Weymouth Women 3

Ackerman 44’ Sibley 45+2’ De Havilland 47’

Poole Town Ladies Reserves 2

Blazier 18’ Edwards 20’

Dorset Women’s League (06/03/22)

Terrific Terras Turnaround!

A stunning 3 goal blitz in 5 minutes either side of half-time saw Weymouth complete a remarkable fightback in the top of the table clash with Poole Town Reserves.

Having seen their last 2 matches postponed, this would be Weymouth’s first action in exactly a month, but the period of inactivity did mean that the Terras had a clean bill of health going into the contest. Sophie Webber-Green returned to the matchday squad for the first time this calendar year.

The game got off to a cagey start, and there was very little action of note in the first 10 minutes as both sides struggled to gain a foothold in the game.

The first chance would arrive for Weymouth on 13 minutes when Naomi Johnson was played down the left flank and found herself one on one with the goalkeeper. But she unselfishly pulled it back for Tasha Sibley on the edge of the D and Sibley could only fire wide of the mark.

The young Poole side were starting to cause Weymouth problems with their pace down the wings, and on 18 minutes they made the breakthrough. Their left winger managed to skip away from the defence and find Jamie Blazier on the edge of the box who found the bottom corner of the goal with a clean strike.

Just two minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, as another cross from the left wing was met by Nikki Edwards on the edge of the six-yard box, and she put it under Osment for 2-0.

That second goal appeared to spark Weymouth into life, and they almost pulled one back straight from the restart, as Ackerman and Sibley linked up to set up Lily Beasley who fired narrowly over the bar running in from the edge of the box.

Weymouth began to see more and more possession in the Poole half. Kristina Manktelow saw a shot deflected into the side netting, and Shakira Howard had an effort well held by the goalkeeper as the hosts searched for a goal before the break.

On 40 minutes Shakira Howard stood up a ball for Beth Barnard-Irons arriving at the back post, but she couldn’t quite get her toe to the ball and it drifted behind.

You sensed the next goal would be crucial, and it arrived for Weymouth on 44 minutes.

The returning Sophie Webber-Green showed great tenacity to force a mistake from a defender. The ball was picked up by Beth Barnard-Irons who slid it through to Ackerman in the box, and she showed great composure to take it around a defender and roll it into the far corner.

It looked like that would halve the deficit at half-time, but into injury time it would get even better for Weymouth as they were awarded a free-kick level with the penalty area on the left flank.

Dani Ackerman sent a lovely ball in towards the back post, and player-manager Tasha Sibley rose highest to power home a header to send her side in level at the break.

The momentum was with the hosts now, and barely 2 minutes after the restart, the game was turned completely on its head.

Becca De Havilland received a pass from Sibley in space some 30 yards from goal. The defence backed off and she had options for a pass, but De Havilland unleashed an absolutely delightful strike that looped over everyone and curled perfectly into the top left corner of the goal to spark jubilant scenes.

The confidence was flowing through the Terras now, and ten minutes into the restart came a quite remarkable 30-second phase of play which we’re still not sure how didn’t result in a goal.

Dani Ackerman cut in from the left flank and tried to curl a strike into the far corner from the edge of the box. It bounced back off the post, and Beth Barnard-Irons slid in and tried to prod the ball home, but it was blocked onto the same post by a defender and cleared only as far as Tasha Sibley on the edge of the D. She controlled it and then hit a stinging effort which amazingly struck the same post yet again, and this time went behind for a goal kick. You couldn’t write it!

A couple of minutes later Ackerman saw another looping effort from range tipped over the crossbar by the goalkeeper, as Weymouth looked to put it to bed.

With 20 minutes remaining, they came close again as Howard delivered a free-kick from 25 yards which was hacked off the line by a defender.

Howard then almost turned provider as she pressured a defender into a mistake from a short goal kick. It was picked up by Ackerman who created space for a shot but fired a yard over the bar.

Ackerman herself then almost turned provider on 77 minutes as she held off the attentions of a defender and played it across the edge of the box for Beasley whose shot was wide of the post.

Poole weathered the storm, and into the last ten minutes, they began to pose some questions.

Kayleigh Whiting and Kristina Mantktelow both made a couple of crucial interventions in defence as the visitors tried to force one last chance.

With a couple of minutes remaining Weymouth had a chance to finish it off on the break when Beasley got to the byline and pulled it back for Webber-Green, but under pressure from a defender, she could only poke it wide of the mark.

As the clock ticked into injury time, there was a heart-stopping moment when a Poole striker managed to get to a loose ball ahead of goalkeeper Osment, but she was forced wide and could only shoot into the side netting on the angle.

The returning Sophie Webber-Green should have finished it off deep into injury time when she broke through the middle of the defence and raced into the box, but she somehow put it over the crossbar from 12 yards out.

It didn’t matter though as Weymouth had done enough. They took a while to get going, but once they got into their stride Poole had no answers to them, and it was only some rusty finishing which meant the game wasn’t killed off much sooner.

The victory moves Weymouth to within a point of their opponents at the top of the table, although the Terras do have 4 games in hand and their destiny is very much in their hands.

They’ll be looking to continue their winning run, and also gain a spot of revenge next weekend when they host Dorchester Town in the second Ridgeway derby of the season.

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