ON 16th MARCH THE FOOTBALL SEASON WAS CLOSED DOWN DUE TO THE WORLDWIDE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) PANDEMIC.
ALL LEAGUES AND CUPS WERE DECLARED NULL & VOID.
Sat 14th Mar, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 BALTI SPORTS 1
Westlands had Jonny Manley and Adam Barratt missing to add to our already considerable injury list. One piece of good news was that Lewis Morgan felt fit enough to take a place on the subs bench. Tim Trevett stepped in at the back and Steve Flynn returned in midfield along with Louis Irwin.
The visitor’s started on the front foot and in the first minute their #11 thundered a shot from 25 yards over the bar. Then they forced a corner which was driven across the face of goal and ricocheted into Westlands keeper Mark Cuff’s arms. Gradually Westlands began to settle into the game and string a few passes together. Sam Plumley chased a long ball and hooked it back from the byeline to Sam Fuller who headed just wide. In the tenth minute Westlands took the lead and a rather fortuitous goal it was. JOSH PAYNE made some ground down the left wing and sent over a high cross to the far post which dipped over the Balti keeper’s head into the far corner of the net. Then Louis Irwin made a strong run into the Balti box but his shot was deflected for a corner. Twenty minutes in the visitors equalised. Jack Dicker conceded a free kick on the edge of the box and the Balti #14 chipped the ball over the wall into the net with Westlands keeper Mark Cuff rooted to the spot. Then Balti forced a corner which their forward just failed to connect with in front of goal. In the 24th minute it was Westlands turn to have a corner which landed at the feet of Tim Trevett about 18 yards out. His lob was netbound until a defender popped up on the line to head the ball away. A minute later a good passing move from Westlands ended with a Josh Payne shot well over the bar. In the 39th minute Josh put Luca Martin through but he also blazed over the top. A minute later Louis Irwin dragged a shot wide as Westlands kept the pressure on. The half finished with a couple of corners for Westlands but nothing came of them.
It had been a decent half for the home side. Considering the number of changes to the lineup and the bumpy conditions, the team had settled down and played some good football.
The half opened with a superb through ball from Josh Payne giving Sam Fuller a chance but, under pressure from defenders, he couldn’t get a clean shot away and the ball was scrambled clear. After 10 minutes of the half Westlands made their first substitution with Malik Kamal replacing Isaac Storey. On the hour a great run by Josh Payne saw him hit a thunderous shot that crashed off the crossbar with the keeper beaten. Josh then made an acrobatic attempt to volley the rebound towards goal but the ball whizzed just over the bar. In the 65th minute came the secondWestlands substitution with Lewis Morgan making a welcome return after ankle surgery. Sam Fuller was the man replaced. Three minutes later this proved to be a master move as the sub scored what proved to be the winning goal ! Louis Irwin was fouled about 25 yards out to the right of the goal. LEWIS MORGAN stepped up and curled the ball round the wall into the far corner of the net. Westlands were pushing forward continually now and the visitors were conceding a lot of free kicks which culminated in their skipper, #6, being sent off after a second yellow card.
So with 15 minutes to go, a one goal lead and the visitors reduced to 10 men, what would Westlands tactics be ? In the 77th minute Westlands had another free kick on the edge of the box but this time the Balti keeper saved Lewis Morgan’s shot. With 12 minutes to go Westlands made their final substitution, Luca Martin being replaced by Lewis Howchin. A midfielder replacing a forward perhaps showed that Westlands were happy with the way things stood and were taking no chances. This proved to be a sound tactic with Westlands now flooding the midfield and not allowing Balti to build any moves at all. Their only half chance came with a low free kick that Westlands keeper Mark Cuff saved by the post.
A final score of 2-1 just about reflected what had been a well contested match. Both teams had served up an entertaining game with Westlands deservedly taking the points in the end.
There were a number of success stories for Westlands, Tim Trevett looked cool at the back, Josh Payne led the team well as skipper, and the return of Lewis Morgan was a bonus, but the Man of the Match was STEVE FLYNN, who filled the Adam Barratt role in midfield and had a great game showing great energy and discipline.
Sat 7th Mar, Somerset Senior Cup, Quarter-final: RADSTOCK TOWN RES 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
(Westlands won 4-2 on penalties)
A couple of changes were necessary for the trip to Radstock due to an increasing injury list so Malik Kamal returned to the starting eleven along with Sam Fuller who was making his first team debut after some impressive performances in the reserves. On arrival at Southfields we found the pitch to be in pretty good condition, soft and bobbly but that was to be expected. Handshakes were banned so we were soon kicking off in a nice dry afternoon.
Westlands went on the attack and a good build up led to a free kick on the edge of the Radstock box. It was crossed towards the far post but cleared with no challenge from a Westland player. Week after week we seem to be pumping cornersand free kicks into the box but we never seem to get anything from them. Radstock were playing some long balls forward which was bringing them some joy as they were winning the second balls. In the 11th minute a speculative shot from 25 yards came off the post with Westlands keeper Mark Cuff scrambling. Nine minutes later Mark Cuff was in action again, grabbing a free kick at the second attempt. After 21 minutes Sports had their first shot at goal when a Josh Payne pass gave Luca Martin a chance but he skied his effort into the trees behind the goal. A soft free kick given to Radstock 20 yards out (looked like Westland’s player won the ball cleanly) paved the way for the opening goal in the 25th minute. The Radstock player didn’t have the cleanest of strikes and Mark Cuff, the Westlands keeper, seemed to have the shot well covered until he threw himself to his right and the ball went in below his feet. Most bizarre, ball must have taken a deflection surely ! Losing the first goal was a real blow as it gave the home team a boost and Sports were toiling a bit now. Isaac Storey was battling away in midfield and Luca Martin looked lively up front but apart from that there was an air of lethargy in the team’s performance. To be fair the opposition weren’t much better so the game became fairly dull for a spell with neither side able to create any real chances. Half-time and 1-0 to Radstock so not a good day so far for Westlands.
The Westlands manager was clearly displeased with the first half display so we were looking for some improvement in the second half. A blow for Westlands became apparent during the break with experienced centre half Jonny Manley retiring from the action with a recurrence of his ongoing back problem. Lewis Howchin came on at left back with Dan Ewens moving over to centre half.
After the half time pep talk Sports looked a bit livelier in the second half and at last began to string a few passes together. But as luck would have it Westlands were stung again when skipper Adam Barrett had to come off with a hamstring twinge. This was another big blow for Sports with two of their most experienced players now sidelined and a goal down with 35 minutes left. The experienced Matt Phillips came on as a straight swap and he also assumed the captain’s duties. Josh Payne was switched to the left wing and he began to have a bit of joy, taking on the Radstockright back. Lewis Howchin had added some energy to the team so at last Westlands began to play a bit. In the 57th minute Josh had a shot that the home keeper just managed to scramble round the post. Then a couple of minutes later some good Westlands build up play saw Sam Fuller burst through only to be barged over about 12 yards out. Certain penalty we thought but to our amazement the referee waved play on and there was no signal from the nearside linesman who, when asked politely, declared he hadn’t seen it ! Westlands really had their tails up now and Josh Payne made some space and fired a shot just past the far post. Then Josh skinned the right back again and put over a cross that was met on the run by Luca Martin but his shot flew just wide. Eventually, in the 70th minute, the pressure paid off and Sports equalised. Malik Kamal played a lovely through ball that dissected the Radstock defence and SAM FULLER was quickly on to it and he neatly steered the ball wide of the keeper into the corner of the net. Big celebrations by the Westland lads as they had battled hard against the odds and deserved to be level. But even bigger celebrations were to come only two minutes later when Sports took the lead ! Luca Martin won a good header in the box and directed the ball to JOSH PAYNE who shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net. Quite a dramatic turnaround but unfortunately Westlands were not able to consolidate on their lead as only 4 minutes later Radstock equalised. A bouncing ball on the edge of the box should have been cleared but unfortunately Malik Kamal slipped over and a Radstock played hooked a dipping shot into the far corner of the net. Westlands went after a winner now and in the last 10 minutes made 3 good chances. In the 82nd minute Malik Kamal drove forward and unleashed a low shot from 20 yards that just skimmed past the post with the keeper beaten. Two minutes later a good move saw Josh Payne run on to a Luca Martin pass and shoot wide of the far post. Then finally, with 2 minutes to go Luca Martin again fed Josh Payne who tried to chip the keeper but scooped the ball wide.The final whistle signalled a penalty shoot-out so it was fingers crossed that the Westlands lads would keep their composure under pressure.
Westlands were first to go and JOSH PAYNE stepped up to drill the ball into the bottom corner, 1-0 Westlands. The Radstock player did likewise so it was 1-1 after the first set of kicks.
MALIK KAMAL was next for Sports and a cool sidefoot finish made it 2-1 Westlands. Sports keeper Mark Cuff then produced a fantastic double handed save to push the next Radstock kick over the bar and it was still 2-1 to Westlands after the second set.
Next up for Sports was Luca Martin but the Radstock keeper guessed correctly and saved his low shot, still 2-1 up. The home team then had a chance to level things up but keeper Mark Cuff made another good save, diving low to his left and saving the shot with his legs, to keep the score at 2-1 after the 3rd set of penalties.
Westlands now had the chance to stretch their lead and it was MATT PHILLIPS who strode up to the take the kick which he calmly sidefooted past the keeper into the back of the net. 3-1 now and when the next Radstock player scored Sports were 3-2 up with only one penalty kick left each.
Into the 5th set of kicks and if Westlands could score that was it all over. ISAAC STOREY was the man entrusted with the kick and he planted another sidefooter past the keeper to spark off the celebrations.
So that was that, a real cliff hanger to decide a match that had looked a bit drab in the first half but certainly sparked into life after the break. Great credit to the Westland players for getting a result in difficult circumstances, not least losing two of the most experienced players after 55 minutes.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to MATT PHILLIPS who was called into the squad as a last minute substitute on saturday morning. After 55 minutes he came on in place of the injured Adam Barratt and took the captain’s armband, leading the team to ultimate victory and scoring the important 3rd penalty in the shoot-out. He topped his day off by treating the team to an impromptu jazz set on the piano during a pit stop at the Kings Arms in Shepton Mallett on the way home !
Sat 8th Feb, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 DORCHESTER SPORTS 0
Sports fielded the same starting 11 as last week, not surprising really as they had won 5-0 ! There was one change on the bench with Tim Trevett returning to replace Malik Kamal. The pitch was bobbly but quite good considering the abuse it's had and the weather was windy with storm Ciara brewing up. The wind this week was end to end, blowing up from the Cartgate end and Westlands had it behind them as the teams kicked off.
Two minutes in and Josh Payne was on the rampage, cutting in from the right, beating a defender and getting off a shot that the Dorchester keeper did well to fingertip off the far post. A couple of minutes later Luca Martin put over a cross and Josh Payne’s header was again saved by the visitor’s keeper at full stretch. Then Josh repaid the compliment, crossing to Luca Martin who leaned back and thumped the ball over the bar. A good start by Westlands who could really have been at least one goal up if it hadn’t been for the Dorchester keeper’s heroics. After 10 minutes Dorchester had their first effort, a low shot from 20 yards that Westlands keeper Mark Cuff did well to clutch on the ground considering the bobbly surface. Back down at the other end Josh Payne turned his man but blazed his shot over the bar. With half an hour still to play until the break the game deteriorated badly after this as the wind picked up causing Westlands to continually overhit forward passes that went out for bye kicks. The game was stop start now with lots of niggly fowls being committed that stopped the flow of the game. We had the unedifying spectacle of a Dorchester player rolling around on the ground claiming to have been elbowed in a heading duel. Then the same player had a blatant kick at Adam Barratt off the ball which none of the officials spotted. Isaac Storey seemed to be fouled every time he got the ball and with the Westland players beginning to respond the game went downhill until the welcome sound of the half time whistle ended the half.
Westlands had been the better team in first half but the visitors came off very happy having got to the inrterval at
0-0 and with the wind behind them they perhaps fancied their chances in the second half. The Westlands message from the management was to get back to playing their football and not get involved in any nonsense. Westlands were actually quite glad to be facing the wind as we had been overhitting our passes a bit and they would now hold up better into the wind.
Dorchester opened the second half with a good move that ended with their player dragging his shot wide from a good position. It was apparent there were’nt going to be many goals scored in this match so the first goal was going to be crucial and Westlands nearly scored it in the 52nd minute. Westlands forced a corner out on the right. Josh Payne swung over a good cross that Jamie Green stabbed goalwards only to see the Dorchester keeper again fingertip the ball off the far post. What a let off that was but the opening goal came soon after, in the 57th minute, as Westlands kept the pressure on. Adam Barratt took a quick throw to Josh Payne on the half way line and he fired a defence splitting pass through to the onrushing NICK VOSS who outpaced a defender and fired a low shot past the advancing keeper into the corner of the net. A very composed finish to a fantastic move but more was to come as a rampant Westlands side scored again only 3 minutes later ! This time it was Luca Martin whose pass put JOSH PAYNE through on goal. Josh outpaced the Dorchester defence, went round the keeper, then sidestepped a covering defender, went round the keeper again, and rolled the ball over the line. Another great goal and some excellent skill shown by the Westlands striker. The second goal was a killer blow to the visitors and they looked a bit shell-shocked as Westlands dug in for the remaining half hour. Much like the first half the game deteriorated after the opening 15 minutes and for the remainder of the game there were very few chances, or even half chances created. There was always the worry that if Dorchester scored we would have a nervy finish but it didn’t look likely as the Westlands defence looked solid and the visitor’s were now continually overhitting their forward passes with the wind behind. The one moment of hope for Dorchester came with about 5 minutes to go when a corner kick flew across the goalmouth with nobody getting a touch. One player from each side got their names in the book as the tackles continued to fly in but in the end the match was played out with no further incident.
This was a good result for Westlands who I thought always looked in control of the game although had Dorchester got that opening goal just after half time it might have been a different story. The moments of real quality in the match came with the two goals and they were superb finishes worthy of the 3 points.
The Man of the Match award this week is the enigmatic JOSH PAYNE who set up the first goal, scored the second and was the danger man for Westlands.
Sat 1st Feb, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 WAREHAM RANGERS 0
What ended as a nice day started off as a bit of a disaster with Steve Ormrod breaking his leg in the warm-up and having to be taken to casualty. That meant Sports had to rejig the team and left us with only two subs. The final selection had 2 changes from last week with Isaac Storey and Nick Voss in the starting line-up in place of Steve Ormrod and Malik Kamal who took a place on the bench with the returning Olly Wake. The pitch was in decent condition considering the amount of rain we have had but it was obviously very soft and would become testing as the game progressed. As usual there was a strong bitterly cold wind blowing across the field which would benefit neither side.
Westlands made a good start and within the first 3 minutes had forced 2 corners, the 2nd of which was headed down by Jack Dicker to Josh Payne who volleyed over the top. Westlands kept the pressure on and the next major chance came after 9 minutes when an Isaac Storey shot was blocked and the ball fell to Josh Payne whose shot went just wide. It was one way traffic and in the 13th minute a lovely passing move saw the ball go from Isaac Storey to Luca Martin to Josh Payne whose final shot was deflected for a corner. A couple of minutes later a good pass from Josh Payne picked out Nick Voss but his shot was blocked. Wareham were defending doggedly with plenty of men behind the ball and a decent shape so Westlands were finding it hard to break through. When Sports did create a chance the finishing was a bit rushed. Nevertheless Sports were dominant and creating chances so it felt as if the opening goal had to come soon. In the 17th minute Dan Ewens picked out Josh Payne with a cross and he turned inside his man nicely but the final shot went over the bar. At last, after 28 minutes of almost constant pressure, the deadlock was broken. Nick Voss crossed from the left, a defender tried to clear but the ball bounced up to ADAM BARRATT who buried a header from 8 yards. It should have been 2-0 in the 37th minute when a corner dropped to Jamie Green in the goalmouth and he turned and smashed a shot off the face of the crossbar. Two minutes later a long Jack Dicker throw was thumped over the bar by Luca Martin as Sports tried to increase their lead. Wareham hadn’t really threatened at all up to this stage but a few minutes before half time they nearly equalised with their first shot on goal. Luckily for Westlands keeper Mark Cuff stuck out a leg and blocked the goalbound shot. That save preserved Sports 1-0 half time lead but just emphasised you really must take your chances when they come or you may live to regret those misses.
Although the gap was only one goal at half time Westlands had dominated the first half so the feeling was that if Sports upped their game a bit in the second 45 the points were there for the taking. Jonny Manley didn’t appear for the second half, his back playing up, and he was replaced by Olly Wake.
With Westlands kicking towards the Airfield Tavern in the second half I had a wonderful view of the second goal as I came down the bank with my coffee ! Dan Ewens hit a pass down the left wing for Nick Voss to chase. Nick fired over a low first time cross that JOSH PAYNE met on the run and volleyed into the back of the net. A great early goal for Westlands and the pace of the move had caught the visitor’s flat footed. So, a good start to the second half and with that second goal Sports could now relax a bit and play some football.
Westlands kept the pressure on and although the visitors were working hard and building some decent moves they couldn’t get a final shot in to trouble keeper Mark Cuff. In the 57th minute a Nick Voss pass gave Luca Martin a shooting chance but he pulled his shot wide. A couple of minutes later Luca cut inside a defender to open up another shooting opportunity but he didn’t quite get a clean strike and the Wareham keeper saved. Sports now made their second substitution of the day with Josh Payne replaced by Malik Kamal. Sports now had 4 teenagers on the pitch and those young legs soon brought dividends. In the 63rd minute Jack Dicker made a strong run out of defence and released Nick Voss down the left. Once again Nick whipped in a first time cross and MALIK KAMAL was on the spot to head home. Another goal created by the pace of the move which the Wareham defence just couldn’t cope with. The next chance fell to Wareham when they had a free kick right on the edge of the box in a central position. The ball was chipped over the wall but cleared the crossbar as well. Wareham had another chance in the 75th minute with a shot that went wide but a minute later Westlands scored goal number 4. Jamie Green evaded a couple of tackles in the Wareham half and then passed the ball forward to Malik Kamal who was lurking on the edge of the box. Malik, knowing he was in an off-side position, made no attempt to play the ball, leaving it free for JAMIE GREEN, who was following up, to run into the box, stab the ball past the keeper and slot the ball into the back of the net from an acute angle. The whole move had totally flummoxed the Wareham defence who were left scratching their heads. With 80 minutes on the clock Westlands made it 5-0. Nick Voss was again the provider passing the ball inside to ISAAC STOREY who, from at least 20 yards out, smashed the ball into the back of the net. A great goal and a fitting end to the scoring. Wareham created one last chance to get on the scoresheet just a couple of minutes from the end when a cross to the far post found an unmarked attacker but Mark Cuff in the Westlands goal pulled off a good save to deny them.
In the end, after a frustrating first half, it had been a fairly comfortable win for Sports and considering the heavy conditions, both teams had served up some good football. A special mention for referee Luc Ferguson who had an excellent game.
The Man of the Match award this week is team captain ADAM BARRATT who gave another top all action display in the midfield and got the first goal as well.
Sat 25th Jan, Dorset Premier League: GILLINGHAM 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 4
A dry afternoon at Gillingham but the pitch was very soft and looked as though it would cut up which could have a bearing on the game. Nevertheless, fair play to the Gill groundsman and we were glad to get a game after last week’s postponement. Sports had Olly Wake, Louis Irwin and Tim Trevett missing from the last match against Swanage with Jack Dicker and Steve Ormrod coming straight into the starting line-up. Managers Harry Gibbs and Ben Cochrane were also unavailable so Scott Smith and Tom Beare were in charge for the day.
The home side started well and an early attack saw their player fired a shot wide of the target. Sports first attack saw Josh Payne go down in the Gillingham box but the referee waved away the penalty shouts. Gillingham were on top with Westlands finding it difficult to string any passes together. To be fair neither team was finding it easy in the conditions and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that the first real chance came. A Gillingham player was set up on the edge of the box but he pulled his shot past the far post. Gillingham were still the most lively side and their pressure paid off in the 37th minute with the opening goal. The ball was played in behind the Westlands back line who appeared to hesitate, waiting for an offside flag that wasn’t given. A Gill forward squared the ball across to his team-mate whose shot wasn’t cleanly hit but managed to find its way into the bottom corner of the net. A bit of a messy goal to lose but just reward for Gillingham’s pressure. Westlands only response was a couple of long throws from Jack Dicker which came to nothing and a minute before the break Sports were lucky not to go 2 down. An attack down the Gill right was not defended well and when the cross came over their player smashed a shot off the post. That was a let off and we were happy to hear the half time whistle with only one goal in it.
It had been a poor first half from Westlands who hadn’t had one attempt at goal. The only positive was that we were only one goal down and surely things would improve in the second half.
Westlands made the early running in the second half and in the 46th minute got that quick equaliser they were looking for. Josh Payne made a strong run down the left and cut inside into the Gillingham box. He was then clattered down by a couple of defenders tackles and the referee pointed to the spot. I think it was one of these incidents where the defender does make contact with the ball but takes out the attacker first. Lots of appeals from Gillinghamplayers who tried to put the kicker off but Sport’s JAMIE GREEN bided his time patiently and drilled the ball low into the corner to make it 1-1. Five minutes later a Westlands corner was met on the turn by Jamie Green but his shot went straight into the keeper’s hands. On the hour mark Gillingham fired over a dangerous corner that flew right across goal with no-one able to get a touch. Westlands made their first sub now, Nick Voss replacing Luca Martin. A minute later a Jonny Manley free kick was headed on target by Steve Ormrod but the keeper made a fairly easy save. Still, it was noticeable that Westlands were mounting more attacks this half and seemed to be winning more of the ball in midfield. As a result things got a bit feisty as the home players appealed loudly for a foul for every tackle made on one of their players. In the 70th minute the Westlands team were asleep as Gillingham took a short corner and got in a cross that was headed over the bar. Sports then made their second sub with Isaac Storey replacing Malik Kamal who was getting a bit too involved in that midfield battle. In the 76th minute Gillingham were awarded a penalty when Jonny Manley went up with their player to contest a high ball. Might have been an arm in the back there but it looked a soft one from my vantage point. Anyway the Gill player smashed the kick past Mark Cuff and Westlands were again a goal down at 2-1. The lead didn’t last long, about 2 minutes, before Sports equalised. Adam Barratt swung a beauty of a free kick into the box where JACK DICKER rose above his marker to head powerfully down into the bottom corner. The Gill goalkeeper appeared to let the ball go, thinking perhaps it was going past the post, and his head was in his hands as the ball finished in the back of the net. We were now into the last 10 minutes and with the teams locked together at 2-2 it did cross my mind that perhaps the draw would be an acceptable result for Sports. That idea was soon squashed when Gillingham went in front again in the 85th minute and a good goal it was as their player cut in from the right beat a couple of men and drove a left foot shot into the far top corner. When that goal went in I think most people thought that was game over and some people (who shall be nameless !) actually left the ground. The Westland players however hadn’t thrown in the towel. In the 89th minute a long throw into the Gillingham box was played back out to the thrower JACK DICKER who fired over a high dipping cross to the far post that dropped over the Gillingham keeper and ended up in the back of the net. Possibly not quite what Jack intended but Westlands were back in it at 3-3. The home side were shell shocked by the turnaround in fortunes and unbelievably Sports rubbed salt in their wounds by scoring the winner in injury time. Westlands attacked and won a throw in down the left wing. Knowing a long throw was coming Gillingham pulled most of their team back into the penalty box to defend it. With the Sports defenders going up there was a mass of players crowding the area. Jack Dicker hurled the ball in, Josh Payne had a shot blocked, a defender tried to clear but Jamie Green blocked his kick, the ball finally falling to NICK VOSS at the far post and he blasted it into the net to the great delight of the Westland players and supporters. What a turn up, 4-3 to Westlands who had, to coin a phrase, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. No more excitement, the referee blowing the final whistle to end a truly remarkable match.
Obviously, the home team felt they were robbed as they had most of the play but Westlands can be well satisfied with the win. Sports didn’t play particularly well, especially in the first half, but Gillingham have an excellent home record so to go there and score 4 goals was a positive. Also the spirit shown by the Westlands players was fantastic. They just refused to be beaten and on this occasion reaped the reward.
The Man of the Match award this week is JACK DICKER for an outstanding two goal return to the team. Also, on this occasion, his long throws also proved to be Westlands best attacking ploy.
Sat 11th Jan, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 1 SWANAGE TOWN 0
Sports were back at Alvington this week with three points a must after two disappointing results since Christmas.Sam Plumley, Adam Barratt and Josh Payne all returned to the starting line-up, Tim Trevett returned to the bench and youth team player Isaac Storey was added to the squad for the first time. There was a strong wind blowing up the pitch from the Cartgate end so that would obviously have an effect on the game.
Westlands kicked off with the wind behind them and Adam Barratt tried to use that to his advantage and had a shot straight from the kick-off but the Swanage keeper saved easily. However, positive intentions shown by Sports and they were soon attacking, winning a free kick in the 3rd minute. Louis Irwin put a low ball across the face of the goal and Jonny Manley turned it into the net at the far post but the linesman flagged for offside. Swanage responded with an attack down the left and their winger cut in but hit the ball into the side net from an acute angle. In the 13th minute a nice through ball gave a Swans forward a shooting chance but he hit his shot straight at Westlands keeper Mark Cuff. Next Malik Kamal sent a free kick into the Swanage box and a frantic melee followed with 3 shots blocked by defenders before the keeper clutched the final Louis Irwin effort. Louis had another good attempt a couple of minutes later when a nice Adam Barratt ball picked him out. In the 27th minute Westlands took the lead when Luca Martin was pushed over in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. JAMIE GREEN stepped up and for the 2nd week in a row smashed the ball into the back of the net, 1-0 to Westlands. Two minutes later Sports thought they had doubled their advantage when Louis Irwin thumped a Luca Martin lay off goalwards only for the Swanage keeper to pull off a miraculous one handed save to turn the ball round the post. Then Josh Payne cut in from the right and fired a dipping wind assisted shot towards the far corner only to see the keeper pull off another great save. Swanage then mounted a promising attack but the final shot went just wide of the post. In the 36th minute Adam Barratt blasted a free kick from the edge of the box over the bar and the visitors replied with a corner and a deflected shot.
Half time and a slim 1-0 lead for Westlands but would it be enough ? Certainly Sports were good value for the one goal lead and could maybe have had one or two more in that first half but Swanage now had the strong wind behind them and they had shown enough in the first 45 to suggest they could make things difficult for Westlands in the second period.
Sports opened the second half conservatively and it looked as if the midfield were dropping deeper this half to give a more solid defensive set-up. It took 10 minutes for either side to create a chance and it was Westlands Malik Kamal who got a good shot away that the Swanage keeper saved low down. Swanage were trying to put Westlands under pressure but were finding it hard to play through the Westlands defence and any high balls were being mopped up by the commanding Jonny Manley at the back. Sports always looked dangerous on the break and in the 65th minute Josh Payne had a shot on the run which just whizzed past. Two minutes later the Swanage danger man #7 got a shot on target from distance that Sports keeper Mark Cuff tipped onto the crossbar and then caught the rebound. A minute later, at the other end, Louis Irwin had a shot saved by the Swanage keeper who was having an excellent game in windy conditions.
Then in the 73rd minute came the closest shave of the match for Westlands when a Swanage player headed past the post from right in front of goal. That let-off was followed by the first sub for Westlands with Tim Trevett replacing Luca Martin. In the 75th minute a good turn and shot by Louis Irwin was saved and a couple of minutes later Josh Payne was put through but the ball took a bobble and he sliced his shot wide.
Thevisitors were unable to create any pressure on the Sports defence and it was the Westland attacks that were looking more dangerous. With 10 minutes left Isaac Storey was introduced for Westlands in place of Josh Payne and a minute later he set up Malik Kamal with a nice pass but Malik’s final shot went wide. Sports were happy now to settle for what they had and play out time. Louis Irwin was taken off and replaced by Nick Voss with minutes left. The Westland players were guilty at this point of diving into tackles and giving away silly free kicks in their own half. As we moved into injury time it was another free kick in a dangerous position that gave Swanage one last chance to get on the scoresheet but the kick was put over the crossbar. The last few minutes were spent with Westlands holding on to the ball down at the corner flags to see out time. Not a tactic I like watching but in this case very effective in running down the clock.
Although the conditions had made things difficult for the players, both sides had played well and made it a good game to watch. I thought Westlands were more in control of the game and always looked the more likely team to score although Swanage had their chances and will probably feel they deserved a share of the points.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to JON MANLEY who was back to his best, winning every high ball and making some excellent ball winning tackles.
Sat 4th Jan, Dorset Premier League: PORTLAND UTD RES 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
After a disappointing draw last week Westlands were keen to get back to winning ways at Portland and maintain their title challenge. Skipper Adam Barratt was missing through illness and with Tim Trevett unavailable and Josh Payne only fit for the bench, Ollie Wake returned after a long absence and Jamie Green started with Louis Irwin who was available for us this week.
The pitch was in immaculate condition for this time of year but as expected a chill wind was blowing across the ground.Thebig pitch was perfect for pass and move football but for the first 15 minutes or so Westlands kept giving the ball away to the opposition who visibly gained in confidence as more attempted long passes went astray. After 16 minutes Sports did put together a good move down the right wing. Louis Irwin played the ball inside to Steve Flynn who helped it on to Luca Martin who swivelled and thumped the ball into the roof of the net. Unfortunately the linesman’s flag was up for offside which must have been close. In the 25th minute a Westlands corner was only half cleared to Steve Flynn whose first time shot flew well over the bar. Five minutes later Luca Martin drove into the box and was taken down by a tackle from behind. Looked a certain penalty but the referee inexplicably waved play on to the fury of the Westlands contingent. Portland had mounted a few quick breaks but hadn’t really troubled the Westlands defence too much. Although the match was a bit scrappy Westlands looked the more likely side to score and a strong driving run from Steve Flynn in the 38th minute gave him a shooting chance but he put his effort over the bar. Then just before half time a good cross from Nick Voss was booted off his own post by a defender and scrambled clear. Half time 0-0.
Not a great first half performance from Westlands but they were a bit unlucky not to be ahead with 3 major incidents going against them. First the offside “goal”, then the penalty not given and finally the ball crashing off the Portland post. On another day we could have been one or two up so hopefully if we got our game going in the second half we could win this one.
Westlands opened the second half on top and created the first chance when Louis Irwin squared the ball to Malik Kamal and he stung the keeper’s fingers with a good shot. Josh Payne was then brought on for Sports, replacing Nick Voss but almost immediately Portland opened the scoring. A high ball was lumped up into Westlands half, both central defenders failed to clear and the ball was picked up by a Portland player who easily turned inside a Westlands defender onto his right foot and drilled the ball low into the net. That was a very poor goal to lose and Sports tried to respond immediately when Luca Martin turned and shot just past the post. Another change in the 60thminute for Westlands, Jonny Manley being replaced by Will Ireland. A free kick for Westlands was met by the head of Josh Payne but the keeper saved fairly comfortably. Westlands were pressing hard now and Luca Martin had another shot turned round the post for a corner. In the 69th minute Sports at last got a bit of luck when a penalty was given when Josh Payne was felled in the box. The Portland player protested he had played the ball first which was probably true but the tackle was dangerous and out of control so the decision was penalty. JAMIE GREEN stepped up and planted the kick in the corner to put Westlands level. The pressure was on the home side now and a goal bound Louis Irwin header was cleared off the line to keep the score level. But in the 81st minute the pressure told as Westlands went ahead for the first time. A free kick from the left was played in to MALIK KAMAK on the edge of the box and he thumped in a shot that took a deflection and ended in the corner of the net. With 5 minutes left and Westlands looking comfortable, disaster struck. It was self inflicted as another punt upfield was somehow missed by several Sports defenders and a Portland player was left to run through and score and make it 2-2.. With 5 minutes left that was a terrible goal to lose but there was still time to get a winner so Westlands pushed forward and were then punished in the very last minute. A driven diagonal pass from left to right caught the Sports defence flatfooted and a Portland forward raced onto the pass unmarked and smashed the ball into the net for the winner. What a disaster that was and a few minutes later the referee blew for time up to the great delight of the home team.
And who could blame them, from being 2-1 down with 5 minutes to go they had turned it round with 2 late goals to win the game.
A poor result for Sports but unfortunately we’ve been through this scenario before where we don’t manage the game out after taking the lead.
The Man of the Match award this week went to STEVE FLYNN who was strong in the midfield for Sports.
Saturday 28th December, Dorset Premier League: BALTI SPORTS 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
After another 3 week weather induced break we returned to action on a heavy but perfectly playable pitch at Weymouth College. Westlands were suffering a post Christmas hangover with some players not looking best prepared for what we knew would be a tough match against a Balti side who were unbeaten at home this season. Three changes were made from the previous game, Nick Voss replaced the unavailable Gary Bowles, Steve Flynn replaced an ill Jamie Green, who took a place on the bench, and Luca Martin returned from injury to replace Lewis Morgan who has had surgery on his ankle and will be out for at least 6 weeks.
In the heavy conditions both teams tried a long ball over the top in the early stages to test out the opposition defence and in the 4th minute Adam Barratt played a lovely diagonal ball over the top to Nick Voss who unfortunately had strayed offside. Westlands forced a couple of corners which came to nothing and Sports next attempt was not until the 12th minute when a Tim Trevett ball into the box ran all the way through to the keeper with the Westland players flat footed. Then Balti had a shot that went well over and this was followed by another Westlands corner that came to nothing. In the 22nd minute a Balti player hit a low shot that was well held by Sports keeper Mark Cuff. A minute later a good run down the left wing by Josh Payne saw his cross deflected to Lewis Howchin and his shot at goal was deflected for a corner. The kick was cleared for a second corner when finally Sports got a shot away which looked to be cleared off the line in a bit of a melee. The next decent chance for Westlands came with a free kick on the edge of the box. Dan Ewens tried a curler with his left foot but put it just wide of the top corner. Balti had a shot that went well wide before the half time whistle brought the half to an end.
Westlands had been on top for most of the half with Adam Barratt, Steve Flynn and Malik Kamal getting a grip of the midfield but we had been unable to create any decent scoring chances. Although Sports had at least 6 corners in the first half the deliveries had been poor and the Balti defence had always looked fairly comfortable. At the other end the home side had produced some neat build up play but the Westlands defence had never been put under pressure with Jonny Manley looking imperious at the back. Even at this stage it looked as if one goal could win this match as goalscoring chances had been at a premium.
Westlands opened the second half with another corner that the home defence dealt with fairly easily, Then the first sub for Westlands with Nick Voss limping off to be replaced by Phil Wells with Dan Ewens pushing forward to the wide midfield position. In the 61st minute a Jonny Manley header from a free kick was tipped around the post by the Balti keeper for another corner. Balti replied with a free kick that was headed wide. The heavy pitch was beginning to take its toll now and both sides were finding more space to mount attacks. In the 73rd minute an Adam Barratt pass split the Balti defence and Josh Payne ran through on goal. As the keeper came out Josh stabbed the ball past him but it was a weak effort and a defender was able to get back and clear. The ball was actually going wide anyway so a good chance missed there. A few minutes later another break by Josh Payne looked promising but he put his shot into the side net. A second Westlands sub followed with Will Ireland replacing Dan Ewens. In the 79th minute came a real let-off for Westlands when a neat header from a Balti sub came off the inside of the post and rebounded up into keeper Mark Cuff’s arms ! Immediately Westlands broke and caught the Balti defence napping. Malik Kamal burst through down the left and as the keeper came out he squared the ball to Luca Martin who tapped it into the empty net. Unfortunately Westlands celebrations were quickly cut short by the linesman’s flag for offside. Balti then had a go to grab the winner with a shot tht flew just past the post and a free kick that Mark Cuff saved. With 5 minutes left Jamie Green was brought on at the expense of Luca Martin but he was unable to make any impression and the game ended with Malik Kamal being yellow carded for a wild challenge.
In the end I think a draw was a fair result as both teams had chances near the end to win the game but neither side really had the quality on the day to create good goalscoring chances. The heavy pitch was testing but both sides managed to play some good stuff and really it was quite an entertaining game for a 0-0 draw. Obviously from Westlands point of view its two points dropped that we will perhaps regret later in the season.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to goalkeeper MARK CUFF for his second clean sheet in a row. Both of these were achieved on soft greasy pitches and some of his handling was excellent on the ground.
A very pleasant afternoon at Alvington Lane and with the pitch looking in good nick we looked forward to a good game. New signing Gary Bowles was given a starting slot on the right of midfield and Josh Payne returned on the left after a 3 match suspension.
Westlands made the first forward move a deep Dan Ewens cross was played back across the goal to Lewis Morgan whose shot gave the Corfe keeper some early action. The visitors replied with a quick break but the final shot was easily saved by Sports keeper Mark Cuff. Westlands were having the bulk of possession but Corfe Castle looked fast on the break so the game was nicely poised. In the 16th minute a slack pass by Westlands gave away possession but luckily the attacker’s shot flew over the bar. A few minutes later Gary Bowles cut in from the right and fired a shot just past the far post. The next chance came in the 28th minute, a good weaving run from Lewis Howchin set up Jamie Green but again the final shot went wide of the post.
Eventually, after half an hour a deep inswinging corner from Lewis Morgan was headed back across goal by Gary Bowles to JAMIE GREEN who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from 6 yards out. A well worked goal and probably deserved on the balance of play. Westlands continued to press and centre half Jonny Manley almost got on the scoresheet, prodding a corner goalwards only to see it cleared off the line. After 39 minutes a Lewis Morgan free kick was heading for the top corner before being brilliantly tipped over the bar by the Corfe keeper. Corfe were committing several fouls now to keep Sports at bay and another Lewis Morgan free kick was headed just over the bar by Jamie Green. Finally, in the dying minutes of the half, Sports hit the visitors with a double strike that virtually killed the game off. First, in 43 minutes, JAMIE GREEN was teed up by Lewis Morgan 20 yards out and he fired a shot low and hard into the bottom corner to make it 2-0. Then, a minute later, a great move down Westlands right wing ended with a low cross fizzed across the box and ADAM BARTLETT was on the spot to sidefoot the ball in from close range.
That goal gave Westlands a 3-0 half time lead and gave Corfe Castle a tough task for the second half. Sports had been on top for most of the half but a three goal lead was perhaps a bit flattering.
Corfe Castle had shown they had some real pace breaking forward so Westlands would need to keep their concentration in the second 45.
Gary Bowles didn’t appear for the second half as he was struggling with a back problem he sustained in the warm-up apparently ! Nick Voss came on and took up the wide left position for Westlands with Josh Payne switching to the right.
The visitor’s had the first attempt in the second half with a low shot from long distance that Mark Cuff smothered down by the post. The in the 56th minute Corfe’s #15, who was very fast and direct, had a run and shot that once again was well saved by Mark Cuff. Westlands then made their second substitution with Will Ireland coming on to shore up the midfield in place of an out of sorts Malik Kamal. Sports next attack was started with a lovely pass from Adam Barratt that sent Josh Payne scampering down the right to the byeline where he delivered a low cross that Nick Voss fired just over the bar. A great move that deserved a better finish. Then Nick Voss delivered a low cross that Lewis Morgan blasted over the bar on the stretch. Westlands were totally dominant now and Phil Wells came on to replace Josh Payne who was running out of steam, Nick Voss switching to the right. In the 85th minute a Phil Wells cross gave Lewis Morgan a shooting chance but he hooked his shot wide of the far post. Next a good ball over the top from Will Ireland put Nick Voss through but he was denied by a fantastic double save from the Corfe keeper who followed that up with a fantastic save at full stretch to parry a Jamie Green shot. The final goalmouth action of the match saw the Corfe #15 race through and bring another good save from Sports keeper Mark Cuff. In the end the game drifted to a close with both sides getting a bit frustrated and some petty arguments breaking out.
In the end it was a fairly comfortable win for Westlands due to that two goal salvo just before half time. However our failure to add to the score in the second half left everyone a bit deflated.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to JAMIE GREEN for another powerful midfield performance. And a couple of good goals as well, not bad for a defensive midfielder !
Saturday 30th Nov, Dorset Premier League Cup, 1st Rnd: WAREHAM RANGERS 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
A nice dry day for a change but a biting cold wind made it rather chilly in the Purbecks for the spectators of whom there weren’t many. In the starting line up today youth team product Dan Ewens was introduced for his first team debut and Will Ireland came in at centre half with Tim Trevett moving up front. After a three week lay-off Westlands didn’t look at all rusty as they dominated the play in the opening minutes, pinning our hosts back in their own half. A lovely crossfield pass in the 9th minute picked out Dan Ewens out on the left, he fed the ball on to Tim Trevett whose inviting cross was just missed by the head of a diving Lewis Morgan. A good sweeping move by Westlands that had the home team stretched. As Sports kept up the pressure, a nice through ball from Malik Kamal gave Lewis Morgan a chance but his shot went straight at the keeper. Then, in the 22nd minute, the pressure paid off with the opening goal, which was a bit of a gift in the end. The Wareham keeper slipped and completely duffed his clearance from a pass back and the ball fell to Westlands TIM TREVETT who dribbled round the goalie and walked the ball into the net. An early Christmas present for Sports but they did deserve it having dominated the play since kick off.
A couple of minutes later Malik Kamal burst through the Wareham defence and drove a shot just wide of the post. Wareham were trying hard to get back into the game and a bit of indecision in the Westlands defence gave them a chance but the ball was blocked for a corner. From the kick a Wareham attacker had a good strike and the ball flew just past the post. On the half hour mark Adam Barratt played a perfect through ball for Nick Voss but he dragged his shot just wide of the far post.
Then Wareham had a low shot that Westland keeper Mark Cuff saved and Sports replied with a Jamie Green shot that flew wide. However as the half drew to a close it was Westlands who were piling on the pressure and one huge melee in the Wareham goalmouth was cleared after their keeper had blocked a full blooded shot with his face. Half time, a deserved 1-0 to Sports.
On reflection at half time it had been a fairly comfortable 45 minutes for Westlands, and although the pitch was very bumpy and cut up, they had manage to play some decent football. The downside was the fact there was only one goal in it and so we had to be ready for a battle in the second half, it was a cup tie after all and it was still wide open yet.
Jonny Manley, who had a hamstring problem, didn’t appear for the second half and he was replaced by Steve Flynn who took up a position in midfield with Jamie Green dropping back into defence. As expected, the home team, fired up by the half time pep talk, tried to push forward in the opening minutes of the second half but they couldn’t make any impression on a miserly Westlands defence. After 10 minutes Sports began to make chances again and a good cross from Dan Ewens was headed wide by Lewis Morgan who was proving a handful for the Wareham defenders. In the 60th minute some good play from Malik Kamal ended with a shot just wide of the far post. The hour mark was also the time for Westlands second substitution of the day with 16 year old Morley Gold coming on for his debut at the expense of Nick Voss. Westlands were pushing hard for that second goal and finally, in the 61st minute, came the goal they wanted. Jamie Green was the provider, shrugging off several tackles in the midfield before lofting a pass over the top to LEWIS MORGAN who thumped a dipping shot over the advancing keeper into the far corner of the net. That gave Sports a bit of breathing space and five minutes later they made sure with the third goal. Will Ireland put a free kick into the edge of the box, Steve Flynn rose highest to head the ball on to LEWIS MORGAN who drilled his shot into the far corner. That was the tie sewn up really and although Wareham tried their best to get one back they couldn’t really create any openings. Westlands final substitution came in the 78th minute with Phil Wells replacing Tim Trevett. Wareham then had their best chance of the half with a free kick from the edge of the box that Mark Cuff saved well. In the dying minutes Westlands almost extended their lead further. A Morley Gold pass was fired towards goal by Lewis Morgan but blocked for a corner. A good delivery into the box was then headed over the bar by Steve Flynn. That wrapped things up with the final score 3-0 to Westlands who will now be away to Blandford Utd in the net round.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to skipper ADAM BARRATT who was excellent in midfield, winning tackles and driving his team on with runs and passes for the full 90 minutes.
Saturday 9th November, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 9 STURMINSTER NEWTON 2
Torrential rain in the morning meant the pitch was sodden but thankfully it passed a pre-match inspection by the officials so it was game on. With central defenders Ollie Wake and Jack Dicker unavailable for the foreseeable future Westlands had Tim Trevett playing in an unaccustomed position at the back. Westlands hadn’t played for 5 weeks so we were keen to get back in action but hopefully not too rusty from lack of match practise.
Sturminster mounted the first attack with a long pass down the left where their winger cut inside and had a shot on target saved by Mark Cuff. In the 9th minute Westlands responded with a long ball by Adam Barratt to Luca Martin who held it up well before slipping a nice through pass to LEWIS MORGAN who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle. A couple of minutes later Sturminster were awarded a free kick for n accidental handball about 25 yards out. Their player drilled a shot on target which Sports keeper Mark Cuff did well to palm away to safety. Next Luca Martin dribbled into the visitor’s box and released Lewis Morgan but his shot was wide of the target. After 15 minutes a good run from deep by a Stur player saw him avoid two Westland players who dived in and unleash a thumping shot over the top. Sturminster had created a few chances but a minute after that effort a soft goal for Sports took the wind out their sails. The ball was picked up by JAMIE GREEN on the edge of the box and he made it 2-0 with a low drive that skidded off the wet turf and squirmed under the Sturminster keeper’s body. The visitor’s tried to fight back but another free kick in Sports half was fired over the bar. After 21 minutes a pinpoint cross into the Sturminster goalmouth by Nick Voss was headed in at the far post by JAMIE GREEN to make it 3-0 and things were looking grim for the visitors. The next chance again fell to Westlands when Lewis Morgan pounced on a poor clearance by the keeper but he shot over the top. Then some slack defending by he Westlands rearguard allowed a Sturminster player to run in and fie off a shot that Mark Cuff saved well. A minute later the ball bounced up and struck a Westland defenders arm and under the new rules the referee immediately pointed to the spot. The penalty was despatched neatly into the bottom corner to make the score 3-1 and give Stur a glimmer of hope. That hope only lasted 5 minutes as Westlands responded with a free kick put over from the right which LUCA MARTIN glanced into the corner. That made it 4-1 and the 3 goal lead allowed Westlands to relax a bit. Jamie Green was chasing his hat-trick and tried his luck from 25 yards but his shot drifted just wide of the target. Then Mark Cuff was called into action when he punched away a free kick and then dived to save the follow up. Just as the half ended Luca Martin went down in pain with what looked like a hamstring injury and he had to be helped off which was a bit of a worry.
That was the last action of the half and it had been a good half for Westlands, building up what looked an unassailable 4-1 lead. Sturminster however had shown some good attacking moves and Mark Cuff, the Sports keeper, had made some smart saves in the first 45 minutes. No room then for complacency in the second half. Of more concern was the dark cloud approaching Alvington from the west, any more rain and this game would be called off so fingers crossed.
Sam Plumley was the replacement for Luca Martin at half time with Lewis Howchin moving forward to a more attacking role down the right. Five minutes into the second half JAMIE GREEN completed his hat-trick with a low drive from 20 yards out making it 5-1 to Westlands. That looked like game over but Sturminster hit back six minutes later when their forward chased a through pass, got a ricochet off Westlands keeper Mark Cuff, and walked the ball into the empty net to make it 5-2. Westlands went back on the attack and a neat Nick Voss pass set Malik Kamal up with a chance but his shot was well blocked by the keeper. A superb Tim Trevett tackle thwarted the next Stur attack and in the 68th minute Sports increased their lead to 6-2. LEWIS MORGAN picked up Lewis Howchin’s cross and thumped the ball into the net. That made it 6-2 and immediately the manager made the second substitution of the day, Will Ireland replacing Malik Kamal who had had a quiet afternoon. Four minutes later came goal number 7 when LEWIS MORGAN completed his hat-trick when he headed in Nick Voss’s cross at the near post. That goal signalled the third substitution with Aaron Sweet replacing Lewis Morgan. In the 83rd minute NICK VOSS then got himself on the scoresheet with a low shot from Aaron Sweet’s lofted pass to notch the eighth goal. Finally, in the 85th minute Tim Trevett made a strong run out of defence and squared the ball to WILL IRELAND who finished with aplomb curling the ball into the top corner. That finished the scoring at 9-2 and although it sounds like one way traffic, Sturminster had their moments and Mark Cuff in the Westlands goal made several good saves.
It would be unfair to pick one of the hat-trick heroes and leave the other out so the Man of the Match this week goes to TIM TREVETT who played in an unfamiliar position at centre half but once he settled in looked very accomplished.
After a heavy defeat in the previous match we were hoping for a good response from the team in this cup tie. There were 3 changes to the line-up with Lewis Howchin, Tim Trevett and Jacob Manley replacing Sam Plumley, Luca Martin and Josh Payne who is suspended. The weather was fine and the pitch softish due to some recent rain.
Both teams started a bit tentatively and it was 5 minutes before we had a shot at goal, a Malik Kamal effort that flew just past the far post. A minute later Westlands recent habit of gifting the opposition goals struck again. Ollie Wake tried to pass the ball back to goalkeeper Mark Cuff who came running out and, as they both hesitated, the Westfield #9 nicked the ball, rounded the keeper and walked it into the net ! Six minutes gone and one nil down, not the start you want in a cup tie. Westlands tried to respond but a long Jack Dicker throw into the box was allowed to bounce twice before cleared away by the opposition. In the 13th minute Sports gave away the ball deep in their own half and the subsequent low cross was just scrambled away for a corner. The kick was then cleared for a second corner that was put over the bar. All that pressure stemmed from giving the ball away and nearly proved costly. An early substitution was then made by Westlands with Ollie Wake, who was suffering from a migraine, being replaced by Lewis Morgan who was making his season debut. Westlands were looking lethargic and the hard working Westfield side were taking advantage. In the 19th minute their lad hit a screamer from about 30 yards that Mark Cuff tipped onto the bar. Then they had a header that went just past the post which was followed by a yellow card for Malik Kamal as Sports frustration began to show. Another Jack Dicker long throw gave Westlands a chance with Tim Trevett’s back header volleyed over by Lewis Morgan. Mark Cuff in the Westland’s goal was again called into action, turning a good shot round the post and then a couple of minutes later clutching a shot to his chest. Another yellow then followed for Westlands as Adam Barratt got his name in the book for an over zealous tackle. Then, with just a minute to go the visitor’s got their second goal. A low cross from the left came right across the face of the goal and was tapped in at the far post by an unmarked attacker. A soft goal that left the Westlands defenders all looking at one another. There was just time before the half time whistle for Lewis Morgan to turn his man neatly and drive a shot past the post.
On the evidence of the first half performance, and with a two goal deficit, it looked like there was no way back for Westlands in this match. However there have been several occasions this year where we have been behind at half time and went on to win the match so there was still some hope. It was noticeable Sports had quickly retreated to the changing rooms at the break so perhaps the management could put some enthusiasm into the team for the second half.
Westlands second substitution was made at the break with Luca Martin replacing Jacob Manley.
As the team settled into the game Westlands looked a bit more purposeful and some good build up play between Luca Martin and Malik Kamal down the right led to Luca putting a shot just wide of the far post. Sports had come out fighting and were dominating the game now. In the 54th minute Tim Trevett played the ball in to Luca Martin and he just failed to lift the ball over the keeper from close range. A couple of minutes later Lewis Morgan slid the ball wide to Tim Trevett whose shot cannoned off the near post and bounced to safety. On the hour mark Westlands had their last throw off the dice with the third and final substitution, Nick Voss replacing Phil Wells. With a defender going off and another forward coming on Westlands showed their intent. And a minute later it paid off when we forced a corner on the right. When the ball came over JONNY MANLEY had a shot that hit a defender and looped over the keeper’s head into the back of the net. Game on now with Sports back in it at 2-1. Westlands were piling forward and Lewis Morgan fired a shot just past the far post. In the 62nd minute Alvington erupted when Tim Trevett put over a cross from the left and LEWIS MORGAN swept the ball into the net. 2-2, what a turn around and there was more to come ! in the 64th minute a corner came over from the left and fell to MALIK KAMAL in the crowded box and he smashed it into the net to give Sports the lead, 3-2 ! A minute later, with the Westfield players shell shocked, Lewis Morgan slid the ball through to NICK VOSS who drilled the ball into the net to make it 4-2. A devastating burst of 4 goals in 5 minutes had surely put the game out of sight for the visitor’s but they managed to steady and stop the flow of goals, although still on the defensive. Luca Martin fired in a good shot in the 70th minute that the Westfield keeper just got up to tip over the bar, but there was no stopping Westlands 5th goal which came after 75 minutes. LEWIS MORGAN picked the ball up 25 yards out and rifled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. A great effort and definitely the goal of the game. Sports were buzzing now and Lewis Morgan put Luca Martin through but his shot went wide of the far post. With six minutes remaining a Westfield player tried his luck from about 20 yards and the ball went under Westland keeper Mark Cuff’s body and ended in the back of the net. Another gift goal for he opposition to make it 5-3 but Westlands responded with Nick Voss setting up Jamie Green with an open goal but he missed the target with his little chip over the keeper. Westlands were reduced to 10 men for the last few minutes of the game when Jamie Green came off with a knock and all three subs had been used. This allowed Westfield to have a good finishing spell which started with a good through ball that put their player clear but he missed the target with his shot. Then a Westfield corner was punched into the net by one of their players and luckily it was spotted by the referee.The final action came in the 94th minute when a Westfield defender was red carded for kicking out at a Westlands player.
The match had seen a wonderful fight back by Sports in the second half but the elation is tempered slightly by our poor first half display and the fact that we conceded three goals two of which were gifts ! Great credit though to the players for their performance in getting us through a tricky tie and credit also to the management who had several changes to make during the game and got them all right.
The Man of the Match this week goes to LEWIS MORGAN who came on after 20 minutes and, once he got going, showed his class with 2 goals and a couple of assists.
An important game but not the best preparation having been told the game was off due to the rep game and then being told it was back on again. As it was the lads rallied round and there were only three absentees on the day, Steve Flynn, Will Ireland and Tim Trevett.
Drama on the way down with a flat tyre on the minibus causing a lengthy delay. All sorted out in the end by our jack-of-all-trades Ben Cochrane who changed the wheel (after the spare wheel and toolkit were eventually located). Our thanks also to Dorset Constabulary who controlled the traffic on a dangerous stretch of road. We arrived about 1.40 and asked for a 15 minute delay to kick off which the referee reluctantly agreed to.
Hamworthy took control from the kick off and soon had Sports pinned in their own half. But there were few chances created and after 10 minutes Westlands began to find their feet and put together some attacking moves. A long throw by Jack Dicker was head flicked on by Jon Manley and the final shot was blocked for a corner. Westlands next attack started with a low cross from Josh Payne that was just cleared for another corner. Jonny Manley got his head to the kick but headed just wide of the target. With just over 15 minutes gone Westlands had made a decent start to the game. The last thing we had wanted to do was concede an early goal and although Hamworthy had most of the possession it was Sports who had looked more likely to score. Unfortunately in the 19th minute we did concede. With the ball out on Westlands right back position near the touchline the referee blew up for a free kick on the edge of the penalty box. Obviously something had happened off the ball but nobody I spoke to had seen anything. Anyway a Hamworthy player took the kick and curled a beauty over the wall into the top corner. What a goal that was and Sports needed to dig in for a bit now. A couple of minutes later Ollie Wake put a free kick deep into the Hamworthy box. Jonny Manley headed the ball back across goal where it was cleared for a corner. But Westlands were under pressure and Jack Dicker blundered by gifting the ball to a Hamworthy player but his shot was deflected for a corner which was cleared. In the 25th minute disaster struck for Westlands with the second goal for the home side. A Hamworthy player tried his luck with a shot from about 20 yards which was a bit of a trundler but slipped under Westland's keeper Mark Cuff’s body as he dived. What a blow that was and you began to sense now it was not going to be Westlands day. Sports were rocking a bit and a good cross into the penalty area was sliced over his own bar by Jonny Manley. Then in the 34th minute Jack Dicker showed his lack of composure by getting himself sin-binned for 10 minutes for dissent to the referee. Jamie Green was also booked as Westlands battled with ten men to stay in the game. Around the 40 minute mark we did mount an attack and a Josh Payne shot went well over the bar and then a Malik Kamal shot was tipped round the post for a corner. The kick was scrambled away for a second corner but this was a poor one and was cleared. Just before the break Mark Cuff made a good save, pushing the ball round the post for a corner. Sports managed to clear that danger and the referee blew for half time.
What a half it had been. Hamworthy had dominated, playing some good possession football but they hadn’t really been peppering our goal. The first goal was a cracking free kick but for the second we had shot ourselves in the foot again by giving away an important goal. However, Westlands had a couple of good moments in the half so although Sports had a mountain to climb at 2-0 down there was still hope as Hamworthy were not out of site and we have been a second half team this season.
The half started brilliantly for Westlands, or so we thought ! Josh Payne was put through in the 46th minute and smashed the ball into the back of the net only to see the linesman’s flag go up and the goal ruled out for offside ! Looked an iffy decision from my angle and the lino admitted it was “very close” so definitely nothing going Westlands way today. Three minutes later Josh was running with the ball when he was fouled by an opposition player. This caused him to stumble and have a heavy touch and in an effort to regain possession Josh lunged into a tackle with an opposition player and caught him on the shin. This caused a violent reaction from some of the Hamworthy players who charged in to seek retribution. The commotion was eventually calmed down but the fracas had helped make up the referee’s mind and he showed Josh a straight red card. The game was re-started with the free kick given to Westlands for the first foul ! As Westlands recovered from this latest blow Hamworthy finished a good move with a shot over the bar and Sports keeper Mark Cuff tipped a shot over the top for a corner. In the 64th minute Malik Kamal was put through for Westlands and as he ran into the box he was brought down from behind by a Hamworthy defender. Another straight red card from the referee for denying a clear goalscoring chance and I think everyone knew it was coming. The free kick was given about half a yard outside the 18 yard line. The referee then lined up the Hamworthy wall 1 yard beyond the penalty spot so as the spot is 12 yards out it didn’t take much working out to see the wall was 7½ yards from the kick at most. With the wall that close it was almost impossible to get the ball up and down so Olly Wake tried to blast it low through the legs but the shot was blocked. Back to 10 players apiece gave Westlands some hope and they began to turn up the heat. A Malik Kamal cross to Luca Martin just wouldn’t sit down and his attempted lob was saved by the keeper. Then Luca was clearly dragged down in the box by a Hamworthy defender but the referee waved away all appeals. It looked like there were no breaks coming Westlands way so two subs were introduced with 15 minutes left, Lewis Howchin replaced Sam Plumley and Nick Voss replaced Luca Martin. Mark Cuff then saved a Hamworthy shot before in the 80th minute Nick Voss had a shot blocked and Malik Kamal’s shot from the rebound was saved by the keeper. In the 83rd minute, with Westlands pushing more and more men forward, they got caught on the break. A long ball put a Hamworthy forward scampering through, and as Mark Cuff came out the player took the ball past him and squeezed his shot in from an acute angle. That was that, game over, and as Westlands continued to push men up they were punished by two simple goals for Hamworthy in the 89th and 91st minutes. That made the final 5-0 score a bit of a drubbing for Westlands and although Hamworthy had been the better side and deserved their victory, you just had the feeling that Westlands hadn’t had the rub of the green in some occasions. We hadn’t been able to match the home teams slick passing game but we didn’t help ourselves at times by giving away possession. Perhaps a step too far for Sports at this time of the season.
The Man of the Match on this occasion goes to BEN COCHRANE for his mechanical skills in the middle of the busy A37 !
Saturday 14th September, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 6 BRIDPORT RES 2
Westlands lined up with two defenders Ollie Wake and Jack Dicker, missing from last week’s line up. Steve Flynn and Will Ireland were given starting spots and the team was shuffled about to accommodate the two missing defenders. Tim Trevett, Sports new signing from Gillingham, was on the bench so we looked forward to seeing him make his debut at some point.
It was the best possible start for Westlands with an opening goal in the 3rd minute ! A Bridport pass back to the keeper was chased in by Malik Kamal and, under pressure, the goalie miscontrolled the ball and Malik fed it back to LUCA MARTIN who despatched it into the top corner of the net. A quick start from the home team, perhaps too quick as they now appeared to drop off the pace allowing Bridport to settle and come into the game. It was an even game now with Sports best chance of increasing their lead coming in the 15th minute when Josh Payne was put through but his shot was blocked. In he 32nd minute the visitor’s equalised. A long ball into the box seemed to be well covered by the Westlands defence who had three men on the spot against Bridports two. However the header was won by the Bridport #9 and the second ball was picked up by their #7 who had a touch and drilled the ball into the back of the net. Some poor defending there but the loss of the goal seemed to spark Sports back into life and five minutes later a Malik Kamal cut back was driven in by Will Ireland but his shot was cleared off the line by a defender. In the 39th minute Sports took the lead for the second time. A free kick to Westlands in their own half was taken quickly by Adam Barratt with a long pass over the Bridport defence to JOSH PAYNE who ran through and coolly slipped the ball past the keeper into the far corner. Once again having taken the lead Westlands appeared to switch off and Bridport came back strongly. Mark Cuff, the Westlands keeper, tipped a header from a corner over the bar but in the 44th minute Bridport hit back for the second time. A shot for goal was covered by Mark Cuff but he couldn’t hold the shot and the Bridport centre forward thumped in the rebound.
So, a disappointing first half for Westlands with the honours shared at 2-2. We had seemed a bit off the pace at times and the re-shuffled defence was not looking comfortable at all. However, we have high expectations of the team and I suppose they can’t be at their best all the time. No doubt the manager’s pep talk would sort things out for the second half.
As the team lined up for the second half there was one substitution, Tim Trevett for Will Ireland, and a completely new shape to the team. There was also some intent in Westlands play as the second half opened and Tim Trevett was quickly involved, making a great leap to head a Lewis Howchin cross which was deflected just past the post. Then Malik Kamal’s corner was was met by Josh Payne but his shot was saved. In the 50th minute Westlands took the lead for the third time ! Malik Kamal cut down the right and put over a good cross into a crowded box. Luca Martin got a shot away but that was blocked and as the ball rebounded into the air, once again TIM TREVETT leapt highest to plant a header into the back of the net. This time, having taken the lead again, Sports were more focussed and kept the pressure on. Josh Payne was causing the Bridport defence some problems and in the 57th minute he raced through and smashed a shot just over the bar. After 65 minutes skipper ADAM BARRETT was put clear by a nice through pass and he finished in style with a curling left foot shot into the far corner. Now with a two goal lead established for Westlands things were looking a bit bleak for Bridport but they still had their moments and in the 70th minute they had a free kick that was curled just past the goal. Back at the other end Tim Trevett headed the ball through to Josh Payne but the Bridport keeper got down well to save his shot. The first Westlands substitution was made after 75 minutes with Nick Voss replacing Luca Martin. Westlands keeper Mark Cuff then made a good save as Bridport had a good break. As we moved into the last 10 minutes Josh Payne laid the ball across the face of the goal to Nick Voss but somehow the keeper blocked his shot from point blank range. It had been coming and in the 85th minute Westlands increased their lead to 5-2. A Nick Voss shot hit the post and the ball fell to PHIL WELLS who smashed it into the far corner. A good goal that one with good build up play leading to Nick’s shot. Another substitution by Westlands now with Jacob Manley replacing Malik Kamal. In the 88th minute Josh Payne again set up Nick Voss who had two shots blocked before the ball was eventually cleared. Finally, in the last minute, Josh Payne slipped a nice pass through to JACOB MANLEY who ran on and slammed it past the keeper from 15 yards. A great way to end the match and the final score now a resounding 6-2 to Westlands.
A good result in the end and a very good second half which we won 4-0.
Some decent performances but the Man of the Match goes to TOM BEARE who ran the line in the absence of a third official and did an excellent job. Good team spirit shown there by the coach.
Another nice Saturday afternoon in Yeovil and a Somerset Senior Cup 1st round tie against an unknown quantity who play in the Somerset County League Div.2. They had started their league campaign in style winning their first three games so we had to give them due respect. Sports made only one change from last week with Luca Martin starting in place of Louis Irwin.
Westlands took control of the ball straight away and soon had the visitors pinned in their own half. Lewis Howchin had the first try at goal with a shot on the drop that the Welton keeper saved. Then Josh Payne cut in from the right but he miscued his shot and put the ball wide. Even at this early stage it looked as if a goal was coming so it was no surprise really when Westlands opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Malik Kamal put over a low corner and JOSH PAYNE met it on the run to side foot the ball into the net. Five minutes later the Welton keeper duffed his clearance and presented the ball to Luca Martin who chipped the keeper but the ball slid just past the post. That should have been two but the second goal was not long in coming. Jack Dicker headed the ball into the penalty box and JOSH PAYNE swivelled and thumped it into the net. Things were looking bad for the visitors now with Westlands still dominating possession. In the 23rd minute Malik Kamal had a pot shot from outside the box but put it past the far post. In the 30th minute Westlands had a free kick which Malik blazed wildly over the bar but two minutes later he made amends with Sports third goal. A good move down the left saw the ball moved quickly from Luca Martin to Phil Wells and through to MALIK KAMAK who squeezed his shot in at the near post. An excellent goal and, just to complete the sequence, a couple of minutes later Luca Martin put Malik through but he took a swing at it and smashed the ball miles wide. Westlands continued to dominate for the rest of the half but there were no more goals forthcoming, and at the other end, Westlands keeper Mark Cuff had hardly had a touch.
Half time and a three goal lead was a good result from a half Sports had completely dominated so things were looking positive for a good result.
The half time drinks were still being supped when Westlands increased their lead to four with a goal in the 48th minute. Malik Kamal swung over a high corner to the far post and JACK DICKER climbed highest to head home. That surely was game over and almost immediately Westlands brought on a couple of subs with Will Ireland and Nick Voss replacing Jamie Green and Luca Martin. In the 55th minute Will Ireland played a long diagonal pass to Josh Payne whose early cross gave Nick Voss a chance but the keeper pulled off a good save. Westlands pace had certainly dropped off in the second half, not surprisingly as the game was almost certainly in the bag. However the visitors hadn’t given up and Mark Cuff had to pull off a good save to deny them in the 57th minute. Westlands resumed the pressure and a neat Malik Kamal pass put Nick Voss through but the Welton keeper pulled off another good save to deny him. Then Nick cut the ball back to Jonny Manley but he lifted his shot over the bar. A good Welton move in the 65th minute ended with a shot just past the post and, as the visitor’s good spell continued with a shot tipped round the post at full stretch by Sports keeper Mark Cuff. In the 68th minute Westlands made their final substitution, Jacob Manley replacing Josh Payne who had taken a few heavy tackles. A minute later Welton were rewarded for their second half efforts when they pulled a goal back. A cross from the right was headed in by their big #10 who made a good run across the front of the Westlands defenders. A brief moment of hope for the visitor’s but there was no way back as Westlands tightened up and made sure they had no more opportunities. Sports were happy with the 4-1 score line but as we moved into the last ten minutes they created a couple of good chance to increase their lead. First a Nick Voss shot was heading for the top corner when the Welton keeper leapt up and tipped the ball round the post. Then, finally, in the 87th minute Jacob Manley laid the ball out to PHIL WELLS who took it in his stride and drilled his shot into the back of the net. That made the score 5-1 and it was just a case of playing out time for the last few minutes to confirm a fairly comfortable Westlands victory.
Man of the Match goes to MALIK KAMAL who was involved in most of Westlands good moves particularly in the first half. Some of his shooting was a bit wild but with a goal scored and two assists it was a good day for the midfielder.
A tough task for Westlands with a trip to face the high scoring, and undefeated Merley Cobham side. It was noted that Blandford had scored 4 against them recently so perhaps we could utilise our pace to get at their backline. The pitch was in excellent condition and Westlands made one change to the side that beat Gillingham, Louis Irwin coming in to replace Jacob Manley, and Luca Martin and Steve Flynn returned to the squad on the bench.
Almost straight from the kick-off Merley were given a soft free kick just inside the Westlands half. It was lofted into the box and fell to a Merley player who blasted a shot that Westlands keeper Mark Cuff saved with his legs. The rebound was thumped goalwards and again Westlands keeper got a foot to it and the ball was eventually scrambled away for a corner. A great double save there that prevented Westlands from getting off to the worst possible start. However the opening goal for the home side was not long in coming. In the 5th minute Jonny Manley tried to head the ball back to his keeper but left it well short and a Merley player controlled the ball, turned it onto his right foot and drilled it into the far top corner of the net. A terrible start for Westlands but there were signs that the pace and direct running of Josh Payne and Louis Irwin were causing the home defence some problems and several free kicks were conceded by the Merley defence to halt their runs. It was from one of these free kicks that Westlands got the equaliser after 10 minutes. The ball was laid back to OLLY WAKE about 25 yards out and he drilled in a low shot that skimmed off the wet turf and deceived the keeper who allowed it to slip from his grasp over the line. A few minutes later, after Josh Payne had been fouled, Olly put another free kick just wide of the post. Merley Cobham then had a shot as the game flowed from end to end. In the 23rd minute came a disastrous moment for the home team when their #4, who had just had a ticking off from the referee after several fouls, hacked down Louis Irwin as he raced through on goal. The referee showed him a straight red card which was inevitable really. On reflection the home side were now in the same position as Westlands had been in in last year’s cup final, reduced to 10 men with over an hour still to play. On that occasion Merley Cobham had gone on to win the cup so could Westlands follow suit and take the points from this match ? From the resulting free kick Jamie Green put a shot just past the post and few minutes later Adam Barratt had a header from a corner saved by the home keeper. Westlands then proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot again with 30 minutes gone. A long ball was put down the right for Cobham’s #10 to chase but Westlands keeper Mark Cuff decided to charge out of goal to try and get first to the ball. A poor decision as the Cobham player easily beat him to it, took it round him and slotted the ball into the empty net. Another gift of a goal and we find ourselves once again behind in the match. Westlands were stung by this setback and tried to respond with a Louis Irwin shot that went over the bar. Nevertheless, in the 44th minute, Westland’s persistence paid off with the second equaliser. Malik Kamal put over a deep cross from out on the right to the far post and LOUIS IRWIN was on the spot to side-foot in. Back on level terms we just needed to go in for the break and gather our thoughts. But unfortunately that was not to be as Merley snatched another goal in first half injury time. A long throw in from the right was headed in by the big Merley #5 who was unchallenged. Poor marking there and another soft goal to lose.
3-2 down at half time was a bitter pill to swallow considering the manner of the goals we had conceded. I had said in my friday preview on the website that considering Cobham’s high scoring feats this season “we will have to be on our toes defensively tomorrow and give nothing away” and we had done the exact opposite. We were wearing our red kit today but perhaps it should have been red coats and long white beards considering the gifts we had given away in the first half ! On the plus side, at 3-2 we were still in the game, and we had shown we could hurt them at the back so against ten men there was still an outstanding chance to go on and win this game.
Westlands made their first substitution at the break, bringing on Steve Flynn at the expense of Lewis Howchin.
Westlands had a half time roasting from the management and certainly came out looking in determined mood. Josh Payne made a good run to the bye-line and his cross was blocked for a corner. Another strong run by Josh a few minutes later saw his cross again blocked for a corner. A third corner a few moments later went deep to Steve Flynn who headed back across goal to Jamie Green who put his header over the bar. The pressure told in the 55th minute when Westlands scored again to make it 3-3. Louis Irwin turned his man out on the right and whipped over a lovely low cross that JOSH PAYNE turned into the net at full stretch. A good goal and no more than Westlands deserved at this stage. Merley Cobham tried to respond with an attack but their player ballooned his final shot well over. Cobham, although a man down, were still taking risks and pushing men forward but this was leaving them exposed at the back, a situation Westlands were exploiting. In the 70th minute Westlands went in front for the first time. A ball in behind the Cobham defenders put JOSH PAYNE through and he drew the keeper before driving the ball past him into the far corner of the net. A clinical finish from the Westlands marksman. But, in keeping with what had gone before, Westlands only held on to the lead for three minutes before giving Merley a leg up back into the game. As an attacker ran through Olly Wake dived head first to the ground in front of him and brought him down. It was a penalty, no doubt about that, but it was a most bizarre incident. The spot kick was drilled in and we were back level at 4-4 ! The excitement continued as unbelievably a minute later Westlands scored again ! Steve Flynn made a good run down the right and played the ball across to Louis Irwin whose shot was blocked. The ball rebounded to JAMIE GREEN about 20 yards out and he smashed it into the top corner. Great celebrations from the Westlands players which earned them a reprimand from the referee but there was still 15 minutes to go, and in this game anything could happen. Westlands made their second substitution now and Luca Martin replaced Malik Kamal, to provide some young fresh legs. Westlands, having conceded some soft goals already in the game, seemed to be adopting a more pragmatic approach to the match now, being prepared to sit deep and defend while trying to hit Cobham on the break. We managed a shot at goal in the 84th minute, Louis Irwin firing over the bar and that was followed by Westlands third substitution, Will Ireland replacing Josh Payne. Will immediately dropped into a position in front of the back four and although the home team forced a few corners in the last 5 minutes, Westlands were determined now to give nothing away and held on for the 5-4 victory.
The Westland players were celebrating as if they had won the league at the end and who could blame them after such an emotional roller coaster of a game. It had been a tremendous battle and with nine goals was an epic for the spectators. Credit to both teams for a great contest. From a Westlands perspective we can be proud of the attitude they showed to continue to fight after going behind three times and eventually taking the points. Great team spirit evident there.
Man of the Match goes to JOSH PAYNE for another class performance. Scored two goals and was a real threat to the Merley defence all afternoon.
Another fine evening at Alvington and with the pitch looking good we expected a competitive match with a strong Gillingham team as the opposition. After the good win against Holt on Saturday Sports had a couple of forced changes, so with Steve Flynn unavailable and Luca Martin ill there were starting positions for Jamie Green and Jacob Manley.
An early chance for Westlands came with a good ball by Jamie Manley across to Lewis Howchin but the ball would just not come down for him to get his shot away in time and a defender blocked it out. Then Westlands had a free kick on the edge of the box, but they tried a quick pass and made a mess of it. Gillingham won the ball and immediately raced upfield with a dangerous attack but the ball was eventually cleared by a Westlands defender. After 5 minutes Josh Payne attacked down the right and picked out Malik Kamal with his cross but his shot was blocked by an onrushing defender. It had been a good opening spell for Westlands but after 10 minutes a strong shot from a Gillingham player was deflected for a corner which was headed away by Jack Dicker. Then a high cross into the Westlands box was left by keeper Mark Cuff who thought the ball was going over but was then surprised to see it hit the bar and bounce back into play. A minor scare there for the home team but they were soon putting together a good passing move that ended with a Malik Kamal shot skimming just wide. In the 17th minute the deadlock was broken and it was Gillingham who got the goal. Their player ran down the left side of the box with the ball and Sports Jonny Manley flew in with a sliding tackle that brought him down. A rash challenge in the box and only one outcome really…..penalty ! The spot kick was tucked away nicely and the visitor’s were 1-0 up. Gillingham took some confidence from that goal and were pushing forward now looking quite dangerous. A well struck shot flew across the Westlands goalmouth and fizzed past the far post. After half an hour Sports gathered their composure again and forced a corner that was twice cleared from Jack Dicker and Jonny Manley headers. Then Malik Kamal set up Jacob Manley with a chance but he rushed his shot and miss-kicked it. The final chance of the half came to Gilllingham. A long throw into the Westlands box was headed down and the resulting shot flew over the top.
It had been a disappointing half for Westlands, handing Gillingham the initiative with that soft penalty and just looking a bit off the pace at times. On the positive side it was still a close game and we had shown we could give their defence problems so all to play for in the second half.
Westlands, as expected, came out fired up and forced an early corner that Jack Dicker headed just past the post. The pressure was on now and in the 57th minute Sports grabbed the equalizer. A superb reverse pass from Malik Kamal put JOSH PAYNE through and as the keeper rushed out Josh prodded it past him into the far corner of the net. That goal gave Westlands the belief they could go on and win the game and to pep things up Nick Voss was brought on in the 65th minute, replacing Jacob Manley. Sports were dominating now and in the 72nd minute a good low shot from Josh Payne was saved by the Gillingham keeper. Five minutes later Nick Voss, at full stretch, just failed to turn in a good low cross from Malik Kamal. In the 79th minute another great low cross, this time from Josh Payne was just missed by Jamie Green flying in at the far post. In the 83rd minute Alvington went wild when
NICK VOSS ran through onto a Jack Dicker header and slotted the ball past the Gillingham keeper to put Sports in front. Another good goal with the pace of the Westland forwards giving the Gillingham defence problems.
Westlands then replaced Malik Kamal, who had an excellent game, with the fresh legs of Will Ireland. Gillingham tried to respond to going behind and a cross into the Westlands box looked dangerous but came to nothing in the end. Then another substitution for Westlands with Aaron Sweet replacing Phil Wells for the last five minutes. In the 89th minute Josh Payne put a header into the Gillingham keepers arms and a couple of minutes later came the welcome sound of the final whistle (for the Westlands supporters that is !)
Another really entertaining game and Westlands had shown good spirit to come back in the second half and win the game.
Man of the Match goes to JACK DICKER who was a tower of strength in both defence and attack and showed good composure, cutting out the rash challenges he is sometimes prone to.
Another cracking summer day at Alvington and with the pitch looking good after some morning watering we looked forward to a big test this afternoon. Westlands had only one change from the team that won at Shaftesbury in midweek, Sam Plumley dropped out due to work commitments and he was replaced by Lewis Howchin.
Both teams settled quickly and tried to pass the ball around so the scene was set for a good game of football. Although there was lots of neat passing it took until the eighth minute before we had an attempt on target, Westlands Steve Flynn hitting a trundler that the Holt keeper fielded easily. Westlands were pushing forward now and opened the scoring with a superb goal in the 10th minute. The build up was patient, with Sports putting about 20 passes together before Jonny Manley strode into the Holt half and fed the ball out to Josh Payne on the wing. Josh took on the full back and squared a perfect ball across the face of the goal where LUCA MARTIN was on the spot to sidefoot in.
An excellent team goal and Westlands were well in control now and were pushing to extend their lead. Josh Payne had a shot that went well wide, Steve Flynn had a low shot saved by the keeper and Josh had another effort turned round the post by the Holt keeper, all within a couple of minutes. In the 20th minute a good pass from Lewis Howchin put Luca Martin through but his shot was blocked by a diving defender. Two minutes later Josh Payne put over another perfect cross but this time a stretching Luca Martin could only get a half touch which went past the post. In the 29th minute Adam Barrett fired in a strong volley but unfortunately straight at the Holt keeper. After 32 minutes Malik Kamal split the Holt defence with a slide rule pass inside the full back to PHIL WELLS who took the ball in his stride and slotted it past the keeper at his near post. Three minutes later Luca Martin had a thumping shot deflected for a corner off a defender’s head. It had been all Westlands in the first half but with 4 minutes to go until the break they shot themselves in the foot. Jonny Manley inexplicably tried to pass the ball across the face of the goal inside his own penalty area and he only succeeded in passing it straight to a Holt player who had an easy job to knock it in. A couple of minutes later Jonny Manley had to eoff with a knock and Jamie Green came on at the back for Sports.
What an end to the half that had been for Westlands. From being comfortably two goals up they now went into the break with a slender one goal lead but more importantly had given the visitors some hope now that they could get something from the game. Apart from that goal Sports had been well in command and had played some good football so things were still positive for the second half.
Westlands started the second half well but again they were shocked in the 53rd minute. A very soft free kick was awarded to Holt, the ball was pumped into the box and, as the Westlands defence and goalkeeper all stood still, a Holt forward was on the move and he nipped in front of Sports keeper Mark Cuff to prod the ball into the net. A bit of poor defending there from Westlands and we were back on level terms ! Sports were stung into reaction and a thumping shot from Josh Payne was beaten away by the Holt keeper. Westlands were looking dangerous and in the 58th minute got their noses back in front. Jack Dicker played a great ball over the top for JOSH PAYNE to run on to. Josh took a lovely first touch, went round the keeper who had rushed out to the edge of the box, and thumped the ball into the net past a couple of defenders who were desperately trying to cover. Another excellent goal that settled Westlands down and they continued to push looking for more goals. On the hour mark Malik Kamal had a shot deflected for a corner and in the 70th minute Malik just failed to get a touch to a Phil Wells cross that had been helped on by Luca Martin. Three minutes later a sublime Malik Kamal through pass put Josh Payne clear but he thumped his shot off the near post, A goal was coming for Westlands and in the 75th minute JOSH PAYNE was put through by Jack Dicker and he cut inside and smashed a left foot shot past the keeper to make it 4-2. A cracking goal and one that put the game to bed really and two substitutions were immediately made by the Sports management, Jacob Manley replacing Luca Martin and Will Ireland coming on for Malik Kamal. In the 83rd minute Jacob Manley chased a long ball down the right and fed it inside to Josh Payne whose curling effort just slipped by the far post. Then Josh had a good run and cross but a defender scrambled it away for a corner that Jack Dicker headed wide. Finally in the 93rd minute Jacob Manley was put through but he put his shot too near the keeper who made the save.
The full time whistle ended a good game and an excellent result for Westlands. A couple of defensive errors had cost us, and we will need to cut these out, but apart from that our general play was excellent.
Man of the Match goes to JOSH PAYNE for an outstanding game with 2 goals and an assist. He ran the Holt defence ragged, particularly in the second half.
Wednesday 21st August, Dorset Premier League: SHAFTESBURY RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
Possibly our toughest match of the season so far with a midweek trip to Shaftesbury who had a 100% record so far this season, winning all three of their games.
Sports returned Olly Wake, Josh Payne, Steve Flynn, Sam Plumley and Jamie Green to the squad so it was a changed team that took the field. The weather was fine and the pitch looked good so all set for an interesting match.
The home side opened confidently and took the early initiative with Sports taking a bit of time to settle into what was a different formation from normal. After ten minutes Westlands had a good effort when a Jack Dicker throw was headed on by Jon Manley to Luca Martin whose volley smashed off a defender and was deflected wide. Even at this early stage it was obvious Shaftesbury were playing a high defensive line and Westlands were trying to exploit the space behind with the pace of Josh Payne and Luca Martin. Both teams were keeping possession well but defences were on top so not many attempts at goal were being made. However in the 22 minute Sports midfielder Malik Kamal burst forward and let fly a thumping drive from 25 yards out that just shaved the crossbar.
A good effort that and it looked as if Westlands were now just beginning to get on top with some balls over the top causing problems in the home defence. Shaftesbury’s cause was not helped in the 25th minute when one of their players was sin-binned for 10 minutes. In the 29th minute the 10 men almost took the lead but Sports keeper Mark Cuff pulled off a good save to deny their player who was unmarked at the far post. Josh Payne then got through for Westlands and his pass across the face of the goal was just missed by the stretching Luca Martin. The ball was cleared for a corner which Jon Manley put just wide of the post with a good header. The signs had been there and in the 37th minute Sports took the lead. Sam Plumley played a ball down the right wing to Luca Martin who sprinted past the full back and put over a lovely cross that JOSH PAYNE rose to head down under the keeper’s diving body. What a cracking goal and just about deserved on the balance of play. Westlands then played out the last 8 minutes of the half fairly conservatively, making sure they didn’t concede before half-time.
We were quite happy with the one goal lead at half time and the opinion was that once they had settled into the game, Westlands had looked quite dangerous going forward and also quite secure at the back.
Shaftesbury were unbeaten and on the home turf so they would obviously come out fired up for the second half and sure enough, for the first 10 minutes of the half they put on the pressure but couldn’t really create a decent goalscoring chance. Westlands rode out that spell and were soon pushing forward, Luca Martin heading a Josh Payne cross just over the bar. Then Mark Cuff had to field a low shot from the edge of the box and on the hour mark a header by the home team went wide. Westlands replied with a Josh Payne shot that was deflected wide.
In the 68th minute came the first substitution with Nick Voss replacing young Luca Martin who had really worked hard all game so was being protected a little bit by the manager. A few minutes later came the second sub with Malik Kamal being replaced by Jamie Green. Malik had also got through a power of running and had taken a couple of knocks so a sensible substitution with a more experienced player coming on for the last 20 minutes or so. In the 74th minute Jamie Green chased a long ball to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Nick Voss whose touch put the ball inches past the far post. Another good break from Sports saw Nick Voss lay the ball off to Phil Wells in a decent position but he blazed his shot over the top. The final Westlands substitution came with 10 minutes to go, Josh Payne being replaced by Jacob Manley to give us some fresh legs up front. Shaftesbury could now see the game slipping away so they began to pile men forward looking for the equaliser. They immediately had a chance but their player blasted over the bar from a decent position. Going into the last 5 minutes Shaftesbury were really piling forward but consequentially they were leaving big gaps at the back. A quick break by Sports in the 86th minute saw Jamie Green shoot just past the post. Still Shaftesbury pressed and a corner from the left went right across the face of the Sports goal with no-one getting a touch. Westlands were defending in depth now and basically doing sensible things, clearing their lines when they had to and, when they broke upfield, keeping possession and running the ball into the corners. In the 92nd minute Jacob Manley and Nick Voss broke away two against one defender but Jacob’s final pass saw Nick just drift offside and a good chance was gone. However the final whistle soon after confirmed a good three points for Westlands.
It had been a much better performance from Sports after a couple of dodgy games against Sherborne and Portland. The team had worked hard for their victory and everyone had played well.
That makes it difficult to pick a Man of the Match this week but it goes to MALIK KAMAL who had an excellent game in central midfield. Hasn’t looked too comfortable recently when played out wide but he looked more effective in his more natural central position. He also showed a bit more maturity and kept his focus on his game, a good performance.
Saturday 17th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 PORTLAND RES 1
After the midweek defeat Sports were looking to put things right against a Portland team who had lost both their opening fixtures. Westlands were forced into 4 changes to the midweek side with Sam Plumley, Olly Wake, Josh Payne and Steve Flynn all unavailable and they were replaced by Phil Wells, Scott Morgan, Nick Voss and Jacob Manley. On the bench there were first outings for Tom Aitken, Dwayne Forshaw, Joe Jarvis and Will Ireland.
Another fine day at Alvington so with the pitch in perfect nick we looked forward to a good game.
Westlands started on the front foot an were soon putting pressure on the Portland defence. After 4 minutes a good ball over the top from Aaron Sweet put Nick Voss in the clear but as he cut in from the left he drove his shot just wide of the far post. A minute later Malik Kamal thumped in a shot from the edge of the box that pulled out a good save from the Portland keeper. Next Phil Wells again put Nick Voss clear but this time his final shot was blocked. After 9 minutes a Malik Kamal corner was met on the run by Jack Dicker and his bullet header was blocked out for a corner. That corner was cleared but another Malik corner in the 15th minute to the far post was headed back across goal by Jonny Manley with Jacob Manley just failing to connect a couple of yards out.
The visitors had shown they were a neat and tidy team in possession and in one of their sporadic attacks in the 19th minute they won a free kick just inside the Westlands half out on the right. The ball was pumped hight into the Westlands box where goalkeeper Mark Cuff came out to gather. Unfortunately he misjudged the flight of the ball and with the Sports defence standing still, it dropped at the far post where a Portland player had a tap in. That was a real sucker punch for Westlands who had all the pressure up to this point but had failed to capitalise and now found themselves a goal down. Sports were a bit rattled by that goal but it had the opposite effect on the opposition so we had an even battle now with both sides having their moments. In the 27th minute Westlands keeper Mark Cuff atoned for his previous error by tipping a shot onto the post and preventing Sports from going 2 down. Then a Westlands attack saw Jack Dicker head the ball right across the face of the Portland goal but there was nobody there to knock it in. Just before half time Jacob Manley put a good low cross into the box but again no takers for Westlands.
So, half time and 1-0 down, not the result we had expected or hoped for so we needed to step it up in the second half.
As we settled down in the second half Luca Manley was causing some problems own the right side but the final ball just wasn’t coming off. After only 11 minutes of the half the Westlands management made the first change with Dwayne Forshaw replacing Jacob Manley. Straight away Aaron Sweet gave the ball away inside his own half and a Portland player ran through but put his shot over the bar. At the other end Luca Martin made a strong run down the right but his cut-back was scrambled away by the Portland defence that was coming under severe pressure now. On 65 minutes Tom Aitken replaced Scott Morgan as Sports pushed an extra man forward and went three at the back. A 30 yard shot from Aaron Sweet was turned away and the resulting corner caused panic in the visitor’s defence before being hacked clear. Back came Westlands again and a nice cross from Tom Aitken was fired past the post by Luca Martin. Eventually, in the 79th minute, the pressure told as Sports scored the equaliser. Tom Aitken played a good pass down the right to Dwayne Forshaw who turned his man and played in a pinpoint cross to LUCA MARTIN who headed the ball strongly into the far corner. An excellent goal and well deserved. Immediately Westlands made their third substitution with Joe Jarvis replacing Nick Voss. This move paid immediate dividends a couple of minutes later when Dwayne Forshaw burst through the tiring Portland defence, drew the keeper, and unselfishly squared the ball for JOE JARVIS to have a tap-in at the far post. Another fine goal which sparked off great celebrations from the Westland players. Portland never gave up though and in the 85th minute they built an attack but the final shot was way over the bar. In the final minute the last action of the game saw Joe Jarvis drive into the box and square the ball to Dwayne Forshaw who managed to miss from about 3 yards out, his shot hitting the keeper.
A good win for Westlands but not a vintage performance. We seemed to lack that bit of composure on the ball but certainly showed resilience by keeping going to the end and finally grabbing the points.
Man of the Match this week goes DWAYNE FORSHAW who gave the Portland defence real problems when he came on with his aggressive play and, of course, he set up the two goals. A bit unusual to pick a player who had only played 35 minutes but I thought on this occasion the three subs who were put on made a big impact.
Tuesday 10th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 0 SHERBORNE TOWN RES 1
A nice evening at Alvington, pitch looking perfect, and a good turn-out for the local derby.
Westlands made one change from Saturday’s winning team, Malik Kamal given the chance to show what he could do in place of Nick Voss. Sherborne had a strong line-up so we knew a close game was on the cards.
The game started at 100 miles an hour with neither team having a moment to settle on the ball so all a bit scrappy for the opening minutes. The first chance came Sherborne’s way in the 9th minute with a soft free kick conceded which led to a dangerous ball into Sports box. Steve Flynn headed the ball away for a corner which was then cleared. Westlands first chance came in the 13 minutes, again from a free kick which Aaron Sweet put over to Josh Payne whose shot was blocked by a defender. A few minutes later Steve Flynn made a strong run into the visitor’s half but again the final shot was blocked. Next it was Sherborne’s turn to get a cross in that was scrambled away at the far post by the Sports defence. In the 22nd minute a great crossfield ball was picked up by Josh Payne out on the right. Josh fed it inside to Olly Wake on the edge of the box but he put his shot over the bar. Back down at the other end a Sherborne player drilled over a corner which was met by the head of their #9 whose bullet header flew just past the post. As we passed the half hour mark Sherborne had a good 5 minutes of pressure which produced a couple of good efforts. First Sports keeper Mark Cuff tipped a shot from just outside the box round the post and then a free kick drilled in low and hard was well saved by the Sports keeper after a header out from a corner. Josh Payne relieved the pressure with a good run but once again his final shot was blocked. Then as we moved into the last couple of minutes before the break each team had good chances to break the deadlock. A long throw from Sherborne was headed goalwards and came off the corner of the bar and was cleared. Then Adam Barratt burst through for Westlands and as the keeper came out he flicked the ball past him and ran round only to completely mishit his shot from an acute angle.
That ended the first half with the teams locked at 0-0.
It had been a scrappy first half with neither side able to get the ball down a put a few passes together. Westland had looked a bit negative for some reason with a lack of players getting forward to support the attacks. Conceding unnecessary free kicks was also causing us problems. Never mind, 0-0 so plenty time to get things right.
The second half started brightly for Westlands with Josh Payne racing to the bye-line but his cut back was blocked for a corner which was cleared. Sports were pushing forward now and several good crosses were put into the danger area with no reward. In the 57th minute came the only goal of the game and it was the visitor’s who grabbed it. A long throw into the goalmouth was flicked on by Sherborne’s big #5 and the ball ended up in the corner of the net. Not the best bit of defending by the Sports backline but a massive goal for the visitor’s in a game where goals were at a premium. Westlands immediately made a change with Nick Voss replacing Steve Flynn. Sports tried hard to get back into the game but it was all a bit hectic and lacking cohesion. Luca Martin showed his pace with a run to the bye-line but that was the first time he had been able to stretch his legs, all to often the ball had been played in to his feet with his back to goal. Presumably this was a bit of a hangover from last season but with Josh Payne, Luca and Nick Voss on the pitch we needed some passes in behind to utilise their pace. In the 70th minute Nick Voss put over a cross but Luca Martin couldn’t find the target with his header. Then a neat head-flick by Luca put Nick Voss through but he rushed his shot and put it wide. Going into the last 10 minutes Westlands were beginning to run out of steam and Malik Kamal was replaced by Jacob Manley.
Some good play by Sherborne now, taking the ball wide, keeping possession and eating up the minutes. It was one of these nights when it didn’t look as if Westlands would ever score and Sherborne were able to play out time without much difficulty. Full-time 0-1.
After the good win at Bournemouth on Saturday this was the other end of the spectrum for Sports. Hopefully some good lessons learnt for our younger players (and some older ones !), and we have another home game on Saturday so a chance to put things right.
Man of the Match this week goes JONNY MANLEY who looked pretty dominant at the back.
With Bournemouth Sports return to the DPL this was our first visit to Chapelgate for a number of years, 2007 to be exact ! Not much has changed in the interim but the new dugouts received a battering from the gale force winds sweeping across the ground. Sports turned out with a team freshened up from last season so it would be interesting to see how that shaped up.
As the match got going the wind was playing a big part in the game with both teams struggling to put a few passes together. The home side were looking eager in the first few minutes but in the 4th minute it was Westlands who went close when Steve Flynn burst through but his bouncing shot was turned over the bar by the Bournemouth keeper for a corner. Unfortunately Aaron Sweet completely misjudged the wind and put the corner kick into the woods behind the goal. With both teams struggling to put any passes together, even at this early stage it didn’t look as if there would be many goals in this game so it was important to keep things tight at he back. In the 11th minute another Westlands corner from Aaron Sweet, this time well judged in the wind, fizzed low right across the face of the goal but no-one could get on the end of it. The game was evenly balanced but the midfield was very congested and players had no time to get their heads up. Bournemouth had probably shaded the early exchanges without testing Westlands keeper but after about 20 minutes Westlands began to get on top and put some pressure on the home defence. Another Westlands corner in the 30th minute saw Jack Dicker have a shot but it went well over the top. Nevertheless the pressure told in the 36th minute when Westlands scored the opening goal. All game the Bournemouth defenders had been using the new rule to their advantage by playing the ball out to defenders inside the box. When they tried it this time Westlands pressed in numbers and Josh Payne won possession. Josh played the ball across to LUCA MARTIN and he made no mistake, steering the ball into the corner of the net. A crucial opening goal for Westlands in the context of a tight game and a great start to the season for Westland’s 17 year-old striker. Bournemouth still hadn’t recovered from that goal three minutes later when Steve Flynn won the ball just outside the penalty area but fired his shot over the bar. As we moved towards half time Westlands had a narrow escape when Adam Barratt headed the ball off the line following a Bournemouth corner. Then in the dying seconds of the half the Bournemouth centre forward blazed a shot way over the top when in a good position.
Half time, 1-0 to Westlands and probably just about deserved on the balance of the first half.
Westlands opened the second half strongly when a good ball over the top picked out Josh Payne whose deep cross was fired just wide of the far post by Nick Voss. A few minutes later a Bournemouth player burst through but his finish was too high. In the 58th minute Westlands new keeper Mark Cuff was on his toes to dive and parry a shot driven through a crowd of players, Jonny Manley completing the save by booting the rebound out of play. After an hour, Westlands made their first substitution, Malik Kamal coming on to replace Nick Voss. In the 67th minute came the second goal for Westlands and a cracking goal it was. Josh Payne and Sam Plumley combined well to open up the Bournemouth defence down the right. Sam put over a lovely cross to the far post where LUCA MARTIN rose to head into the net. What a goal and definitely the best move of the game so far. With a two goal lead Westlands were now able to relax and concentrate on not conceding. Jonny Manley was winning all the high balls for Westlands who although conceding some territory now, still looked dangerous on the break. Luca Martin was put clean through and seemed to have gone round the keeper, but the Bournemouth custodian managed to somehow save the day and get something on the ball, perhaps aided by a slight push ! In the 80th minute Westlands substituted Phil Wells for Aaron Sweet just to add a bit of experience to the backline. A minute later a long throw from Jack Dicker had the Bournemouth defence in trouble. Adam Barratt climbed highest to head goalwards only to see the keeper tip his effort round the post. A great save and the keeper repeated the feat when Jonny Manley headed the resulting corner goalwards. In the 83rd minute Westlands made their third and final substitution, Jacob Manley replacing Luca Martin. Hard as they tried, Bournemouth couldn’t crack the Westlands defence, and with chances at a premium, there was no way through for the home side. Full-time 2-0.
On the opening day of the season a 2-0 victory and a clean sheet is a decent result as the opposition were a hard working side, so well done to all the Westlands players and management, a good start to the new campaign.
Man of the Match this week goes to LUCA MARTIN for a hard working performance up front capped by two goals.
Sat 7th Mar, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RESERVES 0 CHICKERELL UTD 3
Westlands entertained Chickerell looking to avenge the previous 4-0 defeat in January that set Sports on the road to 5 successive losses. Under 18’s Ben Pounder, Tom Jarvis, Seb Goddard and Pete Park were all included in the youthful looking side, with Will Ireland taking the captain’s armband in place of the injured Jamie Burt.
With the wind sweeping across the pitch the game started scrappily, but with most of the game being played in the Chickerell half. Ben Pounder, Liam Stobbbs and Aaron Sweet all had efforts blocked or saved as Sports pushed on. Jacob Manley was starting at centre back and he and George Weston were looking solid, flanked by Phil Wells and Pete Park.
The half time whistle arrived with the score 0-0 but with Westlands having the better of the half without getting the breakthrough. The half time message was to keep doing the same things and to be more aggressive in the final third and we had a strong chance of winning the game.
Unfortunately this didn’t happen. 5 mins into the second half Sports failed to deal with a ball forward 3 times before the Chickerell striker eventually exploited some lacklustre defending and slotted confidently for 1-0. A really poor goal to concede having played some good stuff in the first half.
Soon after it was 2-0. The Chickerell centre half stepping out from the their back line and drilling home from 35 yards. Another really poor goal to concede which effectively sums our season up, being made to rue individual errors. The game then fizzled out, despite changes being made with the introduction of Max Rowswell and Seb Goddard, we never really laid a glove on them second half. And with just 5 minutes to go it was 3 as a free kick evaded Westlands keeper Sam Hulland landed in the net.
Some harsh lessons learnt. Some good football played by the young Westlands side but just lacking that end product, matched with some costly mistakes means we surrender the points again with some real poor form since Christmas.
Man of the Match was JACOB MANLEY who has adapted extremely well to his new found position !
Westlands line up – 1.S.Hulland, 2.P.Park, 3.P.Wells 4.Jacob Manley, 5.G.Weston, 6.W.Ireland, 7.T.Jarvis 8.T.Morgan, 9.L.Stobbs 10.A.Sweet, 11.B.Pounder, 12.A.Hooper, 14.M.Rowswell, 15.S.Goddard.
Sat 22nd Feb, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 DORCHESTER SPORTS RES
Sports entertained at Alvington for the first time in 6 weeks after a dismal run of 5 straight defeatswhich effectively ended any title chances. 3 points was needed therefore to start solidifying a top 5 finish. Player availability was strong for the first time in a few weeks. Creative midfielder Aaron Sweet returned after injury and Tom Jarvis joined the squad after a strong run of games in the U18’s. With no first team game due to pick of the league representation, first team keeper Mark Cuff was between the sticks.
However, it was the worst possible start for Sports as just 30 seconds in we were 1-0 down to the side occupying second bottom of the league. Mark Cuff came out to the edge of his box to gather a pass back and decided to have a touch. A Dorchester forward came in and robbed him of the ball and walked it into the empty net. What a start, and the wait goes on for a first clean sheet of the season.
Sports however responded well and soon had a firm grip on possession with Dorchester pinned in their own half. Chances were being created frequently but nothing clear cut to bring us a level. Debutant Ben Ford was proving to be a useful outlet at right back with several crosses into the box, with the front 4 of Sam Fuller, Liam Stobbs, Aaron Sweet and striker Steve Flynn looking dangerous.
However after 40 minutes of knocking on the door, it finally opened. A good passing move saw the ball eventually being switched left to right, with Aaron Sweet picking out Liam Stobbs with a 30 yard crossfield pass. He rolled the ball into SAM FULLER who netted to make it 1-1. A throughly deserved equaliser and now it was not a case of if but a case of when we could get a second goal. And we did, right on the HT whistle.
LIAM STOBBS was again picked out, this time by Sam fuller, and he finished very confidently to make it 2-1 now and in control.
Half-time and a very good response after going 1 down so early. The back four were solid, midfield 2 of Max Rowswell and Will Ireland had a tight grip of the game, allowing the very creative front 4 to cause problems.
Game management was the message at HT, and to go and kill the game off.
Going against the wind in second half was incredibly difficult, so it wasn’t as pretty as the first half but still just as efficient. Chances fell to Liam Stobbs who shot just wide after good work to turn his marker inside out ! But the game was eventually put to bed when SAM FULLER made a driving run from midfield beating 2 players and slotting home at the second attempt after the keeper saved. An excellent goal that takes him to 9 for the season and he was on course for his second hat trick of the year. Could he get it?
Minutes later he did, Liam Stobbs again causing his full back problems and he squared for SAM FULLER to complete his hat trick and put the score line at 4-1. Dominant performance. Captain Jamie Burt was then replaced due to injury wirh Jacob Manley stepping into centre half and putting on an outstanding performance. Tom Jarvis then replaced Aaron Sweet and Matt Phillips came on for Max Rowswell. Westlands played the game out well and probably could have had another couple of goals. The only time Sports keeper Mark Cuff was really called into action was for Dorchester's solitary goal.
The best performance in a while and a strong squad performance.
Man of the match was the hat-trick man SAM FULLER.
Sat 8th Feb, Dorset Senior League: BROADSTONE 3 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
This match was played on the 3g at the County Ground in Hamworthy so no issues with the state of the pitch. It was a fairly even start but as Westlnds kept giving the ball away it was the home team who got on top. Eventually the Broadstone pressure told but the shot took 2 deflections before finding the back of the net past Sports stand-in keeper Cian Cabell. That made it 1-0 and at half time the score remained the same. In the second half a second deflected shot made it 2-0 to the home side who were fairly comfortable now. Westlands needed a goal but Sam Fuller missed a good chance to pull one back when put through by Will Ireland. Late in the game Westlands introduced young debutant LOUIS FERGUSSON who added a bit of physicality up front and he soon bustled his way through and scored with a cracking shot. That made the score slightly more respectable but, all in all a poor show by Westlands.
Man of the Match for this game is GEORGE WESTON who looked solid in a line up that featured 5 central defenders !
Sat 1st Feb, Dorset Senior League: MERLEY COBHAM RES 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
Unfortunately for Westlands, as Merley Cobham's first team game was called off it was a slightly stronger than usual reserves side that took the field. Early on their quick striker was causing Westlands problems and Merley soon took the lead with a breakaway goal. Then a Merley Cobham player reacted first to net a rebound after a Josh Malcolm save and before half an hour had gone Westlands found themselves 3-0 down to another breakaway goal. Just before half time STEVE FLYNN scored to make it 3-1 at the break.
In the second half Westlands upped their game and dominated the match but failed to take any of numerous chances created. Eventually with a couple of minutes to go STEVE FLYNN scored again but it was too little too late for Westlands and the final score was 3-2. Nevertheless it was a good display by the Westlands team against a strong Merley side.
Man of the Match was STEVE FLYNN for a hard working performance up front topped with two goals
Sat 25th Jan, Dorset Senior League: STURMINSTER MARSHALL 4 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2
With several players missing, Westlands introduced 3 new signings, Sam Smith, Cian Cabell and Aaron Hooper to the squad for this tough match at high flying Sturminster Marshall.
In the first half Sports failed to cope with the big Sturminster centre forward and went in at the break 2-0 down after a fairly insipid first half.
In the second 45 Sports showed much more spirit and a penalty kick from STEVE FLYNN got them back into the game. When STEVE FLYNN scored a second goal soon after to bring the game level at 2-2 it looked as if a dramatic fightback was on the cards. But disaster struck ! No sooner had Westlands got back on level terms, they then gifted the home side another goal, almost straight from the kick-off. A long ball was half-headed backwards straight into the path of the Sturminster centre forward and he ran through to score easily. That goal took some of the sting out of Westlands and Stur went on to score another goal to wrap up the points.
Man of the match was unsurpringly STEVE FLYNN, great display from an all-action player.
Sat 18th Jan, Dorset Senior League: MERE TOWN 6 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
Sports travelled to Mere looking to get back to winning ways after a 4-0 humbling away at the hands of Chickerell the previous week. Mere did all they could to get the game on, and thpitch was in decent condition despite the week’s adverse weather.
The game started frantically with no side being able to keep hold of the ball in the first 10-15 minutes, but Mere soon started to have the majority of possession. However, with the returning Jack Dicker next to skipper Jamie Burt at the back, Sports were looking defensively sound. That was until the 28th minute when a corner taken by the Mere winger floated straight into the top corner ! A disappointing way to concede. 1-0. This gave Mere confidence and they started playing some good stuff. Mike Rousell was up front for Sports but wasn’t getting a lot of service to his feet to be a threat. In the 34th minute Mere doubled their advantage with a well worked goal, playing through our midfield and backline which led to the striker having a tap in. 2-0. Sports responded well and became more aggressive upon going 2-0 down. And they were soon on top winning a succession of corners and free kicks Eventually Sports made one count. Aaron Sweet whipped a delightful ball in for JACK DICKER to volley home, 2-1 and back in it ! Sports went close to levelling with a Sam Fuller effort that hit the post, and a half chance for Mike Rousell but the half time whistle cut short Westlands spell of dominance, unfortunately without the equaliser.
Still, the game was finely poised and with only one goal in it the next goal was critical.
Disaster struck only 13 seconds after the restart when Sports conceded that crucial third goal. Sports were still in the changing rooms as the Mere full back was given far too much time to put over a cross and he did, expertly picking out the run of a midfielder who fired home for 3-1. What a disaster that was and it was a real kick in the teeth to Westlands whose heads went down. Injuries meant Jack Dicker and Aaron Sweet were replaced by George Weston and Will Ireland. Mere began to dominate the game now and Sports were on the ropes and a flurry of late goals meant the final score ended 6-1 !
A very disappointing second half display by Westlands as they have now conceded 10 goals in 2 games, 7 of these in the second halves so definitely some fitness issues there. Credit to Mere as they are without a doubt the strongest side we have faced in the Dorset Senior League this year, and we went toe-to-toe with them for 45 minutes. A few positives then to take from the 1st half display.
Man of the Match award this week went to SAM FULLER who the manager reported “worked his socks off for 90 minutes”. Attendance at training is obviously working for Sam ! Westlands line up: 1.J.Malcom, 2.T,Morgan, 3.P.Wells, 4.J.Dicker, 5.J.Burt(c), 6.M.Phillips, 7.S.Flynn, 8.A.Sweet, 9.M.Rousell, 10.S.Fuller, 11.L.Stobbs, 12.W.Ireland, 14.G.Weston, 15.C.Wells.
Sat 11th Jan, Dorset Senior League: CHICKERELL UTD 4 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 0
The reserves travelled down to Chickerell in fairly confident mood with a run of 4 straight wins behind them. They also looked to have a strong side out with Phil Wells, Steve Flynn and Will Ireland all dropping down from the first team squad and Morley Gold back after injury.
Sports kicked up the infamous Chickerell slope in the first half and turned round 1-0 down after a tight first half. In the second jalf, however, although with the slope in their favour, Sports fell apart.
Chickerell played balls over the top which held up on the slope and with some quick forwards they ran riot banging in 3 goals without response.
A very disappointing match for Westlands with some players going through the motions.
Man of the match goes to Sports keeper JOSH MALCOLM who pulled off several good saves to keep the score from being much worse.
Sat 4th Jan, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2 MERLEY COBHAM RES 1
Sports Reserves welcomed Merley Cobham Reserves to Alvington in the first fixture back after the Christmas break. Westlands were in good form before the break, and with Merley also picking up some decent results it had the potential to be a good game. Scott Morgan was back in the squad after a lay off with injury, while new signing George Russell also took a place on the bench. The pitch was in good condition, so could sports put pressure on the sides above them by gaining 3 points ? We opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Chris Wells and the in form Ngolo Phillips tasked with controlling the midfield. Aaron Sweet was edged forward into a role behind Jacob Manley, with Liam Stobbs and Max Rowswell either side. Cobham in fairness only arrived with 11, but a determined 11 at that. Westlands started well and had a foothold of the game instantly. Cobham adopted a defensive 4-5-1 and effectively sat on the edge of their own area and tasked us with breaking them down. In the opening exchanges both Liam Stobbs and Max Rowswell troubled the fullbacks but after 15/20 minutes and the majority of possession, we were yet to test the keeper. Sports were becoming a little bit frustrated but in fairness to Cobham they had a game plan and were sticking to it well. Time wasting when possible and being difficult to play through. Sports weren’t playing badly but were very passive and lacked a bit of energy going forward. 5 minutes before half time Westlands were presented with a chance to get on the scoresheet. Some decent interplay resulted in Max Rowswell turning his man inside out and being taken out. Penalty !
LIAM STOBBS was tasked with it and made no mistake by passing the ball coolly into the top corner. Just what Westlands needed, to go one up before half time. The message at the break was to start going through the gears now, increase the energy and put the game to bed but the opposite happened. Westlands started the second half poorly, Cobham gained control and for 10/15 minutes were putting the pressure on with constant balls into the box. Eventually a hopeful ball evaded all the Westland defenders and was bundled in despite the efforts of Pete Park who slid against the post in an attempt to keep it out ! 20 minutes to go, back on level terms at 1-1 but could Sports find a winner ? Changes were made, Morley Gold replaced Jacob Manley and George Russell replaced Max Rowswell. This did provide us with more energy but we still weren’t creating anything clear cut. Liam Stobbs, Morley Gold & Aaron Sweet all having efforts saved. Westlands altered the formation, pushing fullbacks on in an attempt to get the winner. And with 6 minutes to go the changes paid off. GEORGE RUSSELL nodded the ball around a Merley midfielder, drove forward and expertly dispatched a low strike into the corner from 25 yards to make it 2-1 to Westlands. Jurgen Klopp fist pumps from the bench as Sports net another late goal ! A great finish by George on his debut. Westlands just needed to see out time now and game management was key. There was one last scare when Cobham almost grabbed a point hitting the bar in the last minute ! The win puts Westlands second in the league, 7 unbeaten with 5 of those being wins. Not a great performance from Sports but 3 points was very welcome after the festive break. Man of the Match was MAX ROWSWELL who ran the opposition full back ragged showing good energy and commitment. Westlands line up: 1.J.Malcom, 2.S.Plumley, 3.P.Park, 4.T.Morgan, 5.J.Burt(c), 6.C.Wells, 7.L.Stobbs, 8.M.Phillips, 9.J.Manley, 10.A.Sweet, 11.M.Rowswell, 12.G.Russell, 14.M.Gold, 15.S.Morgan.
Sat 14th Dec, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3 STALBRIDGE 2
Sports had problems with team selection this week and ended up with only 12 players after an injury to Morley Gold in the warm-up and a ‘no show’ from Jamie Green. With the first team game off, Josh Payne, who has not had much football recently, was drafted in to play up front in the absence of Dwayne Forshaw. No problems with the pitch which was soft but in quite good condition.
Westlands went on the attack straight away and a couple of Aaron Sweet corners caused some concern in the visitor’s defence. The first flew right across the face of the goal without anyone getting a touch, attacker or defender. The second was headed goalwards by Jamie Burt but the Stalbridge keeper punched clear. The early pressure for Westlands however paid off in the 12th minute with the opening goal. Liam Stobbs made a run down the left wing and passed inside to Josh Payne who in turn squared the ball to SAM FULLER who drilled it low and hard into the bottom corner. An excellent goal but unfortunately Westlands could only hold onto their lead for 4 minutes before Stalbridge equalized. A free kick was crossed in and the big Stalbridge #9 outmuscled his marker before planting a header goalwards. Westlands keeper Josh Malcolm palmed the ball up in the air and it dropped behind him into the net with the Sports defenders back on their heels. This setback spurred Sports on and they created several good chances to regain the lead. In 24 minutes Josh Payne raced away down the left and put over a low cross that Sam Fuller scuffed past the post. A minute later a nice move saw Liam Stobbs set up Sam Fuller with a neat back-heel but this time he blazed his shot way over the bar. Then the ball was crossed to Aaron Sweet but his shot was deflected wide. Moving towards half time Josh Payne headed over the bar and then keeper Josh Malcolm came to the rescue, dashing out to block the shot after a Stalbridge player was put clean through.
Half time 1-1 was perhaps a bit harsh on Westlands as they had created several good chances but squandered them. Would these misses come back to haunt the home side ?
Todd Morgan had been struggling with an injury in the 1st half and was replaced by Steve Flynn at half time.
The first minute of the second half saw Josh Payne putting a good cross right across the face of the Stalbridge goal but no takers in a blue shirt. A minute later a Sam Fuller free kick was saved by the Stalbridge keeper for a corner that was scrambled away. Next a superb Sam Fuller through pass put Liam Stobbs in but the Stalbridge keeper raced out and dived at his feet to block. The Stalbridge keeper was having a good game and proving a hard man to beat. It was a cracking game with both sides getting stuck in and the next attack by Stalbridge almost saw them take the lead but Steve Flynn was on the spot to clear a header off the line. On the hour Westlands had a great chance when Max Rowswell burst through and went round the keeper only to see his final shot cleared off the line by a defender who had sprinted round on the cover. Great stuff, and the entertainment continued a minute later when the visitors went in front. Westlands failed to clear their lines and when the ball was crossed in from the right a Stalbridge player had a tap in at the far post. That was a blow for Westlands but they struck back almost immediately. A deep corner from the right bounced around in the goalmouth until GEORGE WESTON somehow managed to scoop the ball over the keeper and it dropped into the far corner. So, 25 minutes to go and locked at 2-2, could one team go on and take the three points ? Westlands looked the most likely and a free kick into the Stalbridge goalmouth saw the keeper block a shot before the rebound was hacked away. In the 73rd minute a Max Rowswell pass gave Sam Fuller a chance to shoot but the keeper just got a touch to deflect the ball for a corner. Going into the last 10 minutes Max Rowswell had a shot turned round the post and a George Weston shot (or was it a cross ?) went just wide. Finally, with just a couple of minutes to go, JOSH PAYNE ran on to a through pass from Sam Fuller and slotted it past the keeper for what proved to be the winning goal. So Westlands came out on top in the end but the visitors were obviously disappointed as they had battled the whole way.
As I said before, both sides got stuck in and I thought the referee had a good game, letting the game flow but clamping down with a couple of yellow cards when it got a bit feisty. Disappointing though to hear the players from both sides moaning for fouls after every tackle. Had the referee blown every time the game would have been stopped every thirty seconds. But credit to both sides for an excellent game of football.
Man of the Match this week was once again SAM FULLER for a cultured display topped off by an excellent goal. That’s 3 MoM’s in 4 weeks for Sam so he must be knocking on that first team door !!
Sat 8th Dec, Dorset Senior League, AFC BLANDFORD 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 10
Sports travelled to AFC Blandford in good form. The game was cancelled last time so Sports were up for it and looking to stretch an impressive unbeaten run to 6 games. With no fixture elsewhere, marksman Mike Rousell was brought into the side to partner Dwayne Forshaw up front, with Chris Wells coming in at right back for an unavailable Pete Park. The pitch in Stourpaine was in very good condition so no excuses not to play our football.
Sports started aggressively and were ahead inside just 4 minutes as SAM FULLER drilled home from 6 yards out. A great start. This didn’t have the desired effect though as for the next 20 minutes Blandford had Sports pinned in their own half, without keeper Josh Malcolm really being tested but we had certainly dropped off and allowed the hosts back into the game. However, we were next to score. A diagonal ball was received by the ever-dangerous Sam Fuller who drove to the byeline before cutting back across goal for DWAYNE FORSHAW to slide in and finish with his… knees ? 2-0 up despite it being undeserved. This did click us into the gear though and suddenly we looked ourselves again. Chances were coming thick and fast and it wasn’t long before MIKE ROUSELL bundled in from a goalmouth scramble for 3-0. Just before halftime, Dwayne Forshaw evaded his man before cutting back for SAM FULLER to smash home his 2nd and our 4th. 4-0 right on the halftime whistle.
We had been very clinical but the scoreline was flattering so the message at half time was all about discipline and game management.
Blandford however wouldn’t roll over and started the second half strong, eventually pulling one back with a header from a set piece. Skipper Jamie Burt and goalkeeper Josh Malcolm were not impressed as that first clean sheet of the season had evaded us again. We responded well though and SAM FULLER bundled home his hat-trick after some unselfish play from Mike Rousell. 5-1 now but Blandford didn’t give up and had a couple of chances to get back in the game that weren’t taken. They eventually did get on the scoresheet again after a counter attack to make it 5-2. However, Sports fitness was showing now as we didn’t stop. LIAM STOBBS had done just about everything but score, until he raced through and slotted to grab a well deserved goal. 6-2. Blandford were now on the ropes and Sports were pushing for more. MIKE ROUSELL added his second shortly after with a well taken goal to make it 7. Time for changes as Max Rowswell & Morley Gold were introduced for Mike Rousell and Aaron Sweet.
Next on the scoresheet was left back GEORGE WESTON ! After bombing forward on the attack, he found himself on the end of a ball across the 6 yard box to pass into the net. 8-2 and it was now a rout. 16 year old MORLEY GOLD was in fine form from the bench as he expertly finished his first goal of the season for the reserves and shortly after it was that man MORLEY GOLD who completed his brace to cap a strong 25 minute display.
Final score 10-2. A superb performance which puts us 3rd and improves the goal difference. Huge credit to Blandford for their continued work rate and hospitality..
Man of the Match this week was SAM FULLER who is arguably the form player in the team at the minute.
Sat 1st Dec, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 BEAMINSTER 3
Sports finally had a game on ! First game in 5 weeks, with the Alvington pitch looking in fab condition but a blustery, cold day for football. Sports entered the game against visitors Beaminster without defeat in the previous 4 games so form beginning to come together. Beaminster themselves had picked up some decent results lately so it looked a good match. Pete Park was included in the starting line-up for his reserves debut at right back, while Dwayne Forshaw also returned to the side up front.
Sports adopted a 4-3-3 approach and allowed the visitors to have the ball across the back four. This was working to our advantage as Jamie Burt and Todd Morgan were dominating our back line. Matt Phillips was In the holding role and got an early grip of the midfield with Aaron Sweet and Tom Aitken just in front of him. We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal which came after 15 minutes. The set up was working well as Sports waited their chance to press, forced the mistake, and SAM FULLER squirmed a shot from 20 yards under the keeper. A great start.
Beaminster responded well, with Josh Malcolm being called into action a handful of times to make some decent saves. After absorbing a bit of pressure for 20 minutes, Sports got their second goal. Again the front 3 forced the mistake and DWAYNE FORSHAW made sure he was back with a bang after rounding the keeper and slotting home for 2-0 !! Thoroughly deserved.
Confidence was at full flow and Sports were playing some really decent stuff and in theory should have been out of sight. Chances for Dwayne Forshaw and Liam Stobbs were just not quite falling for them. Liam Stobbs almost had a contender for goal of the season, dancing his way through 3 players, sitting the keeper down and just slotting wide.
Beamister were not done yet though and got themselves back in the game with a well worked goal. An exquisite pass cut the back four open and their striker smashed it into the top corner leaving Westlands keeper Josh Malcolm with no chance. 2-1 now and the visitors back in the game. The next 10 minutes was all the away side and in fairness they got themselves deservedly level. A corner whipped in front post and it was headed home. 2-2. Could we get to half time level and re-regroup?
We did better than that when a ball over the top put Dwayne Forshaw through. However the Beaminster centre half decided he would dive and grab the ball, resulting in a free kick 20 yards out. AARON SWEET had looked a little rusty from set pieces this season however this one was placed perfectly round the wall and rustled the net !! 3-2 up right on half-time.
The message at half-time was simple, keep our shape and work rate and we would win the game. However the first 20 minutes of the second half was poor, with the ball being knocked forward long by Beaminster and our back four just about dealing with it. That pressure paid off in the 70th minute when the visitors caught us on the break and levelled the score at 3-3. Probably deserved as we had gone a little flat. With 15 minutes remaining Aaron Sweet was replaced by Max Rowswell which resulted in a change of shape. Sam Fuller was now closer to Dwaye in the ‘10’ role to try and get us a winner.
And thankfully one of them did. A blistering run by Liam Stobbs resulted in him being fouled in area and DWAYNE FORSHAW stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot to put us 4-3 ahead. We saw the last 10 minutes out fairly comfortably. A good performance and another 3 points on the board.
Man of the Match this week is MATT PHILLIPS for running the midfield with ease for 90 minutes.
Sat 26th Oct, Dorset Senior League, CRANBORNE 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2
Despite the heavy rain, the verdict was game on as the Reserves travelled to Cranborne looking to go unbeaten in 3. Dan Ewens & Morley Gold were on first team duties, so Jack Vine & Mike Rousell were signings added to the squad, along with the return of Todd & Scott Morgan. The pitch was surprisingly looking good.
Westlands started well and dominated from the first whistle. The back four were looking dominant and the midfield two of Tom Aitken & Jack Vine got hold of the game early on. Their energy was allowing Sam Fuller & Aaron Sweet playing narrower winger roles to cause lots of problems. Mike Rousell was looking as sharp as ever upfront with Jacob Manley in the ‘free’ role behind also working hard. It wasn’t all one way traffic though, as Cranborne’s ability to switch the ball was giving us something to think about without keeper Josh Malcolm being called into action. The technical ability of the Westland’s forward players was becoming evident as Cranborne were giving away lots of free-kicks. With Aaron Sweet’s delivery on the money each time, how we weren’t scoring from them was hard to believe! However…..that changed 20 minutes in when MIKE ROUSELL stood his defender up on the edge of the box, before exquisitely lobbing the keeper to give us the lead! 1-0 and thoroughly deserved. Cranborne responded well and Josh Malcolm was on hand to make some pretty routine saves to keep them at bay. We looked dangerous every time we crossed the halfway line and soon after it was 2-0. A foul 25 yards out and wide of the box and a superb delivery from AARON SWEET evaded everyone with its precision and nestled in the bottom corner!! Westlands 2-0 up and cruising.
Things however did take a drastic change. A 50/50 ball contested by Jacob Manley resulted in their keeper coming off worse sustaining an injury. However, after the keeper received treatment, some 5 minutes later, Jacob was sent off, straight red card and suddenly we are down to 10. From the dugout view a harsh decision but understandable as the referee was under extreme pressure from the opposition bench and players. A few minutes later things went from bad to worse as Mike Rousell felt a tweak in his hamstring and was unable to carry on. This prompted a change in personnel and shape, with Joe Jarvis coming on as sole striker. Half time whistle and Westlands go in 2-0 up.
The message at half time was all about game management. Obviously the change in shape, being a man down & losing Mike Rousell & Jacob Manley as a pair up front was going to be difficult. Could we soak up the pressure and remain strong?
Into the second half and we still looked dangerous on the counter with Joe Jarvis, and Sam Fuller now causing the Cranborne defenders problems. After 60 minutes Cranborne were back in it, a sliced clearance fell kindly to their striker who finished well to make it 2-1. Not a great goal to concede just unlucky if anything. Another slice of bad luck came soon after as Aaron Sweet tweaked his groin!!! Something was against us today. He was replaced by Chris Wells, with Jack Vine moving wide left of the midfield 4. With 75 minutes on the clock, a free kick was given away 20 yards from goal and their striker, who had looked dangerous all day, brought the scores level with a good effort bent around the wall. However, this setback gave us a new found belief and suddenly we looked like the side going on to win it with chances falling to Joe Jarvis, Sam Fuller & Jack Vine, none of which could convert. Tom Aitken also had a goal bound effort well saved. With 10 to go ANOTHER injury as Scott Morgan had be replaced by James Bazely, who slotted in at right back with Todd Morgan shifting across to centre back.
We saw the final 10 minutes out well and ended with a point despite playing with 10 men for 70 minutes. Although ultimately we lost a 2-0 lead, the character and commitment shown was impeccable by every single player. That makes it 3 unbeaten in the league with performances individually and collectively growing every week.
Man of the Match this week was SAM FULLER who’s work rate off the ball was excellent and his quality on the ball was outstanding, with his confidence now really beginning to grow.
Sat 19th Sept, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2 STURMINSTER MARSHALL 2
Sports welcomed a Sturminster Marshall side to Alvington who had yet to drop points in the league. 5 gamers 5 wins with a hatfull of goals scored so the Westland lads needed to be up for it. Sports themselves were entering the game on the back of an impressive 1-3 victory away to Tisbury so it looked set to be a good contest. Josh Malcom made his league debut for Sports in goal after completing his move from Gillingham Dons. It was a frantic start to the game with neither side able to gain control, Sturminster were a big side physically and were using that to their advantage. They were beginning to turn the screw after a sustained amount of pressure and were rewarded 15 minutes in. Yet again a long ball wasn’t dealt with (story of the season so far) and the striker latched onto it and thumped it over Sports keeper Josh Malcolm into the net off the underside of the bar. 1-0 to the visitors.
It was one way traffic at this stage with Sturminster well on top and the only option seemingly available to Westlands during this spell was a long ball to Liam Stobbs. Several chances were missed for the away team as Sports hung on but eventually as we moved into the last ten minutes of the half Westlands started to get some control of the ball and began to mount some attacks. Adam Barratt and Aaron Sweet got a good foothold in the centre of the park and the tide was beginning to turn. A few off the ball challenges were adding to the temperature of the game which for the neutral was good to watch. In the 35th minute a long crossfield ball to Lewis Morgan saw him tumble in the box but the strong penalty appeal from all round the ground was turned down. Then a deep free kick to the far post was headed back across goal by Jamie Burt to George Weston who unfortunately put his header over the bar. Then Lewis Morgan had a shot over the top as Westlands continued to press. Eventually, in the 44th minute, AARON SWEET robbed the Sturminster centre back 20 yards out and drilled the ball past the keeper at his near post to make it 1-1.
That was just the tonic Westlands needed and the message at half time was to keep going and playing how we were.
The parity was short lived however as 2 minutes into the second half, dare I say it, a long ball through the middle was not dealt with and the Stur centre forward ran through unchallenged and banged the ball into the corner of the net. It was end to end now, as a Sturminster player prodded the ball just past the Westlands post and, at the other end, Lewis Morgan held the ball up well and laid it off to Aaron Sweet whose shot went wide. The next Sturminster attack saw Sam Plumley block a shot on the line with the rebound blasted wide. Then Max Rowsell had a chance for Westlands but blazed it over the bar. The 54th minute saw changes from the Westlands bench, with Sam Fuller & Morley Gold replacing Max Rowswell and Jacob Manley. The fresh legs seemed to add some new energy as it was now Sports pushing for the leveller. Stur were still dangerous on the break and rattled the site netting after an impressive counter-attack so we had to be wary when pushing forward. However with 30 minutes to go, Lewis Morgan, playing in the most advanced midfield role, demonstrated his quality by receiving the ball with his back to goal from a throw, turning his man before putting over a delightful inswinging cross for LIAM STOBBS who at the second attempt, levelled the scores at 2-2. Westlands were looking more confident now and Aaron Sweet had a shot deflected for a corner and a few minutes later a good passing move set up Sam Fuller with a chance but he blasted wide of the near post. A Westlands free kick saw Lewis Morgan net but Jamie Burt had been flagged offside. As we moved into the dying minutes Sports had a let off when Sam Fuller cleared a goalbound header off the line to keep the score level. Then in the dying seconds Westlands almost snatched the winner. A nice through pass split the Sturminster defence and Lewis Morgan ran through with only the keeper to beat. He calmly slotted the ball passed the onrushing goalie only to it slip past the far post by a couple of inches. Agonising as this effectively was the last kick off the game. Still, a good draw and pleasing performance. Probably the result was a fair one on reflection but Westlands can be happy with the commitment shown.
Man of the Match this week was GEORGE WESTON for a solid performance at the heart of the defence.
Sat 28th Sept, Dorset Senior League, TISBURY UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3
Sports travelled to Tisbury on the back of two humbling defeats to Poole & Broadstone so plenty to do against a Tisbury side who knew where the goal was based on their two previous games, scoring 14 goals ! Westlands went into the game with effectively a new look back 5 of Mark Cuff GK, Steve Flynn RB, Todd & Scott Morgan CB brothers and Dan Ewens retaining his place at LB. Tom Aitken was tasked with protecting them as the anchor man in a midfield 3 with Joe Jarvis and skipper Aaron Sweet. Jacob Manley, Liam Stobbs & Max Rowswell made up a front 3 with Jacob central. Westlands started aggressively with a high work rate all over the pitch, forcing Tisbury into passing mistakes. Chances were created throughout the first half, falling to Jacob Manley, Max Rowswell & Liam Stobbs, however it took a slice of luck to make the breakthrough in the 40th minute. AARON SWEET fired in a shot that took a deflection and left the goalkeeper flat-footed.
That put us in at the break with a one goal lead and it had been a much improved performance from the Westlands team. The back four had looked solid and the midfield 3 were working their socks off, with the front 3 creating chances, so far so good. A response was expected from the home team after the interval and that’s exactly what we got. For the first 20 minutes Tisbury put the pressure on however our determination as a unit was keeping them out. We were defending deep but Jacob Manley was proving a valuable outlet with his hold up play. Despite a lot of pressure Westlands never really looked like conceding and even had a couple of chances to go 2-0 up before Tisbury struck in the 78th minute. Their striker latched onto a pass, turned his marker well and finished nicely to make it 1-1. Still, the response from Sports was electric. 90 seconds later, a Liam Stobbs corner was headed against the keeper by SCOTT MORGAN, who followed up to tap in the rebound. 2-1 to Westlands with 10 minutes left, could Sports see out the game ? Matt Phillips and Sam Fuller then replaced Aaron Sweet and Max Rowswell who covered an enormous amount of ground between them. The fresh legs and the second goal gave Sports another boost of confidence. With 5 minutes left Liam Stobbs raced away before squaring for JACOB MANLEY who finished very well to effectively wrap up a thoroughly deserved 3 points. Defender George Weston then replaced Liam Stobbs for the last 5 minutes plus injury time. Sports saw the game out well and a well rounded performance brought the 3 points back down the A303. A fantastic response on the back of two defeats.
Man of the Match this week was 18 year old TODD MORGAN, who excelled in a CB role. Nice to see these young players coming through for Westlands. Of the 14 players on show today 9 of them graduated through the Sports youth teams.
Sat 21st Sept, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1 BROADSTONE 4
Westlands entered their first daylight home game of the season on the back of a thumping the previous week away to Poole Borough. Still, 2 wins from 3 so no issues just yet. However a reaction was needed based on the manner of the defeat last week. Broadstone had themselves had a decent start, so, like any game in this league, it wasn’t going to be easy. Westlands started with intent and for the first time this season were not 1-0 down after 10 minutes. They were controlling the game nicely and peppering the Broadstone back four with attacks. The breakthrough came when a warm up drill payed dividends as the front 3 of Morley Gold, Joe Jarvis & and Liam Stobbs combined, allowing Liam to slot confidently into the bottom corner from 18 yards. 1-0 up and a decent start. This goal seemed to have the opposite of a desired effect and we almost just stopped playing, Broadstone were on top and pressing for an equaliser. Their striker was causing both CB’s a problem with his pace. 20 minutes played and a ball over the top, which we seem to struggle against this year, resulted in a free kick being given away 20 yards out. Broadstone skipper stepped up and drilled it into the bottom corner, good finish, 1-1. Broadstione took confidence from this and really began to control the game with 53 year old in centre midfield at the heart of it! 30 minutes in and yet another ball over the top resulted in their striker again latching on to it and rounding Westlands keeper Rich Pippard before being brought down for penalty, zero complaints but really poor defending again. The striker stepped up and made no mistake, 1-2 down 20 minutes after scoring. Both from set pieces and easily avoidable. Half time whistle went and the message was to get back playing again, passes were going astray and the lads were very quiet!!
Unfortunately the half time message didn’t have the desired impact as yet again a ball in behind the defence allowed Broadstone to make it 1-3. This triggered changes in personal and formation, with Tom Aitken and Joe Jarvis replaced by Chris Wells & Todd Morgan. This allowed us to revert from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 in hope of getting back into the game. A handful of chances were shared between the front 3 but to no avail. As we pushed higher in attempt to give ourselves a lifeline Broadstone killed the game off by scoring again, resulting in a 1-4 scoreline. 10 goals conceded in two games with another poor showing here. We face Tisbury, Mere & Sturminster Marshall in our next 3 fixtures. 3 very tough games and hopefully we will match the occasions with performance. Still, 2 wins from 4 but improvement needed. The Man of the Match award went to Westlands line-up: 1.R.Pippin, 2.R.Thompson, 3.D.Ewens, 4.M.Phillips. 5.G.Weston, 6.A.Sweet (c) 6. 7.S.Fuller, 8.T.Aitken 9.M.Gold, 10.J.Jarvis, 11.L.Stobbs 12.C.Wells, 14.T.Jarvis, 15.T.Morgan
Sat 14th Sept, Dorset Senior League, POOLE BOROUGH 6 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
Westland’s travelled to Poole with two wins from two, scoring 8 goals, however conceding four in the process. Confidence was high but Poole always provide a stern test and were not be taken lightly after an impressive 1-0 win against Wincanton Res in their previous outing. Injury and avalablity forced the management team of Jake Coombs and Liam Plympton to adopt a different shape and start with a 3-5-2.
The story of the previous two games was going 1-0 down before we started playing, and it was yet again a lack of concentration just six minutes in that allowed a Poole corner to go straight into the back of the net ! 1-0 down but nobody panicked yet. However, Poole were the better side in terms of their work rate and desire to win second balls and it appeared we just didn’t have an answer and looked a few yards off the pace.
Poole were adopting quite a deep defensive line which allowed us to press high however this wasn’t as a unit. The result was gaps all over the pitch which allowed Poole to exploit them by hitting long passes for their quick strikers. We didn’t seem able to cope with this and 15 minutes later it was 2-0. A long ball was not dealt with and the Poole striker capitalised and rounded Sports keeper Rich Pippin to roll it in. Backs against the wall now for Westlands but heads were down so we were glad to hear the half time whistle.
Two nil down at the break and changes were needed as we hadn’t mustered a decent effort on goal for the first 45 minutes. We reverted back to 4-3-3 with Max Rowswell replacing Liam Stobbsy and Rory Thomson replacing Morley Gold. Strong words were spoken in the dressing room at half time, so the management were looking for an instant reponse. We did start the second half a lot sharper and with a lot more purpose and endeavour but that final third quality was still lacking. Chances for Dan Ewens, Aaron Sweet & Joe Jarvis came and went and it was beginning to feel like it wasn’t our day.
To be fair to the lads they kept pushing however with 15 minutes gone of the second half it was near enough game over. Yet again a long ball wasn’t dealt with and it was 3-0. We still kept working away and Joe Jarvis had two goals ruled out for offside ! One of these was very dubious, if only we had VAR in the Dorset Senior League !
With 20 minutes to go, Tom Jarvis was introduced for his reserves debut placing Sam Fuller in the midfield 3.. As the minutes ticked down and legs tired the game became more expansive, errors and misplaced passes started to increase. Another long ball and another goal ! 4-0 and it was almost becoming unbearable to watch. With 20 minutes to go, MATT PHILLIPS chested down a corner and volleyed the ball into the back of the net to get us on the scoresheet with probably the goal of the game, 4.-1.
Poole looked dangerous every time they attacked and scored two late goals to make it a final score of 6-1.
A reality check for the lads in terms of how hard this season will be despite them being champions last year. A lot of below par performances which leave question marks over places.
Man of the Match went to MATT PHILLIPS for that goal which was the only bright moment of the day..
Sat 7th Sept, Dorset Senior League, STALBRIDGE 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4
Westlands travelled to Stalbridge in buoyant mood after coming from behind in mid-week to win 4-2. The management team emphasised the boys must start faster than Tuesday and begin by controlling the game. Like Tuesday, they got the opposite. A frantic 10 minutes where Stalbridge applied a lot of pressure and, with Westlands struggling to get their game going, they found themselves 1-0 down inside the first 12 minutes. A cross was hooked over and their striker was on hand to direct a header into the net. 1-0 down, again, early doors. However, unlike Tuesday, the response was almost instant. Just 1 minute later JOE JARVIS was put through and slotted the ball in to level the scores. 1-1. The midfield 3 of Aaron Sweet, Dan Ewens and Sam Fuller now began to dictate the game, with Westlands defensive line high allowing us to pressure and press from the front. Rory Thomson was getting a lot of joy down the left hand side with Scott Morgan tucked in behind him. Although it was mostly Westlands on the front foot, Stalbridge were dangerous on the break.
Ten minutes after we’d equalised, we went 1-2 up ! JOE JARVIS again found himself through on goal, and although at a tight angle he drilled it across and keeper and the defender helped it into the net by sliding it in. Joe’s goal or an own OG? Manager Jake Coombs was happy for Joe to claim it which takes him to 4 goals in 2 games !
By this point the performance was growing by the minute, confidence was high and the football was free flowing. Rory Thomson was at the centre of most of the attacks as he ran the Stalbridge right back ragged. This eventually led to them swapping there centre half and right back over in attempt to nullify Rory’s threat ! It didn’t work as just before half time Rory got to the by-line and crossed for LIAM STOBBS to tap home and make it 1-3. The first half did end on a sour note when Sports centre half Todd Morgan was clattered by the keeper and had to be replaced. Chris Wells stepped into centre midfield with Dan Ewens moving back to centre half..
The second half kicked off with Stalbridge applying pressure and making Sports keeper Rich Pippin make some strong saves to keep us at 1-3. This eventually changed when Westlands defender Scott Morgan was adjudged to have handled in the area (still moaning about it now !) and again their striker made no mistake in making it 3-2.
Stalbridge took confidence from this and were pushing for the equaliser. Max Rowswell and Morley Gold were introduced for Joe Jarvis and Liam Stobbs who had worked their socks off as part of a front 3 and both had goals as rewards. As the second half wore on Westlands began to get control again with Sam Fuller, Morley Gold & Max Rowswell all testing the keeper.
With only a few minutes remaining and Stalbridge making one last push in search of a point, Sports put the game to bed. Scott Morgan fed RORY THOMSON on the left hand side. Rory dummied a defender and, driving into the box, playing a neat 1-2 before drawing the keeper and delightfully finishing by chipping over him. A superb goal which was thoroughly deserved for his non-stop performance. He even drew compliments from the opposition bench.
The full time whistle was blown a minute or so later, signalling another 4-2 win for Sports. Credit to the opposition who never stopped making us work for the points, in game played in the right way. Still a few gears to come but we are winning games and scoring goals so all positive so far !
Man of the Match once again went to RICH PIPPIN who is in good form and made some important saves.
Tues 3rd Sept, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 WINCANTON TOWN RES 2
The first game of the season for the reserves and strangely it was on a midweek evening. With the game kicking off at 6.30 pm and sundown forecast for 7.50 pm it seemed a bizarre decision by the league to have a full league programme !
With several of last year’s league winning side having opted for easier options this season the line up for the opening fixture saw a few new faces take the field. It was also the first match in charge for our new management team of Jake Coombs and Liam Plympton so they were keen to get off to a good start.
Unfortunately they got the exact opposite as Westlands conceded the first goal of the season after 30 seconds ! Wincanton won the ball and a quick pass through the middle put their #11 clean through and he chipped the keeper nicely to tuck the ball in the back of the net. Westlands defenders were still in the changing room ! Virtually from the kick-off Westlands put the ball into the Wincanton box where a defender handled it for a penalty ! Up stepped Nick Voss to take the spot kick but he leaned back and sidefooted the ball well over the bar. What a start to the game and the action kept coming.
In the 4th minute Rich Pippin tipped a good shot over the bar to prevent a second goal for the visitors. A decent chance fell to Westlands when a Sam Fuller pass put Morley Gold into the box but he was forced wide and his final shot went into the side net. Westlands had a lot of possession but the build up was very slow with too many sideways and backwards passes allowing Wincanton to get plenty of men behind the ball. The visitors were quite quick in attack but the Westlands defence, with skipper Jamie Burt dominant, were in command. That was until just before half time when a Wincanton player was clean through and it looked a certain goal but Rich Pippin pulled off a terrific save with his legs to keep the deficit to just one goal at the break.
The second half opened with a similar scenario, a Wincanton player with an open goal but his shot flashed past the post. In the 48th minute Sam Fuller had a chance for Sports but his shot went straight at the keeper. That was followed by once again a Wincanton player running clear of our defence and once again Rich Pippin saved the day with a good save. If the visitors had been more clinical in front of goal they could have been out of sight by now. However Westlands were showing a bit more determination with Sam Plumley getting down the right and putting over some good crosses. In the 75th minute Sports went close when Nick Voss hit the bar from a free kick. The pace was hotting up now and a minute later Westlands equalised. The ball was played into a crowded Wincanton penalty area where SAM PLUMLEY reacted first to stick the ball into the back of the net. In the 80th minute Wincanton had a good effort that hit the post and was scrambled away but they wouldn’t be denied and 3 minutes later took the lead again. Another through ball put their forward in and this time he finished well, drilling the ball low into the far corner. It was frantic football now and only 2 minutes later Sports equalised again. The ball was crossed in and SAM FULLER swivelled and shot into the corner. Two minutes later the place erupted when Westlands took the lead for the first time. Will Ireland made a great run in behind the Wincanton defence and squared the ball to JOE JARVIS who belted it into the net. As we moved into injury time, and in almost total darkness, Westlands made sure of the points with the fourth goal. A nice pass saw JOE JARVIS steaming down the middle in the darkening gloom and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net to finish the game off.
What an extraordinary finish to the match ! In the last 7 minutes we had 4 goals and 3 of them were scored by Westlands to take the points. A good start to the season and a great fighting performance by the lads but some lessons to be learned for the future.
Man of the Match went to RICH PIPPIN who pulled off several excellent one on one saves to keep Sports in the game.
Sun 15th Mar, Somerset U18 League Cup semi-final: BRIDGWATER WOLVES 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
A 3g pitch for Westlands was something different but the weather was fine so we were looking to put on a good performance.
The home team started fast and forced a corner almost direct from the kick-off. Westlands failed to clear the kick and a Bridgwater player got a shot away that went just past the post. An early chance there but Sports soon settled and suddenly all the play was down at the other end. The pressure was building and in the 13th minute Westlands almost opened the scoring. A good build up ended with a Seb Goddard shot on target that looked goal bound but was just deflected for a corner at the last second. Isaac Storey put over an inswinging corner that hit the bar, bounced down and was scrambled away. In the 25th minute a long throw by Charlie Baker was head-flicked on by Luca Martin and headed just over the bar by Seb Goddard. A couple of minutes later another long throw by Charlie Baker was again flicked on by Luca Martin but this time there were no Westland players there to convert. Bridgwater had been virtually pinned in their own half for the first half hour but then showed how dangerous they could be. A long ball was fired forward deep into the Westlands half. Sports goalkeeper Gabriel Cole raced out to the edge of his box but was beaten to the ball by a Wolves player who headed the ball over him but also wide of the goal. After 36 minutes Luca Martin had a shot blocked by the home keeper, Seb Goddard was following up but his shot hit a defender and was deflected for a corner. As the corner was swung over two Westlands players went for it and the final header went over the bar.
In the 44th minute Westlands final chance of the half came when a good pass from Luca Martin gave Seb Goddard a chance but his shot was blocked by the Bridgwater keeper with his feet. Half-time 0-0.
Westlands had dominated the first half and really, with the amount of chances they created, should have scored a couple of goals. Bridgwater had defended doggedly, throwing themselves to block shots time and time again.
The home team came out the traps fast in the second half and Sports keeper Gabriel Cole made a good save from a low shot. After 2 minutes however, their early pressure paid off. A free kick was put into the goalmouth and with the Sports defence flat footed two Bridgwater players ran in unchallenged and one of them scuffed the ball into the net off the far post. Westlands came back with a good attack which ended with Luca Martin putting a free kick over the bar from the edge of the box. Then Luca had a shot on target that the keeper saved. Disaster then struck Westlands when Bridgwater scored their second goal. A quick attack down the right saw the ball crossed and swept into the net on the run to make it 2-0. A fast attack their had carved open the Westlands defence and things looked a bit bleak for the visitors. Bridgwater looked relaxed now and a had a corner just headed over the Westlands bar. Sports were a bit stunned by the turnaround in the match in the second half but gradually their heads cleared and they got back on the front foot. In the 65th minute the goal Westlands so badly needed came at the end of a flowing move. The ball was passed quickly across the field from right to left to SEB GODDARD and he sidefooted under the diving keeper into the back of the net to make it 2-1. Westlands were pressing now looking for the equaliser and in the 75th minute the ball fell to Tom Jarvis in the box and he smashed in a shot that the Bridgwater keeper somehow parried away at point blank range. Sports kept attacking but Bridgwater were always dangerous on the break and with 5 minutes to go Gabriel Cole pulled off a superb save, tipping a rising shot onto the post to keep Westlands in the game. Sports pressed and pressed but the Wolves were defending in numbers and there was no way through. With Westlands defenders pushing forward they were caught with a sucker punch in the 92nd minute when Bridgwater broke fast and had an easy task to score. That was that, a 3-1defeat, but the Westlands team had put on a great show and could count themselves a bit unlucky to lose.
The Man of the Match this week is SEB GODDARD who was involved in all Westlands attacks and took his goal really well.
After two cancellations in a row it was good to get back in action on another dry but cold afternoon. The pitch was cut up from the previous day’s match and the sticky surface would make it a tough test physically.
The visitors started brightly and soon had Westlands on the back foot. After 2 minutes the first attempt of the match came from Yatton, a shot that flew well over the bar. Their big #11 was putting over some dangerous crosses and from one of these Yatton almost opened the scoring. The low hard cross was volleyed on the run and looked to be a certain goal until Sports keeper Gabriel Cole flung himself full length and somehow blocked the shot. A great save that seemed to wake Westlands up and at last they made an attacking move, a good cross from Lewis Trusson being headed over by Gabby Nitecki. In the 10th minute Sports opened the scoring. Tom Jarvis made some space on the edge of the box and slipped a pass to HENRY FIELD who controlled it and dinked a chip-shot over the advancing keeper into the back of the net. There was a big shout from the opposition for a handball in the build up to the goal but the referee was not listening. The next big chance came to Yatton and was a replica of their first effort. A good driven cross was met on the run about 12 yards out and blasted goalwards but once again Gabriel Cole made a magnificent save, diving to his left to block the shot. But for these two saves Westlands could have been 2-1 down at this point. Sports did begin to get on top after this and in the 21st minute Tom Jarvis got a good shot away that the Yatton keeper tipped round the post. Gabby Nitecki got his head to the resulting corner but his effort went straight at the keeper. Four minutes later Westlands scored again. Tom Jarvis made a good run down the right wing and whipped over a low cross that BEN POUNDER turned in at the near post. Another good goal and with the score now 2-0 it looked as if Sports might be running away with this game. However the away side managed to keep things tight and the only other real chance Westlands had before the break was a Seb Goddard shot that the keeper tipped round the post.
A 2-0 lead for Westlands was a welcome half time score as we had struggled to get going early on but had taken control and finished the half well on top.
Sports made four substitutions at half time and this seemed to upset the rhythm of the team as the half opened. Yatton were looking fired up and were first to every ball, which paid quick dividends as they had the ball in the net after 2 minutes of the second half. Fortunately for the home side the goal was ruled out for offside but the warning signs were there. Sure enough, two minutes later the equaliser came. A good passing move had the Westlands defence all over the place and the ball was played across goal for an easy tap-in finish. This goal woke Sports up a bit and within 3 minutes they had restored their two goal lead. LOUIS FERGUSSON battled for a loose ball in the Yatton penalty area, won possession and from a tight angle thrashed the ball into the roof of the net. A well taken goal and with the score now 3-1 Westlands were once again in the driving seat. Yatton hadn’t given up however, and with 8 minutes left should really have scored. A Yatton player fired in a cracking shot that came off the Westlands bar and fell to one of his team-mates whose header then rebounded off the post and was scrambled away. A huge let-off but the visitors kept pressing and with 5 minutes left they scored. A free kick was conceded about 35 yards out on the right. With the players lined up on the edge of the 18 yard box, the ball was played in to about the penalty spot where about three Yatton players were running in unmarked to score. A soft goal to lose making it 3-2 but Sports managed to play out the remaining few minutes without any more scares to take the three points.
Not a great display by Westlands who looked a bit disorganised defensively but we were dangerous in attack and just about deserved the win.
The Man of the Match this week is GABRIEL COLE for those two brilliant saves in the first half that played a big part in the final result.
Sunday 2nd Feb, Somerset U18 League Cup : WESTLAND SPORTS 16 PRIORY PUMAS 1
Another soft pitch to contend with but a nice dry day for a change.
After 3 minutes Westland’s Henry Field had the first shot of the match but the Priory keeper saved fairly easily. Sports were definitely on top in these early stages and it was no great surprise when they opened the scoringafter 12 minutes. George Sutton made a good run forward and his deep cross was headed in by an unmarked PETER PARK at the far post. Some poor marking there by the visitor’s. Only 4 minutes later some shocking defending by the Westlands defence presented an opposition player with a gift but somebody thankfully managed to cover round and clear the ball off the line. After this let-off Westlands immediately went on the attack down the right. Peter Park beat his man and cut the ball back to Tom Jarvis who couldn’t get a shot away but the ball fell to Rory Thomson who leant back and blasted it over the bar. Then Seb Goddard made a great run through the visitors defence and tried to place a sidefooter into the bottom corner but didn’t get enough pace on it and the keeper saved. In the 20th minute, against the run of play, Priory equalised. The Westlands defence had several chances to clear the ball but messed around until a Priory player stepped in and had a simple finish. We had eventually been punished for our mistakes but the Sports players responded well and were soon pressing down at the other end. In the 25th minute this paid off with the second goal. SEB GODDARD took a free kick about 35 yards out and way out near the touchline. He fired over a high cross that evaded everyone and flew into the top corner. This took the wind out of the Priory sails and 4 minutes later it was 3-1. Peter Park drove into the box and fired over a cross that a Priory defender turned into his OWN GOAL. The visitors heads went down now and a minute later, in the 30th minute, Tom Jarvis laid the ball off to SEB GODDARD who drilled it in to make the score 4-1. It was one way traffic now and in the 36th minute RORY THOMSON raced onto a through ball, went round the keeper and scored goal number 5. In 38 minutes a through pass from Gabi Nitecki to Rory Thomson was squared to PETER PARK for a tap-in, 6-1. And finally, two minutes before half time, Rory Thomson once again set up PETER PARK who drilled in number 7 and completed a first half hat-trick.
What an amazing half that had been, teams level after 20 minutes then a complete collapse by the visitors to see them go in 7-1 down at half time. Obviously it was game over but could Priory rally and keep things a bit tighter in the second half ?
After2 minutes we had our answer when Gabi Nitecki put a nice pass through to TOM JARVIS and he smashed it in for goal number 8. In the 50th minute Louis Fergusson, who had been introduced at half time, smashed a shot off the crossbar as he looked to quickly get on the scoresheet. In the 51st minute there was a bit of a melee in the Priory box and TOM JARVIS appeared to finally stab the ball over the line to make it 9-1. In the 58th minute TOM JARVIS beat 3 men in a mazy run and as the keeper came out, dinked the ball over him into the net to complete his hat-trick in 11 minutes and make the score 10-1. In the 62nd minute HENRY FIELD got on the scoresheet with a tremendous goal, picking up the ball about 25 yards out and smashing a shot into the net. That made it 11-1 but not for long as LOUIS FERGUSSON opened his account with a thumping drive into the roof of the net from 15 yards out to make it 12-1. There was still 25 minutes to go and it would be a long 25 minutes for the visitors who were totally shell shocked.
In the 70th minute it was 13 when LOUIS FERGUSSON ran through and reversed a shot into the far corner. 2 minutes later Conner Sharpe made a good run down the right and LOUIS FERGUSSON thumped in his cross to complete his hat-trick and make the score 14-1.In the 85th minute LOUIS FERGUSSON added his 4th with an exquisite chip over the keeper to make it 15. Finally in he 88th minute PETER PARK added his fourth goal and Westlands 16th when a nice through ball gave him an easy finish.
What a game that had been, 17 goals in all so a great afternoon’s entertainment. There was some good football played by the Westland lads and some cracking finishes so an excellent performance.
The Man of the Match this week is SEB GODDARD who adds a bit of quality to the midfield and is not afraid to do the hard work and get the tackles in either. He got forward for a couple of goals as well so an excellent performance.
We had played Nailsea twice already this season with the score one game each so todays cup match was delicately poised. The pitch was soft but Sports looked to have a strong line-up and with the weather fine we looked forward to a good game.
The first chance came in the 4th minute when a poor kick out from the Nailsea keeper put his defender under pressure. Lewis Trusson robbed him of the ball and got a good shot away but the keeper redeemed himself with a good save. Lewis Trusson up front was causing the visitors problems and a couple of minutes later he had a shot from the edge of the box blocked by a defender. The next chance, after 20 minutes, was a turn and shot again from Lewis Trusson which flew just past the far post. He repeated the feat a couple of minutes later shooting just wide. Just after this Ben Pounder put Rory Thomson through on goal and as the keeper came out Rory tried a lob but just missed the target. It had been constant Westlands pressure with the visitors not creating anything of note and in the 30th minute came the breakthrough with the opening goal. A free kick was put into the Nailsea box and the ball fell to RORY THOMSON who rifled it into the top corner.Sports were pressing hard and made it 2-0 in the 40th minute and again the move started with a free kick. Again the ball was put in the box and, with the Nailsea defence flat-footed, SEB GODDARD made the run, controlled the ball, and with his back to goal spun round and prodded the ball past the keeper.
Half-time 2-0. An excellent first half from Sports, and although the visitors hadn’t created any serious chances they had some good players so could not be discounted. In our league match a few weeks ago they had scored 3 in the second half to turn the game around so there was no time for any complacency in the Westlands camp.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first half with Sports on top. Lewis Trusson raced through but dragged his shot wide then Ben Pounder put a shot over the bar before in the 63rd minute we scored the important third goal. RORY THOMSON, who was now playing at full back, made a tremendous run from the half way line leaving several Nailsea players trailing in his wake. He then exchanged a 1-2 with Ben Pounder that took the keeper out of the equation and left Rory with a tap-in. Westlands were looking comfortable now with Gabe Cole, Sports keeper, dealing with anything that came into the box, making some good catches and punches under pressure. In the 70th minute Seb Goddard got on the end of a deep Lewis Trusson cross but put his header into the side netting. Fresh legs had been brought on as players began to tire in the heavy surface and this paid off for Westlands with the 4th goal in the 81st minute. LOUIS FERGUSSON cut in from the right wing, and from an acute angle drilled the ball low and hard under the keeper into the far corner. A confident finish from a young player coming into form with his second goal in 2 weeks. That was that for Westlands, game over really and we just had to play out time against a Nailsea side that were beginning to lose their discipline in the final few minutes.
A fine win for Sports that takes us into the semi-final which will be played on Sunday 7th March.
The Man of the Match this week is SEB GODDARD for a hard working 90 minutes, a good goal, and most importantly Seb very rarely gives the ball away.
the first fixture of 2020 saw the U18s get back to winning ways at Weston Super Mare.
Westlands took the lead in the second minute from the first attack of the game. RORY THOMSON turning in a right wing cross from close range. Unfortunately the lead did not last long, Priory Pumas equalising just a couple of minutes later. Nevertheless Sports controlled the first half and scored two further goals, one for skipper TOM JARVIS and a second of the afternoon for RORY THOMSON.
In the second half CONNOR SHARPE curled a shot into the corner of the net when one on one with the keeper and another goal apiece from TOM JARVIS and RORY THOMSON made the score 1-6 with quarter of an hour left.
The Priory Pumas side were not finished and they scored two more before RORY THOMSON beat the keeper with an unstoppable shot from outside the box into the top corner to score the best goal of the game.
A good 7-3 away win for Westlands.
The Man of the Match this week is RORY THOMSON for an excellent four goal haul and another hard working performance.
It was a very windy day and on a heavy pitch an under strength Westlands team failed to cope with the conditions. With the wind behind us a RORY THOMSON goal kept Sports level at half time, but in the second half we were pinned back by a more physical Wembdon side and eventually conceded three more.
Man of the match was skipper RORY THOMSON who led from the front and his hard work was an example to his team mates.
Our previous match away to Nailsea on the first day of the season resulted in a 3-1 win but it had been a difficult game so we knew we were in for a tough match today. Thankfully a torrential rainstorm passed over before kick-off but it was still windy and bitterly cold as the teams lined up.
The visitors took possession of the ball straight away and looked sharp in attack, having a shot in the first minute which just missed the target. They continued to press and after 10 minutes Sports keeper Gabriel Cole had to make a good save to keep them out. Gradually Westlands got a foothold in the game with Seb Goddard and Gabi Nitecki working hard in the midfield where we seemed to be outnumbered. Nevertheless, in the 20th minute, a nice through pass gave RORY THOMSON the chance to show his pace and he raced through and buried the ball in the bottom corner to put Westlands 1-0 up ! A couple of minutes later there was an almighty melee in the Nailsea goalmouth with bodies everywhere before the ball was eventually scrambled away for a corner. The game was fairly even now but after 37 minutes some poor defending by Sports gave Nailsea a good chance but Gabriel Cole pulled off an excellent double save to deny them the equaliser. This was followed in the 40th minute by another good save from the Westland’s keeper as he raced out to smother a through ball. Half-time 1-0 to Sports.
To be a goal up at half time was a good result for Westlands as the opposition had looked dangerous. We definitely needed to up our game in the second 45 to win this one.
The next goal was going to be crucial and unfortunately it was the visitors who bagged it 5 minutes into the half. The Nailsea #7 picked the ball up around the halfway line and ran about 40 yards before slipping the ball under the keeper into the net. A good goal but some terrible tackling (or lack of tackling !) from the home team. Losing that soft goal seemed to spur Westlands into action and they began to create some chances. First, Rory Thomson ran through but shot straight at the keeper. Then a free kick into the Nailsea box was almost turned into his own goal by a defender, the ball just slipping past the post. Finally in the 60th minute Sports took the lead again. Gabi Nitecki and Seb Goddard between them managed to smuggle the ball through a crowd of defenders on the edge of the box and it fell kindly to BEN POUNDER who smashed it into the back of the net. Westlands continued to dominate and a minute after going in front a free kick taken by Tom Jarvis almost sneaked in at the post, just going inches wide. A minute later Ben Pounder cut in and got a good low shot off that was well saved by the Nailsea keeper. It looked as if the third goal was coming for Sports but disaster struck in the 65th minute. Sports keeper, who had been having a good game, came charging off his line to nearly the edge of the box and crashed into a Nailsea attacker who had beaten him to the ball. A crazy challenge, and a certain penalty that was tidily despatched into the corner to make it 2-2. The game could go any way now with the visitors rejuvenated by the equaliser. Both teams were battling hard to find another goal and it came in the 83rd minute and once again it was the Nailsea #7 who scored it. A ball was played over the top, the Westland defenders stood still, and the #7 ran through and slotted the ball in the corner of the net. Poor defending, no other word for it. Things got worse for Sports in the 89th minute when the ball was played in to Nailsea’s #7 who was totally unmarked (!) and he had time to look up and lob the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 4-2.
That was the final score and was Westlands first defeat of the season. What was a bit annoying about the defeat was that all the goals we conceded could have been prevented. OK, we move on to next week and try to get back to winning ways.
The Man of the Match this week is SEB GODDARD who worked really hard in the midfield and very rarely gave the ball away.
We had beaten Axbridge 2-1 in the cup in a tight game so we were expecting a tough one today. The pitch was wet and heavy but playable and Sports had a full squad of 16 on duty. It looked like being a tough day for the visitors though as they lined up at the start with only 10 men !
In the 2nd minute Gabriel Cole had to be alert to save well from an Axbridge player who burst through the Sports defence and fired in a low shot. Westlands gradually began to take control but with the visitor’s tactics to get everyone behind the ball, they were finding it hard to create openings. In the 5th minute Rory Thomson burst through and forced a good save from the big Axbridge keeper. It was one way traffic now for the first 20 minutes of the game but although having all the possession Westlands were finding it hard to break down the packed defence. A couple of corners were forced but were fairly easily dealt with by the Axbridge defenders. In the 21st minute Peter Parke had a shot on target but the Axbridge keeper turned it round the post. Then a Henry Field shot went over the bar as Westlands began to find gaps in the visitor’s defence. In the 25th minute came the first goal as Sports broke the deadlock. Sam Bonds fired over a good cross and RORY THOMSON buried the ball in the corner of the net with a deft glancing header. Having made the breakthrough, that could have signalled the floodgates opening but the Axbridge players stuck to their task and defended in numbers to frustrate the home team. In fact, the nearest to a goal came from the visitors when their player hit a 25 yard dipping shot that Gabriel Cole brilliantly tipped over the bar at full stretch. The remainder of the half was spent with Westlands passing the ball around nicely until they got to the edge of the penalty box when they were crowded out. Half time 1-0.
A totally dominant half for Westlands but with only one goal to show for all their pressure they needed to be careful as Axbridge had shown they carried a threat when they broke forward. However the Axbridge players wouldsurely begin to tire in the second half and gaps should appear for the Westland players.
Straight away Sports took up the attack again and George Sutton headed a nice Morgan Pomeroy cross past the post. In the 50th minute Henry Field put a shot over the top before, a minute later, Westlands gave themselves a bit of breathing space with the second goal. A long crossfield pass from Morgan Pomeroy picked out CONNOR SHARPE on the left and he neatly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 2-0. Chances were coming now and in the 56th minute Morgan Pomeroy missed an easy header. Then a minute later a ball over the top to Muste Abdillahi was laid back neatly to Morgan Pomeroy whose cross into the box was headed wide by Connor Sharpe. A good move there by Westlands that probably deserved a goal. Next a Tom Jarvis pass slipped Peter Parke clear but he smashed his shot off the post. A goal was coming and it came in the 65th minute. TOM JARVIS tried his luck from 25 yards and the ball squirmed through the goalkeeper’s arms into the back of the net. Although a goalkeeping error it was a decent shot on target and if you do that there is always a chance. Right, 3-0 and with the points safely in the bag the game kind of petered out in the last 20 minutes. Except, that is, for a moment of magic in the 87th minute.
RORY THOMSON, who was now playing left back, spotted the keeper off his line and from 25 yds, fired in a dipping shot that flew into the top corner. A good piece of opportunism there and a fitting end to the game. Final score 4-0.
This was one of these games you expect to win but sometimes it’s not that easy and you have to grind out the result. Credit to the opposition who made things very difficult for us today and they never gave up, battling to the end. For Westlands it was a case of being patient and waiting for the opportunities to come.
The Man of the Match this week is RORY THOMSON who put in an energetic performance at centre forward in the first half, scoring a good goal, and then having a solid game at left back in the second half, scoring another good goal..
A full squad, a dry day, pitch looking ok, so no excuses today, we were expecting a good performance. Unfortunately the players didn’t seem to be in the same buoyant mood and it was the visitors who took control of the ball straight from kick off and forced Westlands keeper Gabriel Cole into a good save. Westlands were spectators as in the 4th minute the Burnbridge right winger ran on to a nice through ball and buried it in the far corner. A shock opening goal for the visitors so surely that would be the wake up call Sports needed. Err…. No ! Only two minutes later a long ball over the top left the Westlands defence flat footed and the right winger raced away and finished beautifully into the top corner. Two goals down after 6 minutes left the spectators in shock and with the Westlands defence all over the place we needed to get a grip quickly. At last we did begin to win a few tackles and put a few passes together and in the 11th minute a great run by Seb Goddard set up Rory Thomson with a good chance but he put his shot over the top. Westlands were pushing forward now and a neat dribble through the Burnbridge defence by Lewis Trusson set up Rory Thomson about 6 yards out but somehow he managed to blaze his shot over the bar. But the visitors were dangerous every time they broke upfield and in the 19th minute Gabriel Cole made a good block and the ball was eventually scrambled away. A couple of minutes later another good run by Lewis Trusson again set up Rory Thomson who miskicked in front of goal. We needed a goal and it came out of the blue in the 25th minute. The ball was picked up by HENRY FIELD about 30 yards out and he just let fly with a shot that dipped over the keeper into the back of the net. That was the goal we needed to put us back in the game but it didn’t last long. In the 36th minute Burnbridge won a corner out on the left. When it came over the ball was played back across goal where a couple of Burnbridge players were unmarked and they managed to scramble the ball into the net to make it 3-1 and increase the lead to 2 again. Westlands tried to get back into it and Louis Fergussun had a shot that the keeper saved but the final action of the half was another Burnbridge attack that ripped open the Westlands defence, the final shot going just past the post.
3-1 down and time to reflect at half time on a fairly disastrous first half for Westlands. The visitors had cut through our defence almost at will and although we had created 2 or 3 good chances our finishing had been woeful. Time for changes by the management with Innes Davidson brought on to bolster the defence and Connor Sharpe to hopefully add some punch up front. As usual, Luke Wellington also replaced Gabriel Cole in goal.
We needed a quick goal in the second half to get back into the game and that is what we got. SEB GODDARD showed some quick feet in the box and slotted the ball under the keeper from close range to make it 2-3. Westlands were looking more like it now and were pushing forward into their opponent’s half. The pressure paid off with the equaliser after 55 minutes. A loose ball on the edge of the box was picked up by PETER PARKE and he drilled a low shot into the far corner of the net. Sports were looking confident and 3 minutes later took the lead. HENRY FIELD had a shot that took a massive deflection off a defender which totally wrongfooted the keeper and the ball finished in the back of the net. It was all Westlands now and another good effort by Henry Field was tipped over the bar by the Burnbridge keeper. Then some good skill by Muste Abdillahi gave him a chance but he put his effort just wide. In 67 minutes inevitably Sports increased their lead to 5-3 when RORY THOMSON finished off a good passing move by smashing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box. It was one way traffic now and George Sutton hit the bar with a free kick before the last goal of the game came in the 79th minute when MUSTAFE ABDILLAHI raced on to a through ball and stabbed it past the keeper. That was that, 6-3, but Westlands had another 2 good chances before the end. Louis Fergusson hit the post with a shot as he cut in from the left and George Sutton had the ball in the net following a corner but that one was ruled out by the referee. Final score 6-3.
What a second half that had been with Westlands rattling in 5 goals without response. A complete turn round from the first half so great credit to the management and players for sorting things out at half time.
The Man of the Match award goes to HENRY FIELD whose vision and distribution was first class and a couple of goals as well to top off a good performance.
Sun 10th Nov, Somerset U18 League Cup, 1st Rnd: AXBRIDGE SAXONS 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
The game was played next to Cheddar reservoir in bright sunshine and the pitch was in good condition considering the weather recently.
Due to absentees and a couple of players pulling out because of illness at the point of leaving Yeovil the U18s travelled to Axbridge to play a side who were third in the league with a bare eleven including striker Louis Fergussun who was playing his first game for the club.
A good start to the game led to the Westland side taking the lead after only five minutes, a Tom Jarvis corner was met at the far post by GEORGE SUTTON who made a clean contact to score his first goal of the season.The movement of Rory Thomson up front was too much for the Axbridge defence and several more chances were created with no further addition to the score. The home side were happy to launch the ball long, trying to test a back four with Charlie Baker playing in a new position of centre back and Henry Field playing at right back for the first time ever. The defence was coping well when a lucky deflection fell to the feet of one of the Axbridge midfield players who scored the equaliser with a very good shot from the edge of the penalty area against the run of play.
On the right Lewis Trusson was giving the Saxons full back a torrid time whenever he was in possession and the lead was regained when Lewis won the ball back near the halfway line, dribbled his way past the full back before squaring the ball into the path of RORY THOMSON who made no mistake from eight yards out.
With half time approaching a combination of defensive legs and the hands of Gabe Cole were enough to stop the ball on the Westland goal line even with several Axbridge players in close proximity trying to force the ball home. half time 2-1 to Westlands.
The second half followed the same pattern with Axbridge going long and the makeshift Westland defence holding firm, limiting the home side to a couple of half chances. The Westland midfield continued to create goal scoring opportunities without any addition to the score, although Rory Thomson did hit the bar twice.
In the final ten minutes Axbridge pressed for an equaliser but Sports stayed strong and saw out the game.
A 1-2 win away from home for the eleven who travelled was a great result against a team who will win far more than they lose this season.
Over the past few weeks Westland Sports U18s have had to find a way to win when things were going against them and it is a credit to them as individuals and as a team that they remain unbeaten this season.
Man of the match this week is RORY THOMSON for an excellent performance in both attack and midfield.
Nice to have a full team of 16 on duty as we looked to get our title challenge back on track. It was a fairly even opening 15 minutes with Westlands having the best attempts with a couple of shots that went just wide. After these opening flurries Westlands began to get on top and the first goal came after 19 minutes. A nice through pass put MORLEY GOLD clear of the visitor’s back line and he slotted the ball into the corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Bridgwater tried hard to get back into the game but didn’t really trouble the Westlands defence and 15 minutes after the opening goal Westlands grabbed a second. A good passing move out on the left with Tom Jarvis and Lewis Trusson involved saw the ball finally threaded through to MORLEY GOLD who took a couple of steps and smashed the ball into the corner. 2-0 to Sports and Bridgwater heads went down as two minutes later they conceded a third goal. A nicely weighted Tom Jarvis cross to the far post was headed in by MORLEY GOLD who completed his hat-trick to make it 3-0. Four minutes later it was 4 when CONNOR SHARPE ran on to a ball over the top and neatly lobbed the Bridgwater keeper. Three goals in six minutes had knocked the stuffing out of the visitor’s and they were glad to hear the half-time whistle. Half-time Westlands 4 Bridgwater 0.
The visitors came out battling but it didn’t take long for Sports to dampen their enthusiasm with the fifth goal. Tom Jarvis laid the ball out to LEWIS TRUSSON who cut inside and thumped the ball into the back of the net.
It was damage limitation now for the visitors, but with the Westlands defence a bit disorganised due to several substitutions, they began to have a bit of joy going forward. Luke Wellington in the Westlands goal had to pull off a magnificent save, tipping the ball onto the crossbar to keep the clean sheet. The visitor’s keeper also made a couple of good saves as Westlands kept probing for more goals. But the urgency had gone out of the game now and it took until the 87th minute for Westlands to finally wrap up the scoring. A cross from the left was controlled by the unmarked GABI NITECKI and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net for the 6th and final goal of the afternoon.
That completed fine afternoon’s work for the Westlands team who showed good application and work rate to record a good win.
The Man of the Match award goes to INNES DAVIDSON who was strong at centre half, winning all his challenges.
Westlands were down to the bare bones this week with about 8 players not available. However we managed to rustle up 12 players, but 2 of these were goalkeepers ! Further disaster struck Sports after only 10minutes when Lewis Trusson came off injured and he was replaced out on the wing by goalkeeper Luke Wellington !
The wind was quite strong and slightly against Westlands in the first half but nevertheless Sports were the dominant team and looked most likely to score. In defence Westlands back 4 of Charlie Baker, George Sutton, Innes Davidson and Sam Bonds were looking solid and Gabriel Cole in Sports goal only had to field a few long balls. Morgan Pomeroy down the left looked Sports most likely attacker but we just couldn’t create clear chances.
The nearest to a goal for Westlands came from a mazy run from Innes Davidson that took him through most of the Wincanton team but their goalie pulled off a good save to prevent the opening goal. Just before the break Gabi Nitecki burst through but a defender got across to get a tackle in that sent the ball out for a goal kick. Half-time 0-0.
A battling half for Westlands, solid defensively but lacking a bit of a cutting edge going forward.
The second half was even more one sided than the first. Sports made a change at half time with Luke Wellington taking over in goal and Gabriel Cole going up front. By my reckoning Luke only touched the ball four times in the half, all pass backs ! The highlight of the half was a Morgan Pomeroy shot that came back off the post but nobody could put the rebound in and it was eventually scrambled away. For the last 15 minutes Lewis Trusson came back on for Gabriel Cole in a last ditch attempt to grab a goal but to no avail. The match eventually ended with the result a disappointing 0-0 result from Westlands point of view.
Its 2 points dropped in the title challenge but great credit to the lads who played and gave everything to try and win the game. Special mention to the two goalkeepers who both played outfield for spells and didn't let the side down, great commitment by all the lads.
The Man of the Match award goes to CHARLIE BAKER who never put a foot wrong all afternoon.
After two wins in two games the U18s travelled to Backwell to try to keep their 100% record intact.
With a couple of players out Morgan Pomeroy was paired with George Sutton at the centre of defence for the first time. This proved to be a solid partnership and it needed to be because with the wind and playing down the slope Backwell continually tried to play through or over them.
Gradually the Westland side began to gain more of the possession and started to get the ball into the opposition penalty area from wide.One such attack led to the first Westland goal, CONNOR SHARPE managed to get himself free to score from 12 yards on 30 minutes.
The home side continued to press for the remainder of the first half but were unable to create good opportunities against a strong Westlands back four and a midfield that was always willing to track back to help out.
The second half started with a series of chances for the away team who were now playing with the conditions in their favour. The second goal was created by Connor Sharpe breaking free on the right and crossing beyond the far post where Isaac Storey was able to square the ball to TOM JARVIS who beat the keeper with a fierce shot. Now 0-2 up the Westland side were in command of the game with the defence easily coping with Backwell, who were now only threatening on the break.
TOM JARVIS scored his second of the game before LEWIS TRUSSON completed the scoring five minutes from the final whistle, easily converting when one on one with the keeper.
A special mention goes to Rory Thomson who was unwell in the morning and came along just to do as much as he could but who actually played the whole match with great energy, fantastic commitment.
A win by four goals and the first clean sheet of the season was enough to preserve the 100% record at least until next Sunday when Bridgwater Wolves are the visitors to Alvington for a top of the table clash !
The Man of the Match award goes to GEORGE SUTTON who was solid at the back for Westlands.
After a good win at Nailsea on the opening day, Westlands needed to follow that up with a win at home.
However, Wembdon’s opening day result had been a close 2-1 defeat away to Bridgwater Wolves so we knew they would be a strong team.
After 3 minutes Isaac Storey had the first attempt at goal with a speculative shot from 20 yards that went over the bar. Wembdon replied with a couple of good efforts. First a shot went past the far post and then a low cross was hooked just over the top from close range. Westlands should really have taken the lead after 8 minutes when Isaac Storey put over a cross and Ben Pounder scooped the ball over the bar from 6 yards out. Not a lot between the teams now as a Wembdon player tried his luck but put his shot well over the bar. The same result came from a Rory Thomson attempt as he blasted a raking crossfield pass from Lewis Trusson over the bar. In the 25th minute it was Westlands who took the lead with a lovely goal. Isaac Storey played a defence splitting pass inside the Wembdon right back for LEWIS TRUSSON to run through and bury the ball in the far corner. Wembdon tried to get back into the game but the Westlands defence were coping well with keeper Gabriel Cole untroubled. Except in the 37th minute when a well struck free kick whistled past his far post. Half time came with Westlands one up.
Not a great half of football but Sports just about deserved their narrow interval lead.
Luke Wellington replaced Gabriel Cole in the Westlands goal at half time.
As the second half progressed Westlands were making most of the running but the moves tended to break down at the edge of the Wembdon penalty area and it was from a set piece that Isaac Storey went close, his shot just clearing the bar. Then Ben Pounder had an opening but hit his shot straight at the keeper. Wembdon had a strong attack in the 69th minute but were thwarted by a superb double save from Westlands keeper Luke Wellington. First he turned a header from point blank range over the bar and from the corner he dived again to block a goalmouth shot from close range. But the danger signs were there and in the 71st minute the visitors equalised. Wembdon’s small midfielder danced through 2 or 3 half tackles and slotted the ball in the far corner. Great play by the Wembdon lad but poor defending from Westlands point of view. Westlands were stung into action and a Connor Sharpe shot hit the post after a good Isaac Storey run. A couple of minutes later Isaac put a shot just over the bar as Sports continued to press. In the 85th minute Ben Pounder split the Wembdon defence with a lovely through ball and TOM JARVIS ran in to finish coolly with a sidefoot shot. A great goal and a fitting way to grab the three points. There was no more excitement and the match finished 2-1 to Westlands.
Not a vintage performance from Sports, it all seemed a it casual with a lack of urgency about the play, however they just about deserved the win and its another 3 good points.
The Man of the Match award goes to ISAAC STOREY who was at the heart of most of Westlands good moves.
On Sunday afternoon Westland Sports U18s took a squad of 14 to a very sunny Nailsea for the opening match of the 2019/20 season. In the team for the first time were several new faces, Sam Bonds, Morley Gold, George Sutton, Charlie Baker, Henry Field, Connor Sharpe and Muste Abdillahi.
Playing up the slope, Sports started in a very controlled manner, pressing high and regularly winning possession in dangerous areas. Lewis Trusson was a constant threat on the right hand side.
The first goal was scored by RORY THOMSON, a calm finish from inside the box after a series of quick passes.For much of the rest of the first half the Nailsea side came back into the game creating a couple of chances but without the quality to trouble a back four marshalled by Innes Davidson and Gabe Cole in goal.
After conceding early in the second 45 Westlands showed great character and hit back very quickly, substitute CONNOR SHARPE scoring with a volley from close range on debut after good work from Ben Pounder and Tom Jarvis down the left.
With the home side now resorting to some extremely brutal challenges a series of free kicks resulted in a quality strike from ISAAC STOREY from the edge of the penalty area giving the comfort of a two goal lead.
At 1-3 up Sports now found themselves in complete control and they were able to move the ball around to play out the final ten minutes. A very pleasing start from a side that will only get better.