Somerset County Women’s League – Chairman’s Cup semi-final: Wellington Wildcats Ladies 2, Wells City Ladies 3

Our Wildcats suffered an agonising semi-final defeat at the Playing Field yesterday (Sunday).

They got off to the worst possible start, conceding in the second minute and were certainly second best in the opening moments.

Wildcats gradually got themselves back into the game and, by the 15th minute, were dominating both territory and possession. They used the pace of wingers Robyn Stockman and Leah Morrell to great effect and in turn they were quick to put balls into the middle of the park for strike duo Ebony Sellick and Keeley Coates.

With their renewed confidence they had a succession of shots, the best coming from Morrell who beat the keeper but was also just wide of the upright.

The defence were also back in the groove after the early setback, Tenika Goss and Naomi Southcott in particular preventing any real chances for the Wells strikers.

Wildcats were deservedly back on level terms in the 39th minute. Emily Ayers’ fantastic freekick thundered off the bar into the path of Georgia Purdy, who couldn’t get a shot away, but was able to square from Ebony Sellick to smash home.

After the half-time team talk, Wildcats came out with renewed belief and were soon ahead in the tie. A ball from halfway by Morrell was met by Sellick with her back to goal and she held off the challenge from her defender before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner, much to the delight of the sizeable home support.

They could have extended their lead from the penalty spot after Ebony Sellick was felled in the box, but the goalkeeper atoned for her clumsy challenge by making the save.

This seemed to spring some life back into Wells and they pushed forward particularly attacking the channels but found Bryony Sellick and captain Grace Winter in excellent form.

They did force a succession of corners, but Bianca Hamlyn, in the Wildcats goal rose well to clear any danger, while Hamlyn and Bryony Sellick combined well to block on the six-yard line.

The pressure finally told in the 62nd minute and Wells equalised after a free-kick was conceded just outside the penalty area.

With Wildcats tiring, Wells sensed a chance to strike, but the hosts defended superbly, with Imogen Edmonston-Low, on in place of the injured Bryony Sellick, making a couple of fine interceptions.

It wasn’t until the 81st minute when the Wildcats resolve was finally broken, a Wells’ striker hitting the far corner of the goal after beating the offside trap.

Wildcats continued to press right to the last seconds, pushing two of their defenders into the middle in the hope of taking the game into extra time, but they couldn’t breach the tight Wells defence, who held out for the win.

This was an outstanding performance from every Wildcat, against a team who had beaten them 5-0 only a couple of weeks earlier.

The Wildcats would like to thank everyone who came and supported them.

Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Grace Winter (cpt), Tenika Goss, Naomi Southcott, Bryony Sellick, Georgia Purdy, Emily Ayers, Leah Morrell, Robyn Stockman, Keeley Coates, Ebony Sellick. Substitutes: Imogen Edmondston-Low. (Not used) Anna Flory, Danielle Bond (all used).

Player of the Day: Ebony Sellick.

Next week Wildcats are home to Ilminster Town Reserves. kick-off 2pm.

They will wait on the fitness of several players, but two who are definitely unavailable are Bryony Sellick, who sustained a broken foot in the cup defeat, bringing her season to a premature end, while Bianca Hamlyn suffered concussion in the same game and will now miss at least the next two games.