Uhlsport Somerset County League

Premier Division

Ilminster Town 1, Chilcompton Sports 0

A WEEK is a long time in football, and after the previous weekend’s poor showing in a 7-2 defeat away at Clevedon United, Ilminster Town picked up their first points of the season on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

Chris Hill and his management team got their tactics spot on, with Tuesday night’s training helping the team work on their shape for the visit of free-flowing Chilcompton Sports.

In the corresponding fixture last season the sides drew 1-1, with Taylor Jefferson getting the Blues’ goal, and Jefferson was brought in for his first start of the season here.

Ilminster seemed to sit off Chilcompton at the start, though, and young Jack Rutter had to be very quick off his line to make a good early safe in the ninth minute.

Slowly the Blues began to get on top; Mike Whitefield’s long throw was headed on by Charlie Rutter, and Jefferson turned it home from a couple of yards out in the 20th minute.

Whitefield was then thwarted by a last-ditch challenge, and the hosts began the second half brightly, too, with Rutter seeing a header saved.

Chilcompton tried to get back into the match, but Ilminster stood strong - defending deep and breaking with pace - and substitute Ben Evett’s shot from a tight angle was a foot wide.

The visitors were limited to long-range efforts, while Evett and Brad Pitman saw efforts saved.

The final whistle was greeted by a large roar, as the Blues secured their first victory of the season.

Ilminster Town: Jack Rutter, Mike Whitefield, Rich Crabb, Lee Sweet, Doug Whitfield, Ben Pitman, Brad Pitman, Will Spurway, Bruno Dominguis, Taylor Jefferson, Charlie Rutter. Subs: Brad Miles, Noah Kruszynski, Ben Evett.

This coming Saturday brings another home match for Ilminster, with Mendip Broadwalk visiting the Archie Gooch Pavilion (3pm).


Division 3

Banwell 1, Combe St Nicholas 1

COMBE St Nicholas picked up their first point of the new season on Saturday, with a creditable draw away to Banwell.

This was a vast improvement on their previous game, a 5-0 loss at Bishops Lydeard Reserves, with the Saints adopting a more defensive system to counter their hosts’ attacking threat.

The home side had plenty of possession but Combe kept them at bay, and took the lead after 25 minutes, when a Gethyn Jenkins flick-on found Jack Steer at the far post to caress the ball home.

With the wind in their faces, the Saints knew they were in for a tough second half, but some last-ditch tackles and fine saves from Nath Fisher frustrated Banwell.

The hosts eventually levelled in the 83rd minute - Sebastian Grant netting after a goalmouth scramble - but Combe came away with a well-earned point.

The Saints’ first home game of the season sees Congresbury visit Slades Cross this coming Saturday (3pm).