Weymouth 6

Manktelow 20’ Whiting 25’ Sapsford 34’ Ackerman 36’ 51’ Webber-Green 41’

Dorchester Town 1

Bagwell 9’

Dorset Women’s League (13/03/22)

Report: James Spring

Terras Hit Magpies for Six in Ridgeway Derby

Weymouth recovered from an early setback to run out comfortable winners against Dorchester Town in the second ridgeway derby of the season, and move back to the top of the Dorset Women’s League in the process.

Dorchester had beaten Weymouth in the reverse fixture, and it was the Magpies who made the brighter start in this one. Weymouth struggled to get a foothold in the middle of the park in the early exchanges, and Dorchester posed questions from set-pieces.

On 9 minutes the visitors would take the lead as Clare Bagwell’s header from a corner looped over Osment and went in off the far post.

Weymouth’s heads never dropped though, and they almost responded straight from the restart when Lily Beasley beat the full-back for pace and drove into the box, but her shot lacked power and was well held by the goalkeeper.

On the quarter-hour mark, Beasley showed terrific work-rate to chase down a seemingly lost cause and keep the ball in by the corner flag. She laid it off for player-manager Sibley who put a teasing ball into the box, but it evaded 3 Weymouth shirts and was cleared to safety.

Dani Ackerman and Rebecca De Havilland both saw stinging efforts blocked on the edge of the box, before Weymouth’s pressure finally told on 20 minutes.

More terrific wing play from Beasley down the right saw her get the better of the full-back and deliver a perfect ball for Kristina Mantelow who took one touch to control it, before turning her marker and lashing the ball into the bottom left corner of the net to level things up.

Just five minutes later the game was turned on its head. Ackerman’s corner was cleared as far as Kayleigh Whiting on the left flank midway inside the Dorchester half. She hammered it towards the box, and the visiting goalkeeper completely misjudged the flight and watched as the ball flew into the net to give Weymouth the lead.

Weymouth were brimming with confidence now. Ackerman was looking dangerous and on 32 minutes she showed great close-control to take the ball around 3 defenders before hitting one from the edge of the D which was well saved by the goalkeeper.

But two minutes later Ackerman turned provider as Weymouth extended their lead from a lovely flowing passing move which ended up with Webber-Green playing it into Ackerman who laid it off for Sapsford in the box. She cut inside her marker and found the bottom corner.

The Terras were flying, and within two minutes Ackerman did have her goal. It came from another excellent passing move which resulted in Kristina Manktelow back-heeling the ball into the path of Ackerman on the edge of the box, and she finished emphatically into the left corner to have Weymouth 4-1 up.

Within another couple of minutes, it was almost 5 for Weymouth, as the industrious Charlie Wilson showed great tenacity to win the ball back in the Dorchester half and play a defence-splitting through ball into the path of Webber-Green, but she dragged her shot narrowly wide.

She wouldn’t have to wait much longer for her goal though, as the same pair linked up again on 41 minutes. Good play down the left flank resulted in Wilson back-heeling it through to Webber-Green, and she rifled it into the left-hand corner, beating the keeper at her near post from around 12 yards out.

The home side were running away with it, and it was almost 6 in added time at the end of the first half as Manktelow got to Osment’s long ball ahead of the Dorchester goalkeeper. She was forced wide by a covering defender, and she was able to turn and find Ackerman on the edge of the box. With the keeper out of position, she attempted to chip it over a defender on the goal line, but it drifted agonisingly wide of the post.

The Terras didn’t let up at the start of the second half as they added another goal 6 minutes after the restart. Sibley managed to get to the byline and stood the ball up towards Ackerman arriving at the back post. The ball struck the post and bounced onto Ackerman and into the net. Not one that Ackerman knew a great deal about, but they all count!

It should have been 7-1 just past the hour mark when Manktelow did well to beat the full-back and send a teasing ball into the 6-yard box. Webber-Green poked it home but the goal was ruled out for offside after a lengthy discussion between the referee and his assistant.

On 73 minutes Ackerman should have had another hat-trick as Wilson sent her clean through with a lovely slide-rule pass that Ackerman didn’t have to break stride to get onto, but under pressure from a defender who could only shoot across the face of the goal.

Weymouth continued their search for more goals. On 80 minutes more brilliant wing play from Manktelow saw her get to the ball just ahead of the full-back and whip another brilliant ball in across the six-yard box. Beth Barnard-Irons launched herself at it at the back post but she couldn’t quite stretch far enough to get a toe on it to steer it home.

To their credit, Dorchester kept trying to push forwards when they got the opportunity. They posed a few questions from set-pieces but Weymouth’s defence snuffed out the danger, and Osment was able to claim and hold a couple of balls into the box.

As the game ticked into injury time, it looked like Dorchester were in for a consolation goal when they found themselves with an extra player over at the back post, but just as the striker was pulling the trigger, Emma Potter flew into the rescue with an absolutely fantastic goal-saving tackle to ensure Weymouth ran out 6-1 winners and returned to the top of the table in style.

Perhaps this result is testament to the incredible progress the team has made this season. They went fell behind in a similar fashion in the reverse fixture and lacked the cutting edge and belief to find their way back into that game. But this game was different. There never seemed to be any thought that they wouldn’t turn it around when they fell behind. Every player wanted to get on the ball and

make something happen. That takes mental toughness and courage, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.

It’s now 8 straight league wins for Weymouth (albeit 2 against Gillingham have been wiped from the record books after Gillingham’s results were expunged), and they now need just one more victory from their remaining three league games to secure the league title.

First though is another big game next Sunday, and a big test as they travel to face National League outfit Poole Town in the semi-finals of the county cup.

Terras: Osment, Whiting, Potter, C.Barnard-Irons, B.Barnard-Irons, Sibley, De Havilland Manktelow, Ackerman, Sapsford, Beasley

Subs: Wilson, Howard, Johnson, Webber-Green, Taylor

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