Toolstation First Division
Warminster Town 3, Chard Town 5

CHARD twice came back from a goal down to run out comfortable away winners on Saturday.

Manager Jamie Manley was far from happy with the performance, saying: “We did not start well and were generally sloppy.

“There is no point resting on our laurels; we could do better.”

Having given away a 14th-minute goal to the home side’s Nick Taylor, a long throw from Andy Holmes saw Kieran Bailey head the equaliser after 24 minutes.

On the half-hour mark, Taylor got in behind the Chard defence to put Warminster back in front.

Chard stepped up the pressure and Tom Salter smashed a second equaliser into the net from close range to send the teams in at half-time all square.

Near the hour mark, Ben Haines burst through the centre of midfield to beat the home keeper, with a shot inside the far post, to put Chard in front.

And it was 4-2 on 75 minutes with possibly the best goal of all, again from a Holmes throw, which Bailey cleverly flicked into the far corner.

Substitute 17-year-old Jacob Manley (like Salter before him) then notched his first Western League goal, nicking the ball past the keeper before slotting into an empty net.

There was still time for Warminster to grab a third through Jake Wright deep in stoppage time.

Chard: Wells-Burr, Dyer, Pearson, Holmes, Bailey, Howell, Haines, Westlake (Harper 80), Friend (Manley 80), Boyland, Salter (Cleal).

Premier & Division 1 Cup
Ilminster Town 3, Odd Down Res 3 (Ilminster win 4-2 on pens)

THIS was one of the best matches seen at the Archie Gooch Pavillion for a while, writes Andy Fish.

Ilminster Town and Odd Down Reserves went toe-to-toe in a thrilling cup tie, with the strong wind giving a distinct advantage to the side attacking the Pavilion, and Ilminster fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 thanks to a Carl Lazenby hat-trick.

After five straight defeats confidence had been low and, with Darren Manley leaving the management team in midweek, it was left to George Hamill and Andy Dyke to pick up the reins.

They were fortunate to have Louis Rutter available and he came in at centre-half.

Odd Down won the toss and chose to play with the very strong wind at their backs. It was hard work for Ilminster in the wind especially at the back where the ball had to be kept on the floor otherwise it would come straight back.

Odd Down took advantage in the seventh minute when the winger cut in and hit a shot that wind arrowed into the corner.

The Blues were level within three minutes when a crossfield ball found Andy Whitefield in space on the left, he picked his head up and crossed into the feet of Lazenby, who calmly found the corner.

Brad Miles then had a brilliant effort from distance against the wind which flew just over, while Whitefield was getting a lot of joy on the left and he again picked out Lazenby in the box but his header was off target.

Against the run of play, Odd Down scored direct from a corner with an assist from the wind to make it 2-1.

With half-time approaching, Odd Down broke down the right and a fine header gave them a two-goal cushion.

Young Josh Phillips came on for his debut at half time and he proved a real handful with his direct running on the right hand side of midfield.

With 50 minutes on the clock, Whitefield played a delightful ball into Lazenby, who side-footed home to make it 2-3.

Charlie Rutter headed just wide and Brad Pitman hit a great shot from distance that the keeper palmed away at full stretch as Ilminster pushed forward.

Odd Down were not intent on sitting back and a couple of times Ilminster had to rely on Rutter, who was superb at the back.

Then, with 75 minutes gone, a long ball forward was instantly controlled by Lazenby. Time seemed to stand still as he waltzed past three defenders before shooting from close range - the keeper did well to block the shot but Lazenby made no mistake with the rebound to bring the scores level.

Both sides attacked for the winner in the last ten minutes but the draw was fair and, with no extra-time, the game went straight to penalties.
Lazenby, who must have been confident after his hat-trick, missed before two saves from Chris May and successful kicks by George Miles, Brad Miles and Louis Rutter meant that Adam Male’s successful spot kick sealed an overdue victory.

Winning always seems to make things feel much better and it was good that the feelgood factor had returned after a difficult week.

Darren Manley stepped up to help out alongside George Hamill and Andy Dyke when Jason Manley left at the beginning of last season and he really helped stabilise the club in its hour of need in what was always going to be a short term fix.

Ilminster Town will always be thankful for his hard work and enthusiasm.

For now, nothing changes as George and Andy will run the side while the club takes time out to assess the future. 

Ilminster: Chris May, Luke Paul, George Miles, Louis Rutter, Doug Whitfield, Brad Miles, Ben Pitman, Brad Pitman, Charlie Rutter, Andy Whitefield, Carl Lazenby. Subs used: Josh Phillips, Adam Male, Ashley Lock