Brave Terras go down fighting



Maidment pen 4′

Report: James Spring

After 111 days in lockdown, Weymouth Women finally returned to action, and they could not have asked for a tougher return as they hosted Dorset Women’s League leaders Holt United in the quarter-finals of the county cup at Budmouth.

Against an experienced, physical and free-scoring Holt United, the Terras set up to be difficult to break down, with Kate Osment having to play the role of stand-in goalkeeper.

Holt looked to test the stand-in stopper early on and Osment quickly warmed to the task. Holt got in down the right-wing in just the third minute and Osment stood her ground and palmed a fierce drive behind for an early corner which the Terras were able to clear to safety.

Unfortunately for Weymouth, the reprieve didn’t last long, as just a minute later Holt broke through the backline again. Weymouth got bodies back and there was a scramble in the box before a Holt player tripped over an outstretched leg and the referee awarded a penalty. Holt’s joint top scorer Nicola Maidment stepped up, and although Kate Osment got a foot to it, Maidment had struck it well and it was enough to give Holt an early lead.

Holt were seeing plenty of early possession but the Terras were keeping their defensive shape well and although Holt went close from a corner on 11 minutes, the Terras were gradually growing into the contest.

The energetic Lily Beasley was getting stuck in in the midfield, and it was from a magnificent siding challenge from her on the halfway line that the Terras saw their first opportunity after a quarter of an hour. She won possession and played a brilliant ball through to Lucy Roberts who managed to work herself a yard of space for a shot on the edge of the D, but it was blocked by a covering defender and hacked to safety.

The Terras were nearly caught out minutes later as a long ball over the top of the defence was latched onto by Maidment, but Kate Osment stood her ground and made an excellent one v one save at her near post.

On 25 minutes Charlie Wilson found herself in some space around 25 yards out and she let fly, and her effort whistled narrowly wide of the post.

Kate Osment was on hand to make two more brilliant saves before half time. The first a superb reflex save to tip a header away on the line from a corner, and another one v one save shortly afterwards, as the visitors went into the half time interval no doubt ruing their missed chances.

Into the second half, Weymouth began to threaten more. Lily Beasley managed to latch onto a brilliant through ball and she was bearing down on goal, but the Holt defender did well to recover and put the ball behind for a corner before Beasley could get her shot away.

Beasley took the resulting corner and Charlie Wilson managed to get her header on target, but it was well held by the Holt goalkeeper.

Just past the hour mark, Holt were within a whisker of doubling their lead as they got in down the left of the defence. The striker got to the corner of the six-yard box and tried to roll it into the opposite corner. The ball rolled along the goal line and struck the base of the post before bouncing away from goal and to safety, much to the relief of the home side.

As the second half wore on Holt were still seeing most of the possession but Weymouth were showing impressive defensive discipline. The midfielders were working hard hassling and harrying Holt, whilst the back four continued to put their bodies on the line and took a few bruises for their troubles. Emma Potter in particular had a mud-stained kit by the end (as always).

With ten minutes to go Beasley was fouled some 30 yards from goal, and Lucy Roberts was straight over the free-kick eyeing up the goal. She struck a powerful effort that beat the wall and looked to be curling into the top left, but it went inches over the bar, much to the relief of the Holt goalkeeper who could only stand and watch.

Shakira Howard saw an effort blocked, and as the game ticked into added time Weymouth were starting to throw more bodies forward, and it would be Roberts again who went even closer with virtually the last kick of the game.

She received a pass in space with the goalkeeper slightly off her line, and attempted to lob one into the top corner. Time seemed to stand still for a few seconds, and the ball seemed to drift towards goal in slow motion, and agonizingly for Weymouth it drifted onto the roof of the net. The whole Weymouth bench held their heads in their hands as one.

It proved the last chance of the game, and the early penalty provided decisive for the league leaders to progress to the semi-finals and a home tie against Sherborne Town.

For Weymouth there was naturally disappointment in defeat, but also a feeling of immense pride in the performance. After conceding an early goal thoughts of the heavy defeat to the same opposition in the league may have started to resurface and it would have been easy for heads to drop, but the Terras worked tirelessly. They defended brilliantly as a unit, and when Holt did manage to break through the defensive ranks, Kate Osment wasn’t letting anything in. She deservedly cleaned up all 3 post-match awards. After that performance between the sticks, regular goalkeeper Georgia Richards might have a fight on her hands for the gloves next time out!

Terras: Osment, Taylor, de Havilland, Potter, C.Barnard-Irons, Wilson, Sibley, B.Barnard-Irons, Beasley, Howard, Roberts.

Subs Used: Johnson, Wootton, Silk.

Unused Subs: Hoare, M.Wilkinson.

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