Somerset FA Women’s Senior Cup
Brislington Ladies 2, Ilminster Town Ladies 2 (7-6 pen)

ILMINSTER Town Ladies suffered penalty shootout agony, after fighting back from 2-0 down at Brislington.

Sunday’s quarter-final pitted the Blues against a team from the league above, and the visitors’ squad remained very similar to the last few weeks.

But with Sarah Miller on the bench, following a struggling with an injury, captaincy duties fell to experienced defender Dana Andrews.

Ilminster started brightly, with a couple of early chances, the best falling to Dee Clarke-Trott Cracknell, whose attempt from 12 yards was well saved by the goalkeeper.

But it was Brislington who broke the deadlock, in the 12th minute, as a counter-attack saw the ball worked to the edge of the area, their striker picking out the top right-hand corner.

Brislington doubled their advantage in the 25th minute following a goalmouth scramble but, after another good spell, the Blues got themselves back into it in the 37th minute.

Some good build-up play ended with Abbie Carslake striking goalwards, finding the net via a deflection.

Coming out for the second half, Ilminster pushed for an equaliser, Cracknell and Colette Martin going close.

In the 65th minute the game was level; Maisie Parker delivered in a free-kick, Cracknell flicked the ball towards goal, the keeper parried and Charlie Pettinger forced it in.

Despite late pressure from both teams, the match finished all square and went straight to penalties.

Brislington won the shootout 7-6, after all 11 players took a spot-kick, Blues keeper Charlotte Johnson making some excellent saves.

Battling back from 2-0 down and going to penalties against a team in the league above shows great character; the future looks bright for this team.

Ilminster: Charlotte Johnson, Georgia Coward, Dana Andrews (c), Daisy Charles, Hannah Billing, Charlie Pettinger, Lesley Spearing, Abbie Carslake, Colette Martin, Maisie Parker, Dee Clarke-Trott Cracknell. Substitutes: Poppy Hookings, Sarah Miller, Shakira Howard. Player of the match: Charlotte Johnson

This coming Sunday Ilminster return to league action, with a trip to Forest Green Rovers (ko 2pm).


ILMINSTER Town were without a match on Saturday, as their Somerset County League fixture with Westfield was postponed, writes Andy Fish.

The club made the decision in the summer to follow the advice of the Institute of Groundsman, under the guidance of Somerset FA, to level the Archie Gooch Pavilion playing surface.

Sand was also added to aid drainage, but where professional clubs use 100-150 tons of special sports sand during the close season, due to a limited budget only 20 tons were added to Ilminster’s pitch, on the north side in front of the Pavilion.

This did help the worst-affected areas but not the middle of the pitch, where it was waterlogged on Saturday, causing the fixture to be called off.

With the Blues unbeaten since the start of the year, it was very frustrating for them.

This coming Saturday the Blues face a tough fixture at fourth-placed Watchet Town, last season’s runners-up, who beat Shirehampton 3-0 last weekend.

Taylor Jefferson sits out the match as he completes his suspension, while Carl Lazenby and Ashley Lock are doubtful with injuries.

Ilminster Town Reserves had a match away at bottom of the table Netherbury in Perry Street & District League Division 1 and, strengthened by the inclusion of Will Spurway, they won 11-0.

Man of the match Spurway showed his class by scoring twice and setting up four, as Jack Read (2), Mitch Hooper (2), Jordan Allen, Chris Bussell, Tom Fletcher and Kieran Manley all scored, as did Ilminster chairman Dan Haines, who came off the bench to add the finishing touch.


Uhlsport Somerset County League
Division 3
Combe St Nicholas 1, Hutton 4

COMBE St Nicholas welcomed high-flying Hutton to Slade’s Cross, on the back of last week’s disappointing 1-0 loss at Tunley Athletic.

The home side knew they had to be at their defensive best against the league’s top goalscorers.

The first 25 minutes of the game saw the teams cancel each other out, and it was the Saints who had the first real chance – a good move involving Luke Perry and Callum Lacey leading to Jack Steer shooting just wide.

Then Hutton had a great chance with a free header that looked destined to break the deadlock, only for a top class save from Nathan Fisher to keep it 0-0 at half time.

Come the second half, the hosts were playing with purpose and looked good going forward, but it was the visitors who took the lead through a good cross and close finish.

Combe didn’t let this get them down and equalised through a shot from Adam Male after good work by the ever-lively Luke Perry.

The Saints had their tails up now and were looking to push on, but a defensive error ended up giving away a cheap penalty, and Hutton were back ahead.

The away side continued to press for more goals and got two more by the end of the game, while Scott Jennings and Perry were unlucky with shots that the Hutton keeper was equal to.

Combe manager Darren Manley was more than happy with his young charges, knowing that a 4-1 loss wasn’t a true reflection and they are starting to gel defensively as a team now.

This coming Saturday, Combe travel to bottom side Cutters Friday (ko 2pm).