Ladies finding it tough

HAVING been promoted from Sedgemoor 1 to Central Division this season, Weston have found the step up a hard challenge.

HAVING been promoted from Sedgemoor 1 to Central Division this season, Weston have found the step up a hard challenge and in the first three league games lost heavily to Mendip 6-1, Shepton Mallet 6-3 and Swanage and Wareham 5-1.

It was defeat again 4-0 to Frome, but this game proved to be a turning point for the team. Weston's new coach Jo Thomas changed the playing formation to 5-3-2-1 and although the game ended in defeat the statistics showed Frome had four shots on goal and scored from all four, while Weston had 12 and could not convert and the possession was Weston 79 per cent.

The team really clicked in the next home game, verses local rivals Cheddar, Weston coming out 4-2 winners after a game of end-to-end hockey, Nikki Baker having an outstanding game, scoring a hat-trick and being named player of the match.

In their next game, Weston were guilty of squandering a 4-1 lead and their opponents Blandford and Sturminster Newton equalised with the last hit of the game.

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Last weekend Weston made the long trip to Wimborne and played out the game in wet and windy conditions, but they held their nerve and came away 1-0 winners, the goal scorer being Lucy Clarke.

This weekend saw Weston make the short journey to Bristol to play Old Bristolians.

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Both teams played excellent hockey despite the blustery conditions and the amount of leaves on the pitch. Weston opened the scoring after a fine passing move was finished off by Tina Delaney. Old Bs upped their game and took control of the first half scoring three goals through Caroline Donnelly (2) and Carrie Sanderson leading 3-1 at half time.

Weston came out fighting in the second half and played some excellent hockey and were unlucky not to score after a fine passage of play which saw Michelle Aldridge's shot go inches wide.

Weston continued to pressure and were rewarded when captain Vanessa Mawford scored from a well-worked short corner routine. Old Bs struck back from a short corner scored by Vicky Castle, but Weston keep the game alive after Kat Brown swept the ball into the back of the net to make the score 4-3. Weston continued to battle hard but great defending by the old Bs made sure they held out for all three points.

Player of the match was awarded to Becky Wilsher, again in fine form at right wing-back. Next Saturday (28th) Weston are at home on Priory, 12noon pushback to top of the table Westberries, supporters welcome.

Winscombe 2nds 3

Minehead 2nds 2

WINSCOMBE were confident going into this, knowing they had a strong chance to get their first win of the season.

Both teams started well and there was impressive defensive work required from Jo Hann, Lucy James, Roisin Nigh and Jodie Honour. There was a strong debut performance from Leanne Gardiner, who impressed on the left of midfield and who worked well with Gail Izzard and Amelia Bourton through several attacking plays.

Unfortunately, Minehead were too strong and went into the break 2-0 up. In the second half Winscombe stepped up pressure and were attacking with more venom. Jenny Elliot performed well in goal to keep the Minehead strikers at bay.

Claudia Routhourn-James and Trudie Lynham were working well in the attacking D and with only eight minutes go, things did not look good but with an impressive move from Izzard to Routhourn-James on a penalty corner, Winscombe managed to break the deadlock at the far post.

The team responded to this and within seconds of the re-start, Lynham passed a fantastic through ball for Matthews to net the equaliser.

There was good movement through the attacking line with Ella Horwood, Jo Elliot and Hannah Folkes not making it easy for Minehead to relax and with a last effort and through encouragement from the crowd, Winscombe went on the attack again for Routhourn-James to slot home her second, Winscombe's winner.

This was a much needed, improved performance from Winscombe and they will be hoping to take this confidence into Saturday's game. Player of the match was Claudia Routhourn-James.

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