Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Shirehampton 1, Ilminster Town 1

ILMINSTER went to Shirehampton with the same starting line-up as the previous week and set up to counteract their high-scoring opponents, writes Andy Fish.

Lee Sweet enjoyed a lot of the ball in the opening exchanges, giving the home full-back a torrid time.

Manager Andy Dyke then pulled striker Carl Lazenby back into midfield and pushed the more pacy Andy Whitefield up front to stretch the Shirehampton backline.

This had an immediate effect, as Whitefield brought a good save from the goalkeeper and then Lazenby shot just wide.

But Shirehampton then showed why they are the league’s top goalscorers with 70 goals.

A loose pass was intercepted, and although the shot from distance hit the post, Scott Bamfield tucked away his 32nd goal of the season.

Bamford had another effort that brought a fine save from Chris May, which kept his side in it at half-time.

The Blues came out all guns blazing, winning every 50-50 tackle and Ben Pitman leading from the front.

The pressure finally paid off as good team play led to Whitefield levelling from the edge of the box.

Ilminster pressed for the winner and twice Charlie Rutter went close, before Sweet tapped in, only for the offside flag to go up.

The visitors introduced Will Spurway, Taylor Jefferson and Alex Paul off the bench in search of a winner.

Yet it was the home side who finished stronger, May called into action twice in the last five minutes.

Ilminster showed some real steel at a ground where they had suffered four successive defeats, and although it became very physical and bad-tempered, it was a backs-to-the-wall team performance with everyone giving their all.

Everyone agreed the ever-improving Josh Phillips, on his 18th birthday, deserved the man-of-the-match vote.

Ilminster Town: Chris May, Josh Phillips , Luke Paul, Doug Whitfield,Brad Pitman, Brad Miles, Lee Sweet, Ben Pitman, Carl Lazenby, Charlie Rutter, Andy Whitefield. Subs (all used): Taylor Jefferson, Alex Paul, Will Spurway.

This coming Saturday Shirehampton visit Ilminster for a back-to-back league fixture (ko 3pm).


BOTH Ilminster Town Ladies teams saw their scheduled matches postponed due to waterlogged pitches on Sunday.

This coming Sunday, Ilminster are due to host Portishead (ko 2pm), while Ilminster Reserves entertain Burnham United (noon).

Ilminster girls were in action at the weekend, though, with the Under-16s thumping Yatton Athletic 8-0 in the Somerset Girls League’s U16 League Cup.

Ilminster U15s had a much tougher time of it, beaten 6-0 at table-topping Bishops Lydeard.


Uhlsport Somerset County League
Division 3
Combe St Nicholas 4, Banwell 0

SAINTS welcomed Banwell to Slade’s Cross on the back of a disappointing 6-2 defeat the previous week.

Playing with the wind gave Banwell an advantage in the first half.

The visitors wasted a good chance early doors but Saints keeper Nath Fisher held firm.

Combe eventually settled down and took the lead via new signing Jack Male, who fired in from 20 yards.

The home side began to take control and Adam Male hit the crossbar.

Combe doubled their lead through Jack Steer within five minutes of the restart, then he put the home side three up, finishing well in a one-on-one situation.

The lively Luke Perry got a fourth with 15 minutes to go and Combe held out for a much-deserved clean sheet.

Now 10th in the table, Combe host bottom side Cutters Friday this Saturday (ko 3pm).