Westland Sports FC

First Team



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 second Westlands 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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.D.Ewens 4.J.Dicker 5.T.Trevett 6.S.Flynn 7.J.Payne 8.I.Storey 9.L.Martin 10.L.Irwin 11.S.Fuller 12.L.Howchin 14.M.Phillips 15.M.Kamal 16.L.Morgan 17.B.Cochrane


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 corners and 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 Radstock right 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 !

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.D.Ewens 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.A Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.I.Storey 9.L.Martin 10.M.Kamal 11.S.Fuller 12.L.Howchin 14.M.Phillips

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.D.Ewens 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.A Barratt 7.L.Martin 8.J.Green 9.J.Payne 10.I.Storey 11.N.Voss 12.T.Trevett 14.O.Wake

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.D.Ewens 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.A Barratt 7.L.Martin 8.J.Green 9.J.Payne 10.I.Storey 11.N.Voss 12.M.Kamal 14.O.Wake

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 Gillingham players 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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.D.Ewens 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.A Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.S.Ormrod 10.M.Kamal 11.L.Martin 12.I.Storey 14.N.Voss 15.  S.Smith

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.

The visitors 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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.D.Ewens 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.A Barratt 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Martin 10.M.Kamal 11.L.Irwin 12.L.Howchin 14.T.Trevett 15.I.Storey 16.N.Voss


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.The big 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 60th minute 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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.D.Ewens 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Green 7.N.Voss 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Irwin 10.M.Kamal 11.L.Martin 12.P.Wells 14.W.Ireland 15.J.Payne

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.D.Ewens 4.T.Trevett 5.Jon Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.L.Martin 8.S.Flynn 9.J.Payne 10.M.Kamal 11.N.Voss 12.P.Wells 14.W.Ireland 15.M.Phillips 16.J.Green

Saturday 7th December, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 3 CORFE CASTLE 0

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 !

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.D.Ewens 4.T.Trevett 5.Jon Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.G.Bowles 8.J.Green 9.L.Morgan 10.M.Kamal 11.J.Payne 12.P.Wells 14.W.Ireland 15.N.Voss

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.D.Ewens 4.W.Ireland 5.Jon Manley 6.A.Barratt 7.N.Voss 8.J.Green 9.L.Morgan 10.M.Kamal 11.T.Trevett 12.S.Flynn 14.M.Gold 15.P.Wells 16.S.Smith

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.T.Trevett 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Green 7.N.Voss 8.A.Barratt 9.L.Martin 10.M.Kamal 11.L.Morgan 12.W.Ireland 14.S.Plumley 15.A.Sweet

Saturday 21st September, Somerset Senior Cup, Rnd 2:  WESTLAND SPORTS 5 WESTFIELD 3

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.M.Kamal 8.J.Green 9.Jacob Manley 10.A.Barratt 11.T.Trevett 12.N.Voss 14.L.Martin 15.L.Morgan 16.W.Ireland

Saturday 21st September, Dorset Premier League: HAMWORTHY RECREATION 5 WESTLAND SPORTS 0

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 !

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.N.Voss 14.Jacob Manley 15.L.Howchin

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.S.Flynn 3.L.Howchin 4.P.Wells 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Green 7.J.Payne 8.W.Ireland 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.N.Voss 14.Jacob Manley 15.T.Trevett

Saturday 7th August, Somerset Senior Cup, 1st Rnd: WESTLAND SPORTS 5 WELTON ROVERS RES 1

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.W.Ireland 14.Jacob Manley 15.N.Voss

Saturday 31st August, Dorset Premier League: MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 4 WESTLAND SPORTS 5

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.L.Irwin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.W.Ireland 14.L.Martin 15.S.Flynn 16. Jacob Manley 17.N.Vos

Tuesday 27th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 2 GILLINGHAM 1

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.

Westlands line-up: 1. M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.J.Green 9.J.Manley 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.W.Ireland 14.A.Sweet 15.N.Voss


Saturday 24th August, Dorset Premier League: WESTLAND SPORTS 4 HOLT UTD 2

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.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.L.Howchin 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.J.Green 14.N.Voss 15.Jacob Manley 16.W.Ireland

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.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.P.Wells 4.O.Wake 5.Jon Manley 6.J.Dicker 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.J.Green 14.N.Voss 15.Jacob Manley 16.W.Ireland

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.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.P.Wells 3.S.Morgan 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.A.Sweet 7.L.Martin 8.M.Kamal 9.Jacob Manley 10.A.Barratt 11.N.Voss 12.T.Aitken 14.D.Forshaw 15.J.Jarvis 16.W.Ireland 17.B.Cochrane

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.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.J.Dicker 5.Jon Manley 6.O.Wake 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.M.Kamal 12.P.Wells 14.N.Voss 15.Jacob Manley 16.S.Morgan 17.B.Cochrane

Saturday 10th August, Dorset Premier League: BOURNEMOUTH SPORTS 0  WESTLAND SPORTS 2

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.

Westlands line-up: 1.M.Cuff 2.S.Plumley 3.A.Sweet 4.J.Dicker 5.J.Manley 6.O.Wake 7.J.Payne 8.S.Flynn 9.L.Martin 10.A.Barratt 11.N.Voss 12.P.Wells 14.M.Kamal 15.J.Manley 16.S.Morgan 17.B.Cochrane