Somerset County Women’s League division one: Sydenham Rangers Ladies Blue 0, Wellington Wildcats Ladies 1
Wildcats made the short journey to Bridgwater to play against their fellow promoted team Sydenham, the only side to beat them in the league last season.
Having lost by a single goal in both encounters, Wildcats knew they would be in for a tough afternoon.
As has been typical of late, Wildcats started the game slowly, allowing Sydenham to settle into a rhythm. The hosts had the majority of the possession in the open 15 minutes, but good defending from Naomi Southcott and Anna Flory kept them at bay.
As Wildcats gained in confidence, they began to work both wings, without any real success.
They had a penalty claim turned down in the 25th minute when Ebony Sellick appeared to be brought down inside the box.
The only goal of the game came on 33 minutes – a Wildcats goal kick was controlled superbly by Ebony, who in turn played an excellent through ball to Leah Morrell. She raced clear of her defender to slot coolly past the onrushing keeper into the far corner. Half-time 0-1.
The second half was a scrappy, sometimes heated affair, but one which Wildcats just edged.
With Purdy and Emily Ayers controlling the midfield and Robyn Stockman again lively on the right wing, they were able to find space in behind the Sydenham defence for Sellick to run into, but she was thwarted on numerous occasions by the Sydenham keeper who was excellent throughout and was deservedly awarded their player-of-the-match.
Sydenham had a player sent off in the 73rd minute but that seemed to inject some life into them and Wildcats were indebted to Bianca Hamlyn who made an outstanding double save to keep her goal intact. To the credit of the defensive unit, this was her only real action of the game.
For an excellent display of defending from start to finish Wildcats player-of-the-day was Anna Flory.
Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Bryony Sellick, Naomi Southcott, Tenika Goss (capt), Anna Flory, Robyn Stockman, Emily Ayers, Georgia Purdy, Leah Morrell, Heidi Stucki, Ebony Sellick. Subs: Chloe Payne, Amber Finucane-Fenn, Ella Hartley, Grace Winter (used); Imogen Edmondston-Low (not used).
On Sunday, Wildcats are home to Ilminster Town Reserves, kick-off 2pm with the clubhouse open throughout. All support will be most welcome.