Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Watchet Town 4, Ilminster Town 2

AFTER the wettest February on record it was good to finally have a match on a Saturday following three weeks of frustration, as Ilminster travelled to West Somerset rivals Watchet Town, writes Andy Fish.

With strikers Taylor Jefferson and Andy Whitefield both out injured, Morley Gold came in for his first start for the Blues, and with skipper Doug Whitfield still sidelined Jake Woodard came up from the Reserves and started in central defence.

The match at Ilminster back in January was a great advert for the league, as goals from Jefferson (2), Whitefield and Lee Sweet led to an exciting 4-3 victory.

This time, with home advantage, Watchet ran out 4-2 winners, although the match did not reach the intensity of the earlier match, no doubt due to the enforced second mid-season break for both teams.

Watchet had also not played since February 8 but started brightly and went ahead in the seventh minute, through Aerron Clausen’s wind-assisted cross-shot.

With a strong sea breeze and both sides rusty the first half was very scrappy, with Ilminster especially giving the ball away too easily.

Sweet’s free-kick brought a good save from the home keeper, who again proved his worth as Josh Phillips ran through one-on-one but was forced to wide and the chance was lost.

Watchet were the better side of the first half and deservedly went in with a 1-0 lead at half-time.

The Blues improved after the interval and when Josh Phillips chased a long ball over the top the youngster produced a calm, side-footed finish to make it 1-1.

The old saying that ‘you are at your most vulnerable after you have scored’ certainly rang true, though, as Watchet hit back within a minute, though, as Tom Sparks broke the offside trap and it was 2-1.

Ilminster rallied as Sweet hit the post and the Watchet keeper made a couple of good saves, but when Sparks added a second on the counter-attack Ilminster heads dropped.

Sparks then went on to complete his hat-trick, before an Olly Saddington own goal made the final score 4-2.

The win pushed Watchet up to eighth in a congested mid-table, with Ilminster four points behind in 11th.

Ilminster Town: Jack Rutter, Luke Paul, Owen Burn, Jake Woodard, Richard Crabb, Ben Pitman,Will Spurway, Lee Sweet, Morley Gold, Charlie Rutter, Lee Sweet. Sub: Bruno Domingues.

This coming Saturday (3pm) Ilminster are at home - weather permitting - against Clevedon United, who have moved up to second place in the table.

Uhlsport Somerset County League
Division 3
Cutters Friday 0, Combe St Nicholas 0

THIS was a good point away from home on the face of it, but Combe felt they should have had all three.

A dominant defensive display, featuring man of the match Sam Rowswell, ensured a clean sheet but at the other end the front three of Jack Steer, Dan Anjos and Adam Male all missed good opportunities.

It was the final moments which left the away side most frustrated, as a free-kick from the left was curled in by Sam Sheldrake and met by Rowswell.

The referee deemed that the ball hadn’t crossed the line and blew for full-time.

Sixth-placed Combe host bottom side Tunley Athletic this Saturday (3pm).