Ilminster Town 2-0 Chard Town

IN front of a large bank holiday crowd bathed in sunshine Ilminster Town beat local rivals Chard Town 2-0 in the first League fixture between the teams for 40 years, writes Andrew Fish.

Both matches back in the 1981/2 season finished 1-0 to Chard and is often the case derby matches are usually keenly contested and close affairs, this match was settled by Ilminster top scorer Taylor Jefferson who was the hero with both goals, one in each half.

This vital win now gives the Blues a fighting chance of avoiding relegation, where a defeat would have certainly condemned the team.

With five teams all in danger of joining already relegated Westfield in Division one next season, only separated by three points including Chard who after five straight defeats have been dragged into the fight themselves after looking safe five matches ago.

The visitors started very well and forced the Ilminster defence deep winning three corners in the opening five minutes.

There was a goalmouth scrabble after keeper Andrew Male could only get half a punch on the ball in a packed area but Ben Pitman stood strong and the chance was gone.

Ilminster took a while to get going but slowly started to match the tenacity shown by Chard in the opening exchanges.

Centre Half Doug Whitfield who was doubtful before the match limped off to be replaced by Adam Markham.

Midway through the half Jefferson used his pace and as he ran through on goal, the Chard Skipper Shaun Wells-Burr lost his footing and with just keeper Jason Contreras to beat Jefferson scored through the legs of Contreras to make it 1-0.

Louis Rutter had a great chance to double the lead but his shot went just wide of the target.

Chard after their fast start were struggling to get a foothold in the match and with Will Spurway dictating play the Blues looked comfortable.

The second half began with Jefferson having another good chance but Contreras won the duel this time with a good block.

Ilminster were playing the better football but with only a 1-0 lead, Chard always had a chance.

Both sides then cancelled each other out for a period as the second half progressed with Ilminster having a couple of decent half chances to increase the lead as the clock run down.

In the 85th minute Jefferson made the game safe and took the pressure of his side with a great finish to make it 2-0.

Star men for Ilminster were Spurway and of course Jefferson for his two goals.

The Chard camp were the first to admit that they never really got going after the good start.