Weymouth travel to Blandford
Match report from the Dorset Echo
WEYMOUTH travelled to Clayesmore School but came away with a difficult 4-2 defeat against in-form Blandford & Sturminster Newton in the East Division.
The team arrived early and their match preparations showed a high level of determination and a fire of enthusiasm for the challenge ahead. That did not change when the whistle was blown for the start of the match, as Weymouth quickly won the ball from the home side and began to attack from all quarters.
Second-in-the-league Blandford were clearly taken by surprise at finding themselves consistently under pressure from the relative underdogs, as attempts to mount counter attacks were frequently foiled by the midfield. Although Blandford made several forays into the visitors’ half with skilful play down their wings towards high-hanging forwards, the tenacious marking of their would-be scorers by Jenna Bennett and Susie Stone made most attacks short-lived.
At first, the Seasiders were frustrated as several shots were kept at bay by the Blandford defence, or put just wide of the post by the gritty attack. The team’s hard work was bound to pay off though, and the first goal came after a well-timed slowing of the ball caused the Blandford keeper to hesitate and allowed Sophie Russell to slot the ball into the net for a well-deserved Weymouth lead. Moments before half-time, and somewhat against the run of play, Blandford were able to draw level by converting a penalty corner.
It was fully expected that the home team would come out hard and attack strongly, but the swiftness of the attack seemed to momentarily disorientate Weymouth as they conceded a goal not long after play restarted and a then further two goals in short succession, one coming after a shot rebounded from the post onto the waiting stick of a grateful attacker.
After such a promising start, Weymouth now found themselves with a challenging task for the final 10 minutes of play if they were to salvage a point. A consolation goal came for Weymouth captain Anneka Bowles with only three minutes remaining, but despite several promising attacks, particularly from a sparkling Jodie Stone, the Seasiders were unable to make up the shortfall.
Weymouth: Bennet, Bowles, Brunnell, Craven, Eadon, Foot, May, Melhuish, S Russell, J Stone, K Stone, S Stone Sullivan-Harvey
Weymouth player of the match: Casey Foot and Jodie Stone