Somerset County Women’s League: Wildcats Ladies 1, Crewkerne Rangers Ladies 0
Wildcats maintained their six-point lead at the top of the table with a hard-fought, but thoroughly deserved victory over Crewkerne Rangers on a day more suited to kite flying.
Having switched the game to Castle School’s 3G pitch due to the Playing Field being in use, Wildcats played into the wind in the first half.
They were quickly into their stride with wide players Ella Hartley and Danielle Bond both causing problems for their respective defenders.
While not creating any clearcut chances, the physical nature of the Crewkerne team meant they were always in the game and the Wildcats defence needed to be alert at all times.
Wildcats themselves could only muster a couple of half chances which were easily delt with but the Crewkerne keeper.
The second half was a much more one-sided affair. Wildcats had most of the ball and, with the wind behind them, were able to unleash longer range shots, pinning Rangers into their half for long periods.
However, it wasn’t until the 74th minute that Wildcats deservedly took the lead. Fresh from scoring her first goal of the season the previous day, under 16s captain Georgia Purdy rose highest in the box to powerfully head home a pinpoint Emily Ayers corner.
Almost immediately Wildcats were indebted to keeper Bianca Hamlyn who came off her line superbly to take ball and player with the Crewkerne striker through on goal.
This was the only time she was called upon in the second half, largely due to the excellence of the Wildcats back four of Bryony Sellick, Tenika Goss, Naomi Southcott, and Grace Winter.
With a number of heavy challenges going unpunished, Wildcats lost a little rhythm, giving Crewkerne unjustified confidence as the game entered the final ten minutes. However the experience of Sheldon Hancock played a pivotal role as Wildcats picked themselves up and could have scored a couple of further goals with both Purdy and Ebony Sellick hitting the side-netting from tight angles while a couple of mid-range free kicks from Emily Ayers narrowly missed the target.
A notable performance from captain Charlotte Ayers who had an outstanding game in midfield, with most of Wildcats’ best play coming through her.
Player of the Match: Grace Winter.
Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Bryony Sellick, Naomi Southcott, Tenika Goss, Grace Winter, Danielle Bond, Charlotte Ayers (cpt), Emily Ayers, Ella Hartley, Sheldon Hancock, Ebony Sellick. Subs: Georgia Purdy (used), Kansas Gosling, Teagan Burrow, Amber Perry (not used).
Next Sunday, Wildcats entertain Middlezoy Ladies at the Playing Field, kick-off 2pm. All support will be most welcome.