Redlands Rebels Ladies 0
Weymouth FC Women 1
Dorset Womens League (06/02/22)
Super Sapsford’s Delight
Jody Sapsford’s stunning first-half goal proved decisive, as Weymouth managed to grind out a second 1-0 win in 2 weeks against Redlands Rebels, in another highly competitive clash at Weymouth College.
The first meeting between the two sides saw very little goalmouth action in the early exchanges, but this time Weymouth were fast out of the blocks.
Dani Ackerman’s teasing corner bounced around in the Redlands box before being hacked to safety in the second minute, before player-manager Tasha Sibley shot across the face of the goal following a defensive error, as the Terras began brightly.
On 11 minutes Redlands had their first chance of the game when they managed to get in behind the Terras defence. The striker rounded Osment but was forced to the byline, and her pull-back was cleared by Emma Potter.
On the quarter-hour mark, Weymouth went close again as Charlie Wilson set Dani Ackerman free with a slide-rule pass, but a Redlands defender did well to retreat and block her shot behind for a corner which was cleared to safety.
Kristina Manktelow then began to cause Redlands problems. She linked up on the wing with Ackerman before sending a devilish delivery into the six-yard box. Sibley managed to flick it on with her head and it flew across the face of the goal and just wide of the post.
A few minutes later another Manktelow cross was blocked behind for a corner, and Ackerman’s delivery across the face of the goal somehow evaded everyone and went behind for a goal kick.
You sensed a breakthrough was coming for Weymouth, and sure enough, it arrived on the half-hour mark in remarkably similar fashion to the goal in the previous meeting, as Ackerman’s corner from the left flank was half-cleared as far as Jody Sapsford on the edge of the box. She took one touch to control the ball, and then struck a beauty of a strike that looped over the goalkeeper and under the crossbar to give Weymouth a deserved lead.
Just a couple of minutes later Weymouth really should have doubled their lead when goalkeeper Renee Marquis tipped Ackerman’s shot straight into the path of Beth Barnard-Irons. With a whole goal to aim at, on her own, just a few yards out, it looked impossible to not score, but somehow she managed to hit straight into the grateful grasp of the recovering Marquis, and Redlands stayed in the game.
The home side almost made Weymouth pay for that missed opportunity on 40 minutes when they managed to get through the Weymouth back line, but just as the striker was about the pull the trigger, Emma Potter made a superb last-ditch tackle to clear the danger.
Redlands really should have equalised just before half-time when they again broke through and their striker found herself racing through one on one with Osment, but she could only hit it straight at Osment who did well to get her body behind it and hold onto the ball.
Having made a crucial intervention at one end, Emma Potter then picked up the ball in her own half and set off on a surging run down the left flank before poking a ball through to Ackerman who fired across the face of the goal with what proved the last kick of the first half.
Five minutes into the second half Weymouth had a golden opportunity to double their lead when Dani Ackerman sent Shakira Howard through the middle of the defence, but goalkeeper Renee Marquis was quickly off her line to narrow the angle. Howard managed to knock it over Marquis towards the far corner of the goal but it bounced just wide of the post.
On 55 minutes Weymouth showed great tenacity to win the ball in the Redlands third. Sibley managed to get the ball on the byline and send a teasing ball across the six-yard box. Howard and Beth Barnard-Irons both threw themselves at the ball but it evaded both of them and was cleared.
On the hour mark, Redlands got a free-kick right on the edge of the Weymouth box, but Osment was able to hold onto the shot at her near post.
Then Weymouth were awarded an indirect free-kick after Marquis handled a back-pass. Ackerman laid it off for Howard but her shot was a couple of yards wide of the mark.
As the game entered the last 20 minutes, Redlands began an aerial bombardment of the Terras’ defence, but they were able to stand firm. Potter, Whiting, Taylor, Manktelow and Sapsford were there to head and kick everything that came their way, and anything that did find its way into the box was gobbled up by Osment.
With ten minutes to go Weymouth were close to wrapping the game up when Ackerman played in Wilson whose shot was blocked. It ricocheted into the path of Sibley who hit it first time and it flew narrowly over the crossbar.
You wondered if Weymouth might live to regret their missed chances, and they had a nervy moment on 84 minutes when Redlands managed to ride several challenges on the edge of the box, and a shot eventually rolled half a yard wide of the post.
On 88 minutes Naomi Johnson also had a glorious chance to seal the game when she won possession and raced through one on one with Marquis, but she tried to take it round the goalkeeper who got down well to smother the ball.
There was a long period of stoppage time but Weymouth managed to see the game out professionally and made sure Redlands didn’t get a final chance.
That makes it 8 straight wins for the Terras and 3 consecutive clean sheets. It wasn’t as much of a midfield battle as the first meeting between the two sides, there were a lot more chances in this game. Weymouth created by far the better chances and really should have put the game to bed, but in the end, one goal was enough.
They remain top of the Dorset women’s league on goal difference, and now going into 2 potentially season-defining games with second-placed Merley Cobham Sports
Terras: Osment, Potter, Whiting, Manktelow, Sapsford, Sibley, Wilson, Beasley, B.Barnard-Irons, Ackerman, Johnson.
Subs on: Taylor, de Havilland, Howard, C.Barnard-Irons.
Photo: Ian Middlebrook