Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Odd Down Reserves 0, Ilminster Town 3

AFTER the previous week’s win over Stockwood Green, it was a confident Ilminster Town side that travelled to the outskirts of Bath to play basement club Odd Down Reserves on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

The hosts have improved of late but they were no match for a dominant Ilminster, as new addition Lee Sweet brought much-needed balance to the left of midfield.

Sweet had an excellent game, providing a goal and an assist, and he created many additional chances with his strong left foot.

The Blues started well and, after only 60 seconds, right-back Brad Pitman set the tone with a crunching tackle that showed that they would not be taking the game lightly.

Alex Paul had the first chance after some good team play, but his goalbound effort was blocked.

Paul did not have to wait to long for another opportunity, as Brad Miles delivered a great ball in that the experienced frontman slotted home.

Yet the visitors struggled for the next 20 minutes, giving the ball away needlessly, as Odd Down gained confidence and created chances; a ball over the top saw goalkeeper Chris May rescue his side with a great tackle outside his box.

Slowly the experienced Ilminster players settled the youngsters; as Louis Rutter showed his class at the back and started dictating play.

Sweet, who was proving a real handful, and Andy Whitefield combined for Paul to shoot just wide.

Sweet then turned provider again, as a pinpoint cross found Whitefield to give his side a 2-0 lead.

Ilminster were well on top now, as Brad Pitman had an effort from distance that just went wide.

With half time approaching the killer blow was delivered, as Miles produced some sparking football to set up Sweet on the edge of the box, the winger hitting an unstoppable shot to make it 3-0 at the break.

After the interval, young Josh Phillips linked with Will Spurway, whose superb lofted cross saw Ben Pitman head just over.

Spurway was now directing play from the centre of midfield, as Ilminster kept the ball well, but despite good chances for both Miles and Paul, the Blues failed to add to their tally in the second period as Odd Down sat deep.

The result sees Ilminster move up to eighth in the table, with 23 points after 16 matches.

Ilminster Town: Chris May, Josh Phillips, Louis Rutter, Doug Whitfield, Brad Miles, Lee Sweet, Brad Pitman, Alex Paul, Ben Pitman, Will Spurway, Andy Whitefield. Substitutes (used): Charlie Rutter, Luke Paul.

After the match, Blues manager Andy Dyke said: “We should have scored more, but still it’s a great result away from home.

“The team is beginning to look very strong, and that’s without the injured Carl Lazenby and Ashley Lock, as well as the suspended Taylor Jefferson.

“The team played some great football today and there’s more to come.”

Next week, newly-promoted Westfield are the visitors to the Archie Gooch Pavilion (ko 2pm).

Westfield sit fourth from bottom in the Somerset County Premier Division, but they had a great result at the weekend, beating mid-table Clevedon United 3-1.