Howard howitzer sends Terras to Victory

Broadstone 1 (Tarried 35’)

Weymouth 3 (Wilson 17, Howard 41’ 47’)

Report: James Spring

Weymouth Women recorded back-to-back wins in the Dorset women’s league since their post lockdown return, with a hard fought but well-deserved victory away to Broadstone on Sunday.

The Terras went into the clash full of confidence after last week’s big win over Merley, and they wasted no time in asserting their authority over their fourth-placed hosts.

Just 3 minutes into the contest Lily Beasley drove to the by-line and stood the ball up for Lucy Roberts at the back post, but Roberts miss-cued her header and it went over the bar.

The pacey centre half Emma Potter then went on a venture forwards and it nearly paid off. Having won possession midway in the Broadstone half she drove forwards and shot from the edge of the box but it was just wide of the mark.

Lucy Roberts then had a curling effort well held by the home goalkeeper Maddie Deary, as Weymouth dominated the opening exchanges.

On the quarter hour mark, Deary was again on hand to make the save of the match from Tasha Sibley. Roberts’ good work down the wing lead to her feeding it infield to Sibley. Sibley hit a fierce shot which looked destined for the top corner, but the goalkeeper dived and made a brilliant save to tip it over the bar for a corner. But that reprieve was short lived for the home side.

The resulting corner was only half cleared and picked up by Roberts. She sent a teasing cross into the six yard box which Deary caught but then dropped straight to the feet of Charlie Wilson, and she coolly slotted the ball into the unguarded net to give Weymouth a deserved lead after 17 minutes.

Lucy Roberts and Naomi Johnson would force the home goalkeeper into a couple of solid saves, before on 35 minutes the hosts drew level completely against the run of play.

Stand-in goalkeeper Kate Osment’s throw out from the back was intercepted by a home striker. Osment made a fantastic save low down to her left and Potter tried to clear the danger, but she was caught in possession. The ball was squared across the box to Carys Tarried who slammed it home to level the scores.

However parity would not last long, as within six minutes the Terras went back in front in truly spectacular fashion.

Weymouth were awarded a free kick in a central position some 35 yards from goal. Shakira Howard stood over it and with the players lined up on the edge of the box, appeared set to send a cross into the box. But instead, Howard stepped up and unleashed an absolute piledriver that flew into the back of the net before the goalkeeper even had time to raise her hands to attempt to stop it. Even Howard herself looked amazed to see it fly in. A truly memorable strike!

Shortly before the break Howard was stood over another free kick, this time on the edge of the box. Her effort was cleared this time but only as far as Becca De Havilland, who swivelled and fired narrowly wide of the mark on the edge of the box, as the Terras took a 2-1 lead into half time.

New signing Hannah Varney then marked her Terras debut with an assist just moments after the restart, as she played a wonderful ball through the defensive line to Howard who kept her composure and slotted it under the advancing goalkeeper to double the Terras’ lead at the start of the second half.

That third goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Broadstone, and for the rest of the game Weymouth were really in control. Broadstone continued to defend well and tried to go over the top of the Weymouth defence when they had the opportunity, but the back four and Kate Osment in goal were exceptional and dealing with any potential danger and ensuring the hosts didn’t see any clear efforts on goal.

Lily Beasley continued to cause trouble down the right flank and forced a couple of excellent saves from Deary when cutting infield.

Naomi Johnson also saw an effort palmed away whilst Howard sent another free kick inches over the crossbar, as the hosts continued to put their bodies in the way and make it difficult for Weymouth to break them down.

A fourth goal almost arrived with virtually the last kick of the contest. Roberts sent a teasing ball in towards the back post. The ball seemed to bounce around for an eternity before falling to Sibley who could only blaze her effort over the crossbar. But it mattered not, as the Terras had done enough to seal the points.

It wasn’t as free-flowing as the previous game, and credit for that has to go to Broadstone who were extremely well organised defensively and made it a very physical contest. But Weymouth matched them defensively with the only goal for the hosts coming from a rare mistake from the Terras. Their attacking quality shone through in the end, with Howard’s free kick worthy of winning any game at any level. The Terras proved their ability to dig in and win ugly against a tough opponent.

The win means Weymouth cement third place in the table, but with Redlands Rebels losing their final game to leaders Holt, they are now just a single point off of second place with two games to go.

Next up for Weymouth is a long trip to Shaftesbury next Sunday for their final away game of the league campaign.

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

Subs on: Whelton-Legg, Johnson, Varney, Webber-Green.

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