Somerset County Women’s League: Wildcats Ladies 2, Bridport Youth 1

Our Wildcats Ladies bounced back from their first defeat of the season with victory at the Playing Field this afternoon (Sunday, October 16th).

With a full squad to choose from, it was disappointing that Bridport were unable to raise a full team and the game had to be reduced to nine-a-side.

However, this meant there was much more room for the Wildcats players to show their creative flare and this almost led to a goal from the kick off, but the final pass was slightly over hit.  

Despite the promising start, the game never really kicked on with neither keeper being called into action until the 32nd minute when the Bridport keeper had to pick the ball out of the net.  

An excellent reverse ball from Halle Watlin-Arnold was raced onto by Emily Ayers and her shot from just inside the box was so well hit it left the Bridport keeper with no chance.  

It wasn’t until the 45th minute that Wildcats keeper Bianca Hamlyn was called into action, claiming well from a free kick. Half-time 1-0.

With Bridport playing down the slope in the second half, they began to play longer balls using the wind alongside the powerful kick of their excellent centre half. However, they were unable to breach the well organised Wildcats defence.

Wildcats chose a different tactic – they were playing more of a passing game, slowly working their way up the pitch to create chances, but they never really tested the Bridport goal.  

On 74 minutes and against the run of play Bridport equalised. A Wildcats defensive clearance cruelly rebounded into the path of a Bridport player who was able to reach the ball before Wildcats keeper and toe poke it into the corner of the goal. Wildcats now had a little over 15 minutes to get the second goal their performance deserved.  

They continued to create chances, but a combination of indecisiveness and good goalkeeping kept them from scoring.

However as the game moved into added time and after an excellent Watlin-Arnold shot which the keeper saved well, Wildcats were awarded a corner.

It was taken by Emily Ayers and met, as many corners have been this season, by her sister, and Wildcats captain, Charlotte and her powerful header hit the back of the net before the Bridport keeper had time to move, much to the delight of the majority of the 70-plus crowd.  

The final whistle went, following the re-start.

Despite this win, Wildcats drop one place in the table to second on goal difference with no game next week.

After an excellent defensive performance, Wildcats’ player of the match was Tenika Goss.

Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Bryony Sellick, Tenika Goss, Grace Winter, Robyn Stockman, Charlotte Ayers (cpt), Emily Ayers, Halle Watlin-Arnold, Ebony Sellick. Subs: Ella Hartley, Naomi Southcott, Ringla Tance, Danielle Bond, Sheldon Hancock.