Bournemouth V 1 - Weymouth Ladies II 6
One more win required to seal league title
Weymouth Ladies 2’s arrived at Bournemouth on a dull drizzly day, sitting top of Channel Division 2 by 5 points with their host Bournemouth V in 2nd place. With only 4 games left to play and 12 points up for grabs both teams knew that a win was essential to keep league winning hopes alive.
Weymouth started sluggishly and looked nervous in the opening exchanges with their hosts being physically dominant and more aggressive, but shots from the forward line of Alice Furness and Ellen Dewey helped settle Weymouth as they grew in confidence. Bournemouth broke with a long clearance and a rare error from the Weymouth defence resulted in them conceding a penalty corner which was dealt with by keeper Ellie Goff and her defensive team of Olivia Culbreth, Carolyn Schofield, Jo Ray, and Berni Cane. Once again Bournemouth played a long ball up field, a misplaced pass from Weymouth in their own circle let Bournemouth in for an easy goal.
This seemed to spark Weymouth into life with the midfield 4 of Jenna Bennett, Jemma Brunell, Susie Stone and Annalise Dive increasing their work rate. Susie Stone in particular had a big influence in the middle of the pitch carrying the fight to Bournemouth with her speed of thought and tenacity. Weymouth were now creating chance after chance and Bee Forder was brought into the Weymouth attack as they continued to press for an equalizer. Eventually Ellen Dewey equalized with a sweet reverse stick strike into the bottom right corner. Now with the bit firmly between their teeth Weymouth pressed for a second goal before half time. It was now the turn of Annalise Dive to drive Weymouth forward from central midfield, exchanging passes with Jo Ray who in turn fed Ellen Dewey who had her strike saved by the Bournemouth keeper, Dive reacted faster than any Bournemouth defender and smashed home the rebound, ending the 1st half 2-1 to Weymouth.
Weymouth took to the pitch in the second half full of confidence and belief that they could now go on and win the game. This resulted in them winning a short corner in the first minute which Jenna Brunell clinically dispatched to give Weymouth a 3-1 lead. With Weymouth now in the ascendancy and in full flow Susie Stone picked up the ball outside the 25 yard line and leaving Bournemouth defenders in her wake unleashed a thunderbolt reverse stick strike into the bottom left corner to give Weymouth a now comfortable lead. The hosts were not done and refused to give in pressing the Weymouth defence hard and forcing them to concede 5 penalty corners in a row but marshalled by the experienced Berni Cane Weymouth held firm. Once possession of the ball was regained Jenna Bennett played Jemma Brunell a defence splitting pass and Brunell fired in goal number 5 for Weymouth. Once again Bee Forder was introduced to the Weymouth attack and with the hosts defence tiring she was given the freedom of the Bournemouth circle finding her fellow strike partner Bennett to score goal number 6 for Weymouth. With 10 minutes left to play defender Jo Ray made way for the long awaited return from injury of Weymouth skipper Claire Harding Weymouth continued to pepper the Bournemouth goal but the post and the keeper denied both Dewey and Stone. At this point the much appreciated travelling supporters could be heard chanting “We want 7!” Full time score 6-1 to Weymouth.
Weymouth now sit 8 points clear at the top of Channel Division 2 and a win at home this coming Saturday 11th March versus Swanage will seal the league title with 2 games to spare.
Player of the match: Ellen Dewey