Reports: James Spring
Bridport Ladies 0
Weymouth Women 5
Wilson 37’ Sibley 73’ Potter 74’ B. Barnard-Irons 86’ Howard 87’
Weymouth picked up their first victory of their pre-season campaign on Sunday in a hastily rearranged game after their initial opponents withdrew on Friday, but they were made to work hard for the win by a well-drilled and hard-working Bridport team.
The game was switched to Salwayash Village Hall just a few hours before kick-off, and the very small pitch was less than ideal for Weymouth’s style of play. The Terras were still without a number of players but did welcome Cimon Barnard-Irons back into the defence.
Weymouth looked to make a fast start. Lily Beasley had the games first effort just 3 minutes in when she cut inside from the right-wing and fired an effort across the face of the goal which went behind. Just 3 minutes later Beasley fired narrowly over the crossbar after the Terras won it back on the edge of the box.
Cimon Barnard-Irons tested the home goalkeeper Amanda Holmes on 10 minutes with a powerful drive from around 20 yards which Holmes did well to hold into.
On the quarter-hour mark, Shakira Howard sent a devilish delivery in from a corner on the left and a Bridport defender almost put it through her own net, but thankfully for her, the ball went over the bar.
Next up it was Katie Wootton’s turn to have a go. Good play down the left led to her cutting inside the centre half and striking the ball against the near post.
Home stopper Holmes was then on hand to thwart Lily Beasley after she latched onto Sibley’s through ball.
The home goalkeeper continued to be in inspired form. On 22 minutes Howard’s corner was met by Wootton who hit it straight at Holmes who parried it to safety. Attacking roles were reversed a few minutes later when Howard was played through by Wootton, but Holmes was quickly off her line to smother the shot.
Weymouth continued to dominate but try as they might, they couldn’t turn their domination into goals. Sibley, Beasley and Potter all had efforts wide of the mark, but eventually, the pressure finally told on 37 minutes.
The ball was hooked behind for another Weymouth corner. Shakira Howard sent a pinpoint cross into the middle which was met by the head of Charlie Wilson. She powered it into the back of the net to finally give the Terras the lead, much to their relief.
Howard’s corners were causing the home side all sorts of problems. She almost had a second assist a couple of minutes later when Beth Barnard-Irons got on the end of a delivery and flicked it into the post and behind, as the Terras went into the break just the one goal ahead.
The pattern of the game was largely the same into the second half. Beasley forced Holmes into a good diving stop just seconds after the restart. The resulting corner from Beasley was flicked towards goal by Sibley who saw her effort cleared off the goal line by a covering defender.
On 52 minutes Bridport reminded Weymouth of the dangers of a one-goal lead. Emma Potter lost possession just inside her own half but showed great energy to race back and force the striker wide. She had to rush her shot and could only fire it wide. A let-off for Weymouth.
A rather amusing moment came a minute later when Beasley’s cross found Beth Barnard-Irons on the edge of the box. She hit a shot the first time which went wide, and flew into the bonnet of her own car which was parked behind the goal! Thankfully no damage was done.
Bridport were working extremely hard. They kept their shape well and put their bodies on the line to block several shots, ensuring that despite their dominance – Weymouth remained just the one goal ahead. The Bees did threaten once or twice on the counter-attack when Weymouth gave the ball away sloppily, but they failed to trouble Osment in the Terras goal.
On 73 minutes the second goal finally arrived, and it was player-manager Tasha Sibley who delivered the goods. Bridport only half-cleared a corner to Sibley on the edge of the box. She created herself space and lashed it into the opposite corner of the net.
A minute later, Emma Potter unleashed a powerful strike that flew into the roof of the net from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.
Potter should’ve had her second goal a minute later when she had a free header in the middle of the box, but the ball sailed inches over the bar.
On 86 minutes Weymouth were awarded an indirect free-kick after a back-pass. The initial effort was cleared but it fell to Beth Barnard-Irons who lashed it home to get her first goal for the club.
Shakira Howard completed the scoring just a minute later with a neat side-foot finish from Sophie Webber-Green’s cross across the face of the goal, as Weymouth eventually ran out comfortable winners.
Home goalkeeper Amanda Holmes was the star of the match for Bridport but did suffer a nasty blow to the head in the last minute when she went to ground to stop a Lily Beasley effort. She was able to walk away after several minutes of treatment, and we wish her all the best.
A word also for Weymouth’s Naomi Johnson who was forced off early on with a recurrence of a knee problem. We hope to see her back soon.
There were some promising signs for Weymouth. They did play some good stuff against a well organised Bridport side. No doubt there are still aspects of their game they’ll need to work on, but that’s what these pre-season friendlies are there for.
The Terras will face a stern test in their next friendly when they face South West Regional Division side Pen Mill.
TERRAS: Osment, Wootton, Potter, C.Barnard-Irons, B.Barnard-Irons, Beasley, Sibley, Wilson, Howard, Johnson, So.Webber-Green.
Subs on: S.Webber-Green.
Bournemouth Sports Ladies 5
Mosley 33’ 55’ 85’ Brewer 50’ Dennis 88’
Weymouth Women 0
Weymouth Women began their preparations for the new season with a testing opening friendly away to Bournemouth Sports Ladies Reserves at Hamworthy’s County Ground. The home side won promotion to Hampshire Division 1 last season, and the Hampshire Women’s league is unanimously regarded as one of the strongest leagues at that level of the women’s game in the country.
Weymouth were without Cimon Barnard-Irons, Ashleigh Taylor, Samantha Whelton-Legg, Sammie Eaton and Alexandra Lusty, but it gave manager Natasha Sibley an opportunity to give some younger and less experienced players an opportunity to impress, with Meg Wilkinson and Naomi Johnson making the starting line-up. New signing Sophie Webber-Green lead the line upfront, whilst Ellie Porter, Lauren Ellis, Georgia Hayne and Ellie Porter were all handed their senior debuts off the bench.
The home side looked to make a fast start and they saw an early effort deflected behind for a corner before they hit the crossbar from the resulting corner.
Weymouth gradually began to find their feet, and ten minutes in they posed their first question, as captain for the day Lily Beasley got down the right-wing and sent an out-swinging cross into Charlie Wilson. She was able to bring the ball down in the box but the ball wouldn’t quite sit for her to hit it, and the hosts scrambled it to safety.
Kate Osment then made the first of several fine saves on the day – tipping a powerful drive behind for a corner after Bournemouth Sports broke down their right flank.
Charlie Wilson then forced the home keeper into a save from a free-kick around 25 yards out, and things began to quieten down into a midfield battle with both sides cancelling each other out.
The opening goal arrived on 33 minutes for the home side in a somewhat fortuitous fashion, as a cross from the right-wing deflected off a defender and landed perfectly into the path of Justine Mosley, and she nodded it into the bottom corner for 1-0.
Osment made another excellent one v one save on the stroke of halftime to ensure there was just one goal in it at the break.
Weymouth started the second half brightly. Player-Manager Sibley was able to hassle a home defender into giving it away on the edge of her own box. The ball fell into the path of debutant Sophie Webber-Green and her curling effort was well held by the home goalkeeper.
The home side doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half, with Justine Mosley rifling a pinpoint strike into the bottom left corner from the corner of the box.
Undeterred, Weymouth continued to press. Some good interplay in the Bournemouth Sports half eventually led to Beth Barnard-Irons pinging an excellent crossfield ball to Wilson who controlled it, swivelled and fired a fierce shot which the goalkeeper parried but grabbed hold of at the second attempt.
The home side added a third on the hour mark with Lauren Brewer finishing off a flowing counter-attack.
But again, despite the scoreline, the Terras continued to press for a goal of their own. More good interplay down the right between Beasley, Sibley and Wilkinson led to the latter sending a teasing ball in towards the front post. Webber-Green showed quick reactions to get a toe to the ball and the home goalkeeper showed even quicker reactions to tip it onto the post and behind for a corner.
Weymouth had a good spell of possession and began to gain some confidence on the ball, although the home side were always a threat on the break with their electric pace. Osment was on hand to make another excellent save tipping the ball onto the crossbar, whilst Emma Potter raced back to thwart the danger on several occasions.
Bournemouth Sports added a couple of late goals. Justine Mosley completed her hat-trick before Louise Dennis netted the goal of the game 2 minutes from time with an audacious strike from some 30 yards that flew into the top of the net.
Despite the result it was a good test and learning experience for the Terras. They more than matched their hosts for large periods of the game and were rarely carved open. A couple of the goals were avoidable but that’s the whole point of pre-season – to iron out mistakes and learn from them.
The younger players for Weymouth who made their debuts can be proud of their efforts. They certainly did not look out of place, and several players also had to do jobs playing out of their preferred positions, and again didn’t look out of place.
TERRAS: Osment, Wilkinson, Potter, de Havilland, B.Barnard-Irons, Beasley, Sibley, Wilson, Howard, So.Webber-Green, Johnson.
Subs on: Ellis, Porter, Locke-White, Hayne.