Wonderful Wilkinson Hat-Trick sends Terras to victory
Wilkinson 4’ 23’ 65’, Johnson P 52’ 54’
Report: James Spring
A Meg Wilkinson hat-trick and a Naomi Johnson brace saw a much-changed Weymouth Women’s side to victory in a friendly against Bridport Ladies at the Marsh on Sunday.
With no league game this weekend, manager Tasha Sibley took the opportunity to rest most of the regular starting XI and give some well-deserved game time to some of the younger, less experienced members of the squad. Goalkeeper Kate Osment was the only player to stay in after last week’s trip to Shaftesbury.
Despite Bridport fielding what was mostly their first team, the Terras were quick out of the blocks, taking the game to Bridport from the kickoff and taking a 4th-minute lead. Meg Wilkinson was quickly onto a ball through the middle of the Bridport defence, and she went through one v one with the goalkeeper and slotted it under the advancing goalkeeper to give the Terras the perfect start.
Rebecca Hoare then had an effort well saved by the Bees’ goalkeeper Amanda Holmes, before Wilkinson saw another effort wide of the mark, as Weymouth dominated the early exchanges.
On 20 minutes Naomi Johnson did well to work herself room to send an inviting delivery in towards Katie Wootton at the back post, but her first-time effort was inches wide of the post.
Within 3 minutes though Weymouth doubled their lead, and it was Meg Wilkinson again. She didn’t have much of the goal to aim for when she picked the ball up inside the box with a tight angle after some neat build-up play, but she lashed a powerful strike into the top right corner. The goalkeeper got a glove to it but the shot was too powerful for her.
Bridport almost responded before the half-hour mark when a striker was played through the middle of the home defence, but goalkeeper Kate Osment was out quickly to narrow the angle and smother the shot well.
Weymouth ended the first half with a succession of corners from Wilkinson which Bridport just about managed to deal with, as the Terras took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Bridport made a brighter start to the second half with the wind behind them, but despite keeping Weymouth in their own half of the field for a period they failed to trouble the Terras’ goal. Sammie Eaton in particular was a rock in defence, and Kate Osment was on hand to relieve the pressure on her defence – claiming anything that came into the box and showing composure on the ball under pressure.
Ten minutes after the restart Rebecca Hoare did well to win possession from a defender on the edge of the box. She unleashed a powerful strike but was denied by a fantastic diving save by Holmes. Johnson then had an effort blocked behind for a corner as Weymouth began to get back on top.
Just over a quarter of an hour into the second half, Weymouth were awarded a penalty when Johnson went through and was caught by an out-stretched leg in the box. She slotted the spot-kick into the bottom left corner herself to make it 3-0, and less than 2 minutes later she was at it again.
The Terras won back possession from the restart and Johnson latched onto a perfect through ball – beating the offside trap and rolling it past the goalkeeper into the net to make it 4-0.
Holmes continued to impress in goal for the Bees, making further saves from Wootton and Hoare before Meg Wilkinson completed her hat-trick on 65 minutes. Another simple ball over the top, and she was able to sprint away from the defence and bury it into the bottom corner to make it 5-0.
She looked in for her fourth minutes later only for Holmes to make another good save low down to her left in what was virtually the last action of the contest.
It was a very impressive display from a young and less experienced Weymouth side, but they certainly impressed. Cheered on by the regular starting XI from the sidelines in the rain, they never looked overawed, but took the game to Bridport from the off and looked fairly comfortable throughout.
Even though it was the first time a lot of those players had played together, you could see clear patterns of play and good communication across the pitch. The performance will certainly have given manager Natasha Sibley some nice headaches regarding selection for the final league game of the season next Sunday, when the Terras will be looking to seal the runner-up spot in the league when they host Poole Town Reserves.
Terras: Osment, Whelton-Legg, Eaton, Gallichan, Wilkinson, Ciftlik, Lusty, Hoare, Johnson.
Subs on: Taylor, Wootton, Hayne.