Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Middlezoy Rovers 3, Ilminster Town 2

ILMINSTER Town were just edged out by top-half rivals Middlezoy Rovers on a hot and sunny Good Friday, writes Andy Fish.

Middlezoy have showed good form of late, progressing to the Somerset County League cup final, and holding champions elect Chilcompton Sports to a draw in their previous match.

There were four changes for the Blues, with Chris May, Owen Burn,Will Spurway and Charlie Rutter all returning to the starting 11.

Middlezoy started better, forcing several early corners, and took the lead in the 16th minute when Liam Winter received the ball in the box before turning sharply and firing home.

With the hot weather allowing for a water break and Ben Pitman struggling with illness, Ilminster reorganised, with Rich Crabb coming on into midfield.

The equaliser came from a great strike from Brad Miles, a full 30 yards out when he let fly with an unstoppable shot that gave the home keeper Greg Turner no chance.

Brad Pitman nearly put the Blues ahead but Turner made a great save, and when the ball fell to Charlie Rutter, the big striker missed the target.

Ilminster then had their best spell of the match as Will Spurway, Pitman and Carl Lazenby dominated the midfield; half-chances were made but not taken.

Ilminster began the second half on top and when Middlezoy gave the ball away on the hour Taylor Jefferson nipped in to score his 12th goal of the campaign to give his side a 2-1 lead.

Crabb went close as his effort was blocked, and then against the run of play Middlezoy equalised when Callum Laird crossed and Dan Luce sidefooted home.

Both sides now went for the win; Lazenby nearly snatched it for the Blues but his effort hit the post, then Alex Male brilliantly controlled a pass in the box and produced a class finish to snatch it for the hosts.

It was rough justice for Ilminster who could have sat back and perhaps taken a point, but it was a great game of football that neither side deserved to lose.

Owen Burn had a tremendous match at centre-back.

Ilminster: Chris May, Luke Paul, Josh Phillips, Owen Burn, Brad Miles, Brad Pitman, Ben Pitman,Will Spurway, Taylor Jefferson, Carl Lazenby. Subs (used): Andy Whitefield, Rich Crabb, Jordan Allen.


ILMINSTER then travelled to Wrington Redhill on Monday, and with many players feeling the effects of Sam Hodkinson’s stag weekend, they secured a 1-1 draw with a late equaliser.

Ilminster did start reasonably well and Brad Miles was just over with a shot from distance, then on the half-hour Taylor Jefferson hit the side netting.

It was Wrington who took the lead less than a minute into the second half when the ball broke for Rory Thomas in the box.

In the 65th minute, with the side visibly tiring after the weekend excess, manager Andy Dyke gambled by making a triple change.

Lee Sweet, Ben Pitman and Charlie Rutter were all introduced, and this saw the Blues dominate.

Owen Burn raced into the box and really should have scored, but he shot wide.

Then with time running out Sweet and Josh Phillips combined well and when the ball was squared, in came Rutter to make it 1-1.

Ilminster, for the second match running were not happy with a point, and still took the match to Wrington.

They nearly paid the penalty when they were caught on the break and Chris May was lobbed; only the speed of Burn stopped a certain goal as he got back and cleared the goalbound effort from a yard out via the crossbar.

For Ilminster Brad Pitman had a great game, especially as wing-back in the last half-hour.

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

This Saturday fifth-placed Shirehampton are the visitors to the Archie Gooch Pavillion for a 2pm kick-off.