Uhlsport Somerset County League Premier Division

Fry Club 2, Ilminster Town 4

Ilminster Town completed an excellent week with a convincing win at Fry Club on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

The Blues had fantastic news in midweek with yet another quality signing.

Chris Hastings has joined the club from Toolstation Western League First Division side Wincanton Town, the powerful centre-half who also played for Shepton Beauchamp and the Perry Street pick of the league side before moving to senior football.

Carl Lazenby retuned to lead the attack with Charlie Rutter still nursing his injured ankle and, with Hastings in the side, the team were able to field a more attacking formation.

Last season it was the 1-0 away win at Fry Club that really gave the Blues the momentum to start climbing the table after a difficult start.

So with fond memories of last season, the Blues started well with the recalled Lazenby showing all his class when the ball was played into his feet, holding off his marker before sharply turning and finding the bottom corner to give his side a 12th minute lead.

More was to come as the dominant Blues attacked at will and, Josh Philips made it 2-0 with a simple finish from Luke Paul's cross.

Second-placed Fry Club were shell shocked but did manage to build some attacks of their own but the strong resilient Ilminster defence, backed up by young goalkeeper Jack Rutter dominating his six-yard box, held firm.

As Ilminster broke down the right, Paul once again delivered a great cross that was headed back across goal by Darren Hutchings before Taylor Jefferson's first-time shot was handled on the line.

The referee had no hesitation awarding a penalty and Jefferson steadied himself before making no mistake from the spot to give his side a 3-0 cushion just before half-time.

With the half-time whistle leading to strong protests from Fry’s to the referee, their goalkeeper who kept arguing found himself starting the second half with a spell in the sin bin.

With a numerical advantage twice top scorer Jefferson found himself through on goal but both times he was denied by the replacement keeper in the opening ten minutes of the half.

But even once Fry's had 11 players back on the pitch, the relentless Blues never stopped pushing forward.

Paul and Jefferson combined well down the right and Lazenby unselfishly laid the ball into the path of Lee Sweet, who finished in style to make it 4-0.

Fry Club, to their credit, kept battling and they pulled a goal back from a corner in the 85th minute.

Right at the end, to take some gloss of a fantastic away performance from Ilminster, Fry's won and scored a penalty after Will Spurway handled in the box.

This was certainly one if not the best performance from Ilminster for many a season.

To come away from home and score four goals with some delightful football against a good side certainly bodes well for the future.

Every single player had a good match but the energy, determination and all-action display from one of the goal scorers Josh Philips that deservedly won the man of the match vote.

Ilminster Town: Jack Rutter, Luke Paul, Darren Hutchins, Owen Burn, Doug Whitfield (C), Chris Hastings, Will Spurway, Lee Sweet, Josh Phillips, Carl Lazenby, Taylor Jefferson; subs used: Richard Crabb, Mitch Hooper

On Saturday, Ilminster host newly-promoted Keynsham Town Reserves, who have made a good start to their first season in the Somerset County Premier League and sit a couple of places above Ilminster in 7th place.

The match kicks off at The Archie Gooch Pavilion with a 2pm kick off.