Gillingham Town 1

Seldon 56’

Weymouth 13

Whiting 8’ Sibley 12’ 21’ 83’ Howard 17’ 29’ 33’ 36’ Johnson 19’ 28’ 55’ Beasley 30’ Wilson 79’

Dorset Women’s League (09/01/22)

Report: James Spring

Weymouth started the new year as they finished 2021 – with a deluge of goals as they racked up another big away win on their return to action after the Christmas break.

They went into this game without the prolific Dani Ackerman, whilst Kristina Manktelow and Sophie Webber-Green were also unavailable.

Gillingham went into the clash bottom of the table but they made a bright start – winning a free kick in a shooting position, and seeing the resulting effort drift wide of the post in the third minute.

But it didn’t take long for the Terras to get up and running. Just 8 minutes in they won a corner which Kayleigh Whiting took. Her initial delivery was sent back to her by Wilson, and she whipped a great ball into the corridor of uncertainty. The goalkeeper and defenders missed it and it drifted into the far corner of the goal to give Weymouth the lead.

Just 4 minutes later, player-manager Tasha Sibley doubled the lead. Naomi Johnson showed quick feet in the box before laying it off for Sibley who pulled it back and shot into the bottom corner.

On 16 minutes Shakira Howard struck the crossbar with an attempted chip, but less than a minute later she was on the scoresheet – latching onto De Havilland’s through ball and rolling it past the goalkeeper for 3-0.

The Terras were hitting their stride now and it quickly became 4-0 on 19 minutes with Naomi Johnson tapping home Beasley’s cross at the back post, before Sibley made it 5 just a couple of minutes later after being played through by Beth Barnard-Irons.

Howard, Beasley and Sibley would all force saves out of the Gillingham goalkeeper in the next few minutes, but by the 28th minute, Weymouth’s sixth goal arrived. It was the Beasley – Johnson partnership again with the latter finishing off another pinpoint cross.

Weymouth were absolutely rampant now, and straight from the restart Weymouth won back possession and Shakira Howard made it 7-0 with a lovely chip over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.

The Terras were running riot, and with only half an hour played Lily Beasley lashed a powerful strike into the top corner to make it 8-0.

Just 3 minutes later, Howard completed her hat-trick. Emma Potter picked up the ball on the halfway line and set off on a surging run through the Gillingham half. She charged all the way to the byline before pulling it back for Howard whose shot deflected in off the post for 9-0.

And she wasn’t done there, as within another 3 minutes she had her fourth and Weymouth’s tenth of the afternoon as she lobbed the advancing goalkeeper following neat play from Johnson.

Things finally settled down in the next ten minutes and Weymouth took their foot off the accelerator – seeing out the remainder of the first half to take a 10-0 lead into the break.

With the game over as a contest, Weymouth used the second half as an opportunity to try a few different things, with players trying different positions.

Some credit must go to Gillingham who were far better organised defensively in the second half, and they made life more difficult for Weymouth.

Beth Barnard-Irons stung the goalkeeper’s palms with a powerful strike on 52 minutes, before the Johnson-Beasley double act struck again on 55 minutes. Beasley sent a teasing cross into the six-yard box, and the unfortunate home goalkeeper slipped on the difficult surface. The ball fell at the feet of Johnson who had the simple task of slotting it past a defender on the goal line to become the second Terras player to complete a hat-trick on the day.

The only blot on the Terras’ copybook came when Gillingham charged forwards and scored a consolation goal from the restart with a curling ball into the box evading everyone including the goalkeeper and nestling in the far corner.

The second half was less free-flowing and more stop-start than the first half as both teams tired and the surface began to deteriorate.

Tasha Sibley was desperate for a hat-trick but a combination of the post and the goalkeeper were thwarting her ambitions.

The main talking point of the second half was an attempted corner kick from Charlie Wilson. The corner in question was an absolute quagmire, and her own prediction of her impending doom came true when she fell flat on her backside when taking the corner and sent the ball flying into the fence for a goal kick, much to the amusement of all 22 players on the field, and indeed the referee!

The skipper would have the last laugh ten minutes from time when she got on the scoresheet – hitting a powerful strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after some excellent hold-up play from Howard.

And on 83 minutes, Sibley did finally complete her hat-trick – firing home from inside the box from Johnson’s pull-back to complete the scoring.

A thoroughly satisfying afternoon’s work for Weymouth who move to within 3 points of the top of the table.

They look to continue their hot streak next Sunday when they host Longfleet Lionesses for a place in the semi-finals of the county cup.

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

Subs on: Taylor, Sapsford.

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