Somerset County Women’s League: Wellington Wildcats Ladies 0, Nailsea United Women 1

Having changed home venue last time out, Wildcats were back in familiar surroundings this week but, with strong winds and rain on their way, they knew it would be a tough afternoon at the Playing Field.

Playing down the slope with the wind behind them in the first half, Wildcats opted to use long balls out of the defence for attackers Leah Morrell and Ebony Sellick to run on to, but they found the Nailsea defence in top form from the off.

Similarly, Wildcats’ back line of Bryony Sellick, Tenika Goss, Naomi Southcott and captain Grace Winter were also in good form, limiting Nailsea’s chances.

Wildcats struggled to keep possession, the ball often running away from them and this only seemed to spur on Nailsea.

They played numerous through balls, but keeper Bianca Hamlyn saved well, both with hands and feet to keep them at bay.

With ten minutes of the first half, remaining Nailsea grabbed what was to be the only goal of the game. A couple of loose tackles from Wildcats allowed Nailsea to get the ball wide to their winger, she raced into the area and, although her shot was kept out by Hamlyn, the ball fell to an unmarked striker to smash home.

Despite being down a goal, playing up the slope and into an ever-strengthening head wind, Wildcats seemed to have more of a spring in their step in the second half and certainly had the better of the chances.

Robyn Stockman and Chloe Payne made several good breaks down their respective flanks, while Georgia Purdy and Emily Ayers put in tackle after tackle to control the middle of the park.

When Nailsea did break, Bryony Sellick and Anna Flory each made an excellent clearance to keep them out.

Late in the game Wildcats saw a couple of very good chances go the wrong side of the left upright and on reflection they will be disappointed not to have got anything from the game.

Credit goes to both teams for an entertaining game in what was exceptionally tough playing conditions.

The result sees Nailsea leapfrog Wildcats in the table on goal difference.

Wildcats’ player-of-the-day was goalkeeper Bianca Hamlyn and they will now be waiting on the fitness of Purdy and Goss, who both left the field with injuries..

Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Grace Winter (cpt), Tenika Goss, Naomi Southcott, Bryony Sellick, Robyn Stockman, Georgia Purdy, Emily Ayers, Chloe Payne, Leah Morrell, Ebony Sellick. Subs: Anna Flory, Imogen Edmondston-Low (both used).