Dorchester Town 3
Bagwell 20’ 33’ 53’
Howard 51’ 75’
Dorset Women’s league (26/09/21)
Report: James Spring
Terras edged out in five goal thriller
A spirited second half fightback wasn’t enough to save Weymouth from a first league defeat since the opening day of last season, as they paid for the price for a below-par first half showing at Dorchester Town on Sunday.
It was a quiet first quarter of an hour with both sides struggling to get a foothold in the game.
The first chance of the game fell for the Terras on 18 minutes when Sophie Webber-Green’s ball across the face of goal was met by Katie Wootton. She managed to put it past the goalkeeper but the ball was blocked on the line by a covering defender.
A couple of minutes later Webber-Green found herself one on one with goalkeeper Terri Stimpson-Peak after the ball deflected into her path. The home stopper was quickly off her line to smother the shot, and it proved to be a crucial intervention as Dorchester took the lead just 3 minutes later.
Kerry Bartlett whipped a corner in from the right flank and Weymouth had 3 or 4 opportunities to clear the ball, but they failed to do so and Clare Bagwell was on hand to bundle the ball home from close range.
Weymouth very nearly responded just after the half hour mark when Webber-Green managed to get onto Beasley’s cross at the back post, but she couldn’t quite direct it on target.
Just 2 minutes later the home side doubled their lead, and it came in remarkably similar fashion to the first goal. Another Bartlett corner from the same side wasn’t dealt with and Bagwell showed greater desire to get to the ball and to knock it home from close range.
Weymouth had a chance to halve the deficit just before the break when the ball fell for Beasley in the box, but she was forced wide by a defender and could only fire over the bar from a tight angle.
That left Weymouth with a mountain to climb in the second half.
The Terras flew out of the traps at the start of the second half and pulled one back 6 minutes after the break. Tasha Sibley played a great ball through the defence to Webber-Green. She calmly rolled it across the box to the unmarked Shakira Howard who slotted it under the goalkeeper.
Unfortunately for Weymouth though, Dorchester restored their 2-goal cushion less than 2 minutes later as Bagwell completed her hat-trick, and she did so in some style – hitting a powerful shot on the half volley from some 25 yards that flew into the top corner of the net, sparking jubilant scenes for the home side.
Credit to Weymouth though, their heads didn’t drop and they played much better in the second half.
Shakira Howard tried to lob a shot over goalkeeper Stimpson-Peak, but the home stopper just managed to get a fingertip to the ball to tip it wide for a corner.
Shortly afterwards she made an even better save. Good play from Weymouth lead to Webber-Green being played in. She hit a powerful shot along the ground from 10 yards out and Stimpson-Peak showed brilliant reactions to get down sharply to her right to tip it round the post.
Stimpson-Peak was proving quite a thorn in the Terras’ side, and on 68 minutes she was on hand to palm a Beasley shot onto the post and behind for a corner.
Weymouth continued to push forwards and on 75 minutes Howard got her second – coolly rolling the ball beyond the goalkeeper’s reach into the bottom corner after being played in by Beasley to set up a nervy final quarter of an hour for the home side.
With ten minutes to go Howard came agonisingly close to completing her second hat-trick within the space of 4 days as she went for goal from a free kick on the edge of the box, but the ball didn’t dip quite enough and it landed on the roof of the net.
It was fitting that home goalkeeper Cherys Stimpson-Peay had the final say in the game as she made another heroic save from Webber-Green late on to seal her sides second win of the season.
A frustrating day for the Terras. They created plenty of chances in the second half and could have rescued a point, but ultimately, they were made to pay for a lacklustre first half showing which left them with just too much to do against a well drilled and experienced Dorchester side.
Weymouth will look to learn from this experience and bounce back on Sunday when they welcome Alton to the Bob Lucas Stadium in the FA Cup for what promises to be a special occasion for everyone connected with the team.
TERRAS: Osment, C.Barnard-Irons, Whiting, Potter, de Havilland, Beasley, Sibley, B.Barnard-Irons, Wootton, So.Webber-Green, Howard.
Subs on: Wilson, Locke-White.