Terras sink Dolphins to seal second spot
WEYMOUTH WOMEN 3
Roberts P 5’ 37’ Sibley 84’
POOLE TOWN LADIES 1
Report: James Spring
Weymouth Women signed off their first season in style as they defeated Poole Town reserves 3-1 at the Marsh on Sunday to seal a second-place finish, just 3 points behind champions Holt.
In heavy rain and wind, it was the visitors who looked to make the fast start. Kate Osment was forced into a good early save – tipping it behind for a corner. Poole then sent in a succession of dangerous-looking corners which Weymouth just about managed to deal with.
Weymouth then had their first attack of the contest and they made it count. Some good interplay between Howard, Sibley and Wilson eventually lead to a chipped ball into the box. Lucy Roberts went for the header against the goalkeeper, but the goalkeeper missed the ball and clattered into Roberts, leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot.
Roberts calmly slotted the spot-kick into the bottom right corner to give Weymouth a vital opening goal.
On 11 minutes Lily Beasley cut in from the right-wing and worked herself some space for a shot that was just wide of the mark. Five minutes later she went even closer after Sibley laid it off for her on the edge of the box.
Poole slowly began to fight back though, and on 22 minutes they really should have equalised when a striker raced onto a brilliant ball through the middle of the park. Kate Osment was quickly off her line to make a brilliant one v one save at point-blank range. The rebound fell to another striker who blazed her effort high and wide when it looked easier to score.
Lucy Roberts continued to cause the visitors problems. She tried to curl one in from the edge of the box after half an hour but the goalkeeper was equal to it, whilst at the other end Poole saw another couple of efforts go wide of the mark.
On 37 minutes Weymouth struck a crucial blow by adding a second. They were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Shakira Howard sent a wonderful teasing delivery into the middle of the box, and the smallest player on the park – Lucy Roberts got on the end of it to flick a header over the goalkeeper into the net to give Weymouth a 2-goal cushion which they took into half time.
Into the second half, the rain intensified and both sides struggled to get a grip on proceedings in the slippery conditions.
Poole tested the home defence with a series of long balls which their fast forwards looked to get on the end of, but the back four did an excellent job of keeping their shape and clearing the danger. Kate Osment also displayed brilliant confidence in coming off her line to claim anything that fell in her box.
Ten minutes into the second half Lily Beasley managed to skip away from the full-back and send an inviting ball across the face of goal, but both Shakira Howard and Lucy Roberts just couldn’t quite stretch enough to get a touch on it.
There was then a lengthy stoppage in play after a 3-way collision involving Beasley, a Poole defender and their goalkeeper, which ultimately lead to the visitor’s goalkeeper limping off unable to continue and being replaced by an outfield player in goal.
When things got back underway, Weymouth may have been caught cold as Poole pulled one back on 68 minutes. There was a cross into the middle of the box and it fell to an unmarked striker. Weymouth appeared to be waiting for an offside flag but it never came, and the striker had an easy finish to halve the deficit and set up a nervy finale.
Poole were beginning to pile on the pressure as the clock ticked into the last ten minutes of normal time. They saw one effort dragged across the face of goal and out for a goal kick, and also had a near-post header from a corner fly just over the bar.
Weymouth weathered the storm though, and with 5 minutes of normal time remaining, they hit Poole with the sucker punch. Winning possession in Poole’s half, there was some neat build-up play involving Beasley and Wilkinson. It was pulled back into the path of Tasha Sibley on the edge of the box, and she hit a first time shot that flew into the top left corner beyond the despairing reach of the stand-in goalkeeper, and it sealed the deal for Weymouth.
There was a long period of stoppage time but Weymouth saw it out in a professional manner to ensure they ended their first season second in the table. A quite remarkable achievement. This season has been testing for clubs at every level for obvious reasons, and with this team only coming together a couple of weeks before the season started, it was always going to be a challenge. But this result and the performance shows just how far this group have come in such a short space of time.
They came up against a very strong, much more experienced and physical Poole Town side, and the conditions meant it was never going to be possible for attractive football. But the Terras dug deep, they worked their socks off, they put their bodies on the line, took their chances when they came and got their just rewards.
With a full pre-season and hopefully a proper season next time around, the future looks exciting for Weymouth Women!
One final note, we’d like to extend our sincere best wishes to Poole Town’s Molly Sumner, who unfortunately had to go to hospital after picking up a back injury at the end of the game. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope it’s nothing serious. Nobody likes to see any player get a bad injury.
TERRAS: Osment, Lusty, Potter, de Havilland, C.Barnard-Irons, B.Barnard-Irons, Sibley, Wilson, Beasley, Howard, Roberts.
Subs on: Taylor, Wootton, Wilkinson.