ILMINSTER Ladies suffered an agonising defeat on penalties in the final of the Somerset County Women’s Junior Cup.
Ilminster went into the match – played at Wells City FC – as underdogs.
Although they had won the Somerset county league, their opponents Brislington are champions of the higher-level South West league and were defending cup holders.
Brislington started the brighter of the sides and were rewarded on 15 mins with a well-taken goal.
They continued to call the shots in the first half and a good save from keeper Abbi Bond denied them a second.
Despite good performances by the Ilminster defence and midfield Brislington held a 1-0 half time lead.
Early in the second half another good save from Bond proved crucial.
Ilminster then pushed forward and a Sarah Roxburgh flick put Alice Charlton through and she calmly slotted home to level the scores.
Ilminster seized the moment and pushed hard, going close through Roxburgh and Charlton, while Brislington still had good chances themselves only to be denied by Bond.
Hayley Francis then went close with a volley after a good cross from Meg Purchase but neither side could find that late winner and the game went into extra time.
With tired legs chances were few. Brislington just had the edge but Ilminster did their jobs to keep the scores level and send the tie to the penalty shoot-out which Brislington won 5-3.
Ilminster – who were very well supported – gave a great account of themselves and were a credit to manager Craig Stuckey and the club.
Ilminster: Abbi Bond, Chelsea Board, Anna Bussell, Sarah Roxburgh, Amma Jennings, Aimee Rowe, Dee Cracknell, Meg Purchase, Sarah Miller, Leslie Spearing, Alice Charlton, Hayley Francis, Dana Andrews, Jenny Frost.