Somerset County League Premier & First Division Cup

Ilminster Town 1, Chard Town 3

ILMINSTER Town and Chard Town tried again in the Somerset County League Premier & First Division Cup after last week's abandonment and Chard advanced in to the next round with a 3-1 win, writes Andy Fish.

A 38th-minute injury to Chard's Danny Cleal led to last week's match being halted with Ilminster leading 2-0 and completely dominating the match.

Ilminster kept the same team with Chard making a couple of changes, especially up front with top goalscorer James Boyland recalled alongside Danny Green, brought in for his debut.

Ilminster started well, forcing Chard to defend deep with early half-chances being created. The best fell to Charlie Rutter, who headed over.

The hosts then really should have taken the lead as Luke Paul's great cross saw Taylor Jefferson fail to connect properly before Charlie Rutter blazed over from eight yards.

Chard began knocking the ball around with increased confidence and Ilminster seemed complacent, expecting to score rather than working hard to make it happen.

A succession of free-kicks were given away by the hosts and, from a deep cross with captain Doug Whitfield in a good position to head clear, an off-balance Charlie Rutter agonisingly headed into his own net.

Chard skipper Ryan Parris found himself in the sin bin for ten minutes for showing dissent but despite the numerical advantage the Blues were still struggling to find their normal rhythm and Chard created the better chances with Tom Stephens-Fouracre heading just over.

Then came the Ilminster life-line when Josh Philips was fouled as a cross came in and referee Pete Mawhood had no hesitation pointing to the spot.

Jefferson remained cool and made no mistake to make it 1-1.

To sum up his day, Charlie Rutter was forced off with an ankle injury at half-time, being replaced by Andy Whitefield.

Chard seemed the more hungry at the start of the second half as they created the first chances but Jack Rutter saved well before Luke Paul kept out a shot with a fine defensive header.

As the hour mark was passed the game became more stretched. Rutter denied Boyland with a good save and, at the other end, Lee Sweet worked an opening but could not keep his shot down.

Ilminster were not helped as Phillips became frustrated and said one word to many and it was his turn in the sin bin - this was the end of his match as, after the ten minutes were up, he was replaced by Noah Kyruszynski.

With ten minutes left, Ilminster then had the big chance to win the match as Jefferson - who had been shackled well by the Chard back line all afternoon - broke through for the first time and, with just the on rushing Owen Searle to beat, he lifted the ball over the keeper only to see it bounce back off the bar.

Boyland then raced clear at the other end and this time he made no mistake as he found the bottom corner to put his side ahead with three minutes left.

The Blues were not finished yet as Sweet got above everyone from a corner but could not keep his header down as it sailed over the bar.

To rub further salt in their wounds, a stoppage time free kick was awarded and Alex Harper found the bottom corner from 25 yards out to make it 3-1 and put a slightly unfair look to the scoreline.

Chard certainly deserved their win as they looked fitter and worked harder than Ilminster.

Complacency cost the home side as, after completely dominating the match last week, they never reached the same level. As is often the case, you only get out what you put in.

Ilminster Town: Jack Rutter, Luke Paul, Darren Hutchins, Owen Burn, Doug Whitfield (C), Will Spurway, Lee Sweet, Ben Pitman,Josh Phillips, Charlie Rutter, Taylor Jefferson; Subs used: Andy Whitefield, Richard Crabb,Noah Kyruszynski

Chard Town: Owen Searle, Billy Sheehan, Alex Harper, Chris Atyeo, Conor Richardson, Ryan Parris (C), Jake Board, Tom Stephens-Fouracre, Danny Green, James Boyland, Liam Cleal; Subs used: Mark Jones, Josh Lukins

Next week, Ilminster, are home again to second-placed Fry Club (2.30pm).