Men's Senior Cup 2023/24: Ilminster Town 3-1 Minehead

ILMINSTER Town moved into the last sixteen of the Somerset Senior County Cup with a 3-1 victory against Division One Minehead on Saturday, writes Andrew Fish.

Minehead who are in the top six have only lost once this season before this cup tie and came back into the match when they made it 2-1 on the hour mark, Joe Allen then made the game safe when he connected with a volley after a corner was headed clear to absolutely smash the ball into the top corner for a spectacular goal from the edge of the area.

Both sides rarely threatened in the first 30 minutes as they matched each other, it was the Blues that had the first good chance when Allen swung in a corner to the near post where Kieran Manley had made a good run and his header flashed just wide.

Manley went close again with another header from an Evan Howse cross as Ilminster pushed for an opening goal.

At the other end Minehead had the first good chance with their centre forward not getting enough contact on his headed effort.

With three minutes to half time Manley put the keeper under pressure as he closed him down on the edge of the area , the keeper fell awkwardly twisting his knee and Manley calmly stroked the ball into the empty net to make it 1-0.

The Ilminster defence then switched off and Jack Rutter was forced to make a fine save low down at full stretch to keep the lead going into half time.

Lewis Trusson picked up the ball before cutting inside and hitting the ball with power giving the Minehead keeper no chance to make it 2-0 scoring his eleventh goal of the season.

Minehead then scored a well worked goal with some neat team passing to make it 2-1.

The goal against them seemed to wake Ilminster up as they went up a gear, first Tom Case hit the bar with a header and somehow both Taylor Jefferson and Trusson could not find a finish in a goalmouth scramble.

Manley and Jefferson dragged shots just wide as the side looked for the vital cushion of a third goal.

It was left to Joe Allen to make the match safe with his stunning volley as the Blues ran out 3-1 winners.

Kieran Manley who missed the first six weeks of the season is improving as he gets back up to speed, had a great match leading the attack where his hold up play was excellent and with his goal deservedly took the star man vote.

Next week it’s cup action again with a last sixteen tie in the Somerset County Premier/ Division 1 cup away to Keynsham Town with a 2.00pmkick off.