Somerset County Ladies’ League Cup: Wellington Wildcats Ladies 2, Bridport Ladies 0

A goal early in each half was enough to ensure Wildcats’ passage through to the second round of the cup.

With the Playing Field pitch out of commission and, after exhausting all other home pitch options, Wildcats gave up home advantage at the last minute and switched the fixture to Bridport.

However, on turning up, they found the pitch in a worse condition than their home one!

The game started with a minutes applause for a former Bridport player who had recently lost her battle with cancer at the age of 32.  

Wildcats started the game brightly with Ebony Sellick seeing an effort saved by the Bridport keeper having neatly being put clear by Halle Watlin-Arnold; almost immediately Sellick repaid the favour, but Watlin-Arnold also saw her shot saved well.  

With Wildcats controlling the game it was only a matter of time until they took the lead. On 15 minutes, some good interplay between the forwards led to Sheldon Hancock thundering in a shot from the edge of the area which the keeper was unable to hold and it trickled into the net. With the battling qualities of the Wildcats’ midfield coming to the fore, especially Amber Finucane-Fenn who was playing out of position in the centre of midfield, it was no surprise that their defence had very little to do with the majority of time spent in the Bridport half of the pitch, but without any real threat to their goal.  

Half-time 1-0.

The second half was barely a minute old when Sellick raced clear of her marker only to be brought down by the keeper; much to the dismay of their players and the away support, the referee waved play on.  

Wildcats continued to play their excellent passing game, which was becoming more difficult on a deteriorating pitch, but with good use of the less boggy wide areas they created many chances, but found the young Bridport keeper in fine form.  

Wildcats will also feel they should have been awarded a penalty when Sellick and Hancock were both brought down in quick succession.  

Watlin-Arnold relieved some Wildcats’ tension on 73 minutes when she weaved through a couple of players before coolly slotting past the keeper for their second goal.  

With Bridport now needing two goals to take the tie into extra time, they pushed forward but as has been the norm all season there was no let up from the Wildcats defence and keeper who, as a unit, kept their eighth clean sheet of the season.  

This was a very hard-fought game which threatened to boil over at times, but every player should be proud of their effort.

Wildcats’ player-of-the-day: Amber Finucane-Fenn

Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Bryony Sellick, Naomi Southcott, Georgia Purdy, Grace Winter (cpt), Sheldon Hancock, Amber Finucane-Fenn, Emily Ayers, Ella Hartley, Halle Watlin-Arnold, Ebony Sellick. Subs: Imogen Edmonston-Low and Amber Perry (both used).

Wildcats are away to Portishead Ladies Reserves in the next round (date to be advised).