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MATCH REPORTS SEASON 2019/2020
Sat 22nd Feb, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 DORCHESTER SPORTS RES
Sports entertained at Alvington for the first time in 6 weeks after a dismal run of 5 straight defeatswhich effectively ended any title chances. 3 points was needed therefore to start solidifying a top 5 finish. Player availability was strong for the first time in a few weeks. Creative midfielder Aaron Sweet returned after injury and Tom Jarvis joined the squad after a strong run of games in the U18’s. With no first team game due to pick of the league representation, first team keeper Mark Cuff was between the sticks.
However, it was the worst possible start for Sports as just 30 seconds in we were 1-0 down to the side occupying second bottom of the league. Mark Cuff came out to the edge of his box to gather a pass back and decided to have a touch. A Dorchester forward came in and robbed him of the ball and walked it into the empty net. What a start, and the wait goes on for a first clean sheet of the season.
Sports however responded well and soon had a firm grip on possession with Dorchester pinned in their own half. Chances were being created frequently but nothing clear cut to bring us a level. Debutant Ben Ford was proving to be a useful outlet at right back with several crosses into the box, with the front 4 of Sam Fuller, Liam Stobbs, Aaron Sweet and striker Steve Flynn looking dangerous.
However after 40 minutes of knocking on the door, it finally opened. A good passing move saw the ball eventually being switched left to right, with Aaron Sweet picking out Liam Stobbs with a 30 yard crossfield pass. He rolled the ball into SAM FULLER who netted to make it 1-1. A throughly deserved equaliser and now it was not a case of if but a case of when we could get a second goal. And we did, right on the HT whistle.
LIAM STOBBS was again picked out, this time by Sam fuller, and he finished very confidently to make it 2-1 now and in control.
Half-time and a very good response after going 1 down so early. The back four were solid, midfield 2 of Max Rowswell and Will Ireland had a tight grip of the game, allowing the very creative front 4 to cause problems.
Game management was the message at HT, and to go and kill the game off.
Going against the wind in second half was incredibly difficult, so it wasn’t as pretty as the first half but still just as efficient. Chances fell to Liam Stobbs who shot just wide after good work to turn his marker inside out ! But the game was eventually put to bed when SAM FULLER made a driving run from midfield beating 2 players and slotting home at the second attempt after the keeper saved. An excellent goal that takes him to 9 for the season and he was on course for his second hat trick of the year. Could he get it?
Minutes later he did, Liam Stobbs again causing his full back problems and he squared for SAM FULLER to complete his hat trick and put the score line at 4-1. Dominant performance. Captain Jamie Burt was then replaced due to injury wirh Jacob Manley stepping into centre half and putting on an outstanding performance. Tom Jarvis then replaced Aaron Sweet and Matt Phillips came on for Max Rowswell. Westlands played the game out well and probably could have had another couple of goals. The only time Sports keeper Mark Cuff was really called into action was for Dorchester's solitary goal.
The best performance in a while and a strong squad performance.
Man of the match was the hat-trick man SAM FULLER.
Sat 25th Jan, Dorset Senior League: STURMINSTER MARSHALL 4 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2
With several players missing, Westlands introduced 3 new signings, Sam Smith, Cian Cabell and Aaron Hooper to the squad for this tough match at high flying Sturminster Marshall.
In the first half Sports failed to cope with the big Sturminster centre forward and went in at the break 2-0 down after a fairly insipid first half.
In the second 45 Sports showed much more spirit and a penalty kick from STEVE FLYNN got them back into the game. When STEVE FLYNN scored a second goal soon after to bring the game level at 2-2 it looked as if a dramatic fightback was on the cards. But disaster struck ! No sooner had Westlands got back on level terms, they then gifted the home side another goal, almost straight from the kick-off. A long ball was half-headed backwards straight into the path of the Sturminster centre forward and he ran through to score easily. That goal took some of the sting out of Westlands and Stur went on to score another goal to wrap up the points.
Man of the match was unsurpringly STEVE FLYNN, great display from an all-action player.
Sat 18th Jan, Dorset Senior League: MERE TOWN 6 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
Sports travelled to Mere looking to get back to winning ways after a 4-0 humbling away at the hands of Chickerell the previous week. Mere did all they could to get the game on, and thpitch was in decent condition despite the week’s adverse weather.
The game started frantically with no side being able to keep hold of the ball in the first 10-15 minutes, but Mere soon started to have the majority of possession. However, with the returning Jack Dicker next to skipper Jamie Burt at the back, Sports were looking defensively sound. That was until the 28th minute when a corner taken by the Mere winger floated straight into the top corner ! A disappointing way to concede. 1-0. This gave Mere confidence and they started playing some good stuff. Mike Rousell was up front for Sports but wasn’t getting a lot of service to his feet to be a threat. In the 34th minute Mere doubled their advantage with a well worked goal, playing through our midfield and backline which led to the striker having a tap in. 2-0. Sports responded well and became more aggressive upon going 2-0 down. And they were soon on top winning a succession of corners and free kicks Eventually Sports made one count. Aaron Sweet whipped a delightful ball in for JACK DICKER to volley home, 2-1 and back in it ! Sports went close to levelling with a Sam Fuller effort that hit the post, and a half chance for Mike Rousell but the half time whistle cut short Westlands spell of dominance, unfortunately without the equaliser.
Still, the game was finely poised and with only one goal in it the next goal was critical.
Disaster struck only 13 seconds after the restart when Sports conceded that crucial third goal. Sports were still in the changing rooms as the Mere full back was given far too much time to put over a cross and he did, expertly picking out the run of a midfielder who fired home for 3-1. What a disaster that was and it was a real kick in the teeth to Westlands whose heads went down. Injuries meant Jack Dicker and Aaron Sweet were replaced by George Weston and Will Ireland. Mere began to dominate the game now and Sports were on the ropes and a flurry of late goals meant the final score ended 6-1 !
A very disappointing second half display by Westlands as they have now conceded 10 goals in 2 games, 7 of these in the second halves so definitely some fitness issues there. Credit to Mere as they are without a doubt the strongest side we have faced in the Dorset Senior League this year, and we went toe-to-toe with them for 45 minutes. A few positives then to take from the 1st half display.
Man of the Match award this week went to SAM FULLER who the manager reported “worked his socks off for 90 minutes”. Attendance at training is obviously working for Sam ! Westlands line up: 1.J.Malcom, 2.T,Morgan, 3.P.Wells, 4.J.Dicker, 5.J.Burt(c), 6.M.Phillips, 7.S.Flynn, 8.A.Sweet, 9.M.Rousell, 10.S.Fuller, 11.L.Stobbs, 12.W.Ireland, 14.G.Weston, 15.C.Wells.
Sat 11th Jan, Dorset Senior League: CHICKERELL UTD 4 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 0
The reserves travelled down to Chickerell in fairly confident mood with a run of 4 straight wins behind them. They also looked to have a strong side out with Phil Wells, Steve Flynn and Will Ireland all dropping down from the first team squad and Morley Gold back after injury.
Sports kicked up the infamous Chickerell slope in the first half and turned round 1-0 down after a tight first half. In the second jalf, however, although with the slope in their favour, Sports fell apart.
Chickerell played balls over the top which held up on the slope and with some quick forwards they ran riot banging in 3 goals without response.
A very disappointing match for Westlands with some players going through the motions.
Man of the match goes to Sports keeper JOSH MALCOLM who pulled off several good saves to keep the score from being much worse.
Sat 4th Jan, Dorset Senior League: WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2 MERLEY COBHAM RES 1
Sports Reserves welcomed Merley Cobham Reserves to Alvington in the first fixture back after the Christmas break. Westlands were in good form before the break, and with Merley also picking up some decent results it had the potential to be a good game. Scott Morgan was back in the squad after a lay off with injury, while new signing George Russell also took a place on the bench. The pitch was in good condition, so could sports put pressure on the sides above them by gaining 3 points ? We opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Chris Wells and the in form Ngolo Phillips tasked with controlling the midfield. Aaron Sweet was edged forward into a role behind Jacob Manley, with Liam Stobbs and Max Rowswell either side. Cobham in fairness only arrived with 11, but a determined 11 at that. Westlands started well and had a foothold of the game instantly. Cobham adopted a defensive 4-5-1 and effectively sat on the edge of their own area and tasked us with breaking them down. In the opening exchanges both Liam Stobbs and Max Rowswell troubled the fullbacks but after 15/20 minutes and the majorityof possession, we were yet to test the keeper. Sports were becoming a little bit frustrated but in fairness to Cobham they had a game plan and were sticking to it well. Time wasting when possible and being difficult to play through. Sports weren’t playing badly but were very passive and lacked a bit of energy going forward. 5 minutes before half time Westlands were presented with a chance to get on the scoresheet. Some decent interplay resulted in Max Rowswell turning his man inside out and being taken out. Penalty !
LIAM STOBBS was tasked with it and made no mistake by passing the ball coolly into the top corner. Just what Westlands needed, to go one up before half time. The message at the break was to start going through the gears now, increase the energy and put the game to bed but the opposite happened. Westlands started the second half poorly, Cobham gained control and for 10/15 minutes were putting the pressure on with constant balls into the box. Eventually a hopeful ball evaded all the Westland defenders and was bundled in despite the efforts of Pete Park who slid against the post in an attempt to keep it out ! 20 minutes to go, back on level terms at 1-1 but could Sports find a winner ? Changes were made, Morley Gold replaced Jacob Manley and George Russell replaced Max Rowswell. This did provide us with more energy but we still weren’t creating anything clear cut. Liam Stobbs, Morley Gold & Aaron Sweet all having efforts saved. Westlands altered the formation, pushing fullbacks on in an attempt to get the winner. And with 6 minutes to go the changes paid off. GEORGE RUSSELL nodded the ball around a Merley midfielder, drove forward and expertly dispatched a low strike into the corner from 25 yards to make it 2-1 to Westlands. Jurgen Klopp fist pumps from the bench as Sports net another late goal ! A great finish by George on his debut. Westlands just needed to see out time now and game management was key. There was one last scare when Cobham almost grabbed a point hitting the bar in the last minute ! The win puts Westlands second in the league, 7 unbeaten with 5 of those being wins. Not a great performance from Sports but 3 points was very welcome after the festive break. Man of the Match was MAX ROWSWELL who ran the opposition full back ragged showing good energy and commitment. Westlands line up: 1.J.Malcom, 2.S.Plumley, 3.P.Park, 4.T.Morgan, 5.J.Burt(c), 6.C.Wells, 7.L.Stobbs, 8.M.Phillips, 9.J.Manley, 10.A.Sweet, 11.M.Rowswell, 12.G.Russell, 14.M.Gold, 15.S.Morgan.
Sat 14th Dec, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3 STALBRIDGE 2
Sports had problems with team selection this week and ended up with only 12 players after an injury to Morley Gold in the warm-up and a ‘no show’ from Jamie Green. With the first team game off, Josh Payne, who has not had much football recently, was drafted in to play up front in the absence of Dwayne Forshaw. No problems with the pitch which was soft but in quite good condition.
Westlands went on the attack straight away and a couple of Aaron Sweet corners caused some concern in the visitor’s defence. The first flew right across the face of the goal without anyone getting a touch, attacker or defender. The second was headed goalwards by Jamie Burt but the Stalbridge keeper punched clear. The early pressure for Westlands however paid off in the 12th minute with the opening goal. Liam Stobbs made a run down the left wing and passed inside to Josh Payne who in turn squared the ball to SAM FULLER who drilled it low and hard into the bottom corner. An excellent goal but unfortunately Westlands could only hold onto their lead for 4 minutes before Stalbridge equalized. A free kick was crossed in and the big Stalbridge #9 outmuscled his marker before planting a header goalwards. Westlands keeper Josh Malcolm palmed the ball up in the air and it dropped behind him into the net with the Sports defenders back on their heels. This setback spurred Sports on and they created several good chances to regain the lead. In 24 minutes Josh Payne raced away down the left and put over a low cross that Sam Fuller scuffed past the post. A minute later a nice move saw Liam Stobbs set up Sam Fuller with a neat back-heel but this time he blazed his shot way over the bar. Then the ball was crossed to Aaron Sweet but his shot was deflected wide. Moving towards half time Josh Payne headed over the bar and then keeper Josh Malcolm came to the rescue, dashing out to block the shot after a Stalbridge player was put clean through.
Half time 1-1 was perhaps a bit harsh on Westlands as they had created several good chances but squandered them. Would these misses come back to haunt the home side ?
Todd Morgan had been struggling with an injury in the 1st half and was replaced by Steve Flynn at half time.
The first minute of the second half saw Josh Payne putting a good cross right across the face of the Stalbridge goal but no takers in a blue shirt. A minute later a Sam Fuller free kick was saved by the Stalbridge keeper for a corner that was scrambled away. Next a superb Sam Fuller through pass put Liam Stobbs in butthe Stalbridge keeper raced out and dived at his feet to block. The Stalbridge keeper was having a good game and proving a hard man to beat. It was a cracking game with both sides getting stuck in and the next attack by Stalbridge almost saw them take the lead but Steve Flynn was on the spot to clear a header off the line. On the hour Westlands had a great chance when Max Rowswell burst through and went round the keeper only to see his final shot cleared off the line by a defender who had sprinted round on the cover. Great stuff, and the entertainment continued a minute later when the visitors went in front. Westlands failed to clear their lines and when the ball was crossed in from the right a Stalbridge player had a tap in at the far post. That was a blow for Westlands but they struck back almost immediately. A deep corner from the right bounced around in the goalmouth until GEORGE WESTON somehow managed to scoop the ball over the keeper and it dropped into the far corner. So, 25 minutes to go and locked at 2-2, could one team go on and take the three points ? Westlands looked the most likely and a free kick into the Stalbridge goalmouth saw the keeper block a shot before the rebound was hacked away. In the 73rd minute a Max Rowswell pass gave Sam Fuller a chance to shoot but the keeper just got a touch to deflect the ball for a corner. Going into the last 10 minutes Max Rowswell had a shot turned round the post and a George Weston shot (or was it a cross ?) went just wide. Finally, with just a couple of minutes to go, JOSH PAYNE ran on to a through pass from Sam Fuller and slotted it past the keeper for what proved to be the winning goal. So Westlands came out on top in the end but the visitors were obviously disappointed as they had battled the whole way.
As I said before, both sides got stuck in and I thought the referee had a good game, letting the game flow but clamping down with a couple of yellow cards when it got a bit feisty. Disappointing though to hear the players from both sides moaning for fouls after every tackle. Had the referee blown every time the game would have been stopped every thirty seconds. But credit to both sides for an excellent game of football.
Man of the Match this week was once again SAM FULLER for a cultured display topped off by an excellent goal. That’s 3 MoM’s in 4 weeks for Sam so he must be knocking on that first team door !!
Sat 8th Dec, Dorset Senior League, AFC BLANDFORD 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 10
Sports travelled to AFC Blandford in good form. The game was cancelled last time so Sports were up for it and looking to stretch an impressive unbeaten run to 6 games. With no fixture elsewhere, marksman Mike Rousell was brought into the side to partner Dwayne Forshaw up front, with Chris Wells coming in at right back for an unavailable Pete Park. The pitch in Stourpaine was in very good condition so no excuses not to play our football.
Sports started aggressively and were ahead inside just 4 minutes as SAM FULLER drilled home from 6 yards out. A great start. This didn’t have the desired effect though as for the next 20 minutes Blandford had Sports pinned in their own half, without keeper Josh Malcolm really being tested but we had certainly dropped off and allowed the hosts back into the game. However, we were next to score. A diagonal ball was received by the ever-dangerous Sam Fuller who drove to the byeline before cutting back across goal for DWAYNE FORSHAW to slide in and finish with his… knees ? 2-0 up despite it being undeserved. This did click us into the gear though and suddenly we looked ourselves again. Chances were coming thick and fast and it wasn’t long before MIKE ROUSELL bundled in from a goalmouth scramble for 3-0. Just before halftime, Dwayne Forshaw evaded his man before cutting back for SAM FULLER to smash home his 2nd and our 4th. 4-0 right on the halftime whistle.
We had been very clinical but the scoreline was flattering so the message at half time was all about discipline and game management.
Blandford however wouldn’t roll over and started the second half strong, eventually pulling one back with a header from a set piece. Skipper Jamie Burt and goalkeeper Josh Malcolm were not impressed as that first clean sheet of the season had evaded us again. We responded well though and SAM FULLER bundled home his hat-trick after some unselfish play from Mike Rousell. 5-1 now but Blandford didn’t give up and had a couple of chances to get back in the game that weren’t taken. They eventually did get on the scoresheet again after a counter attack to make it 5-2. However, Sports fitness was showing now as we didn’t stop. LIAM STOBBS had done just about everything but score, until he raced through and slotted to grab a well deserved goal. 6-2. Blandford were now on the ropes and Sports were pushing for more. MIKE ROUSELL added his second shortly after with a well taken goal to make it 7. Time for changes as Max Rowswell & Morley Gold were introduced for Mike Rousell and Aaron Sweet.
Next on the scoresheet was left back GEORGE WESTON ! After bombing forward on the attack, he found himself on the end of a ball across the 6 yard box to pass into the net. 8-2 and it was now a rout. 16 year old MORLEY GOLD was in fine form from the bench as he expertly finished his first goal of the season for the reserves and shortly after it was that man MORLEY GOLD who completed his brace to cap a strong 25 minute display.
Final score 10-2. A superb performance which puts us 3rd and improves the goal difference. Huge credit to Blandford for their continued work rate and hospitality..
Man of the Match this week was SAM FULLER who is arguably the form player in the team at the minute.
Sat 1st Dec, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 BEAMINSTER 3
Sports finally had a game on ! First game in 5 weeks, with the Alvington pitch looking in fab condition but a blustery, cold day for football. Sports entered the game against visitors Beaminster without defeat in the previous 4 games so form beginning to come together. Beaminster themselves had picked up some decent results lately so it looked a good match. Pete Park was included in the starting line-up for his reserves debut at right back, while Dwayne Forshaw also returned to the side up front.
Sports adopted a 4-3-3 approach and allowed the visitors to have the ball across the back four. This was working to our advantage as Jamie Burt and Todd Morgan were dominating our back line. Matt Phillips was In the holding role and got an early grip of the midfield with Aaron Sweet and Tom Aitken just in front of him. We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal which came after 15 minutes. The set up was working well as Sports waited their chance to press, forced the mistake, and SAM FULLER squirmed a shot from 20 yards under the keeper. A great start.
Beaminster responded well, with Josh Malcolm being called into action a handful of times to make some decent saves. After absorbing a bit of pressure for 20 minutes, Sports got their second goal. Again the front 3 forced the mistake and DWAYNE FORSHAW made sure he was back with a bang after rounding the keeper and slotting home for 2-0 !! Thoroughly deserved.
Confidence was at full flow and Sports were playing some really decent stuff and in theory should have been out of sight. Chances for Dwayne Forshaw and Liam Stobbs were just not quite falling for them. Liam Stobbs almost had a contender for goal of the season, dancing his way through 3 players, sitting the keeper down and just slotting wide.
Beamister were not done yet though and got themselves back in the game with a well worked goal. An exquisite pass cut the back four open and their striker smashed it into the top corner leaving Westlands keeper Josh Malcolm with no chance. 2-1 now and the visitors back in the game. The next 10 minutes was all the away side and in fairness they got themselves deservedly level. A corner whipped in front post and it was headed home. 2-2. Could we get to half time level and re-regroup?
We did better than that when a ball over the top put Dwayne Forshaw through. However the Beaminster centre half decided he would dive and grab the ball, resulting in a free kick 20 yards out. AARON SWEET had looked a little rusty from set pieces this season however this one was placed perfectly round the wall and rustled the net !! 3-2 up right on half-time.
The message at half-time was simple, keep our shape and work rate and we would win the game. However the first 20 minutes of the second half was poor, with the ball being knocked forward long by Beaminster and our back four just about dealing with it. That pressure paid off in the 70th minute when the visitors caught us on the break and levelled the score at 3-3. Probably deserved as we had gone a little flat. With 15 minutes remaining Aaron Sweet was replaced by Max Rowswell which resulted in a change of shape. Sam Fuller was now closer to Dwaye in the ‘10’ role to try and get us a winner.
And thankfully one of them did. A blistering run by Liam Stobbs resulted in him being fouled in area and DWAYNE FORSHAW stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot to put us 4-3 ahead. We saw the last 10 minutes out fairly comfortably. A good performance and another 3 points on the board.
Man of the Match this week is MATT PHILLIPS for running the midfield with ease for 90 minutes.
Sat 26th Oct, Dorset Senior League, CRANBORNE 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2
Despite the heavy rain, the verdict was game on as the Reserves travelled to Cranborne looking to go unbeaten in 3. Dan Ewens & Morley Gold were on first team duties, so Jack Vine & Mike Rousell were signings added to the squad, along with the return of Todd & Scott Morgan. The pitch was surprisingly looking good.
Westlands started well and dominated from the first whistle. The back four were looking dominant and the midfield two of Tom Aitken & Jack Vine got hold of the game early on. Their energy was allowing Sam Fuller & Aaron Sweet playing narrower winger roles to cause lots of problems. Mike Rousell was looking as sharp as ever upfront with Jacob Manley in the ‘free’ role behind also working hard. It wasn’t all one way traffic though, as Cranborne’s ability to switch the ball was giving us something to think about without keeper Josh Malcolm being called into action. The technical ability of the Westland’s forward players was becoming evident as Cranborne were giving away lots of free-kicks. With Aaron Sweet’s delivery on the money each time, how we weren’t scoring from them was hard to believe! However…..that changed 20 minutes in when MIKE ROUSELL stood his defender up on the edge of the box, before exquisitely lobbing the keeper to give us the lead! 1-0 and thoroughly deserved. Cranborne responded well and Josh Malcolm was on hand to make some pretty routine saves to keep them at bay. We looked dangerous every time we crossed the halfway line and soon after it was 2-0. A foul 25 yards out and wide of the box and a superb delivery from AARON SWEET evaded everyone with its precision and nestled in the bottom corner!! Westlands 2-0 up and cruising.
Things however did take a drastic change. A 50/50 ball contested by Jacob Manley resulted in their keeper coming off worse sustaining an injury. However, after the keeper received treatment, some 5 minutes later, Jacob was sent off, straight red card and suddenly we are down to 10. From the dugout view a harsh decision but understandable as the referee was under extreme pressure from the opposition bench and players. A few minutes later things went from bad to worse as Mike Rousell felt a tweak in his hamstring and was unable to carry on. This prompted a change in personnel and shape, with Joe Jarvis coming on as sole striker. Half time whistle and Westlands go in 2-0 up.
The message at half time was all about game management. Obviously the change in shape, being a man down & losing Mike Rousell & Jacob Manley as a pair up front was going to be difficult. Could we soak up the pressure and remain strong?
Into the second half and we still looked dangerous on the counter with Joe Jarvis, and Sam Fuller now causing the Cranborne defenders problems. After 60 minutes Cranborne were back in it, a sliced clearance fell kindly to their striker who finished well to make it 2-1. Not a great goal to concede just unlucky if anything. Another slice of bad luck came soon after as Aaron Sweet tweaked his groin!!! Something was against us today. He was replaced by Chris Wells, with Jack Vine moving wide left of the midfield 4. With 75 minutes on the clock, a free kick was given away 20 yards from goal and their striker, who had looked dangerous all day, brought the scores level with a good effort bent around the wall. However, this setback gave us a new found belief and suddenly we looked like the side going on to win it with chances falling to Joe Jarvis, Sam Fuller & Jack Vine, none of which could convert. Tom Aitken also had a goal bound effort well saved. With 10 to go ANOTHER injury as Scott Morgan had be replaced by James Bazely, who slotted in at right back with Todd Morgan shifting across to centre back.
We saw the final 10 minutes out well and ended with a point despite playing with 10 men for 70 minutes. Although ultimately we lost a 2-0 lead, the character and commitment shown was impeccable by every single player. That makes it 3 unbeaten in the league with performances individually and collectively growing every week.
Man of the Match this week was SAM FULLER who’s work rate off the ball was excellent and his quality on the ball was outstanding, with his confidence now really beginning to grow.
Sat 19th Sept, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 2 STURMINSTER MARSHALL 2
Sports welcomed a Sturminster Marshall side to Alvington who had yet to drop points in the league. 5 gamers 5 wins with a hatfull of goals scored so the Westland lads needed to be up for it. Sports themselves were entering the game on the back of an impressive 1-3 victory away to Tisbury so it looked set to be a good contest. Josh Malcom made his league debut for Sports in goal after completing his move from Gillingham Dons. It was a frantic start to the game with neither side able to gain control, Sturminster were a big side physically and were using that to their advantage. They were beginning to turn the screw after a sustained amount of pressure and were rewarded 15 minutes in. Yet again a long ball wasn’t dealt with (story of the season so far) and the striker latched onto it and thumped it over Sports keeper Josh Malcolm into the net off the underside of the bar. 1-0 to the visitors.
It was one way traffic at this stage with Sturminster well on top and the only option seemingly available to Westlands during this spell was a long ball to Liam Stobbs. Several chances were missed for the away team as Sports hung on but eventually as we moved into the last ten minutes of the half Westlands started to get some control of the ball and began to mount some attacks. Adam Barratt and Aaron Sweet got a good foothold in the centre of the park and the tide was beginning to turn. A few off the ball challenges were adding to the temperature of the game which for the neutral was good to watch. In the 35th minute a long crossfield ball to Lewis Morgan saw him tumble in the box but the strong penalty appeal from all round the ground was turned down. Then a deep free kick to the far post was headed back across goal by Jamie Burt to George Weston who unfortunately put his header over the bar. Then Lewis Morgan had a shot over the top as Westlands continued to press. Eventually, in the 44th minute, AARON SWEET robbed the Sturminster centre back 20 yards out and drilled the ball past the keeper at his near post to make it 1-1.
That was just the tonic Westlands needed and the message at half time was to keep going and playing how we were.
The parity was short lived however as 2 minutes into the second half, dare I say it, a long ball through the middle was not dealt with and the Stur centre forward ran through unchallenged and banged the ball into the corner of the net. It was end to end now, as a Sturminster player prodded the ball just past the Westlands post and, at the other end, Lewis Morgan held the ball up well and laid it off to Aaron Sweet whose shot went wide. The next Sturminster attack saw Sam Plumley block a shot on the line with the rebound blasted wide. Then Max Rowsell had a chance for Westlands but blazed it over the bar. The 54th minute saw changes from the Westlands bench, with Sam Fuller & Morley Gold replacing Max Rowswell and Jacob Manley. The fresh legs seemed to add some new energy as it was now Sports pushing for the leveller. Stur were still dangerous on the break and rattled the site netting after an impressive counter-attack so we had to be wary when pushing forward. However with 30 minutes to go, Lewis Morgan, playing in the most advanced midfield role, demonstrated his quality by receiving the ball with his back to goal from a throw, turning his man before putting over a delightful inswinging cross for LIAM STOBBS who at the second attempt, levelled the scores at 2-2. Westlands were looking more confident now and Aaron Sweet had a shot deflected for a corner and a few minutes later a good passing move set up Sam Fuller with a chance but he blasted wide of the near post. A Westlands free kick saw Lewis Morgan net but Jamie Burt had been flagged offside. As we moved into the dying minutes Sports had a let off when Sam Fuller cleared a goalbound header off the line to keep the score level. Then in the dying seconds Westlands almost snatched the winner. A nice through pass split the Sturminster defence and Lewis Morgan ran through with only the keeper to beat. He calmly slotted the ball passed the onrushing goalie only to it slip past the far post by a couple of inches. Agonising as this effectively was the last kick off the game. Still, a good draw and pleasing performance. Probably the result was a fair one on reflection but Westlands can be happy with the commitment shown.
Man of the Match this week was GEORGE WESTON for a solid performance at the heart of the defence.
Sat 28th Sept, Dorset Senior League, TISBURY UTD 1 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 3
Sports travelled to Tisbury on the back of two humbling defeats to Poole & Broadstone so plenty to do against a Tisbury side who knew where the goal was based on their two previous games, scoring 14 goals ! Westlands went into the game with effectively a new look back 5 of Mark Cuff GK, Steve Flynn RB, Todd & Scott Morgan CB brothers and Dan Ewens retaining his place at LB. Tom Aitken was tasked with protecting them as the anchor man in a midfield 3 with Joe Jarvis and skipper Aaron Sweet. Jacob Manley, Liam Stobbs & Max Rowswell made up a front 3 with Jacob central. Westlands started aggressively with a high work rate all over the pitch, forcing Tisbury into passing mistakes. Chances were created throughout the first half, falling to Jacob Manley, Max Rowswell & Liam Stobbs, however it took a slice of luck to make the breakthrough in the 40th minute. AARON SWEET fired in a shot that took a deflection and left the goalkeeper flat-footed.
That put us in at the break with a one goal lead and it had been a much improved performance from the Westlands team. The back four had looked solid and the midfield 3 were working their socks off, with the front 3 creating chances, so far so good. A response was expected from the home team after the interval and that’s exactly what we got. For the first 20 minutes Tisbury put the pressure on however our determination as a unit was keeping them out. We were defending deep but Jacob Manley was proving a valuable outlet with his hold up play. Despite a lot of pressure Westlands never really looked like conceding and even had a couple of chances to go 2-0 up before Tisbury struck in the 78th minute. Their striker latched onto a pass, turned his marker well and finished nicely to make it 1-1. Still, the response from Sports was electric. 90 seconds later, a Liam Stobbs corner was headed against the keeper by SCOTT MORGAN, who followed up to tap in the rebound. 2-1 to Westlands with 10 minutes left, could Sports see out the game ? Matt Phillips and Sam Fuller then replaced Aaron Sweet and Max Rowswell who covered an enormous amount of ground between them. The fresh legs and the second goal gave Sports another boost of confidence. With 5 minutes left Liam Stobbs raced away before squaring for JACOB MANLEY who finished very well to effectively wrap up a thoroughly deserved 3 points. Defender George Weston then replaced Liam Stobbs for the last 5 minutes plus injury time. Sports saw the game out well and a well rounded performance brought the 3 points back down the A303. A fantastic response on the back of two defeats.
Man of the Match this week was 18 year old TODD MORGAN, who excelled in a CB role. Nice to see these young players coming through for Westlands. Of the 14 players on show today 9 of them graduated through the Sports youth teams.
Sat 21st Sept, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1 BROADSTONE 4
Westlands entered their first daylight home game of the season on the back of a thumping the previous week away to Poole Borough. Still, 2 wins from 3 so no issues just yet. However a reaction was needed based on the manner of the defeat last week. Broadstone had themselves had a decent start, so, like any game in this league, it wasn’t going to be easy. Westlands started with intent and for the first time this season were not 1-0 down after 10 minutes. They were controlling the game nicely and peppering the Broadstone back four with attacks. The breakthrough came when a warm up drill payed dividends as the front 3 of Morley Gold, Joe Jarvis & and Liam Stobbs combined, allowing Liam to slot confidently into the bottom corner from 18 yards. 1-0 up and a decent start. This goal seemed to have the opposite of a desired effect and we almost just stopped playing, Broadstone were on top and pressing for an equaliser. Their striker was causing both CB’s a problem with his pace. 20 minutes played and a ball over the top, which we seem to struggle against this year, resulted in a free kick being given away 20 yards out. Broadstone skipper stepped up and drilled it into the bottom corner, good finish, 1-1. Broadstione took confidence from this and really began to control the game with 53 year old in centre midfield at the heart of it! 30 minutes in and yet another ball over the top resulted in their striker again latching on to it and rounding Westlands keeper Rich Pippard before being brought down for penalty, zero complaints but really poor defending again. The striker stepped up and made no mistake, 1-2 down 20 minutes after scoring. Both from set pieces and easily avoidable. Half time whistle went and the message was to get back playing again, passes were going astray and the lads were very quiet!!
Unfortunately the half time message didn’t have the desired impact as yet again a ball in behind the defence allowed Broadstone to make it 1-3. This triggered changes in personal and formation, with Tom Aitken and Joe Jarvis replaced by Chris Wells & Todd Morgan. This allowed us to revert from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 in hope of getting back into the game. A handful of chances were shared between the front 3 but to no avail. As we pushed higher in attempt to give ourselves a lifeline Broadstone killed the game off by scoring again, resulting in a 1-4 scoreline. 10 goals conceded in two games with another poor showing here. We face Tisbury, Mere & Sturminster Marshall in our next 3 fixtures. 3 very tough games and hopefully we will match the occasions with performance. Still, 2 wins from 4 but improvement needed. The Man of the Match award went to Westlands line-up: 1.R.Pippin, 2.R.Thompson, 3.D.Ewens, 4.M.Phillips. 5.G.Weston, 6.A.Sweet (c) 6. 7.S.Fuller, 8.T.Aitken 9.M.Gold, 10.J.Jarvis, 11.L.Stobbs 12.C.Wells, 14.T.Jarvis, 15.T.Morgan
Sat 14th Sept, Dorset Senior League, POOLE BOROUGH 6 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 1
Westland’s travelled to Poole with two wins from two, scoring 8 goals, however conceding four in the process. Confidence was high but Poole always provide a stern test and were not be taken lightly after an impressive 1-0 win against Wincanton Res in their previous outing. Injury and avalablity forced the management team of Jake Coombs and Liam Plympton to adopt a different shape and start with a 3-5-2.
The story of the previous two games was going 1-0 down before we started playing, and it was yet again a lack of concentration just six minutes in that allowed a Poole corner to go straight into the back of the net ! 1-0 down but nobody panicked yet. However, Poole were the better side in terms of their work rate and desire to win second balls and it appeared we just didn’t have an answer and looked a few yards off the pace.
Poole were adopting quite a deep defensive line which allowed us to press high however this wasn’t as a unit. The result was gaps all over the pitch which allowed Poole to exploit them by hitting long passes for their quick strikers. We didn’t seem able to cope with this and 15 minutes later it was 2-0. A long ball was not dealt with and the Poole striker capitalised and rounded Sports keeper Rich Pippin to roll it in. Backs against the wall now for Westlands but heads were down so we were glad to hear the half time whistle.
Two nil down at the break and changes were needed as we hadn’t mustered a decent effort on goal for the first 45 minutes. We reverted back to 4-3-3 with Max Rowswell replacing Liam Stobbsy and Rory Thomson replacing Morley Gold. Strong words were spoken in the dressing room at half time, so the management were looking for an instant reponse. We did start the second half a lot sharper and with a lot more purpose and endeavour but that final third quality was still lacking. Chances for Dan Ewens, Aaron Sweet & Joe Jarvis came and went and it was beginning to feel like it wasn’t our day.
To be fair to the lads they kept pushing however with 15 minutes gone of the second half it was near enough game over. Yet again a long ball wasn’t dealt with and it was 3-0. We still kept working away and Joe Jarvis had two goals ruled out for offside ! One of these was very dubious, if only we had VAR in the Dorset Senior League !
With 20 minutes to go, Tom Jarvis was introduced for his reserves debut placing Sam Fuller in the midfield 3.. As the minutes ticked down and legs tired the game became more expansive, errors and misplaced passes started to increase. Another long ball and another goal ! 4-0 and it was almost becoming unbearable to watch. With 20 minutes to go, MATT PHILLIPS chested down a corner and volleyed the ball into the back of the net to get us on the scoresheet with probably the goal of the game, 4.-1.
Poole looked dangerous every time they attacked and scored two late goals to make it a final score of 6-1.
A reality check for the lads in terms of how hard this season will be despite them being champions last year. A lot of below par performances which leave question marks over places.
Man of the Match went to MATT PHILLIPS for that goal which was the only bright moment of the day..
Sat 7th Sept, Dorset Senior League, STALBRIDGE 2 WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4
Westlands travelled to Stalbridge in buoyant mood after coming from behind in mid-week to win 4-2. The management team emphasised the boys must start faster than Tuesday and begin by controlling the game. Like Tuesday, they got the opposite. A frantic 10 minutes where Stalbridge applied a lot of pressure and, with Westlands struggling to get their game going, they found themselves 1-0 down inside the first 12 minutes. A cross was hooked over and their striker was on hand to direct a header into the net. 1-0 down, again, early doors. However, unlike Tuesday, the response was almost instant. Just 1 minute later JOE JARVIS was put through and slotted the ball in to level the scores. 1-1. The midfield 3 of Aaron Sweet, Dan Ewens and Sam Fuller now began to dictate the game, with Westlands defensive line high allowing us to pressure and press from the front. Rory Thomson was getting a lot of joy down the left hand side with Scott Morgan tucked in behind him. Although it was mostly Westlands on the front foot, Stalbridge were dangerous on the break.
Ten minutes after we’d equalised, we went 1-2 up ! JOE JARVIS again found himself through on goal, and although at a tight angle he drilled it across and keeper and the defender helped it into the net by sliding it in. Joe’s goal or an own OG? Manager Jake Coombs was happy for Joe to claim it which takes him to 4 goals in 2 games !
By this point the performance was growing by the minute, confidence was high and the football was free flowing. Rory Thomson was at the centre of most of the attacks as he ran the Stalbridge right back ragged. This eventually led to them swapping there centre half and right back over in attempt to nullify Rory’s threat ! It didn’t work as just before half time Rory got to the by-line and crossed for LIAM STOBBS to tap home and make it 1-3. The first half did end on a sour note when Sports centre half Todd Morgan was clattered by the keeper and had to be replaced. Chris Wells stepped into centre midfield with Dan Ewens moving back to centre half..
The second half kicked off with Stalbridge applying pressure and making Sports keeper Rich Pippin make some strong saves to keep us at 1-3. This eventually changed when Westlands defender Scott Morgan was adjudged to have handled in the area (still moaning about it now !) and again their striker made no mistake in making it 3-2.
Stalbridge took confidence from this and were pushing for the equaliser. Max Rowswell and Morley Gold were introduced for Joe Jarvis and Liam Stobbs who had worked their socks off as part of a front 3 and both had goals as rewards. As the second half wore on Westlands began to get control again with Sam Fuller, Morley Gold & Max Rowswell all testing the keeper.
With only a few minutes remaining and Stalbridge making one last push in search of a point, Sports put the game to bed. Scott Morgan fed RORY THOMSON on the left hand side. Rory dummied a defender and, driving into the box, playing a neat 1-2 before drawing the keeper and delightfully finishing by chipping over him. A superb goal which was thoroughly deserved for his non-stop performance. He even drew compliments from the opposition bench.
The full time whistle was blown a minute or so later, signalling another 4-2 win for Sports. Credit to the opposition who never stopped making us work for the points, in game played in the right way. Still a few gears to come but we are winning games and scoring goals so all positive so far !
Man of the Match once again went to RICH PIPPIN who is in good form and made some important saves.
Tues 3rd Sept, Dorset Senior League, WESTLAND SPORTS RES 4 WINCANTON TOWN RES 2
The first game of the season for the reserves and strangely it was on a midweek evening. With the game kicking off at 6.30 pm and sundown forecast for 7.50 pm it seemed a bizarre decision by the league to have a full league programme !
With several of last year’s league winning side having opted for easier options this season the line up for the opening fixture saw a few new faces take the field. It was also the first match in charge for our new management team of Jake Coombs and Liam Plympton so they were keen to get off to a good start.
Unfortunately they got the exact opposite as Westlands conceded the first goal of the season after 30 seconds ! Wincanton won the ball and a quick pass through the middle put their #11 clean through and he chipped the keeper nicely to tuck the ball in the back of the net. Westlands defenders were still in the changing room ! Virtually from the kick-off Westlands put the ball into the Wincanton box where a defender handled it for a penalty ! Up stepped Nick Voss to take the spot kick but he leaned back and sidefooted the ball well over the bar. What a start to the game and the action kept coming.
In the 4th minute Rich Pippin tipped a good shot over the bar to prevent a second goal for the visitors. A decent chance fell to Westlands when a Sam Fuller pass put Morley Gold into the box but he was forced wide and his final shot went into the side net. Westlands had a lot of possession but the build up was very slow with too many sideways and backwards passes allowing Wincanton to get plenty of men behind the ball. The visitors were quite quick in attack but the Westlands defence, with skipper Jamie Burt dominant, were in command. That was until just before half time when a Wincanton player was clean through and it looked a certain goal but Rich Pippin pulled off a terrific save with his legs to keep the deficit to just one goal at the break.
The second half opened with a similar scenario, a Wincanton player with an open goal but his shot flashed past the post. In the 48th minute Sam Fuller had a chance for Sports but his shot went straight at the keeper. That was followed by once again a Wincanton player running clear of our defence and once again Rich Pippin saved the day with a good save. If the visitors had been more clinical in front of goal they could have been out of sight by now. However Westlands were showing a bit more determination with Sam Plumley getting down the right and putting over some good crosses. In the 75th minute Sports went close when Nick Voss hit the bar from a free kick. The pace was hotting up now and a minute later Westlands equalised. The ball was played into a crowded Wincanton penalty area where SAM PLUMLEY reacted first to stick the ball into the back of the net. In the 80th minute Wincanton had a good effort that hit the post and was scrambled away but they wouldn’t be denied and 3 minutes later took the lead again. Another through ball put their forward in and this time he finished well, drilling the ball low into the far corner. It was frantic football now and only 2 minutes later Sports equalised again. The ball was crossed in and SAM FULLER swivelled and shot into the corner. Two minutes later the place erupted when Westlands took the lead for the first time. Will Ireland made a great run in behind the Wincanton defence and squared the ball to JOE JARVIS who belted it into the net. As we moved into injury time, and in almost total darkness, Westlands made sure of the points with the fourth goal. A nice pass saw JOE JARVIS steaming down the middle in the darkening gloom and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net to finish the game off.
What an extraordinary finish to the match ! In the last 7 minutes we had 4 goals and 3 of them were scored by Westlands to take the points. A good start to the season and a great fighting performance by the lads but some lessons to be learned for the future.
Man of the Match went to RICH PIPPIN who pulled off several excellent one on one saves to keep Sports in the game.