Frome Town 0
South West Womens’s League East Division (04/09/22)
Report: James Spring Photo: Ian Middlebrook
Terras earn first point in BLS stalemate
Weymouth Women began life in the South West league against Frome Town at the Bob Lucas Stadium, and got their first point on the board following promotion, in what provided to be a tight and tense opening day affair.
New signings Harriet Freeman, Gracie Billing, and Nia Bywater all made their competitive debuts for the Terras, whilst Ruby Clark and Diana Sewry also made their first team debuts after an impressive season in the development team last term.
Freeman slotted in at centre half alongside Emma Potter and the two have already formed a good partnership in the middle of the defence, as they ensured that goalkeeper Kate Osment didn’t have a real save to make throughout the contest.
Weymouth had the first effort on goal 8 minutes in when Kristina Manktelow let fly from around 25 yards and her effort flew a couple of yards wide of the post.
Five minutes later Ackerman’s corner was cleared as far as Beth Barnard-Irons on the edge of the D but her shot was well smothered by the visiting goalkeeper.
Weymouth continued to probe for much of the first half but Frome were well organised and didn’t allow the Terras any time on the ball. The Terras did manage to get into good areas but the final ball was lacking and Frome’s defence were proving a tough nut to crack.
The second half would be equally tight with chances at either end at a premium.
Gracie Billing did well to skip away from the full-back and send a teasing cross in towards the back post but the visiting goalkeeper was able to hold onto it at the second attempt.
At the other end, Weymouth’s back 4 stood firm, with Potter and Freeman doing an excellent job of sweeping up any potential danger.
On 65 minutes Weymouth came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. Lily Beasley hassled the full-back into a mistake and she played in Naomi Johnson who rounded the goalkeeper, but was forced wide, and could only strike the foot of the post with her shot.
The momentum was killed shortly afterwards though as Lily Beasley, unfortunately, suffered a potentially serious knee injury which resulted in a lengthy stoppage in play.
When play did resume, Charlie Wilson had a stinging effort deflected behind for a corner after good work from Manktelow, before Ackerman fired wide of the mark from a tight angle.
Frome finished the game well and mounted a few late attacks, but Weymouth’s defensive unit were on top and didn’t give up any opportunities.
At the other end, Ruby Clark injected some late energy into Weymouth’s attack and managed to force the Frome defenders into a couple of mistakes with her closing down, but Weymouth were unable to take advantage.
There was then another long stoppage as a Frome player required treatment for a head injury. The second half went on for almost a full hour but the game was finally brought to an end meaning the two sides shared the points.
It wasn’t a classic, with both defences very much on top in a very physical game, but Weymouth showed they have what it takes to compete at this higher level, and were more than deserving of the point.
The game was definitely overshadowed though by the injury to Beasley, and also one of the visiting players fell ill after the game and required hospital treatment.
We would like to place on record our sincere best wishes to both players for a speedy recovery, and thanks to the medical staff from both clubs.
Terras: Osment, Potter, Freeman, Barnard-Irons, Beasley, Billing, Manktelow, Wilson (C), Howard-Hachem, Ackerman, Sewry.
Subs: Johnson, Taylor, Clark, Wareham, Bywater.
Sponsor’s Player of the Match (South Coast Traffic Management): Kristina Manktelow