1-1.
Sports were still on top for much of this period and spurned chances with Luca Martin, and Rory Thompson both coming close. Josh Edwards continually caused problems with his pace down the right flank and Pete Parks 50 yard free kick hit the woodwork ! Captain Luke Manley then turned provider with a smart flick for LUCA MARTIN who dispatched into the bottom corner with authority. Just before half time Chickerell had a corner and Sports turned off and the equalizer came after a near post scramble. Half-time 2-2.
Sports started the second half strongly with substitute Lewi Trusson using his pace to full effect creating a host of chances. Eventually LUCA MARTIN prevailed with his second goal after a challenge with the keeper following a corner. Chickerell then responded well with a period of pressure where Sports sat in and learnt the lessons from the first half and this time protected their advantage. Phil Duck tucked in and sat deeper breaking up play and the defence stayed strong, well supported by a disciplined midfield.
Luke Manley and Luca Martin remained a constant threat up top throughout and LUCA MARTIN made the game safe at 4-2 and secured his hat-trick with a smart finish after creating space for himself in the area. This was followed shortly after by LUKE MANLEY rising high and scoring goal number five with a towering header to cap a strong captain’s performance.
Luke Langdon and Tudor Blag were solid throughout in defence with Dawson Calway safe in goal as stand in keeper. Of note were the displays of Gabbi Nitecki and Seb Goddard providing a solid midfield platform with high intensity and tenacity throughout against quite a physical Chickerell side. Luke Manley played an outstanding match leading by example and hat-trick man Luca Martin was obviously a candidate but the chairman has picked this week's Man-of-the-Match and it goes to GEORGE HOOPER for an outstanding defensive display.
Sun 17th Sept, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div.1: Shaftesbury Rockies 3 Westland Sports 6
Sports got off to a flyer scoring within 30 seconds with LEWI TRUSSON being put through and he outpaced the Rockies defence and neatly slipped the ball past the keeper. The home side responded strongly and the defence had its work cut out as Rockies presented a direct and physical threat.
Central midfielders Seb Goddard and Gabbi Nitecki showed good discipline and sat deeper to cut the space and protect the defence. Luke Manley and Luca Martin provided a constant threat up front with Lewi Trusson and Phil Duck working well and providing support on the flanks.
Pete Park, having to slot in a centre back for this match, linked well with George Hooper who was forced into a headed goal line clearance as Sports soaked up the pressure. However, as the half progressed Rockies pressure was being dealt with more comfortably until a harsh penalty was awarded just before half time for an alleged handball which was at best a surprising decision! The pen was slotted home to level the score at 1-1 three minutess before half time.
Sports responded immediately and after some a quick midfield interchange Seb Goddard neatly slipped a ball through for the ever-dangerous LUCA MARTIN to outpace the defence and finish well to regain the lead going into the half time break.
Rockies had been trying to turn the game into a physical battle that Sports were getting sucked into, so the message from management at half time was clear, play your football and don’t get involved.
Right from the start of the second half Sports heeded this advice and began to dominate possession eventually resulting in LUCA MARTIN striking again to put us 1-3 up.
Captain Luke Manley was increasingly influencing the game and orchestrating the attacks and was unlucky himself not to increase the lead after creating himself an opportunity. Sports fitness was starting to show and Rockies attacks were being comfortably repelled with stand in right back Josh Edwards dominating in the air and putting in an all-round strong performance in a position he is not familiar with. Dawson Calway was increasingly able to get forward from left back to provide overloads on the left and delivering quality crosses. The Hooper and Parks partnership was working well as they increasingly smothered out most of Rockies attacks.
Eventually the pressure told and Sports increased their lead to three goals. LUCA MARTIN completed his hat-trick with a superb composed finish after some great work down the right resulting in a fantastic cross by the ever-dangerous and impressive Lewi Trusson.
Against the run of play Rockies clawed one back to 2-4 but this was in vain as Sports again responded with captain LUKE MANLEY cleverly outdoing Rockies fullback, cutting in and superbly finishing with a rocket into the roof of the Rockies net, with a celebration of note.
Three goals up again Sports relaxed bit and Rockies again got another back when Westlands keeper, Gabbi Cole, who was impressive throughout, was unlucky to concede a penalty after quickly coming off his line having no choice but to commit to the challenge. The Kick was well dispatched however Sports were not finished and Lewi Trusson was denied a fantastic finish after what was a clear advantage which was denied by the ref who prematurely blew for a free kick on the edge of the area. LEWI TRUSSON however was not to be denied and he stepped up to superbly dispatch the free kick into the net to deliver his own kind of justice.
Throughout the defence stood strong, midfield worked tirelessly and the ever impressive Gabbi Nitecki in midfield was unlucky not get on the score sheet himself with his electric pace causing problems. Alex Park displayed his pace both defensively and offensively in a disciplined display.
Manley, Martin and Trusson are proving to be a formidable strike force. After two goals and an assist the impressive Lewi Trusson could consider himself unlucky not to get man of the match however after his second successive hat-trick in a row the Man-of-the Match honours go to Luca Martin who gave an outstanding display of lethal finishing.
Sun 24th Sept, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div.1: Westland Sports 9 Merley Cobham 4
Another fine day for football on the Terrace, a bit of drizzle around but nothing to worry about. Opponents Merley Cobham had lost their only match played so far so Westlands were looking to win this one on home soil.
It was a dream start for Sports, going one up in the 3rd minute ! Lewis Trusson robbed a defender of the ball and put a cross into the box. Luca Martin set it back to LUKE MANLEY and he thumped the ball in from 10 yards. Merley were a bit rattled and Westlands pressed home the advantage with a second goal in the 8th minute. Luke Manley made a good run down the left and drilled the ball low and hard across goal where a defender knocked it into his own net for an OG. A dream start but Sports took their foot off the pedal a bit after this and allowed the visitors to settle and begin to play their way into the game. In the 20th minute Merley scored to make it 2-1. A corner into the box should have been headed clear but a Westlands player ducked out of the header leaving a Merley player to smash it in. Stung by that error Westlands made an excellent response 2 minutes later. A defence splitting through pass from Gabriel Nitecki put LUCA MARTIN through and he scored with a cool side foot finish past the advancing keeper. It was one way traffic really and in the 32nd minute Luke Manley made a good run but his final shot was wide of the far post. Two minutes later came goal number 4 for Westlands. Luke Manley played a long ball over the top and LUCA MARTIN ran in to sidefoot past the keeper for his second goal of the match. Westlands keeper had done virtually nothing so far (except pick the ball out the net once !) but in the 36th minute he was called into action, diving to clutch a well hit shot from 20 yards. Just before the break Luke Manley and Luca Martin combined well again to create a chance but this time Luca sliced his shot wide.
A half time result of 4-1 was just what we wanted and the signs were that Sports could go on to rack up a big score in this match. One error in the first half had cost us but apart from that it had been a pretty dominant display.
In the second half ALEX PARK came on up front and this move brought immediate dividends only 3 minutes into the half. He raced through the Merley defence and, as the keeper rushed out, he prodded the ball past him to make the score 5-1. What a start that was but it also signalled a bit of a turnaround as Merley Cobham suddenly started to press forward. With Luca Martin, Luke Manley and Alex Park all playing up front and two of the remaining three midfielders playing very wide, we were suddenly totally outnumbered in central midfield. In addition, as Merley attacked the defence dropped deeper and deeper and so the space in midfield was increased. In the 45th minute a great strike by a Merley player brought a diving save from Gabriel Cole The flag was actually up for offside but the warning signs were there. A minute later Merley scored to reduce the deficit to 5-2. The ball was bobbing around in Westlands box, no one seemed able to clear their lines and eventually the ball fell to the big centre forward who blasted it in. Westland tried to hit back immediately with another great break by Alex Park who ran clean through the Merley defence. As the keeper came out Alex tried to chip him but the keeper blocked his attempt and Luca Martin blasted the rebound over. That was only a temporary respite as in the 50th minute we conceded again. This time Westlands keeper Gabriel Cole came out to catch a corner, unfortunately he dropped the ball and it was forced over the line from close range. That made it 5-3 and with the visitors still pressing it wasn’t looking great. Westlands management made some changes at this point, the most notable being the re-introduction of Gabriel Nitecki to beef up the central midfield area. But it was Merley who had the next chance with a free kick from the halfway line whizzing just wide. Nevertheless Westlands had begun to resume control of the game now and a couple of minutes later added goal number 6 with a familiar sight, LUCA MARTIN running on to a through pass and stabbing the ball past the advancing keeper. We had a nice three goal gap now but the visitors had not given up and Gabriel Cole made a good save when their player was clean through. Going into the last 10 minutes Westlands scored again to make it 7-3. Following a corner there was a melee in the Merley goalmouth with several shots blocked before RORY THOMSON got the final touch. Back came Merley and their next attack had the Sports defence in confusion and a handball (I think !) saw the referee award them a penalty. Their player thumped it in off the underside of the bar to make the score 7-4. In the 79th minute Westlands stretched their lead again with a brilliant solo effort. LEWIS TRUSSON ran through the Merley defence and thumped a shot past the keeper (8-4). That was followed by another goal in the final minute when RORY THOMSON banged the ball in at the second attempt. That completed the scoring at 9-4 !
A resounding victory for Westlands who at times ran the Merley defence ragged. Nine goals is quite an achievement but it should be recognised we lost our way a bit in the second half when the shape and urgency seemed to go missing so a bit to work on there.
The man-of-the match award once again goes to Luca Martin this week for completing his “hat-trick of hat-tricks”. Quite an achievement and all good goals with some clinical finishing.
Sun 8th Oct, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div.1: Westland Sports 2 Wimborne & Holt 1
An absolute scorcher of an afternoon on the Terrace for the visit of Wimborne & Holt who came with a bit of a reputation for being one of the top sides. Westlands had Alex Park and Rory Thompson missing today so only two on the bench which might be a slight disadvantage on such a hot day.
From the kick-off the visitors showed their pedigree with some neat passing and moving that had the Westlands lads chasing shadows. After a few minutes, however, the home team managed to win some possession and their more direct approach of getting the ball forward early to the two front men was proving a bit of a problem for the visitors defence. In the 5th minute a long Westlands free kick into the box was cleared for a corner. A good cross into the box then caused chaos in the visitor’s defence as 2 shots were blocked before PHIL DUCK thumped the ball through the crowd into the back of the net. Although Wimborne and Holt were still passing the ball about nicely the Westlands defence were giving nothing away and most of their neat passing moves broke down around the edge of the 18 yard box. In contrast, the early ball from Westlands up to Luke Manley and Luca Martin had the W & H defence backing off and dropping deeper and deeper. Luca tried his luck in the 8th minute with a lob that cleared the bar and in the 14th minute he got in behind the Wimborne defence but the keeper managed to block his shot. Westlands were racking up the chances now with the visitor’s rocking a bit defensively. After 19 minutes Luke Manley curled a free kick round the wall but the keeper dived to push it for a corner. When the kick came over Luke rose highest to power a header just over the bar. Five minutes later a Lewis Trusson cross bounced off the top of the bar and went over. In between Westland attacks the visitors had a lot of possession but the Westlands players were working hard to close them down and invariably their attacks came to nothing. In the 32nd minute Sports made it 2-0. A corner was swung into the box, the keeper didn’t fancy coming for it and LUCA MARTIN headed the ball into the net at the far post. A crucial goal that one as it gave us a bit of breathing space but unfortunately we couldn’t add to our lead before the break so we went in 2-0 up.
Wimborne and Holt had nothing to lose now and pushed forward from the start of the second half forcing a good save from Gabriel Cole in the opening minutes. In the 55th minute a chance for W & H as their player had a free header from a free kick but he put it over the top. The game was developing into the visitor’s pressing but Westlands still looking dangerous on the break. In the 65th minute Lewis Trusson outpaced a defender, got to the byeline and fired a low ball across the face of the goal that Luca Martin just failed to connect with. Wimborne then carved out a chance but the final shot was wide of the target. Some sustained pressure from the visitor’s now with a series of corners that were all defended well by Westlands. Sports then had a breakaway in the 70th minute and won a free kick on the edge of the box. The Wimborne & Holt keeper had not looked confident with his handling of high balls and as he now had the sun in his eyes this looked like a good opportunity. Unfortunately Luke Manley ballooned his kick over the bar. A few minutes later another shirt pull brought another Westlands attack to a halt and we were awarded another free kick on the edge of the box. Peter Park took this one but again didn’t test the keeper, putting his shot wide. After 76 minutes Gabriel Cole made a magnificent diving save to turn a shot round the post. The corner came over and was scrambled away for another corner. This one was also scrambled away as the Westlands defence held firm. Sports managed to ease the pressure with a good attack which put Gabriel Nitecki clean through but inexplicably he pulled up thinking he was offside and the chance was gone. W & H went back on the attack and Gabriel Cole pulled off another flying save to turn a shot over the bar. In the 79th minute the visitors pulled one back when their player dribbled into the box and was tripped for a penalty. The kick was despatched neatly but with only a minute to go + injury time it was hopefully too late to spark a fight back. In fact, as it turned out, the final good chance of the game was created by Westlands when once again we were fouled on the edge of the box. This time Dawson Cawley tried his luck but put his kick way over the bar.
The final whistle that followed ended an excellent game and a good win for Westlands.
A good first half where we built up a two goal lead was then followed by some dogged defending in the second half as we protected our advantage. As the game wore on we were forced to defend deeper and deeper as tiredness kicked in but all the players stuck to the task and showed some good match management to see the game out. One disappointing feature of the second half was our inability to put a free kick on target. We had several attempts and didn’t test the keeper once which was annoying as a third goal would just have eased the pressure. Nevertheless the job was completed and was a great achievement for all 13 players as they had to work hard to keep a very good team at bay on a hot afternoon.
Man-of –the-match could have been anyone this week as we had a good team performance however the award goes to GABRIEL COLE who pulled off several brilliant saves at crucial times to help us defend our lead.
Sun 15th Oct, Dorset Youth League Cup (U16): Bournemouth Poppies 0 Westland Sports 19
Bournemouth started the match well and kept a good shape making it difficult for Sports to break them down. After some initial poor finishing, on 15 minutes the first goal came courtesy of a LUCA MARTIN strike. Phil Duck, playing in a midfield role was very much the instigator producing fine defence splitting passes and powerful headed clearances, one leading to an assist for LUCA MARTIN to notch his second goal which was arguably his best finish. SEB GODDARD, captain for the day in the absence of injured Luke Manley, soon added the third and with further goals by LUCA MARTIN and a SEB GODDARD header, ensured a comfortable 5 goal lead and the game was effectively settled. Two further goals from LUCA MARTIN (2) were added before half time to secure a 7 nil lead at the break.
The half time team talk was around maintaining the intensity and rhythm. RORY THOMPSON quickly added to the tally after the break, there was then a flurry of quick fire goals where Bournemouth were unfortunately struggling to maintain their shape and discipline, conceding 2 penalties, clinically dispatched by LUCA MARTIN and RORY THOMPSON. SEB GODDARD then completed his hat-trick followed shortly by RORY THOMPSON and a cou[;e more from LUCA MARTIN (2).
To his obvious delight DAWSON CALWAY eventually found the net. GABBI NITECKI (2) added a couple, with LEWI TRUSSON and PETE PARK also getting their names on the scoresheet. Lewi Trusson was a constant threat all afternoon and I lost count of his assists. Luca Martin scored a fantastic 8 in all before being dispatched to defence duties much to the relief of the Poppies.
Luke Langdon and George Hooper had a quiet afternoon with George thinking how he was going to get rid of team’s ‘old pound coins’ which was clearly on his mind before the match! Keeper Gabe Cole won’t have many quieter games.
Full credit to Bournemouth Poppies who despite the result showed great courage and attitude in never giving up. Sports boys were gracious and respectful to their opponents at the end of the match ensuring they gave them a robust three cheers and genuinely wishing them well for the rest of the season. Captain Luke Manley who is unfortunately injured turned up to support which was noted and appreciated by both management and his teammates.
Man of the match goes to PHIL DUCK who provided assists all afternoon that ‘De Bruyne’ would have been proud of.
Sun 22nd Oct, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div 1: Westland Sports 0 Wimborne Town 3
On a wet blustery afternoon at the Terraces, the under 16s lost their 100% start to the season going down 0-3 to a strong Wimborne side. From the outset Sports struggled to match the intensity and neat football of Wimborne eventually conceding the first goal after good movement from the visitor's.
Of note in the first half were some strong defensive performances, particularly from Luke Langdon and full back Peter Park. Sports did have a spell before half time where they were on top for a short period however this failed to materialise into clear cut chances. Half-time 0-1.
Just after the break a high late tackle, which resulted in a red card for Wimborne, unfortunately ended top scorers Luca Martin's afternoon. With the threat of Luca out of the way this made Sports chances of getting something out of the game more difficult. Despite having 10 men Wimborne were able to comfortably maintain their lead and as Sports changed formation to chase the game they again conceded. With the game effectively over Wimborne scored a 3rd in added time which to be fair didn’t flatter them.
Sports toiled throughout but there was no lack of effort. The defence had their busiest day yet, worked hard as a unit and coped admirably at times, of note was Tudor Blag's second half performance at left back. Midfield struggled to get a grip on the game and management acknowledge tactically we didn’t get it right which didn’t help the boys,
Man of the Match was LUKE LANGDON who produced an outstanding performance, despite the scoreline on a difficult day for Sports.
Sun 29th Oct, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div 1: Bournemouth Sports 5 Westland Sports 1
Despite a strong start today the 16s suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Bournemouth Sports
Early half chances came and went Sports for the first 20 minutes until Bournemouth scored the first goal which was then quickly followed by a second. This appeared to take the wind out of Westlands who conceded another before half time going in at 3 down. Had it not been for Gabriel Coles performance in goal it could have been even worse. Tackles were being missed, communication was poor, and decision making was awful.
There was an improvement from Sports at the outset of the second half howeverwe were rocked back on our heels again after conceding easily from a far post corner. That made it 4-0 and despite much toil a further mistake led to a fifth goal for Bournemouth.
As Westlands pushed to get back in the game or for at least a consolation we were woefully exposed at the back and it was only the performance of Gabriel Cole in goal that kept the scoreline at five.
Finally Seb Goddard and LUCA MARTIN combined well to score a late consolation.
Not a difficult Man of the Match this week, the award goes to Westlands goalkeeper GABRIEL COLE, who kept the scoreline from getting embarrassing.
After a couple of defeats in the league the cup was an ideal time to turn things around. The visitors came with a big reputation but the lads were well prepared and we knew on our day we could give anyone a game.
Westlands came out on the front foot and soon had the visitors under pressure. This worked to our advantage in only the third minute when we took the lead. Luca Martin fed a nice pass out to Lewis Trusson on the right wing and he got to the byeline and cut the ball across he face of the goalwhere GABI NITECKI was on the spot to drive it in. What a start by Westlands and they kept the pressure on forcing a corner that Rory Thompson headed over the bar. Then Sports put together a great attack but the final shot hit a team mate and was cleared for a corner. It was 11 minutes before the visitors finally created a good chance when their player hit his shot straight at the keeper with the goal gaping. In the 15th minute a Bridgwater player went on a storming run past a couple of Westlands defenders but his shot was deflected for a corner. Just as we thought the visitors were beginning to get a foothold in the game, in the 25th minute Westlands rocked them with another goal. Rory Thompson slipped a nice ball through to LUCA MARTIN who took it on and thumped it past the keeper at his near post. That gave us a nice cushion at 2-0 and was a big blow for our opponents. We kept pressing and when a ball into the box was headed clear Luca Martin met it on the drop but volleyed just past the post. A good run by he Bridgwater #2 then opened up the Westlands defence but his shot went over the bar. With 36 minutes gone Lewis Trusson got to the byline again and his cut back caused panic in the visitor’s defence but the ball was scrambled clear. The final action of the half saw a Bridgwater corner headed just over the top.
A 2-0 lead at half time was an excellent result for Westlands but it looked as if there were more goals to come in this game so nothing was decided yet.
The opening minute of the second half saw Lewis Trusson take on the Bridgwater defence again with a great run and shot. But the visitors had nothing to lose and they were pushing forward now forcing Westlands onto the back foot. After 5 minutes of the half the pressure told with a goal for Bridgwater. A soft goal really as the Westlands defence seemed to open up as a Bridgwater player ran at them and then he mishit his shot and the ball trundled into the net. Bridgwater were back in the game at 2-1 but Westlands rallied and five minutes later scored again to extend the lead to two again. A free kick delivered deep into the box was knocked back across by Lewis Trusson to the far post where RORY THOMPSON smashed it in to make the score 3-1. Westlands had rode out the storm and were looking fairly comfortable again. The Bridgwater defence just couldn’t cope with our attacking players and in the 60th minute Luca Martin threaded a nice pass through to LEWIS TRUSSON and he drove the ball low and hard into the far corner. At 4-1 Westlands could relax a bit but a goal conceded in the 70th minute just kept things interesting at 4-2. Again it was a rather soft goal to lose. A corner was put in to the near post where Sports keeper Gabriel Cole and a defender both seemed to have it covered. However they both missed the ball completely and a Bridgwater player turned it in from virtually on the goal line. Could this spark an unlikey comeback in the last 10 minutes ? Westlands answered that question straight away by scoring again a minute later. This was a good goal, started by some good interplay between Luke Manley and Luca Martin and ending with RORY THOMPSON thumping the ball into the net. At 5-2 Bridgwater looked down and out but, to their credit, they kept going and Gabriel Cole had to make a good save in the 73rd minute. Then, a couple of minutes later, we almost had a carbon copy of Bridgwater’s second goal. Again a corner was swung in towards the near post and again Westlands keeper and defenders all missed it but thankfully this time the ball was scrambled away. That was the last scare and the last few minutes were fairly straight forward with the benefit of that three goal lead.
An excellent performance by the Westland lads who executed the management’s game plan to perfection. Every player knew his role and gave everything to win the match and it was also a great game to watch for the spectators who showed their appreciation at the end for both teams.
Man-of –the-match could really have been anyone this week as we had such a good team performance however the award goes to RORY THOMPSON for a couple of clinical finishes at crucial times in the game.
Sun 12th Nov, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div.1: Westland Sports 9 Bridport 0
After a good result last week in the Youth Shield, hopefully Westlands were back to their early season form and the visit of bottom side Bridport looked like an opportunity to build on that. The visitor’s had lost all 5 league games so far and when they turned up with only the bare 11 players it looked as if they were struggling.
However when the match kicked off it was the Bridport who immediately went on the attack and they forced a corner in the first minute. The kick caused a bit of a melee in the goalmouth with a net bound shot being blocked well by Gabriel Cole before the ball was finally hacked clear. Bridport, however, looked a bit open defensively but Sports passing was careless and we were unable to create any worthwhile openings. In the 9th minute however, we got our noses in front. A corner from the left was headed powerfully goalwards by GEORGE HOOPER and the keeper could only push the ball up into the roof of the net. As the ball bounced down another Westlands player nodded it into the net just to make sure but the ball had undoubtedly crossed the line. Bridport were up against it now as Westlands went looking for more goals. Luke Manley hit the outside of the post then Rory Thompson fired a shot just wide. This was followed by a good cross from Luke that Rory again fired wide. Finally, in the 21st minute, Sports added number two. A long diagonal ball into the box picked out SEB GODDARD and he brought the ball down and thumped it into the back of the net from about 12 yards out. A minute later Luca Manley gave Rory Thompson a great chance but again he missed the target. In the 27th minute we had some action at the other end as a good Bridport passing move ended with Gabriel Cole having to make a good save. Westlands broke straight away with Rory Thompson making a strong run into the visitor’s half. He then slipped a perfect pass through to LUCA MARTIN who made it 3-0 with a nice sidefoot finish past the advancing keeper. In the 32nd minute Lewis Trusson set up Luke Manley with a shooting chance but he took too many touches and finally scuffed his shot past the post. A couple of minutes later it was 4-0 after a bit of a scramble in the Bridport goalmouth. Lewis Trusson and Seb Goddard both had shots blocked before the ball fell to RORY THOMPSON and he belted it in. Just before the half time whistle LUCA MARTIN drilled in goal number 5 after he was again set up by Rory Thompson. To finish the half Bridport had a decent attempt with a shot that just flew over the bar.
At 5-0 the game was obviously done and dusted so it was an opportunity in the second half to rotate the team a bit and move things around. ALEX PARK came on out on the right and with almost his first kick he scored. From the kick off the ball was pushed out to Alex and he fired over a cross that beat the keeper all ends up and dropped into the far corner of the net. That made it 6-0 and the game died a bit of death after this. It was difficult to stay motivated and Sports toiled a bit for the next 20 minutes or so with not many chances created at either end. Luke Manley did have one decent chance when he was set up by Rory Thompson but he blasted his shot over the bar. Eventually, in the 65th minute ALEX PARK cut in from the left and drilled in a shot at the near post to make the score 7-0. Ten minutes later LUCA MARTIN, now operating in midfield, picked the ball up 20 yards out and blasted a shot into the net and finally, in the dying second, Westlands made it 9-0 when MORGAN POMEROY got up well to head in a corner from the right.
Not Westlands best performance even although we did win 9-0. A lot of the decision making saw Sports players opt to try a difficult pass when an easier simpler option was available. This led to loss of possession and resulted in a scrappy game at times with no fluidity in the build up. However, that’s nit-picking and the lads can all be pleased with their performance. Nine goals scored and none conceded is a good afternoon’s work and they can all be proud of that.
The Man-of –the-match is again a challenge this week but the award goes to LEWIS TRUSSON. Although he did not get on the score sheet, his attacking play down the right set up numerous chances for his team mates and he looked dangerous to the opposition every time he had the ball.
Sun 19th Nov, Dorset Youth League (U16) Cup: Merley Cobham Sports 0 Westland Sports 4
Sports U16s took on Merley Cobham Sports at Ferndown in the League Cup group stage. It was a sunny autumnal afternoon with little wind, perfect conditions and a decent pitch.
This was a game that the management had requested a quick start, and, only 45 seconds into the match,
LUKE MANLEY combined well with Lewi Trusson who provided a cross that Manley converted with a close-range header to put us one up !.
With Seb Goddard and Gabbi Nitecki working well with the impressive captain Luke Manley, they completely controlled the middle of the park in the early stages and forced a succession of corners as Merley struggled to get into the game. Dawson Calway at left back was able to advance and join in the attack at times, linking well with the ever-threatening and impressive Rory Thomson with his constant probing.
On 24 mins Manley and Trusson again combined well to set up a chance for Luca Martin who's header cannoned off the bar. On 27 minutes the pressure finally paid off with LUKE MANLEY ghosting in from left to right across the face of the area, evading defenders to drive a low shot into the bottom right hand corner to put Sports into a deserved two nil lead.
On 32 minutes Merley got their first corner which Sports didn’t deal with well and it resulted in a scramble eventually being cleared off the line by the ever-reliable defensive rock Luke Langdon. On 40 minutes Manley was bundled over in the Merley box and then trampled on but the ref gave nothing. Luca Martin was unlucky with a rising drive in the last attack of a good first half for Sports.
Management instructions at half time were clear, a clean sheet was demanded and a word in Luke Manley's ear to make sure he came off the pitch with a hat trick.
Merley as expected came on strong in the initial stages of the second half and Sports defended well with George Hooper winning key ariel battles to help ensure the lead was maintained. On 49 minutes, after good work from Lewi Trusson running with pace and balance at defenders, ALEX PARK needed no second invitation as he pounced with his poaching instincts to put Sports 3 up.
To their credit Merley continued to apply pressure and Sports repelled their attacks. Of note was the performance of the increasingly impressive Tudor Blagg, winning crucial challenges both on the floor and in the air and using the ball well when he had won possession.
On 56 minutes Seb Goddard, with his continued high energy and selfless work in midfield, delivered an incisive threaded pass to LUKE MANLEY on the left. He accelerated past the defence into the area to finish across the keeper into the far corner to complete a deserved hat-trick (as requested !). The resultant celebration is of note……
Merley pressed on despite the deficit as Sports still threatened every time they went forward with Phil Duck again displaying his impressive range of passing. Gabriel Cole between the sticks had a relatively quiet afternoon being well protected by the increasingly solid defence but was at his acrobatic best late on pouncing to the right to turn a Merley effort round the post to protect his, and Sports, deserved clean sheet.
This was a solid team performance, however Man of the Match was without doubt captain LUKE MANLEY, displaying an excellent performance capped off with a well-deserved hat-trick.
Sun 26th Nov, Dorset Youth League (U16) Div.1: Wimborne & Holt 5 Westland Sports 0
The Under 16’s were on their travels again – this time to the Home of Holt FC to play the strong Wimborne and Holt team. The pitch itself was very sticky and several times in gentle warm up the Westlands players looked more like ice dancers than footballers. But the pitch was the same for both teams – so under a grey sky we got going.
As normal the coaching team wanted a quick start but it was evident from the first few minutes that Wimborne and Holt (WH) also had the same game plan and didn’t want us to beat them again. After early pressure WH won their first corner, it came to nothing but at only 2 mins in you could see this was going to be a tough test for Westlands, especially without injured captain Luke Manley. Westlands started to find their feet and rhythm but after some sloppy passing WH broke forward at pace and put their first shot of the day just wide. On 8 minutes some good passing from WH led to another chance which was calmly slotted home by one of the impressive WH midfielders. Not long after the restart Westlands had a great passage of play – a through ball from Seb Goddard put Luca Martin on a run to catch the ball before the WH keeper could come out off his line. In the end WH keeper just got to the ball before Luca and from the rebound the ball dropped to Rory Thomson at a difficult height about 12 yards out which he put just above the bar. This move gave Westlands clear hope that WH although playing well had their own weakness. On 13 mins good play from Pete Park now moved into a central position put a great ball forward for Lewi Trusson to run onto which resulted in a corner for Westlands. A good in swinging corner put pressure on the WH keeper but was deemed as a foul. Just as Westlands was adding pressure WH put together some great passing through the midfield, a potential foul on our left back Dawson Cawley allowed the WH right winger to cut inside and strike a rising shot into the roof of the net – nothing the ever impressive Gabe Cole in Westlands goal could do to save it. Westlands didn’t let their heads drop and produced some good football between Gabi Nitecki and Rory Thomson which resulted in a foul just outside of the box. Luca Martin placed the ball and his shot flew just over the bar with the keeper well beaten. At 2 nil down Westlands were not out of the game and although not creating lots of chances – there was glimmer of hope. WH responded with some excellent play that had Westlands defence on the chase back, Luke Langdon used his considerable pace and awareness to not only to win the ball but also set up a good move passing out to Tudor Blag at right back who in turn released Lewi Trusson on yet another good run. The game was poised and end to end – the next goal was going to be crucial. Unfortunately the next goal was not far away and on 22mins the WH midfield played some great football – the shot from wide was fantastically saved by Gabe Cole onto the post but a WH player reacted quicker than Westlands and put the ball in the net. Westlands rallied again and some good play from George Hooper at the back released Rory Thomson on another run, this produced an almost carbon copy of the foul and free kick we had 10mins earlier. This time Lewi Trusson stepped up and his dipping shot clattered off the top of the cross bar, again with keeper well beaten. It gave Westlands great hope for the 2nd half where we would be playing downhill on a very wet and sticky pitch. Half-time 3-0.
WH started the 2nd half strongly with them winning a 2nd minute free kick, again Gabriel Cole was in the right place for a good save. Pete Park now in Midfield with Seb Goddard and Gabi Nitecki started to stretch his legs and a pass to Lewi Trusson saw him cut inside and set Luca Martin up for a shot that went agonisingly wide. The signs were good for Westlands with the WH management team giving their team a blast about getting their basics right. But as in the first half just as Westlands started to play well, their left winger cut inside and without much challenge squared across to the WH captain who coolly side footed the ball in for their 4th goal. Westlands again upped the pressure and won another free kick in the 55min. Luca Martin stepped up but again the shot was just too high. It was now end to end play, Westlands were taking more risks with Pete Park now operating even further forward. This left the defence open but George Hopper and Luke Langdon in central defence dealt with everything that WH could throw at them along with the left and right backs of Tudor Blag and Dawson Cawley. With attacking mind set of Westlands it was a huge risk that WH would break on the counter attack – after many Westlands players being caught up field WH broke in numbers and a fantastic through ball was collected by WH to score their 5th goal. To their credit Westlands kept on playing positive football, Phil Duck now playing as a central striker turned quickly on shot which went just wide. Still Westlands kept pushing and in the final minute WH fouled Seb Goddard who had another good game, the free kick was taken by Lewi Trusson but again too high. The final whistle blew and Westlands had lost 5 nil. The score was in some respects flattering to our opponents but equally they did play much better football. Work for Westlands to do on free kicks and the basics of stringing passes together on a more consistent basis. The team toiled and chased after a very impressive WH team packed full of ex academy players and although we certainly can play better – there was plenty of fighting spirit going to the final whistle.
Man of the match goes to PETE PARK who was strong and powerful in the role of midfield,
We were a bit short of players for this one due to injuries etc, and only being able to get 12 men available for perhaps the biggest game of the season so far was disappointing.
We were facing the holders of the trophy and one of the top sides in the county so we knew it was going to be tough but we had beaten a good team in the last round so we were still confident.
Westlands started well and the Hutton keeper had to make a couple of early saves as we pushed forward but after 5 minutes, in Hutton’s first real attack, we shot ourselves in the foot. Sports keeper Gabriel Cole made a hash of a kick out putting it straight to a Hutton player who promptly lobbed the ball into the empty net to make it 1-0. That was a shot in the arm for the away team and they settled down to play some good football and put us under pressure. We managed to defend 2 or 3 corners before in the 14th minute we created a good chance but Luca Martin’s shot went wide. Then a smart move by Hutton ended with a strong shot that was well saved by Gabriel Cole. Back came Westlands and Luca Martin got up well to get his head to a Lewis Trusson cross but couldn’t get his header on target.
That was the last real chance of the half and so we turned round 1-0 down. It had been a frustrating half as we had held our own but just couldn’t make that final telling pass.
Hutton came out and went on the attack straight away with a good shot that flew just over the bar. The away side were throwing men forward and in the 43rd minute they had players to spare in our penalty box and their forward had an easy finish to make it 2-0. Westlands had not started playing in this half and 3 minutes later we conceded another goal. The Hutton number 7 ran through three half hearted challenges before laying the ball off to his team-mate who scored with a good shot into the corner. 3-0 down and still well over 30 minutes to play was a bit of a worry but the management changed things round a bit and we dug in. The game was fairly one sided now with the away team happy with their three goal lead and content just to keep the ball which they did rather well. Westlands battled hard but we were looking a bit disjointed and couldn’t really string any moves together. On 60 minutes Gabriel Cole saved low down to prevent a fourth goal but apart from that it was mainly Westlands defending with the odd break upfield. Sports best effort of the half came with only 2 minutes left when Luca Martin put a shot just past the post.
That was the final action and a final score of 3-0 saw us bow out the cup. Hutton were a very good team and we would have had to be at our best to beat them and we were a bit off that in this game. Never mind we have a quick opportunity to bounce back next week with the 3rd round of the Dorset Youth Cup away to Chickerell.
Man of the match goes to GEORGE HOOPER who kept battling and never gave up even when we were in danger of caving in early in that second half. His determination encouraged his team mates and helped get us through that last half hour unscathed.
Sun 17th Dec, Dorset Youth Cup 3rd Rnd: Chickerell Utd 4 Westlands Sports 7
After a few days of rain and poor weather in the morning there was some doubt that the tie would be played. Driving across to Weymouth the weather seemed to be getting worse with spells of heavy rain. But on arrival at the pitches they were all in surprising good condition.
We knew this was going to be a tough test, after playing Chickerell in our first game of the season we knew they were a goal threat….we just scored more than them that day!
The match kicked off and unbelievably the rain stopped! In the first minute a sloppy pass from Westlands gave Chickerell their first shot at goal, it thankfully went high and wide. It took until the 9th minute for Westlands to settle – Luke Manley put a delightful ball through for Lewi Trusson to run on to but his shot went high over the bar. In the 14th minute a corner was not dealt with well by Chickerell and Rory Thomson turned and got a shot on goal but the keeper saved. This seemed to wake Chickerell up again and after some good passing in midfield a shot was made from just outside the area – our keeper Gabriel Cole saved well and managed to hold on to the slippery ball after his initial save. It was then Westlands time to attack, again great work in midfield from Seb Goddard saw Lewis Trusson break down the right side and cross, Rory Thomson manged to get his head on the ball but again the keeper saved. We could feel a goal coming – it really was just which team was going to score first. On 25th minute we finally got some luck, a scramble in the Chickerell box saw RORY THOMSON hit a shot that rebounded of a Chickerell player into the net. Westlands now started applying the pressure with new found confidence, another excellent through ball from Seb Goddard saw RORY THOMSON’s first time shot nestle in the back of the net. Things were looking positive for Westlands – but after only a minute we had given away a soft penalty. The slightest of pushes in the back of one of the Chickerell players right on the edge of the box saw the referee point to the spot. From the penalty Gabriel Cole dived low to his left and saved the well taken spot kick, a let off and a big learning point for the team about the referee. Only a minute later Westlands were at the other end after good work from Tudor Blag at right back saw him on a run and a pass that found LUCA MARTIN with his back to goal, a great turn saw him free and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net. Westlands were now playing fluent football and passing around the opposition, on 38th minutes Luke Manley picked up the ball in midfield – out skilled a few Chickerell players and his pass cut through their defence for LUCA MARTIN to run on to and find the back of the net – and so the first half came to an end with Westlands 4 nil up and Chickerell looking deflated – but we knew they had goals in them.
The talk at half time was about keeping things tight and to keep playing our football, the 1st minute saw us playing as we did at the end of the first half, winning a corner but unfortunately it came to nothing. From the kick Chickerell applied pressure and in almost a repeat of our first goal with many rebounds somehow the ball ended up in our net. This seemed to shake Westlands and from 2 quality corners that Chickerell put in, Gabriel Cole saved us, the speed of reactions from both saves were top quality, one down low from a header and the other one handed up over the bar from a fierce shot. Westlands were looking rattled – Chickerell looking like they could score from every attack. In the 6th minute Westlands produced their best bit of play. Luke Langdon intercepted a pass, calmly passed out to Seb Goddard who linked well with Luke Manley to release LUCA MARTIN on a run and fire into the net. A great team goal with the accuracy of passing and movement that the team has shown they can play with. So now 5 -1 up, surely the game was Westlands to lose…..which within 3 frantic minutes we almost did !. Chickerell were not down and out and theIR brave fighting spirit saw them score 3 goals in 3 minutes. A good run from their left winger saw his shot go in, almost from the kick off Chickerell got a great deep cross in that the defence could not deal with and Chickerell scored again, then from a long range shot one of our players put out a foot and it went into the back of the net completely wrong footing our keeper. So from winning comfortably we let Chickerell back in – with the score 5-4, Westlands confidence shot and Chickerell on a high it seemed like Westlands could actually lose! Chickerell were really going for the killer goal, our defence of Tudor Blag, Josh Edwards, George Hooper and Luke Langdon were being severally tested, for much of the time they did well but even when Chickerell did get through Gabriel Cole was in inspired form, one reaction save even bringing applause from the Chickerell coach. As time went on Westlands were playing deeper and Pete Park and Seb Goddard were getting drawn into defending hard for the team. For the next 15 minutes it was all Chickerell, but the team defended amazingly well, finally in the 70th minute we got control of the ball. Seb Goddard threaded through a ball for LEWIS TRUSSON, now playing on the left to take in his stride and calmly pass the ball into the net past the keeper. Westlands had their 2 goal cushion back. Sports found their passing game and a good run from Alex Park on the right handside of midfield produced a corner, but again came to nothing for the team. In the final minute from our goal kick the ball found its way to LUKE MANLEY and with plenty to do he ran at the Chickerell back 4 and shot low into the bottom corner with the last kick of the game. So the final score was 7-4, although the referee had it recorded as 6 ??
For the Man of the Match – it could have gone to any number of players – Luca Martin for his hat trick, Rory Thomson for calmly taking his 2 goals, Luke Manley and Seb Goddard for their drive in midfield, the defence who although had a shaky 3 minutes defended like their lives depended on it…but Man of the Match has to go to our keeper GABRIEL COLE – who was on top form with some outstanding saves….if Chickerell had scored from one of the chances he saved – the result may have been a lot different! But we won and now have a home tie in the quarter finals.
A special note for Morgan Pomeroy who made the trip to Weymouth but due to circumstances was an un- used substitute as the players on the pitch had to sort the mess out of conceding the 3 goals in 3 minutes!
We now have the Christmas break – our first game back ……7th January away to Chickerell……..what a game to start 2018, can everyone’s nerves take it?
Sun 14th Jan, Dorset Youth Cup, Qtr-Final: Westland Sports 0 Wimborne Town 0 (AET)
[Westlands won 3-1 on penalties]
A county cup quarter-final is always a big challenge and today’s opponents presented a particularly tough test for Westlands as Wimborne Town had beaten us fairly convincingly 3-0 in the league match on the Terrace back in October. Wimborne arrived in a luxury coach and certainly looked a very professional outfit and, as they also had 5 subs available, they had an advantage in numbers which could be crucial on a soft pitch with the possibility of extra time.
Our preparations for the match had been dealt a blow when two players, Lewis Trusson and Alex Park, pulled out through illness on the morning of the match. A quick re-shuffle of the team by the management meant several players playing out of position and with now only 12 players on duty, the odds were being stacked against us before a ball had been kicked.
In the opening minutes Westlands were taking a little time to settle into their new positions and this allowed the visitors to grab the initiative. The first goal attempt came from Wimborne in the 5th minute with a dipping shot that sailed over keeper Gabriel Cole’s head and luckily cleared the bar as well. Another shot a minute later went just past the post as Wimborne pressed for the opening goal. They should have had it in the 12th minute when their player missed a sitter. A free kick from the left was delivered to the far post where their #12 was totally unmarked but he smashed the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score. That close shave seemed to shock Westlands a bit and at last we began to push forward and make some inroads into the Wimborne half, creating a couple of half chances. It was also noticeable the Westlands defence were now getting to grips with the visitor’s attack so there was a bit of a shift in the game now. Both teams then had opportunities to get the ball into the opponent’s box from free kicks. The Wimborne kick was punched clear by Gabriel Cole and Peter Park’s delivery for Westlands went over the bar. Another dipping shot from Wimborne in the 36th minute just cleared the bar and the last action of the half saw Peter Park put another free kick into the box but that was scrambled away.
So, 0-0 at half time was a good result for Westlands. We had weathered an early storm and, as the players settled into their positions, had come more into the game later in the half. The visitor’s had dominated possession and played some good football but Westlands had shown some dogged determination and were still very much in the game.
As the second half started Wimborne had a go with another of these dipping shots which again cleared the crossbar. Luke Manley hit back with a shot for Westlands but the keeper saved. That was followed by a Westlands corner that Luke Manley got his head to but it flew just over the top. Wimborne then had a spell of constant attacks that forced Westlands into some desperate defending. Players were throwing themselves at the ball to make blocks and when anything did get through Gabriel Cole was dealing with it, usually with a trademark punch. In the 57th minute it looked like we were in deep trouble. A Wimborne corner caused a bit of a melee in the goalmouth and Gabriel Nitecki retaliated to a kick from an opponent and received a straight red card ! Not only that, but a penalty was also awarded for the foul play. It looked bad for Westlands but Gabriel Cole made a magnificent save from the spot kick, diving to his right to turn the ball round the post. What a save that was, and a lifeline for Westlands but we still had the daunting prospect of playing the last 20 minutes of normal time with only 10 men. It was still backs to the wall stuff and a Wimborne shot then hit the bar and went over the top and that was followed by a real scramble in the box as several attempted clearances were mis-kicked causing a bit of panic in the Sports defence. It looked as if a goal must come but moving into the last 15 minutes of the half it was Westlands who seemed to get a second wind and suddenly it was Wimborne having to defend. Tudor Blag made a run forward and Rory Thomson just failed to connect with his ball across the face of the goal. The game ended with Westlands winning a couple of corners, one of which Luke Manley headed just wide.
Final score 0-0 and into 10 minutes each way extra time. Westlands had battled hard to get this far against the odds but with only one sub could they keep it going ?
In extra time the ten men of Westlands looked to be playing a containing game, not taking too many risks and with the defence now having the measure of the Wimborne attack, chances were few and far between. In the first period Sports restricted Wimborne to one long range effort that flew just over the top and in the second half Gabriel Cole had to make a good save. No more scoring then so we moved on to the penalty shoot-out.
Wimborne were first to go and their player missed the target with his shot, putting it past the post ! This gave the Sports players a boost and the first to step up was PHIL DUCK and he thumped the ball into the top corner to make it 1-0 to Westlands ! Cracking penalty.
Wimborne next and their player stuck his kick nicely in the corner to make it 1-1.
Westlands captain LUKE MANLEY then came forward and although the Wimborne keeper got a hand to it, the ball ended up in the back of the net to make it 2-1 Westlands (phew !).
The next Wimborne kick was heading for the bottom corner until Gabriel Cole dived to his right to make a brilliant save ! Still 2-1 to Westlands ! Come on !
LUCA MARTIN was next and surely our top scorer would tuck it away? Yes, straight down the middle with the keeper flinging himself to his left. 3-1 now to Westlands and the pressure was really on the next Wimborne player who had to score.
He placed his shot to the corner but once again Gabriel Cole dived full length to save his 3rd penalty of the match ! Unbelievable ! That was it, we had won 3-1 and the Westlands keeper was buried in a pile of team mates as they celebrated.
Who could blame them as it had been an exceptional performance from the team. Every one of the players had given everything for the cause and although we rode our luck at times there are moments when hard work and team spirit are rewarded and this was one of those days.
For that reason the Man of the Match award is shared by all 12 players this week as it was such a good team performance. Not forgetting the management team for getting the tactics spot on for this match. Well done to every one of you.
Sun 4th Feb, Dorset Youth League Cup, Section 2: Westland Sports 1 Wimborne & Holt 3
A fresh afternoon up on the terraces resulted in a 1-3 defeat against the much-fancied Wimborne &Holt. Having lost 5 nil to Holt in our last outing against them, this was an improved performance from Sports. After an initial 10-minute spell where Holt dominated, Sports settled and started creating chances albeit not really testing their keeper. Westlands started to win good possession with the snappy tackling of Seb Goddard in holding midfield frustrating the efforts of Holt and enabling the Sports midfield of Luke Manley, Lewi Trusson and Phil Duck to get on the ball and create.
On 30 minutes Westlands brought on Sam Ough, for the tireless Alex Park, Ough looked lively from the outset sat just behind ever dangerous striker Luca Martin who was holding the line and was a constant threat with his pace and strength. Sports defence were coping well and the composure of Tudor Blag was noticeable in turning defence into attack.
Shortly after he came on SAM OUGH broke away down the left, cut in, and left the keeper stranded with a well-placed chip into the far corner to put Westlands 1-0 up.. Holt then had a spell of pressure which culminated in Gabriel Cole spilling a shot after a difficult bounce. Centre back George Hooper partially cleared as Cole tried to atone his original error, only for Hooper’s clearance to fall straight to a Holt striker to put into the net. This was a blow right on half time. 1-1 at the break.
The second half started again with a spell of Holt pressure, however Sports soon started to win possession, with the disciplined positioning and tenacious tackling of Goddard acting as a catalyst.
Morgan Pomeroy came off after a solid showing at full back to be replaced by Alex Park with Sam Ough dropping to full back. Holt were edging the game and eventually scored with a well worked goal on 60 minutes to put them 1-2 up.
Manley, Trusson, Duck and Martin all worked to create chances with Park putting in a good shift, but Holt defended well and were looking dangerous, particularly with the wind now behind them. Holt eventually scored again with 10 minutes remaining after Cole struggled to hold a decent shot above his head with it eventually slipping out of his grasp into the net.
Sports continued to battle and had a late spell of pressure however the match ended in defeat to an impressive Holt outfit. There were positives in that this was a definite improvement on our previous loss to them, however Holt were worth their victory.
Always difficult to choose a Man-of-the-Match in defeat, however it was agreed that SEB GODDARD, for his, determination, hardwork and disciplined performance was well worthy of the award this week.
Sun 11th Feb, Dorset Youth League, (U16) Div.1: Westland Sports 2 Hamworthy Utd 4
Again we had a number of changes in the Westlands line up from the last match. I suppose it being the start of half term didn’t help but the lack of a consistent team does not help produce results.
Anyway, the management had moved to boost the squad with three new signings, Kieron Webber, Isaac Storey and Dominic Stephens, and they were all included in this weeks 13.
It was bitterly cold up on the Terrace as we kicked off and Hamworthy, who had the wind behind them, pressed forward looking for an early goal. As usual Westlands spent the first few minutes settling in to their shape but they then managed an attack and Luke Manley got a shot away. That effort went wide but it seemed to settle Sports and we began to build some attacks and get a few touches of the ball. In the ninth minute we took the lead with a nice goal. A ball in from the right was deftly controlled by LUKE MANLEY and he drilled the ball past the keeper to open the scoring. A few minutes later Luca Martin thumped in a shot that was saved by the visitor’s keeper.
It was end to end stuff now and in the 15th minute a Hamworthy player had a good shot that drifted just wide of the far post. Shortly after this they had another shot but this one flew well over the bar. Back down the other end the Hamworthy keeper made a terrific double save from Luca Martin and Luke Manley to keep the score at 1-0. Then Gabriel Cole, the Westlands keeper, dived to smother the ball low down by the post. In the 28th minute we conceded a soft goal. The Hamworthy number 14 went on a run and managed to break through three rather weak Westland challenges before slipping the ball to his unmarked team-mate who hit it low and hard into the back of the net. Back on level terms Westlands went on the attack and in the 35th minute it looked like a penalty when a Westlands player was pushed in the box but the referee waved play on. A minute later we took the lead again with another lovely goal. New signing Isaac Storey put LUCA MARTIN in the clear with a perfect through ball and Luca made no mistake burying the ball in the far corner as the keeper came out. Hamworthy immediately tried to hit back and when they put the ball into the Westlands box there was an almighty scramble before the ball was eventually cleared for a corner.
Just as we thought we had got through to half-time with a one goal lead we conceded again. We gave away a free kick out on the right and that spelt danger. Sure enough, a Hamworthy player thumped the kick high towards goal and with a bit of wind assistance it sailed into the top corner.
That made the half-time score 2-2 and although we were disappointed to lose that late goal we would have the wind behind us in the second half so we still had a good chance to win this match.
Well, things didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped in the second half as Hamworthy went on the attack and soon had us pinned in our own half defending desperately. In the 43rd minute a good passing move from the visitor’s ended with a shot that flew past the post. In the 46th Gabriel Cole made a good save and in the 49th minute he had to save again from their number 14. Eventually in the 54th minute disaster struck. A through ball saw a Hamworthy player chase into the box. Westlands keeper Gabriel Cole rushed out and dived for the ball but unfortunately the attacker just got a touch to it first and down he went. No doubt a penalty and their player thumped it into the top corner to put them ahead for the first time in the match. Westlands tried to fight back and forced a good save from their keeper wth a header from a free kick. Still Hamworthy had the edge and again the number 14 got in a shot that Gabriel Cole saved. We seemed to be a man short in midfield and Hamworthy were dominating possession restricting us to a few attacks on the break. In the 72nd minute a good passing move by Hamworthy ended with their player driving the ball into the corner of the net to put them 4-2 up. A good goal and with only eight minutes to go the final nail in the coffin for Westlands. We were unable to conjure up anything in the last few minutes so that was the final score.
A bit disappointing really as I thought we were just the better team in the first half but we seemed to fade badly in the second period. Hamworthy deserved their win in the end as they dominated the second half and seemed to show more determination to win those three points.
The Man-of-he Match this week goes to GEORGE HOOPER who shows a great attitude on the pitch, giving 100% and always encouraging his team-mates, an example to everyone.
Sun 18th Feb, Dorset Youth League, (U16) Div.1: Wimborne Town 2 Westland Sports 1
Westlands were stretched by call-offs and lost narrowly, going down 2-1 at Wimborne Town. Nevertheles, this was an excellent battling performance by the Westlands lads also showed the right spirit against the odds. We were 2 down at half time, and it could have been worse if Sports keeper Gabriel Cole hadn't saved a penalty. In the second half we improved and LUCA MARTIN pulled one back to make it 2-1. We had a good spell then but eventually fatigue took it's toll. Even then we felt we were robbed of a penalty near the end when an opposition player clearly handled the ball. Nevertheless a great spirited performance from the team with everyone mucking in.
The Man-of-he Match this week goes to PETER PARK who was a tower of strength for Westlands. He shows a good attitude every week and is a very good player no matter where he is played.
Sun 25th Feb, Dorset FA County Youth Cup (U16), Semi-Final:
WESTLAND SPORTS 7 DORCHESTER TOWN MAGPIES 2
A lovely day on the Terrace for the match, a bit cold but glorious sunshine, so perfect conditions. The opposition were a Division 2 side but any team that gets to a semi-final has beaten several teams to get there so must be respected.
Westlands were playing against the wind in the first half but they were soon on the attack and a shot from Luca Martin was blocked by the keeper. In only the fourth minute Westlands took the lead. LUCA MARTIN ran on to a through pass, rounded the keeper, and slotted the ball into the net from an acute angle. What a start by Westlands and just what you want in a semi-final. The visitors, however, gradually settled and began to have some possession in Westlands half. A dipping cross/shot was tipped onto the bar and over by Gabriel Cole, Sports keeper, and from the resulting corner a shot flew just past the post. A good response from Dorchester but Westlands looked dangerous every time they went forward. In the 18th minute Sports made it 2-0 when LUCA MARTIN stepped inside a couple of defenders and thumped a shot into the top corner from 18 yards. A lovely goal and with a 2-0 lead things were looking bleak for the visitors but they nearly produced a shock a couple of minutes later. One of their players had a huge throw and when he hurled the ball into the Westlands goalmouth Gabriel Cole had to tip it over the bar. Not sure he needed to, don't think you can score direct from a throw in but safety first, always the best policy. Back came Sports onto the attack and another shot by Luca Martin was deflected just past the post. Next a Dorchester player fired across a dangerous cross into the Westlands box and George Hooper did well to stretch and turn the ball away for a corner. On the half hour mark Luke Manley made a good run down the right and put a cross over to the far post where Rory Thomson got up well but his header cleared the bar. A minute later Westlands were shocked when Dorchester pulled a goal back. A free kick just inside Sports half was pumped wind assisted into the goalmouth where Gabriel Cole failed to gather it cleanly and after a bit of a scramble a Dorchester player thumped it into the corner of the net. At 2-1 the visitors were back in the game but their fight back didn’t last long as in the 38th minute Sports made it 3-1. Isaac Storey played a perfectly weighted through ball to LUCA MARTIN who rounded the keeper again and drilled the ball into the far corner of the net to complete a fine first half hat-trick.
With the 2 goal lead restored it all looked good for Westlands in the second half as they would also have the advantage of the wind which had probably played a part in Dorchester’s first half goal.
Immediately as the second half started we saw the advantage of that wind when a goalkeepers kick cleared the Dorchester defenders and Lewis Trusson raced clear, unfortunately he pulled his shot wide of the far post. In the 46th minute a long ball into the visitor’s box caused panic and as the ball ping ponged around it flew into the back of the net. We figured it was an Own Goal but PETER PARK claimed he got a touch so we’ll credit it to him. So, 4-1 and no way back for Dorchester now as Sports were in total control. In the 52nd minute some good play by Gabi Nitecki gave Isaac Storey a shooting chance. He fired in a shot that the Dorchester keeper dropped and LUKE MANLEY was following up and netted easily to make it 5-1. A few minutes later it was 6 as RORY THOMSON rose high at the far post to head in a cross from Luca Martin. The 7th goal soon followed as LUCA MARTIN smashed the ball into, and through, the back of the net. The final action saw Dorchester put together a good passing move down their right wing with the final shot sending Sports keeper the wrong way. That made the final score 7-2 and a well deserved victory for Westlands. Great to have a cup final to look forward to, keeps the season alive. The final will be played Sunday May 6th at the County Ground in Hamworthy.
The Man of the match award this week goes to LUCA MARTIN who caused panic in the opposition defence every time he got the ball. Four goals with some clinical finishes, excellent performance.
(numbers bear no relation to starting 11 or position played)
Sun 11th Mar, Dorset Youth League, (U16) Div.1: Westland Sports 0 Bournemouth Sports 3
In a lively match at the Terraces the U16s fell to Bournemouth albeit the 3 nil score line rather flattered them.
After an even start with some good pressure by Westland, an unfortunate handball by George Hooper led to a penalty, which after a tremendous safe by Gabriel Cole, the resultant deflection unfortunately fell to the penalty taker who slotted it home with Cole stranded.
It was a feisty affair at times and Luke Langdon was bundled over by a late challenge ending his match and putting him out for approx a month. A depleted defence, already without the injured Pete Park, was now relying on other non-defenders to fill in, who to be fair did a decent job. Of note was Rory Thomson at left back who was particularly impressive, showing great composure and awareness linking well with impressive debutant Tom Jarvis.
The first half ended with Westlands dominating possession however the final ball wasn’t quite there.
The second half started with an early spell of pressure from Bournemouth, however Westlands soon started to dominate possession again and take control of midfield. There were numerous opportunities to get the ball into the box however on the day we generally lacked a bit of quality in the final third despite decent approach play.
Bournemouth hit us on the break on 55 mins and a good finish at the far post put them 2 up. Westland again started to get on top but were undone again on 72 mins when the game was effectively put to bed after another break down the right, and after failing to clear our lines the ball was bundled in at the far post to put Bournemouth 3 up. Bournemouth managed the game well until the end and despite some good football at times and plenty of possession from Westland we ended up with a heavy defeat. A problem we have highlighted before about free kicks has still not been resolved. Today we had four free kicks from good positions around the box and we failed to hit the target with any of them !
Player-wise, Alex Park did a great job filling in at right back, balancing well defending with supporting the attack with good energy and commitment but the Man of the Match award this week goes to the impressive and ever willing RORY THOMSON.
Westlands went ahead when LUCA MARTIN rifled the ball into the roof of net after a great crossfield pass from Lewis Trusson to Luke Manley who went on a great run and provided a perfect pass.
Then a Chickerell defender turned the ball into his own net to make it 2-0 to Westlands (OG), but a mix up in the Sports defence between defender and goalkeeper allowed Chickerell back into the game at 2-1.
LEWIS TRUSSON then scored a superb first half solo effort to stretch our lead to two again before ISAAC STOREY made it 4-1 just before half time (dubious goals committee for this one !)
A 4-1 half time lead looked fairly comfortable but we soon shot ourselves in the foot by conceding after another defensive error and when they added another it was game on at 4-3.
However, late on LEWIS TRUSSON produced some individual brilliance going round 3 defenders and finishing well to put matters to rest at 5-3. Definitely a contender for goal of the season.
A good team performance overall, defensively we could have been better and we created a host of 2nd half chances where we failed to score so the game should have been out of sight much earlier, but overall some good football in tricky conditions.
The Man of the match award this week goes to LEWIS TRUSSON, great game out on the left wing.
After another week of planning for one game, only for it to get cancelled but we finally secured a game away at Weymouth. Leaving a sun drenched Yeovil we were greeted in Weymouth by overcast skies and fog…many of the parents had dressed for the sun…..but it was cold!!
The game promised to be a good one – looking at recent results the teams were evenly matched so this was going to be a tough test….even tougher when our man of the match from last week pulled out due to feeling unwell. At the late stage we had to travel with only 12 players. Sports players you could tell were extremely focused and had an air of professional calm over them.
As predicted the game started with both teams well matched, from the beginning you could see that the game would be won or lost in midfield. After 10mins we suffered an early injury to Tom Jarvis, this meant we were already down to 11 players with Seb Goddard coming on - who was already carrying a small injury himself having to face playing the rest of the match rather than just watching from the sidelines as was the original plan.
From the restart after our enforced substitution Seb had his first touch clearing a Weymouth header off the line ………the coaching team would love to call it an inspired substitution but……..!!!
The game was settling to being a great match….Westlands were passing the ball better than we had been doing all season, the flat pitch and weather conditions certainly helping the flow of our game. In the 18 minute we got what our performance deserved… a goal from LUCA MARTIN. Some good passing put Luca into the box and with quick feet he sidestepped the Weymouth defence with his shot beating the keeper.
Weymouth came back strong but in the 30 minute Rory Thomson drove into the heart of the home defence and after a quick one two with the midfield struck the ball across to LUCA MARTIN just outside the box and he rifled in his second goal of the day.
Westlands were now on top and our passing game was on top form, we were calm in possession and happy to use defence and goalkeeper to keep the ball. In the 32nd minute Luke Langdon released Luke Manley on the right wing to attack the Weymouth defence and he pulled back a great cross for Isaac Storey to run onto from midfield. Isaac let fly with a first time shot which the Weymouth keeper did amazingly well to push over the bar one handed.
From the resulting corner George Hooper was unlucky to see his header saved.
Westlands were now playing at the top of their game and in the 33rd minute a flowing passing move with almost all the team involved saw Luke Manley put another cross into the heart of Weymouth goal mouth, the ball fell at the feet of ALEX PARK who was having a good game on the left wing and he slotted home for our 3rd goal.
As the half time whistle blew Westlands were 3 nil up and full of confidence.
We knew Weymouth would come out fighting in the 2nd half, so for the first 10 minutes it was all about defending with Pete Park and the rest of the defence standing firm. Weymouth got a couple of tame shots at goal but each time Gabriel Cole was right behind the ball and was making it look like catching practice.
As the half wore on, the central midfield of Isaac Storey and Gabi Niticeki supported by Seb Goddard started to win every battle and with good vision were able to set up attacking moves for the team. In the 55th minute we broke down the Weymouth defence with good passing and moving which allowed GABI NITECKI to arrive in the box to sweep home our 4th goal.
Weymouth were trying hard to get back into the game but the defence and midfield were stopping everything.
In the 62nd minute another classy move from Westlands saw the ball passed from midfield across the field to Alex Park, another pass picked out GABI NITECKI who grabbed his second goal of the game from just on the edge of the box.
In the 65th minute Weymouth broke forward quickly in numbers, an almost inch perfect pass saw the just onside Weymouth striker pierce through our defence and fire low into the back of our net.
Although disappointed with conceding Westlands attacked again… this time Alex Park cutting in from the left and hitting a fierce shot into the top corner of the goal. Unfortunately it was hit so well nobody was sure if it had hit the underside of the bar or the rear net support and flew back onto the pitch……..and although the Weymouth and Westlands supporters applauded a fantastically struck goal, the linesman and referee decided it was off the bar so no goal.
In the last minute of the game again some great work from the whole team saw Alex Park take another shot at goal, it was partly saved and Luca Martin swept in to touch it over the line, only for the linesman to give him offside, so Luca will have to wait for the next match for his next hat- trick!!
Overall our best team performance of the year, with a bit of luck and without some fine saves from Weymouth we could have won by more goals. Every single player was cool and calm and 99% of the time made the right decisions and it was great to see us both attack and defend as a solid team.
Man of the match could have been given to numerous players but for his outstanding midfield performance of both breaking up Weymouth attacks and good forward passing along with 2 goals, this week the award goes to GABI NITECKI
Only a week after beating Weymouth 5-1 at their place here we were playing them again, this time at Alvington Lane.
Weymouth had a shot in the first minute that flew by the post but Westlands responded well, forcing an early corner. That was cleared for another corner and from this one Luca Martin had a shot blocked. Back came Weymouth and Gabriel Cole, the Westlands keeper had to be on his toes to dive on a low shot. It was end to end and in the 8th minute Sports scored a good goal. Luca Martin made a good run down the right and whipped the ball across to ALEX PARK who buried a good header at the far post. Just what you want, an early goal at home, and surely Westlands could go on now to dominate this game. Unfortunately the goal seemed to have the opposite effect with the Westland players appearing to think the game was won already and going into third gear. Weymouth had other ideas and very quickly grabbed the initiative. First their #7 midfielder ran through completely untracked and drilled a shot just past the post. Then their big attacker #29 walked through 2 non-tackles and cut the ball back to a team mate whose shot was well blocked. Weymouth kept up the pressure and had another good chance in the 20th minute but again a good block saved the day and the ball was scrambled away for a corner. When the corner came over a Weymouth player got a shot away which flew just past the post. Then a couple of minutes later a Weymouth player ran clean through unchallenged but Gabriel Cole came to the rescue this time with a good save. Weymouth were just running through us now and again the Westlands keeper had to make a good save to keep them from scoring. In the 27th minute a rare attack by Westlands saw a Alex Park run on to a nice through ball but the Weymouth keeper did well to spread himself and block the shot with his legs. With half an hour gone the Weymouth #29 headed just wide and a minute later another shot from a Weymouth attacker flew just past the post. The Westlands goal was leading a charmed life but when the inevitable equaliser came, it was disappointing as it was an absolute gift. Gabriel Cole tried to clear a pass-back but miss-kicked the ball straight to a Weymouth player who passed it to his team mate to slide into the empty goal. That was the way the half ended and Westlands were very fortunate as Weymouth had missed loads of good chances so it could easily have been 4-1 or 5-1 at this stage.
Westlands retreated to the changing rooms hopefully to regroup for the second half as their first half display had been pretty poor. After the early goal they seemed to think the game was won and just switched off handing the initiative to their opponents so we were expecting an improvement in the second half.
Only three minutes into the second half disaster struck as Weymouth scored again. A bit of controversy about this one, as a Weymouth player dived to try and get his head to a deep angled cross from about 45 yards out. He missed the ball completely and it ended up in the far corner of the net with the Westlands keeper wrong footed. The linesman’s flag had gone up as soon as the ball came in but the referee over-ruled him saying the player had not touched the ball so was not offside. Not too sure about that one but still plenty of time left for Sports to fight back, if they had the desire to do so. A couple of minutes later it was almost three as the Weymouth #29 caused chaos again in the Westlands ranks. He dribbled past 2 men but the 3rd one brought him down for a definite penalty. The spot kick was struck well enough but Gabriel Cole dived to tip the ball onto the post and it was hoofed clear. What a save that was, and surely it would inspire his team mates to make a fight of this. To be fair the Sports players at last got on the front foot and began to play in their opponents half putting them under a lot of pressure. Gabi Nitecki ran on to a through ball and as the keeper came out he stabbed the ball past him but it slipped past the outside of the post. Then a free kick into the Weymouth box was hooked goalwards by Luca Martin but was cleared off the line by a defender. On the hour Luke Manley got a header in from a free kick but the keeper saved it. This was better from Westlands but in a Weymouth breakaway their #9 was picked out totally unmarked but he missed the target with his shot. Back down at the other end Luke Manley and Tom Jarvis both had shots saved by the Weymouth keeper. Weymouth went back on the attack and the #29 ran clean through the Westlands defence and lobbed the ball over the keeper and over the bar. The final action saw a Weymouth player hit a thunderous shot that smacked off the inside of the post and was cleared to safety.
And so it ended, 2-1 to the visitors and a disappointing afternoon for Sports. We were lacklustre and didn’t really look interested in the first half. The second half was better but not the performance we were hoping for in this the last game before the cup final, too many basics not being done. However, we’ll put that game behind us and look forward to next week’s final.
Man of the match is GABRIEL COLE. At fault for the first Weymouth goal but made a string of good saves to keep the score down including that excellent penalty save.