Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Clutton 1, Ilminster Town 2

CLUTTON is a tough place to visit and Ilminster Town had to be at their very best to take all three points, thanks to goals from Andy Whitefield and Taylor Jefferson, writes Andy Fish.

There were three changes for Ilminster, with Brad Miles unavailable and Charlie Rutter and Taylor Jefferson dropping down to the bench; Alex Paul, Carl Lazenby and Andy Whitefield came into the side.

The Blues started well, with both Lee Sweet and Josh Phillips causing problems on the left.

Alex Paul had the first real chance but the Clutton keeper did well to push the close range effort to safety.

Phillips then had a great opportunity when he combined with Sweet but his left-foot shot just drifted wide.

Then, in the 32nd minute, came the breakthrough Ilminster deserved, as Phillips found Sweet, who fired in a low cross, and Alex Paul found the unmarked Whitefield to tap in.

Clutton rallied after the break as both sides created half-chances.

Ilminster won three corners in succession and, with an hour on the clock, Taylor Jefferson was introduced.

Ten minutes later, starting in his own half, he picked up a long pass from Chris May and made no mistake with a great finish . . . but the goal was harshly disallowed for offside.

Another controversial decision followed as a penalty was given to Clutton for holding in the box.

The referee took over five minutes explaining his decision; the long delay must have put pressure on the Clutton penalty taker as he missed the target.

Soon after, Jefferson linked with Alex Paul before rounding the defender and toe-poking the ball in for 2-0.

Clutton launched a long ball forward and Luke Paul failed to get enough contact on his header back to May in goal, and the pacy home striker lobbed May to make it 2-1

Clutton now had their tails up with just under ten minutes remaining.

Blues skipper Alex Paul was then taken out with a bad tackle, suffering ankle damage, and he received a red card for foul and abusive language.

The 10 men rolled up their sleeves and saw the game out, Jefferson drawing a fine save from the keeper.

Manager Andy Dyke said after the game: “I was delighted with the points as teams fighting relegation are always difficult to knock over, especially at home.”

Another bit of good news is that Chris Nezianya is returning slowly to fitness and although only an unused substitute, a return is not too far away.

Ilminster: Chris May, Luke Paul, Josh Phillips, Doug Whitfield, Brad Pitman, Ben Pitman, Lee Sweet, Alex Paul, Will Spurway, Andy Whitefield. Sub (used): Taylor Jefferson.

This Saturday the Blues are at home to long-standing rivals Watchet Town, who were without a match last week as struggling bottom-of-the-table Odd Down Reserves could not raise a side.


South West Women’s League
Premier Division
Ilminster Town 2, Callington Town 0

ILMINSTER Town Ladies upset high-flying Callington Town with a goal in each half on Sunday.

Sammie Knight returned for the Blues, who also handed a debut to Kelly Snook.

The home side made a positive start and were 1-0 up in the 12th minute, when Charlie Pettinger lofted the ball over the defence for Maisie Parker, whose shot was saved but fell nicely for Graziely Esperanca to score on the rebound.

More chances followed for the Blues in what was a well-contested match, but Pettinger’s header from a Colette Martin corner flew narrowly over, and it remained 1-0 at half-time.

It didn’t stay 1-0 for much longer, though, as the hosts scored their second in the 46th minute.

Snook found space down the left and crossed, Pettinger’s header was blocked, and Abbie Carslake was in the right place to slot home at the far post.

Callington are not third in the table without reason, and they continued to seek a way back into the match.

Both sides created chances, but Ilminster stood firm to get over the line with a clean sheet and three significant points.

Charlotte Johnson, Sammie Knight, Kelly Snook, Daisy Charles, Dana Andrews, Abbie Carslake, Sarah Miller (c), Charlie Pettinger, Colette Martin, Maisie Parker, Graziely Esperanca. Substitutes: Hannah Billing, Poppy Hookings, Georgia Coward.

Player of the match: Kelly Snook

Ilminster moved up to seventh spot in the table, seven points behind sixth-placed Middlezoy Rovers with four games in hand.

This Sunday sees them host 10th-placed Torquay United at the Archie Gooch Pavilion (ko 2pm).


Uhlsport Somerset County League
Division 3
Hutton 3, Combe St Nicholas 2

COMBE headed to title contenders Hutton in confident mood on Saturday, after a good run of results.

Saints battled well in a hard-fought first half, which finished goalless.

The visitors then upped their game and went ahead through Adam Male’s close-range finish.

The young Combe side were defending well, and it took a long-range shot which wrong-footed goalkeeper Nath Fisher for Hutton to equalise.

The game was end-to-end now; the hosts took the lead, but then Dan Anjos brought Combe level – the referee overruling the linesman’s flag to award the goal.

The game was heading towards a draw, only for a break down the right leading to a toe-poke finish which gave Hutton the win and denied Combe a deserved point.

There were lots of positives for the manager Darren Manley to take away from this game, and he was really pleased with how his youngsters are developing and progressing.

Ninth in the Division 3 table, Combe are away to 11th-placed Burnham United Reserves this Saturday (ko 3pm).