Sherborne Town Ladies 4

Watts 45’ Snook 45+2’ 64’ Mountain 47’, (pen saved 25’)

Weymouth Women 0

Dorset Women’s County Cup Final (05/05/22)

Report: James Spring

Photo: Ian Middlebrook

Battling Terras Fall short in cup final

They played out of their skins and left absolutely everything on the field, but Weymouth Women fell just short against a quality Sherborne Town side in the final of the Dorset County cup.

Jody Sapsford was cup-tied and therefore unavailable, whilst Sophie Webber-Green was also unavailable. Player-manager Tasha Sibley returned and Ash Taylor also returned to the bench, although she was still recovering from illness.

Sherborne looked to make a fast start and had their first opportunity in the first couple of minutes when a slick passing move led to their striker being sent down the left channel, but Beasley did well to recover and show the striker away from goal, and she could only fire into the side netting.

A minute later Emma Potter blocked a shot behind for a corner, from which Sherborne headed wide of the mark.

Weymouth slowly began to settle into the game and although Sherborne were seeing plenty of possession, the Terras were keeping their shape and discipline, ensuring Sherborne struggled to break them down.

On 23 minutes it looked like it was about to go wrong for Weymouth. De Havilland was felled just inside her own half and Sherborne broke at speed. The ball was played into the box and Cimon Barnard-Irons went to clear it, but the striker got to the ball first. Barnard-Irons clipped the striker and the referee awarded a spot kick.

It looked like it might be about to be a double whammy of bad news for Weymouth as following a couple of minutes of treatment, De Havilland was forced off injured. But maybe the pause, while she was treated, did Weymouth a favour, as Kate Osment pulled off an excellent save to rescue her side.

The spot-kick was struck down the middle, and Osment stood tall to palm the ball up in the air and claim it at the second attempt under pressure from an onrushing striker.

The penalty save seemed to give Weymouth more belief, and they had their first real attack of the game a couple of minutes later as Ackerman and Manktelow linked up well down the left channel resulting in Manktelow having a shot on the angle from the corner of the box which clipped the near post and went into the side netting.

Sherborne tried to catch out the Weymouth defence from the restart with a long ball over the defence. Their striker managed to latch onto it, but under pressure from Whiting she fired it wide of the mark.

Sherborne continued to apply pressure. On 32 minutes they had a corner which was headed behind by Whiting, and the second corner was met by a Sherborne head. The ball struck the post before bouncing into the grateful arms of Osment on the line.

Kristina Manktelow was proving to be Weymouth’s main threat with several driving runs into the Sherborne half. On 36 minutes she flashed one cross across the face of goal but nobody could get on

the end of it, and a couple of minutes later she linked up again with Ackerman leading to the latter seeing her cross blocked by the Sherborne goalkeeper at her near post.

On 43 minutes Sherborne struck the woodwork again from a corner, this time a back post header striking the crossbar.

Unfortunately right on the stroke of half-time though, Sherborne made the breakthrough as Watts found the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.

Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, Weymouth’s frustration was compounded as Sherborne doubled their lead. Snook got in behind the defence and saw her first effort well saved by Osment, but Snook got to the rebound before any defender and smashed it home to give Sherborne a 2-0 lead at the break.

After 45 minutes of hard work, Weymouth would have been frustrated to concede 2 quickfire goals before the break, and unfortunately, Sherborne all but finished the game as a contest just 2 minutes after the restart as the prolific Gemma Mountain out paced Potter and rifled it into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Osment.

Despite conceding 3 quick goals, Weymouth’s heads didn’t drop. They regained their composure and continued to defend bravely.

Osment made a good save at her near post on 54 minutes, and just before the hour mark, Wilson saw yellow for a shirt tug on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick was blocked by the wall and cleared to safety.

Snook added her second and Sherborne’s 4th on 64 minutes with a sweet strike into the bottom corner.

Despite the scoreline, Weymouth continued to push players forwards when they got the chance, and with 20 minutes to go, they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Shakira Howard stepped up and her effort forced the goalkeeper into a diving save. A number of spectators on that side of the ground appeared to be celebrating a goal thinking the ball had crossed the line, but the linesman kept his flag down.

Sherborne came close to a 5th on 77 minutes when they won it back in their own half and set off on a lightning counterattack, but Gemma Mountain’s shot was bravely blocked by Beth Barnard-Irons in the box.

Ackerman continued to work tirelessly, taking up a number of different positions throughout the contest. She was on hand to break up the play countless times and set Weymouth on the front foot, but the Sherborne defence proved impenetrable on the night.

Emma Potter made one final last-ditch tackle in the box when Sherborne looked in for a 5th goal late on, but the scoreline stayed at 4-0.

Despite the obvious disappointment at losing in a cup final, there was also a feeling of immense pride for Weymouth. The difference from the first meeting with Sherborne in the FA Cup earlier this season was night and day. Every player in claret and blue left absolutely everything on the field and a number of players played through the pain barrier. They held their own for most of the game against one of the best sides in the South West, and defended heroically. If ever a performance proved how far Weymouth Women have come this season, this was it.

It was a memorable occasion to sign off a special season for the Terras. The girls can now enjoy a well-earned break before the hard work starts all over again in pre-season.

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

Subs used: Sibley, Taylor, Howard

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