Saturday 15th May, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
WESTLAND SPORTS 1 BALTI SPORTS 3
Having failed to win any of our last three games it was now down to our last match with Balti to decide who qualified from the group. It was quite simple, win the match and go through. A draw would leave us 3 points ahead of Balti so they would need to beat Ham Rec in their last match by a couple of goals to overhaul us.
Westlands kept the same team that had drawn with Ham Rec the previous week so a confident selection from the management. The weather was horrendous for the second week in a row and a torrential downpour about an hour and a half before kick-off nearly put paid to the match.
Westlands started well and a great passing move carved open the Balti defence giving Phil Ormrod a clear sight of goal. He smashed in a shot but the Balti keeper pulled off a magnificent save, tipping the ball over the bar. Westlands were looking quite slick in the opening few minutes and another good passing move led to a corner which came to nothing. Then, would you believe it, in virtually their first attack in the 8th minute Balti scored when a cross from the right was headed in by a plyer who looked unmarked. A simple goal and one that seemed to unsettle the Westland keeper Mark Cuff who made heavy weather of a couple of clearances shortly after. Then a Balti player missed a great chance to increase their lead when he dwelt on the ball when having virtually an open goal. Westlands were having the best of the play but Balti looked dangerous when they attacked. In the 15th minute Josh Payne just failed to get on the end of a cross from the left with the goal at his mercy. Then Adam Barratt had a shot that went wide as Westlands continued to press. The pressure paid off in the 25th minute with the equaliser. A long diagonal into the Balti box was headed back across goal to JOSH PAYNE who netted from close range. The half continued in the same vein with Westlands doing most of the attacking but Balti dangerous on the break.
Level at half time 1-1 was ok from a Westlands point of view as we felt they could up their game a bit in the second half.
As the second half settled it was the visitors who had stepped up a gear and suddenly Westlands were on the back foot. There were no real goalscoring chances made by either side but it was Balti who were in the ascendancy and as time wore on it began to look a bit ominous. Westlands management tried to freshen things by introducing Malik Kamal and Nick Voss but Westlands, when they did attack, could not find a way through. The same applied to Balti, who although having most of the pressure, were also finding it difficult to create clearcut chances. In the 80th minute the deadlock was broken. A Balti corner from the left was played deep to a player who was unmarked at the back post and he stroked the ball into the corner of the net. It all looked a bit slack from Westlands, obviously a problem with the marking there and no-one on the far post. We needed an equaliser now but in the 88th minute came a real killer blow. A Balti player tried his luck with a grounder from about 25 yards and as Westlands keeper Mark Cuff went down to make the save the ball skidded under his body int the net. That was that, game over and a 3-1 defeat was a disaster for Westlands. We now need Ham Rec to beat Balti by four clear goals next week to progress and that seems very unlikely. However they had not performed to their best on the day and with no wins in their last 4 games there was no cause for complaint. It was a tournament that had started well but had fallen away badly.
Man of the Match this week was PHIL ORMROD who looked quality up front but was starved of decent service on this occasion.
Saturday 8th May, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
WESTLAND SPORTS 2 HAMWORTHY RECREATION 2
This was a match Sports didn’t want to lose. With Balti Sports hot on our heels to clinch a place in the playoffs anything we could get from this one would be a bonus. Rec were undefeated in the Group stages but we felt that, although losing 2-1 a fortnight ago at their place, we had given a good account of ourselves and back on home turf we were optimistic. Teamwise Duncan McCabe and Jonny Manley returned to the squad so we were in good shape. The weather was the only problem as strong winds and rain swept across the field with no sign of it letting up, not ideal for good football.
Westlands had the wind behind them in the first half and it was a bright start to the game with both sides trying to get the ball down despite the conditions. After 5 minutes of early sparring Westlands had the first real chance, Phil Ormrod’s shot was blocked and Duncan McCabe put the rebound over the bar. Unfortunately that good start was ruined when Hamworthy broke upfield in the 7th minute. Their centre forward got the ball in to feet in the Westlands box, turned his marker neatly, and curled a shot into the top corner of the net. A big blow for the Westlands team who were hoping to take advantage of the wind and now found themselves a goal down. The early goal set the scene for the rest of the first half with the visitors now happy to defend and frustrate Sports, which they did well, breaking up the play whenever possible. The referee was quite strict with both sides and lots of stoppages for free kicks didn’t let Westlands really build up a head of steam. Nevertheless a few chances were created. A long diagonal long ball from Steve Ormrod picked out brother Phil who turned inside a defender and let fly with a shot that flew over the top. Then a free kick for Westlands was scooped away for a corner which was then headed wide. Finally Phil Ormrod burst through but his shot went into the side net. Half-time 0-1.
It had been a frustrating half for Westlands and the general feeling was that, with the strong wind behind, we should have tested their goalkeeper more from long range. With the top surface wet and slippery it was difficult goalkeeping conditions but we hadn’t really tested their keeper enough.
As the second half progressed the pattern of the first half continued with Westlands, although against the wind now, still having the best of the possession and looking quite determined. Hamworthy were always dangerous when they attacked and when a chance came their way in the 60th minute, they took it. Steve Ormrod tried to control a cross into the box with his chest but only succeeded in knocking the ball down to Hamworthy’s #9 who buried it in the far corner to make it 2-0 to the visitors. A hard lesson learnt there by the rookie defender !
Westlands now had a mountain to climb, 2-0 down to the undefeated group leaders, against the wind and only 30 minutes left on the clock. However, Sports are a tough nut to crack on home soil and they were soon pushing men forward looking for a breakthrough. And to the home teams delight they found a way after only 4 minutes. Hamworthy just couldn’t clear their lines with the ball being put back into their penalty box every time they tried to clear. Eventually the ball fell to Ant Herrin out on the left, he crossed it in and JAMIE GREEN showed great determination to get to the ball first, and he buried a diving header into the back of the net. Some light at the end of the tunnel now for Westlands and Sam Plumley was replaced by Malik Kamal to add another forward player for Sports. Although Rec were always dangerous on the break, Westlands were still pressing but they were finding it difficult to break down a packed defence. Phil Ormrod then burst through but his goal bound shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs. Josh Payne was then replaced by Nick Voss but still Sports couldn’t find a way through. Then, in the 87th minute, great drama as Westlands skipper ADAM BARRATT showed his team-mates the way with a stunning equaliser. Picking up a bouncing ball 25 yards out on the right side he took a touch and thumped a dipping volley that came off the underside of the bar and finished in the back of the net. Great joy for the Westland players who now felt they could go on and maybe snatch the winner. In the last minute a corner into the box was met by Jamie Green, but in a similar position to his goal, he failed to connect properly and the ball bounced wide. Then a heart in mouth moment for Westlands as a Hamworthy player broke clear but his shot rolled agonisingly past the far post with Mark Cuff beaten. Moving into injury time Westlands were awarded a free kick out on the right. The Sports bench immediately signalled for a substitution with Jonny Manley being sent on for Adam Barratt to add some height in the goalmouth. When the ball came in there was an almighty scramble with about 20 players in the goalmouth and it fell to Manley’s feet but he couldn’t get a shot away as he was crowded out by defenders.
That was that and a 2-2 draw was definitely a well deserved result for Sports. They had looked in trouble when 2-0 down but showed great fighting spirit to come back for a share of the points. Great credit to both teams really for putting on an entertaining game in such awful conditions. Spectators would have thoroughly enjoyed it !
It’s difficult to pick a Man of the Match this week as everyone played their part so I’m giving it to
GEORGE MAPLETOFT for an incident in the dying minutes. As a Hamworthy player gathered the ball George rushed forward to close him down but got the ball flush in the face as the player tried to smash it upfield. Amazingly George managed to stay on his feet for a few seconds until the ball went out of play whereupon he collapsed to the ground ! Typically really of George’s great attitude and, on the day, the attitude of all the Westland lads to be fair.
Saturday 1st May, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
BALTI SPORTS 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
Westlands looked a bit stronger his week with a few players returning so it was good news as this was a game we did not want to lose with Balti only 2 points behind us in the race to qualify from the Group.
The home side started on the front foot and soon had Westlands on the defensive. In the 6th minute Mark Cuff made a good save, tipping a shot over the bar. Balti went even closer in the 9th minute when a shot hit the bar and was scrambled away. Some desperate defending was needed at times by Westlands to keep Balti at bay. After about 15 minutes Westlands appeared to have weathered the storm and began to get a bit of possession, stringing a few passes together. After 19 minutes Westlands put together a good move that ended with Ant Herrin volleying just over the bar. The momentum had shifted now and the Balti keeper had to block a Phil Ormrod shot that was on target and a few minutes later Josh Payne shot over. On the half hour mark Balti had a strong attack that saw two shots blocked and the third effort tipped over by Mark Cuff. Sam Plumley tweaked a hamstring at this point and was replaced by Duncan McCabe. The replacement full back was soon on the attack with a good overlapping run and cross to Ant Herrin whose shot was deflected for a corner. From the kick Josh Payne headed just wide at the far post. The half ended with Louis Irwin firing a shot just wide. Half time 0-0.
Westlands had been slow to start and could well have been behind early on but once they settled they began to move the ball around quite well so optimism for the second half.
Westlands opened the half with a lovely passing move that saw Phil Ormrod’s header from an Ant Herrin cross tipped round the post by the Balti keeper. In the 55th minute another great move by Westlands saw them almost take the lead. Louis Irwin played in Josh Payne down the wing and his cross was volleyed goalwards by Phil Ormrod but the Balti keeper made another great save. Four minutes later the deadlock was broken, but it was the home team that did it ! A quick break caught the Westlands defence exposed and when the ball went out to their speedy left winger we were in trouble. He drove into the box and was brought down for a penalty, had to be really. Balti’s penalty taker slotted the ball right in the corner to make it 1-0 to the home team with 30 minutes remaining. It had been a tight game and with the home side now in front they battened down the hatches and went into their shell. Westlands put two more subs on, Malik Kamal and Nick Voss, to freshen things up and continued to press forward. Chances were hard to create against a packed defence but finally, in the 90th minute, came the equaliser. Adam Barratt flicked the ball on to Louis Irwin who ran at the Balti defence. Louis then slid a perfect pass through to PHIL ORMROD who had Balti defenders all around him, but he was able to stick the ball in the corner of the net. That was virtually the last action of the game and the final whistle meant the match ended in a stalemate which probably was a fair result at the end of the day.
Funny how the reactions were so different for a drawn match at the end. The Balti players and management were distraught to lose a late equaliser and the Westlands contingent were overjoyed as they knew the importance of the point.
Man of the Match this week is STEVE ORMROD who moved back into defence and had a very good game. He was battling against a big strong experienced centre forward but he won most of his headers and challenges and showed 100% commitment as he always does.
Saturday 24th April, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
HAMWORTHY RECREATION 2 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
All change again for Westlands teamwise with Duncan McCabe, Dan Ewens, Ant Herrin, Phil Ormrod and Louis Irwin all missing for this important game. Steve Ormrod and Josh Payne returned to the squad and Seb Goddard was called in for his first team debut.
Westlands kicked off against the wind but opened quite brightly, pressing forward and keeping the ball quite well. It was not until the 8th minute that Ham Rec had a breakaway attack and it almost proved costly for Westlands. As the Hamworthy player ran down the left wing Sports keeper Mark Cuff came charging out of the box and pulled him down ! A reckless challenge that could have resulted in an early red card but thankfully the referee thought there were defenders covering round so only brandished a yellow ! However this gave the home side a dangerous free kick which was cleared for a corner and it handed them the initiative in the game. Another corner in the 10th minute saw Hamworthy open the scoring. The ball was fired across, keeper Mark Cuff came for it but missed it, the ball appeared to ricochet off a defender but fell to an attacker who thumped it in. A poor goal to lose. Westlands were still having plenty of possession in attacking areas but the final ball into the box was very poor. Several corners and free kicks failed to get past the first man and good attacking situations were squandered. In the 33rd minute another quick break by Hamworthy saw their forward run through and bury the ball in the corner of the net but luckily he was offside, so still 1-0. A minute later Adam Barratt put a good cross in but there was no Westlands player there to convert. Another cross was headed wide by Steve Ormrod and just before the break Malik Kamal had a good low shot saved by the keeper. Half time 1-0.
The second half started with another scare for Sports. Keeper Mark Cuff misjudged a long punt and somehow the Hamworthy attacker failed to stick the ball in the back of the net. Westlands made their first sub on the hour with Josh Payne replacing Luca Martin. In the 69th minute Sports were so close to the equaliser when the Ham Rec keeper spilled a shot and Jamie Green, following up, stabbed the ball past the post. A spell of Westlands pressure followed with 3 corners but all were defended well. Still, the pressure was building but that was all destroyed in the 76th minute when we conceded another soft goal. Trying to play out from the back, Tim Trevett played a pass to Jonny Manley about 25 yards out. A Hamworthy player quickly closed him down, robbed him of the ball and passed it across to a team-mate who buried it in the bottom corner. At 2-0 down Westlands now had a mountain to climb as we were finding it hard to break down a solid home defence. In the 79th minute Sam Plumley was replaced by Lewis Howchin and a couple of minutes later Seb Goddard replaced Adam Barratt. With time running out Sports pushed forward with Josh Payne now causing them a few problems with his direct running. Westlands were pressing hard and Steve Ormrod failed to hit the target with a header but eventually, in the 89th minute the pressure told. Malik Kamal played a nice through ball to Josh Payne down the right and he drove to the bye line before firing over a perfect low cross and STEVE ORMROD was there at the far post to put it in the net. A last late flurry from Westlands but too little too late as the referee’s whistle ended the game.
It had been a disappointing game for Sports, 2 soft goals conceded and a lack of attacking drive at times. Also the final ball was just hit and hope at times but we had the majority of possession so should have done better.
Man of the Match this week is MALIK KAMAL. Playing centre midfield he had a good game, winning a lot of tackles and making some good passes. He was also frequently fouled but kept his composure well which was nice to see.
Tuesday 20th April, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
BRIDPORT RES 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
Westlands made two changes from the previous defeat, Steve Ormrod (working) was replaced by Louis Irwin and Adam Barratt (injured) was replaced by Nick Voss. With Josh Payne and Ant Herrin unavailable Tim Trevett returned to the squad. It was a lovely sunny evening and the pitch looked lovely so we looked forward to a good game.
The youthful Bridport side started quickly and were soon pressing forward into the Westlands half. For the first five minutes the home side dominated but they didn’t really create any chances . The slowly sports began to come into the game and in the 6th minute created their first chsnce which Duncan McCabe fired well wide. It was a tight first half with Bridport employing their usual tactic of getting the ball forward early from back to front but the Westlands defence was handling the long balls well. Nevertheless, in the 17th minute Mark Cuff got down well to save a low shot as Bridport probed for an opening. After half an hour it was noticeable that Sports attacks were becoming more frequent and a great cross from Nick Voss was headed over the bar by Phil Ormrod. The best attack of the half came from Westlands in the 40th minute. Dan Ewens put over a good cross, Phil Ormrod’s header was blocked and the ball fell to Nick Voss whose shot was cleared off the line. From the resulting corner Jonny Manley headed over the bar.
The half ended in stalemate with the honours about even in most people’s opinion.
Westlands made a half time substitution with the struggling Dan Ewens being replaced by Tim Trevett and it was the visitors that looked as if they had stepped up a gear in the second half. Straight away Phil Ormrod made a good run down the left and his crossed picked out Nick Voss at the far post. Nick appeared to have wrong footed the keeper but the Bridport custodian managed to grab the ball on the ground. The Bridport goalie was back in action a few minutes later when He saved a header from Luca Martin. In the 55th minute the ball fell invitingly to Louis Irwin in the box but he sliced his shot wide of the far post. Two minutes later Phil Ormrod burst through, turned inside a defender and shot, only to see his effort blocked by the keeper. The rebound fell to Luca Martin, but with the keeper grounded, Luca crashed his shot off the crossbar. Westlands were in controlnow and it was no real surprise when they opened the scoring in the 65th minute. LOUIS IRWIN ran on to a perfect through ball from Nick Voss and as the keeper came out, buried the ball in the far corner of the net. A nice goal and just reward for Westlands pressure. Two minutes later Jamie Green tried his luck from about 45 yards out and almost surprised the Bridport keeper who had to look sharp to grab the ball just before it crossed the line. In the 70th minute it was 2-0. And it was
JAMIE GREEN again, this time sending in a bouncing shot that deceived everyone and ended in the corner of the net. With 20 minutes to go Westlands took Luca Martin off and he was replaced by Lewis Howchin. Five minutes later PO came off, replaced by Malik Kamal. In the 81st minute Malik should have made it 3 when put clean through, but a heavy touch gave the keeper the chance to dive on the ball.
Then Nick Voss fired an effort over the top and Mark Cuff made an excellent save to stop Bridport from getting on the scoresheet. The final drama was a nasty shin injury to Duncan McCabe which saw him carried from the field. Adam Barratt was then put on for the last couple of minutes and Westlands saw time out comfortably to record a good win.
Man of the Match this week is JAMIE GREEN. Given the captain’s armband in the absence of Adam Barratt, he really led from the front, winning all his midfield battles and scoring the important second goal to clinch the points.
Saturday 17th April, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
WESTLAND SPORTS 1 DORCHESTER SPORTS 2
Having beaten their opponents the previous week Westlands were favourites to record a second win on home turf. Unfortunately Dorchester had other ideas and stormed out the starting stalls taking a grip of the game with quick passing and energetic pressing whenever Westlands had possession. The visitors seemed to have an extra man in midfield and it was no great surprise when they opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Their #7 ran on to a good through pass and buried his shot in the bottom corner. A well taken goal but the Westlands defence had been caught a bit square. In the 28 minute a free kick for Dorchester was blasted over the bar and a couple of minutes later Westland’s keeper Mark Cuff made a good save getting down to a low shot. Westlands then had a good little spell and created a couple of chances. The best of these fell to Duncan McCabe but unluckily his cross-shot came back off the far post.
Then from a corner Phil Ormrod headed just over the bar. The half ended with Mark Cuff tipping a shot round the post. Half time, 1-0 down.
As the second half got under way it was Westlands who came out fired up and they soon had Dorchester pinned in their own half. In the 55th minute a corner for Westlands caused havoc in the Dorchester goalmouth. George Mapletoft had a shot blocked but JAMIE GREEN was following up and smashed the ball into the net. Westland tails were up now and they continued to press. Luca Martin got on the end of a cross but stabbed the ball inches wide of the far post. Then Phil Ormrod got a header on target but it went straight into the keeper’s arms. Still trying to make the breakthrough, Westlands replaced Luca Martin with Nick Voss out on the left wing. Then Steve Ormrod was replaced by Ant Herrin as Westlands searched for a way to break down a solid Dorchester defence. As the game drifted on the visitors began to grow in confidence again as Westlands appeared to be running out of steam. Nick Voss had a chance in the 85th minute but pulled his shot wide of the target. As the match seemed to be drifting to a draw Westlands shot themselves in the foot. In the 90th minute, with the home defence wide open, the visitors sub ran through unchallenged and neatly lobbed Mark Cuff from an acute angle as he charged out. That was a bitter pill to swallow but a well taken goal. Final result, 1-2.
This was a poor display from Westlands but one which seems to crop up on a regular basis when we go into a game as hot favourites. When we equalised in the second half it looked as if we would go on to win the game but we just ran out of ideas in the end.
Man of the Match this week is DUNCAN McCABE who put in a good shift down the right until he took a knock late on and had to be replaced by Malik Kamal.
Saturday 10th April, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
DORCHESTER SPORTS 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 3
After a good opening day win in the Supplementary Cup, Westlands travelled down to Dorchester for a match on the 4G which has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years. Nevertheless we had been training on the Astro at Huish Park so we were hopeful of a result this time.
George Mapletoft was unavailable so Jonny Manley returned at centre half and Steve Ormrod returned to partner his brother Phil up front.
Westlands took control from the off and soon had the home side pinned in their own half. In the 4th minute a Steve Ormrod header from a Dan Ewens corner came off the crossbar and a few minutes later another header from Steve was well saved by the keeper. Westlands opened the scoring in the 21st minute and it had been coming. A Dan Ewens inswinging corner from the right was flicked on to the far post where LUCA MARTIN headed in from close range. For the rest of the half it was constant Westlands domination with the few Dorchester attacks being mopped up by the imperious Jonny Manley and Tim Trevett. Despite constant pressure by Westlands they were unable to add to the score and it remained 1-0 at half time.
Dorchester looked a bit more determined in the second half and had a lot more possession of the ball. However in the 51st minute the second Westlands goal virtually ended the game as a contest. Duncan McCabe fired in a low shot that the keeper parried but could not hold. PHIL ORMROD was following up and pounced to thump the ball into the net. Two minutes later Mark Cuff, the Westlands keeper, was called into action for the first time with a good save. Westlands first sub was made in the 64th minute, Ant Herrin replacing Steve Ormrod. In the 69th minute came the second sub, Josh Payne replacing Duncan McCabe.
These two subs then combined in the 75th minute for the third goal. Ant Herrin challenged the Dorchester keeper for a high cross and the ball broke to JOSH PAYNE who calmly stroked it through a crowd of players into the far corner of the net. At 3-0 the game was ended as a contest as Dorchester knwew there was no way back for them. After the goal Westlands brought on 2 more subs, Nick Voss and Lewis Howchin with Phil Ormrod and Luca Martin coming off. For the last 10 minutes or so it was like a practice match with both teams going through the motions and the referee’s whistle brought the curtain down on a fine Westlands victory.
Difficult Man of the Match this week as everyone played well but it goes to LUCA MARTIN who looked dangerous down the left and capped his performance with a goal.
Tuesday 6th April, Dorset Premier League Supplementary Cup, Group B :
WESTLAND SPORTS 3 BRIDPORT RESERVES 1
The season re-started after a 4 month lockdown with a new competition which would take us through to the end of the season, the league programme having been cancelled. There were severe restrictions in place with no changing rooms in use and no spectators allowed.
Bridport already had a game under their belt the previous saturday and that showed in the opening minutes with the away team looking sharp. They went ahead in the 5th minute when a corner was fizzed across and was met on the run by ex-Westland player Henry Lawrence-Napier who bulleted a header into the net.
Bridport continued to look dangerous but their tactics, a long ball up to their speedy #10, were soon sussed by the Sports defence and Westlands gradually began to creep into the game. In the 13th minute a good break by Westlands saw Duncan McCabe miss a good chance. A couple of minutes later Phil Ormrod hit the post as Sports began to trouble the Bridport defence. In the 17th minute came the equaliser.
Ant Herrin fed Phil Ormrod whose slide rule pass was drilled into the far corner by DUNCAN McCABE
A well-worked goal, and with the Bridport defence rattled, Sports banged in a second goal 2 minutes later.
PHIL ORMROD ran on to a through pass from Duncan McCabe and smashed the ball into the top corner from 18yards out. Both teams looked quite dangerous in attack and Mark Cuff made a good save in the 25th minute to maintain Sports lead. Half-time 2-1.
A half time substitution for Westlands saw Jamie Green replaced by Lewis Morgan who quickly got into the game with a couple of efforts at goal which kept the Bridport keeper on his toes. The game became a bit of a stalemate after this with both defences coping well with the other teams attacks. Westlands made two more substitutions, Josh Payne and Nick Voss replacing Ant Herrin and Luca Martin.
Finally in the 80th minute LEWIS MORGAN scored Sports third goal with a sublime chip over the keeper from 15 yards. A brilliant goal and one that sewed up the points for Westlands. Phil Ormrod was then replaced by Lewis Howchin for the last few minutes. Final score 3-1.
Man of the Match was GEORGE MAPLETOFT whose pace at the back was a real asset on the night as Bridport were quick up front.
DUE TO THE COVID LOCKDOWN THE LEAGUE WAS TERMINATED AT THIS POINT.
Sat 12th Dec, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 7 SHAFTESBURY RES 1
Back on home turf Sports made 5 changes to the team that lost last week. Ben Cochrane, Jamie Green, Luca Martin, Lewis Morgan and Nick Voss were all given starting roles in a re-jigged line up.
The game started well for Westlands with lots of possession that forced the visitors deep into their own half. After 3 minutes Mike Rousell was put through and he lobbed the keeper but his effort was well over the bar. But after 12 minutes Westlands took the lead. A nice interchange of passes between Luca Martin and Lewis Morgan saw the ball slipped through to
SAM PLUMLEY who stabbed it past the keeper. Shaftesbury were finding it difficult to mount any attacks and in the 23rd minute Sports doubled their lead. A throw in out on the right was headed on by Luca Martin to LEWIS MORGAN who drilled the ball into the far corner of the net. Two minutes later Luca Martin skinned his full back, got to the bye line, and cut the ball back to Nick Voss who put it over the top. Then Jamie Green set up Lewis Morgan but again the shot was over the bar. After half an hour it was 3-0. A long ball was completely missed by a Shaftesbury defender and LEWIS MORGAN ran through to provide a cool finish, sliding the ball past the keeper. Two minutes later it was 4-0 when a Lewis Morgan corner was headed in by NICK VOSS from close range. In the 36th minute Shaftesbury produced their best moment so far when their attacker weaved through the Sports rearguard but then blazed his shot well over the bar. In the 40th minute the visitors pulled one back. Sports defender Steve Ormrod committed the cardinal sin of diving into a tackle in the box and the result was inevitable - penalty ! A Shaftesbury player drilled the ball low and hard into the corner of the net from the spot giving Sports keeper Ben Cochrane no chance even though he guessed the right way with his dive.
Half time and a comfortable 4-1 lead for Westlands in a half they had dominated. If Sports kept this up in the second half it could prove an embarrassing afternoon for the visitors.
And it was the worst possible start for Shaftesbury in the second 45 as they conceded again after just 3 minutes. A pass from the right was controlled by LEWIS MORGAN on the edge of the box and he sidefooted the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick and make the score 5-1. In the 54th minute the Shaftesbury keeper missed a Nick Voss cross and LEWIS MORGAN knocked it in to make it 6-1 and take his own personal tally to four. After an hour Adam Barratt came up to join the attack and his shot beat the keeper all ends up but hit the inside of the post and bounced out ! Shaftesbury then had a chance but their player headed over the bar from a good position. With 25 minutes remaining Sports made their first substitution, Mike Rousell replaced by Duncan McCabe. In the 73rd minute Lewis Morgan burst through but his attempted lob went straight into the keeper’s arms. With 15 minutes left Josh Payne came on for Lewis Morgan who could be pleased with his 4 goal haul in what was his first start of the season. In the 83rd minute Nick Voss made a strong run down the left and he squared the ball to JAMIE GREEN who sidefooted into the net to make it 7-1. That was the final goal of the afternoon although Nick Voss had a good chance to make it 8 in the dying minutes but he blazed over from 10 yards.
A good win for Westlands so hopefully the start of another winning streak.
Man of the Match is an easy choice this week and goes to LEWIS MORGAN whose 4 goals capped a fine all-round performance.
Sat 5th Dec, Dorset Premier League: DORCHESTER SPORTS 3 WESTLAND SPORTS 0
Five weeks had passed since our last match due to another dreaded Covid lockdown. The possibility was that the team who had kept themselves in the best shape fitness wise could have the edge. Westlands had prevailed in the previous meeting of the two sides back in September with a 2-1 victory but Dorchester could count themselves a bit unlucky in that match. Westlands made one change from the team that won 1-0 at Swanage in our last game on 24th October, Jon Manley returning to the team at the expense of Luca Martin. Manley was restored at centre half with Steve Ormrod being switched to an unfamiliar role on the left wing ! With Mike Rousell up front and Josh Payne on the other wing it looked a very attack minded formation for Westlands.
And attacking was how Westlands started in the opening minutes with Josh Payne testing the Dorchester keeper in the first minute. A few minutes later there was a scramble in the Dorch box with Mike Rousell and Steve Ormrod both having shots blocked before the ball was eventually hoofed clear. In the 6th minute Josh Payne had a shot cleared off the line as the visitor’s continued to press. After about 10 minutes Dorchester began to settle into the game and Westlands keeper Mark Cuff saved a header from their #9. Dorchester were outnumbering Westlands in midfield and some worrying gaps were appearing and this was crucial in the opening goal in the 15th minute. Dorchester’s #7 was totally unmarked as the ball was played out to him on the right. He put a good cross into the box and their left winger volleyed it into the far top corner. The home side were boosted by the goal and began to play with a lot of confidence although in the 25th minute Westlands forced a corner and once again the home defence needed about three attempts to get it clear. After 31 minutes the Westlands defence parted like the red sea and a Dorchester forward ran through but put his shot over the bar. Three minutes later, again large gaps appeared for Dorchester to exploit with a simple pass through the middle for their left winger to run through and slot the ball coolly into the net. Westlands were all over the place now with some players going missing and another good shot from a home player whistled just over the bar. Just before half time Dorchester cashed in with the third goal. Again the cross was allowed to come into the box, no challenge, and the Dorchester left winger drilled it low into the far corner to complete an excellent hat-trick. Westlands trooped in for the break 3-0 down with some hard talking to do.
Mark Cuff had taken a painful knock in the first half but had carried on but he was unable to continue for the second half so Ben Cochrane donned the keeper’s jersey for the second 45 minutes. As it was subsequently discovered Mark Cuff had broken his arm it was a brave effort from him to continue to play for as long as he did, even making a couple of saves after the injury ! Lewis Morgan also came on at half time, replacing Tim Trevett with Steve Ormrod dropping back into defence.
Dorchester looked quite happy to hold what they had in the second half so Westlands were able to get a bit of possession with Lewis Morgan at the heart of most of their moves. But it was pretty much a stalemate now with Westlands having beefed up the midfield neither side were creating any good chances. Lewis Morgan had a header saved in the 53rd minute and in the 65th minute came the moment that dashed any slim hopes Westands may have had of a fightback. Malik Kamal got clattered from behind so turned round and threw the opposing player to the ground. The red card followed so from then on it was just a case of damage limitation for the visitors. Dorchester now got on top and Ben Cochrane pulled off a good save low down by the post. Josh Payne limped off in the 75th minute to be replaced by Luca Martin who for the last 15 minutes showed a bit of enthusiasm which had been lacking in the Westland ranks previously. Lewis Morgan tried a couple of long range efforts but to no avail and the game petered out apart from a last minute effort from Dorchester that trickled along the goal line, hit the post and was cleared to safety. So that was it, 3-0 and a day to forget for Westlands.
And so our unbeaten run came to an end and some hard thinking for the management in the wake of this poor performance. The shortcomings were fairly obvious so we need to move on quickly and get back to winning ways, but it will be without Mark Cuff and Malik Kamal !
Man-of -the-Match this week is a joint award to LEWIS HOWCHIN and NICK VOSS who must have suffered on the bench watching that display and then didn't even get on the field.
Sat 24th Oct, Dorset Premier League: SWANAGE TOWN 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 1
One change to the team that won last week, Jon Manley dropping out, which meant Steve Ormrod reverting to centre half with Mike Rousell returning up front. There was a fresh wind and rain showers coming off the sea and Sports kicked off facing the elements in the first half.
In the first minute the ball was played in to Mike Rousell who had a clear view on goal but he screwed his shot wide from 18 yards. Nevertheless a bright start for the visitor’s. A couple of minutes later a quick run and cross by Josh Payne fell to Malik Kamal whose shot was deflected over the bar. The resulting corner was met powerfully with his head by Josh Payne and the Swanage keeper pulled off a brilliant save from close range. The ball fell to Mike Rousell who aimed for the corner but saw his shot slip agonisingly past the far post. After 10 minutes the home side had a couple of chances resulting from a free kick conceded on the edge of the Westlands box. The kick was smashed in towards goal and Sports keeper Mark Cuff did well to punch the ball away with a double fist. The rebound was rifled back in and this time the keeper was able to clutch the shot making it a fine double save. Then Josh Payne went on a mazy run that took him past about four defenders before his final shot was well blocked by the Swans keeper’s legs. Back came Swanage and their #11 took advantage of a mistake to go clear but Mark Cuff came out to smother his shot. In the 23rd minute Steve Ormrod gifted Swanage possession on the edge of the box and once again Mark Cuff made a good save. Westlands responded with an Adam Barratt shot from 30 yards that went over the top but moving into the last ten minutes of the half Swanage squandered a couple of chances to take the lead. First their player miskicked when he had a sight of goal and then Mark Cuff saved from a headed attempt.
The half time whistle came at a good moment for Westlands as the home team were pressing forward and looking quite dangerous. However, over the whole 45 minutes there wasn’t much to choose between the sides and the game was delicately poised.
Two minutes into the second half a Luca Martin cross into the Swanage box picked out Mike Rousell at the far post and the Swanage keeper somehow got down to pull off another great save. Then Josh Payne made a trademark run and cross which Luca Martin just failed to turn into the net from 5 yards out. Westlands, with the wind and rain now in their backs, were beginning to get a grip on the game and in the 59th minute took the lead. Josh Payne put over a low cross that a defender missed on the edge of the box and MIKE ROUSELL pounced to drill the ball into the far corner. Great joy from the Sports players and bench as everyone knew the importance of the first goal in this match. Swanage were a bit shell shocked and Westlands attacked strongly, trying to increase their lead and put the game to bed. Another great save from the Swanage keeper kept Sports at bay but it took the woodwork to come to his aid as a Nick Voss header crashed off the post. With about 15 minutes left a Swanage player tried his luck from distance with a daisycutter and Mark Cuff did well to smother the greasy ball on the ground. A few minutes later he was called into action again, catching a header from a Swanage player. Going into the last 15 minutes a torrential downpour swept down the pitch and both sets of players did well to battle on in appalling conditions. Tackles were flying in from both sides but the players just got on with it and it was nice to have a referee who understood the conditions and let play flow. It was difficult for either side to create any chances now and Westlands were able to get through to full-time fairly comfortably.
What a game, and although only one goal, great entertainment from both teams. Westlands were obviously delighted by the result as it is always a difficult place to come. Again it was great commitment shown by all the lads with a special mention to Steve Ormrod and Tim Trevett who both had painful knocks but battled on through to the end and did their bit in keeping another clean sheet, Westlands fourth in six games !
But the Man-of-Match this week goes to MARK CUFF for an excellent display of goalkeeping in very difficult conditions.
Sat 17th Oct, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 1 HAMWORTHY RECREATION 0
A big test for Sports coming on the back of a poor display last week. The manager made 3 changes with Malik Kamal, Sam Plumley and Luca Martin all given starting places in place of Jamie Green, Nick Voss and Mike Rousell. There was also a change in formation which allowed Steve Ormrod to start up front in a 4-3-3 line-up. The weather was sunny and the pitch looked perfect so no excuses this week.
Sports tore into their opponents from the first whistle with the front three of Josh Payne, Steve Ormrod and Luca Martin pushing right up to harry the Ham Rec defenders. An early free kick for Westlands saw Malik Kamal put a chance over the bar. Then Steve Ormrod ran 20 yards to block a keeper’s clearance, the ball falling to Josh Payne who put it well over the top. A good start for Westlands and it was 6 minutes in before Hamworthy launched a meaningful attack, winning a corner after a shot was deflected wide. That kick was cleared but a second corner to the visitors in the 10th minute brought a smart save from Sports keeper Mark Cuff who saved a low shot after a quick corner to the near post caught the Westlands defence napping. Back at the other end a Malik Kamal cross was headed just wide by Steve Ormrod who was winning everything in the air against a rather small Hamworthy defence. Then Hamworthy had a free kick on the edge of the Westlands box but this one was put over the bar. In the 19th minute Sports should have taken the lead when Luca Martin turned inside a defender inside the box but then blazed his shot over the bar. Another Westlands free kick saw Jonny Manley get his head to the ball but the keeper made the save comfortably. Next a Duncan McCabe cross was headed wide by Steve Ormrod who then made a good run into the box and fed Luca Martin whose shot was deflected wide for a corner. From the kick Steve Ormrod headed over the top. In the 33rd minute the Ham Rec keeper dropped the ball in the goalmouth which led to a scramble before the ball was cleared. After this sustained spell of pressure it was no real surprise when Westlands took the lead in the 38th minute. Duncan McCabe drilled a free kick into the box, the ball was attacked by several players but fell to JOSH PAYNE who stuck it away into the corner of the net. An important breakthrough for Westlands getting the first goal in what was always going to be a tight game. Hamworthy tried to respond and a bit of a melee in the Westlands area saw a shot blocked before the ball was cleared upfield.
A good half for the home side then and the slim 1-0 lead was a proper reflection of play. Sports had looked lively up front and solid at the back so a repeat of that in the second half would be the minimum requirement as Hamworthy would obviously try to up their game in the second 45.
Sports opened the half with a corner that Jonny Manley headed just past the post. That was followed in the 50th minute by a speedy run from Josh Payne who left the full back trailing and whipped over a lovely cross, unfortunately no-one could get on the end of it. As we passed the hour mark Rec began to dominate possession and their player squandered a good chance when he missed his kick in front of goal. In the 66th minute a Hamworthy player tried his luck from 30 yards but missed the target. Westlands then made their first substitution, Lewis Howchin replacing Malik Kamal who had been booked earlier. In the 70th minute another shot from the visitors went wide but it was noticeable Westlands were dropping a bit deep now although in the 70th minute a good move saw Steve Ormrod get his head to a Luca Martin cross but again the effort went wide. Sports then made their second substitution, Nick Voss replacing Luca Martin out on the left. In the 75th minute Sports conceded a soft free kick but the direct shot went well wide of the goal.
Another sub from Sports now in the 84th minute, Mike Rousell coming on for Josh Payne. With Hamworthy also making changes the game got a bit scrappy which suited Westlands who now had their eyes on the finishing line. As we approached the 90th minute Ham Rec were pressing hard and a header from a free kick went just over. Two minutes later another soft free kick conceded by Sports on the edge of their own box gave Rec another chance but their player blasted the free kick way over the bar. One last chance came their way in the 94th minute but again the shot was off target as most of their attempts had been all afternoon. A minute later the referee blew for time up and another narrow win for Westlands.
A good first half had been the springboard for the successful outcome and the Sports players, management and supporters were well pleased with the win. The tactical change worked well and all the lads put in a good shift with good performances all round.
Several contenders therefore for Man of the Match this week but skipper ADAM BARRATT gets the nod for an all-action performance in midfield. He was all over the place, winning tackles, driving on from midfield, excellent performance.
A new venue for us and, although the pitch looked in good nick it was perched on a hilltop and there was no protection from the strong wind that was blowing down the pitch. Westlands had made a few changes from last week with Duncan McCabe, Nick Voss and Mike Rousell given starts and Tim Trevett making his first appearance of the season. All the planning was then knocked for six when Ollie Wake went down injured in the warm-up and pulled out of the starting eleven. Tim Trevett was switched from the left wing to centre half and Dan Ewens came in to start on the left.
Not ideal but Westlands, but, playing against the wind, they soon took control and were knocking the ball around quite nicely. Josh Payne tried a shot that went well wide and a Mike Rousell effort went just wide of the far post. For the first ten minutes it was Sports dominating but the home side then launched their first real attack and Mark Cuff had to make a smart save after a poor clearance had given an attacker an opening.
A bit of nervous defending in the wind from the Westlands defence there and Stalbridge wasted no time in getting the ball forward again to win a corner in the 11th minute. The kick was not cleared, a couple of boots were swung at the ball to no avail and it fell to a Stalbridge player who banged it in at the second attempt. Very poor defending there from the Westlands team, all over the place, shambolic was the word used by a spectator and that just about summed it up. This early goal would certainly give the home team a shot in the arm and would make Sport’s task even more difficult in these testing conditions. As expected really there was a bit of a reaction from Westlands with Josh Payne shooting wide of the target. Then Josh had a great run past three defenders and slipped in Nick Voss who blasted his shot over the bar. After half an hour Duncan McCabe had a shot that was saved by the keeper and 5 minutes later Nick Voss was again put through but as the keeper rushed out Nick flicked the ball past him but it finished in the side net, not in the back of the net as I thought from my angle ! However apart from a few sparodic attacks Westlands were doing most of the pressing as the half wore on and the feeling was that once one went in, more would follow. In the 39th minute a Nick Voss shot was headed away from under the bar as Sports searched for a goal. And in the 42nd minute a goal did come, but it was a second for Stalbridge ! If the first goal was shambolic this one was even worse. Keeper Mark Cuff seemed to get mixed up with Jonny Manley at the near post allowing the ball to travel to Tim Trevett at the far post, He had a swing at the ball and miskicked it back in front of goal where a Stalbridge player couldn’t believe his luck as he banged the ball in from 3 yards out. No more to be said about that one really. Just before the half time whistle Steve Ormrod headed a free kick over the bar.
Half time and 2-0 down so not a happy camp at half time. We took solace from the fact that Westlands would at least have the wind behind them this half, so maybe an early goal would set us up for a fightback.
More problems at half time with Jnny Manley not appearing for the second half. Adam Barratt dropped back and Malik Kamal came on in midfield. As expected, with the wind behind Westlands dominated the second half, but with a two goal lead to defend Stalbridge were getting lots of men behind the ball. Sports seemed to be playing the ball around at the back thus allowing Stalbridge to get all their men back, perhaps a long ball over the top to exploit our pace would have been more effective. Dan Ewens got forward for a shot but straight at the keeper then in the 65th minute Adam Barratt ended a good passing moved by shooting just over the bar. A minute later a Mike Rousell shot whistled just past the post and 5 minurtes later Mike put a free kick well over the bar from the edge of the box. In the 70th minute Nick Voss was replaced by Sam Plumley who slotted in at the back allowing Steve Ormrod to move up front. 5 minutes later Steve’s presence proved effective when Westlands pulled a goal back. Duncan McCabe fired a cross into the box with a bit of pace on it and STEVE ORMROD’s glancing header found the far corner of the net.
Still 15 minutes to go so plenty time yet for Westlands. However things seemed to get more and more desperate as the game inched towards the final whistle. Stalbridge were defending for their lives and to be fair they limited Westlands to very few real chances in that last 15 minutes. The closest attempt was a Duncan McCabe shot that flew inches wide of the far post. The final whistle brought great scenes from the Stalbridge players and supporters while the Westlands contingent slipped quietly away.
We seemed to suffer from a lack of penetration down the wings in the second half with the player who had hurt them most in the first half, Josh Payne, starved of service. But its easy to come up with answers after the event but more difficult to make it happen in real time.
Man of the Match is MATT PHILLIPS who ran the line for us and did a great job !
Sat 26th Sept, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 DORCHESTER SPORTS 1
Another sunny day at Alvington but a strong wind blowing down the pitch from end to end would undoubtedly affect the game. Westlands made two changes from last week with the injured Duncan McCabe and Mike Rowsell being replaced by Malik Kamal and Josh Payne.
With the wind behind them Dorchester started strongly and kept Westlands on the defensive for the first 5 minutes. During that spell they had a corner and a couple of shots at goal so a good start by the visitors. It was the 6th minute before Westlands showed their teeth with Josh Payne sprinting down the left wing and squaring the ball that was just scrambled clear. In the 9th minute Westlands forced a corner out on the left. Malik Kamal fired it in low and hard to the near post where Josh Payne’s flick was saved by the keeper. A quick attack by Dorchester saw keeper Westland's keeper Mark Cuff make a good save before, in the 18th minute, Westlands took the lead. Jamie Green made a good run down the right side and when he stabbed the ball across, STEVE ORMROD was on the spot to thump it in. A few minutes later the visitor’s defence just managed to get the ball clear after a real scramble in their box. However, in the 26th minute, Dorchester equalised. Jamie Green lost possession 20 yards out and the ball was switched out to Dorchester’s right winger who cut it back for #14 to smash in. Dorchester were having most of the possession but Westlands pace on the break was always a danger. This was shown in the 38th minute when Luca Martin sprinted down the left and squared the ball to Adam Barratt who smashed his shot off the crossbar when it looked easier to score. That was the last chance before the break so we went in at 1-1 with the game poised to go either way really. Westlands had not played very well, frequently giving away possession cheaply and had relied on pace on the break to create chances. Dorchester had a lot of possession and passed the ball well so Westlands had to up their game in the second half if they wanted to take the points from this game.
The first ten minutes of the second half were a bit cagy with neither team wanting to make a mistake. However Westlands, with the wind now in their backs, were getting more men forward and possession was now about 50-50. In the 55th minute Luca Martin made a good run into the box, beating a couple of defenders and his final shot was scooped round the post for a corner. Then Dorchester had a couple of chances, a header that cleared the bar and a free kick that was missed by everyone and flew past the far post. In the 70th minute Westlands made their first substitution, Nick Voss replacing Luca Martin. It was end to end stuff now and the breakthrough came in the 76th minute when Dorchester conceded a free kick in a dangerous position about 25 yards out and central to the goal. JONNY MANLEY drilled a shot low and hard towards the goal and it took a bit of a deflection and ended up in the corner of the net with the keeper rooted to the spot. Celebrations all round and a well struck free kick from the big defender. As the game moved into the final 10 minutes Westlands took a safety first approach getting lots of players behind the ball and defending in depth. This allowed Dorchester to push forward but they weren’t creating any clear cut opportunities. In the 84th minute a free kick on the edge of Westlands box gave them a chance but the shot was just wide of the mark. Westlands then played out time with no more scares. Josh Payne was replaced by Lewis Howchin as Westlands took the sting out the game in the dying minutes.
A good result for Westlands but not a vintage performance by any means but the three points are very welcome. Sometimes you can only play as well as the opposition allow you to and that may well have been the case here as Dorchester played very well. A word of praise also for the referee who was hardly noticed all afternoon which is usually a good sign.
Man of the Match STEVE ORMROD whose presence at the back has added a bit of solidity to the defence this season. Another strong performance in this match and the bonus of scoring the opening goal which gave team a real boost during a period when they were under pressure.
Sat 19th Sept, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 WAREHAM RANGERS 0
Another glorious September afternoon welcomed spectators to Alvington for the visit of Wareham although there was a strong east wind blowing across the pitch which could be troublesome. Westlands had one change from the team that won at Balti last week, Olly Wake coming in at the back which allowed skipper Adam Barratt to push forward into midfield, Malik Kamal dropping out.
With 2 defeats behind them the visitors had dropped to the foot of the division but started quite well in a slow start to the match and it was Wareham who had the first real attack, forcing a corner after 10 minutes ! Sports were sluggish to get going but in the 11th minute Mike Rousell played a nice through pass to Luca Martin whose shot was turned away for a corner. Dan Ewens put over an inswinger that came off the crossbar and bounced to safety. A few minutes later a good run and cross from Luca Martin saw Dan Ewens meet the cross with his head but again his effort came off the bar. After 20 minutes Olly Wake swung a free kick to the far post and Steve Ormrod headed just over the bar. Westlands were pressing hard now and took the lead in the 28th minute. A nice pass put Mike Rousell through and he rounded the keeper but found his final shot blocked by a defender. As ever, JAMIE GREEN was following up and he took a touch and thumped the ball into the net through a crowd of players. Deserved 1-0 lead for Westlands and it didn’t take long for the second goal to arrive. A corner from the left was headed down by Jonny Manley to DUNCAN McCABE who swivelled and banged the ball into the back of the net from close range. Sports were in command now and in the 40th minute a lovely move saw Luca Martin put through on goal only to see his lob over the onrushing keeper slip just past the post. But the 3rd goal was imminent and came when a free kick was headed back across to MIKE ROUSELL who drove the ball in from 12 yards out.
Half-time and a comfortable three goal lead for Westlands who had been a bit slow to get going but grew stronger as the half went on. A half-time substitution saw Duncan McCabe retire injured to be replaced by Malik Kamal.
Westlands were sluggish as the second half opened and Wareham, who had nothing to lose, went for it and took control of the game. In the 50th minute a Wareham free kick was headed over by their #5 who had moved up to centre forward and was proving a handful and 3 minutes later a Wareham shot from 30 yards flew over the bar. A Westlands attack in the 59th minute should have resulted in the 4th goal as some neat passing opened up the visitor’s defence but just as we thought Mike Rousell was going to score he squared it to Luca Martin who was given offside as he put the ball in the net. The linesman didn’t flag but the referee made the decision. Wareham resumed their attacks after this with a corner that was headed just over and a 20 yard ground shot that Mark Cuff saved well. In the 69th minute Westlands manager Harry Gibbs then made 2 more substitutions to try and spark some life into the home team, Nick Voss and Lewis Howchin replacing Mike Rousell and Sam Plumley. This proved an astute move 5 minutes later when a superb through pass by Malik Kamal put NICK VOSS clear and he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball in the far corner. A minute later and it was 5 as NICK VOSS ran on to a nice pass, turned inside and fired a great dipping shot into the far top corner. A lovely finish and a great double strike by the substitute. Wareham kept plugging away and Mark Cuff had to look smart to get down to a well struck shot. With 10 minutes to play Luca Martin came off with a knock and that left Westlands down to 10 men. Nevertheless Sports finished the stronger with Nick Voss failing to notch his hat-trick with a couple of efforts.
Full-time and a fairly comfortable 5-0 win which was pleasing for our first home game of the season.
Man of the Match was JAMIE GREEN, whose workrate was tremendous all afternoon and a goal to cap things off.
Sat 12th Sept, Dorset Premier League: BALTI SPORTS 1 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
No changes for the trip to Weymouth with the manager sticking to the team that won in the opening game at Bournemouth last week. Josh Payne was still out injured but Olly Wake returned to the 16 man squad for his first outing of the season.
Balti opened the match at a fast pace with some crisp passing in midfield and Westlands were finding it halrd to get any possession of the ball. The hame team won a couple of corners which were cleared but was ball was soon back in the Westlands box. After 6 minutes the pressure paid off with the opening goal from Balti although it was a bit controversial. Their #4 his a cracking shot from about 20 yards out which cannoned down off the crossbar and bounced down and away. The referee signalled for a goal as he signalled the ball had crossed the line. The lino, out by the corner flag, disagreed and the referee refused to consult with him as he was a “club” linesman ! Westlands protested but to no avail even though it was obvious from the referee’s position, about 25 yards out and central on the pitch, that he did not have the best view. This incident I believe shows the problems that can be created by the league downgrading to one official this season. Anyway the goal seemed to wake Westlands up and they began to keep control of the ball and put a few passes together. The chances soon followed and in the 11th minute Mike Rousell got a header on target from a Luca Martin cross but an easy save for the keeper. Westlands were beginning to dominate now and after 18 minutes Mike Rousell controlled a cross from the right, worked some space and fired off a shot that was headed off the line. The equalise came in the 21st minute and the move began with a ball in behind to LUCA MARTIN. Luca raced on to the pass, rounded the keeper, and stroked the ball into the net. A cracking goal and no more than Westlands deserved at this stage. The pressure was really on Balti now and Mike Rowsell made a strong run and cross which was cleared for a corner. Another good cross saw Dan Ewens head it back across goal to Luca Martin who shot wide. Although being on top Westlands just couldn’t find a way through until just before the break they got a helping hand. A Balti defender played a loose pass straight to LUCA MARTIN who raced into the box and fired the ball into the far corner. Another great finish by Luca that gave Westlands a slender 2-1 half time lead.
Westlands made a half-time substitution with Malik Kamal being replaced by Ollie Wake.
It was Westlands who took the initiative in the second half with Luca Martin heading over an early free kick.
Then there was an almighty scramble in the Balti box with 3 shots blocked by defenders desperate lunges.
Westland were in command now and pressed for a good 15 minutes but were unable to get that important third goal. In the 65th minute Mike Rousell made a run to the byeline and his cross set up Luca Martin with a great chance at the far post but he seemed to miscontroll hit shot and the ball bobbled wide. In the 75th minute their was a bit of a disagreement between Mike Rousell and the Balti centre half which resulted in Mike taking a right hander to the head. The referee consulted his linesman who agreed it was a red for the Balti #5 but amazingly the referee decided to show them both a yellow. However justice was done 5 minutes later when the #5 hacked Mike down and received another yellow then a red. Going into the final 10 minutes Westlands made 2 more subs with Lewis Howchin and Nick Voss replacing Sam Plumley and Mike Rousell. In the final few minutes Balti, despite being down to 10 men, made a late rally in an attempt to grab an equaliser. In the 89th minute they nearly did it with a shot that came off the crossbar. The Olly Wake gave away a free kick on the edge of the box to give Balti a final chance but the cross was headed over and Olly copped a yellow card for the foul.
That was it, 3 points for Westlands on the road, and at a difficult venue so a good afternoon’s work.
Man of the Match was LUCA MARTIN, whose pace troubled Balti all afternoon and his 2 goals were perfectly executed.
Sat 5th Sept, Dorset Premier League: BOURNEMOUTH SPORTS 0 WESTLAND SPORTS 2
Westlands started the season in cagy mood, getting bodies behind the ball and allowing the home team the bulk of the possession. Despite this Bournemouth couldn’t create any significant openings and it was 9 minutes in before they managed the first shot on goal, a speculative 20 yarder that Mark Cuff saved easily. In the 16th minute came the first moment of danger and it came from a Bournemouth free kick, carelessly conceded on the edge of the box. The shot was on target, Mark Cuff parried it and the following up Bournemouth player put his shot in the side net. This seemed to spur Westlands into action and they almost took the lead a minute later. Once again it was from a free kick that was swung deep beyond the far post. Jonny Manley headed the ball back across goal where Jamie Green met it with his head 5 yards out but his effort was too close to the keeper and he made the save. Westlands were gradually building up a head of steam now and in the 26th minute Luca Martin burst through but his shot was blocked by the advancing keeper. A minute later a good passing move from Westlands saw Mike Rousell get to the bye line on the right and put over a low cross that Luca Martin bundled wide at the far post. Westlands were creating good chances now and in the 33rd minute Duncan McCabe let fly with a strong shot that the keeper turned round the post. From the corner the ball fell to Duncan again at the edge of the box but this time he blazed his shot over the bar. Two minutes later Adam Barratt played a lovely through ball to Mike Rousell who got a touch over the onrushing keeper but agonisingly the ball went inches wide. In the 41st minute another through pass, this time from Jamie Green, put Mike Rousell through but the keeper again made a good block. In the final action of the half Mike Rousell had a shot that found the side net.
Nil-nil at half time was not a real reflection on play for the first half. Although Westlands had played pretty conservatively for the first 20 minutes or so they had eventually taken charge and had created several good chances so we were a bit disappointed not to be in front. Credit to the home team goalkeeper though, he made several excellent saves to keep his team alive at the break. For Westlands it was surely just keep going as before and the goals must come.
The home side came out boosted by their half time talk and for a few minutes pushed Westlands back into their own half but in the 50th minute Westlands took the lead. A good build up led to Mike Rousell putting the ball across goal to Luca Martin who had a couple of attempts blocked before the ball fell to MALIK KAMAL who smashed it through the crowd of players into the net. Westlands then went to sleep and some slack defending left a Bournemouth player free to put over a cross which was headed headed wide by an unmarked team mate. It’s always a danger time just after a goal has been scored when players tend to relax and switch off, however Westlands soon got their act together and made it 2-0 after 65 minutes. A perfect Malik Kamal pass put MIKE ROUSELL in behind again and this time he made no mistake, belting the ball past the keeper. A great celebration followed by Mike, his first goal after returning to the club following a 7 year absence. That second goal put Westlands in the driving seat and 2 substitutions quickly followed, Mike Rousell and Jonny Manley being replaced by Nick Voss and Sam Fuller. In the 70th minute Westlands should really have made it 3 when Luca Martin went haring down the left wing leaving the home defenders in his wake. When he got to the bye line he fired the ball across goal where Nick Voss made a good run to the far post but unfortunately, from about a yard out the ball smashed Nick full in the face and somehow squirmed past the post. Had he had a more prominent nose it was a goal ! After 74 minutes Sam Plumley was replaced by Lewis Howchin and with Bournemouth subs on as well the game got a bit scrappy. Mark Cuff clutched a shot to his chest in the 77th minute as Bournermouth pushed forward trying to get back into the game. Will Ireland then replaced Malik Kamal and Steve Ormrod got himself a yellow card as tempers frayed a bit. Will Ireland followed him into the book near the end but Westlands saw out the game to record an opening day 2-0 victory at Chapel Gate for the 2nd year in a row.
A nice victory for Westlands but with no changing rooms open and players changing by the side of the pitch not an ideal situation. Surely this can’t continue when the weather begins to deteriorate.
Man of the Match was JAMIE GREEN, who was a big player in midfield, winning some important tackles and distributing the ball well.
Sunday 23rd May, 2021 : Somerset U18 Covid Cup Quarter-final :-
WESTLAND SPORTS 0 BRIDGWATER WOLVES 0 (Westlands won 4-2 on penalties)
We were keeping a watchful eye on the weather forecast with the game having been called off the previous Sunday due to a waterlogged pitch. Sure enough, as the teams assembled about an hour before kick-off, the rain began to fall ! However, the pitch was firm so the game wasn’t in any real danger.
It had been the management’s intention to keep to the team selected for last week but that plan was wrecked when Fin Ridout arrived on crutches having damaged his ankle ligaments during the week. However, we have a strong squad and Alex Sison was drafted into the midfield in his place.
As the teams took the field the conditions really began to deteriorate with the rain now heavy and a gale force wind blowing down the pitch towards the Airfield Tavern end. Westlands had the wind behind them in the first half and were soon dominating play, pinning Bridgewater in their own half. Although having the territorial advantage Sports were struggling to create any real chances against a good Bridgwater defence who were winning all the aerial challenges. Any chance to shoot saw the shots flying off target so the Wolves keeper wasn’t really tested. Long balls were also being blown right down the pitch and out of play so although Westlands were on top it was proving to be a frustrating half. Just before the break Bridgewater mounted a few attacks that kept the Westlands defence on their toes but the half ended scoreless with the weather coming out on top.
The wind was really strong with any high balls into the wind coming back towards the kicker. Having to face the wind now, and with Bridgwater having a few tall lads in their line up, it looked as if Westlands could be up against it in the second 45.
However, as we settled in to the second half Westlands began well, keeping the ball close with short passes which was very effective against the wind. Ollie Crisp began to have some possession and Sports were more than holding their own. Bridgwater of course were pressing when they could but they were finding the Westlands defence in stubborn mood and they couldn’t make much headway. That was the story of the game really, both defences on top and subsequently few clear chances created. Luke Wellington showed good handling in the wet conditions coming to catch a couple of corners under pressure. A free kick for Westlands in a dangerous position was ballooned over the bar and a couple of late attacks by the home team failed to break the deadlock so it was 0-0 at the final whistle.
It was straight into penalties now and Westlands were first to go with OLLIE CRISP drilling the ball low into the corner to make it 1-0 to Westlands. Luke Wellington then pulled off a great save to deny Bridgwater so with one penalty each taken it was 1-0 Westlands. Henry Field then stepped up for Sports but unfortunately saw his kick saved by the visitor’s keeper. They then tucked away their kick to make it 1-1 with 2 taken each. FRED BUNTING was next for Westlands and he coolly stroked the ball into the corner to put Sports ahead. But only briefly as Bridgwater buried their next kick to make it 2-2 with 3 kicks taken each. Westlands next penalty was smashed perfectly into the top corner by LOUIS FERGUSSON and when Luke Wellington dived to brilliantly save Bridgwater’s next kick it was 3-2 Westlands with 4 kicks taken apiece. The final kick for Sports was then confidently buried in the bottom corner by BEN HUGHES to give Westlands an unassailable 4-2 lead with Bridgwater only having only one kick left.
Great celebrations by the Westland lads followed but fair play to the visiting team who were sporting with their congratulations. Under the circumstances, with the appalling conditions, both teams had given us a great game of football with nothing really between the two sides. Obviously congratulations go to the Westland players who really dug in and played well as a team.
Although this was Stoke’s home game it was switched to Alvington Lane on Friday as Stoke were having problems booking a pitch. Then on Sunday, with the pitch at Alvington now waterlogged, the game was finally played on the 3G Astro at Yeovil Town. Westlands have struggled this season so this looked like a good chance to get three points on the board.
Sports were first to strike, opening the scoring after only 6 minutes. A low cross from the right was turned in at the near post by FRED BUNTING who got in front of his marker. For the next half hour it was a fairly even game but Stoke had shown they could play some nice stuff and in the 36th minute they made it 1-1. Westlands conceded a soft free kick 25 yards out and the Stoke player buried it in the top corner. Definitely a soft goal to concede. No harm done however as Sports went back in front a few minutes later. Tyler Redshaw was clattered in the box and, after lengthy treatment, was helped off the field and replaced by Ben Cornelius. LOUIS FERGUSSON then stuck away the spot kick to make it 2-1. That was soon 3-1 in the 41st minute with LOUIS FERGUSSON running through and finishing clinically in the far corner. Half-time 3-1 to Sports.
It took 10 minutes of the second half for Westlands to get back in control and the fourth goal came when TYLER REDSHAW, who had made a remarkable recovery from his injury, cut into the box and drove the ball into the far corner. In the 57th minute a neat through pass put HENRY FIELD in the clear and he gave the keeper no chance from close range. 5-1 now and 5 minutes later it was 6. Henry Field chipped a lovely pass to BRAD CHENEY who blasted the ball past the helpless keeper. Finally in the 76th minute TYLER REDSHAW stuck the ball in from close range to make it 7-1. With the game well and truly in the bag, Sports failed to add any more goals to their tally in the last 15 minutes as everyone wanted to get on the scoresheet and the team play suffered as a result.
However, take nothing away from an excellent performance by the Westlands team. They played some good stuff and the finishing was clinical so an excellent first win.
There was a strong wind blowing across the pitch and the visitors used it to their advantage in the 6th minute with a wind assisted cross shot dropping over Westlands keeper Luke Wellington into the far corner of the net. In the 13th minute Westlands equalised with a good goal. FRED BUNTING cut in from the left, drew the keeper and slipped the ball past him into the far corner of the net. Half an hour in and Sports conceded a poor goal. The defence was non=existant as a Burnbridge player ran through and went round Luke Wellington to score.
Half-time 1-2 down and not a great half from Westlands who hadn't really played as a team in the first half.
Boosted by manager Mark Baker's half time encouragement it only took Westlands two minutes to draw level. Henry Field's through pass was flicked on by Fred Bunting to LOUIS FERGUSSON who smacked it in. A good goal so surely the home side could go on and win the game. Unfortunately that was not to be as Sports lost their focus a bit and ended up playing for 20 minutes of the second half playing with only 10 men due to sin-bins for Henry Field and skipper Charlie Baker. Even with 10 men Westlands looked to be the most likely team to win the game so definitely our lack of discipline cost us in this match.