Uhlsport Somerset County League Premier Division

Ilminster Town 1, Stockwood Green 4

ILMINSTER Town are still searching for their first win of the season, after falling to a 4-1 home defeat against Stockwood Green on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

Both sides had begun the season poorly, but on a very warm day it was the Blues who started on the front foot, with Lee Sweet forcing a fine save from the Stockwood goalkeeper.

On 11 minutes the home side opened the scoring with a great goal, as Sweet drove forward before finding centre forward Charlie Rutter with his back to goal; Rutter turned well before playing a delightful weighted ball into the path of Andy Whitefield, who scored with the outside of his foot.

But instead of continuing to push forward and adding to the score, the Blues sat deep, allowing the visitors back into the match.

Stockwood had their first shot on target when space opened up on the right wing, but Andrew Male made a good save to keep his side in front.

But then, instead of clearing their lines, Ilminster tried to play too much football in the wrong areas – Doug Whitfield losing control of the ball and allowing the Stockwood forward to nip in and make it 1-1.

Heads seemed to drop on conceding that equaliser, and worse was to come early in the second half as Rutter headed out from a Stockwood corner, only for the ball to be returned in and the centre-half to head home.

A couple of minutes later another corner was turned in at the near post as Stockwood increased their lead, and to complete a horror 10-minute period a fourth goal was added from distance.

Ilminster changed their shape, but the damage had been done and despite restricting the visitors from adding to the score the home side never created anything going forward themselves.

Once again Ilminster finished with 10 men, as Luke Paul found himself in the sin bin for dissent.

This was a very below par performance from the Blues, in a match that they had totally dominated before completely falling away in a 10-minute spell just after half time.

With four games played the side now find themselves at the bottom of the table.

Things are certainly not going right at the moment, but it does not help that a couple of players are not at full fitness due to injuries.

Top scorer Taylor Jefferson was certainly missed on Saturday, as was holding midfielder Ben Pitman, with both players unavailable.

Ilminster Town: Andrew Male, Owen Burn, Brad Pitman, Noah Kruszynski, Luke Paul, Doug Whitfield, Lee Sweet, Carl Lazenby, Mitch Hooper, Charlie Rutter, Andy Whitefield.

Subs (all used): Rich Crabb, George Gilman, Barry Scott.

This coming Saturday sees Ilminster travel to Nailsea United (ko 3pm).

Uhlsport Somerset County League Division 3

Combe St Nicholas 2, Yatton & Cleeve Utd Res 2

COMBE St Nicholas shared the points with Yatton & Cleeve United Reserves on Saturday in their first home game of the season, played on a beautiful summer’s afternoon.

With the home side having seven players out, the squad was pushed to the limit, and youngsters Tom Lee and Alfie Robins came in to make their debuts.

Combe began well, creating numerous chances, but the away defence held firm until a goalmouth scramble ended with a Yatton handball, and Adam Male tucked away the penalty.

Yatton looked dangerous on the counter-attack and they scored an equaliser from a free-kick before half-time.

The Saints kept the visitors pegged back in the second half and won another penalty, again for handball, and again Male scored the spot-kick.

Yatton were holding on with last-ditch defending, but Combe switched off for a moment and the away side struck again to claim a 2-2 draw.

This was a good point for Combe in the end, with so many players missing.

This Saturday sees them travel to Congresbury (ko 3pm)