Somerset County League Premier Division

Ilminster Town 3, Clutton 1

EVEN at this early stage of the season, with both sides at the foot of the Somerset County Premier league table after five matches, the Ilminster Town v Clutton fixture was a six-pointer with both sides looking for their first win, writes Andy Fish.

It was Ilminster who produced a really positive performance full of confidence right from the start to run out winners with goals from Lee Sweet, Taylor Jefferson and Noah Kruszynski .

It came as no surprise when Taylor Jefferson ran through and hit the bar with a fierce drive - the ball fell kindly to Lee Sweet, who hammered it home.

Luke Paul, at right back, then played a long ball to Jefferson, who cut infield and made no mistake with a confident finish to make it 2-0.

Jefferson was then denied by a smart save and Charlie Rutter then headed over before Clutton finally got some possession with their best player, centre forward Jon Moss, starting to drop deep and link play.

He collected a long ball and was through on goal but Rich Crabb came from nowhere and made a great tackle.

As Clutton pressed, Ilminster dropped deeper and Paul made two great defensive clearances to keep the score at half-time at 2-0.

The second period started with Ilminster attacking from the off as Sweet crossed to Jefferson, who shot over the bar.

Mitch Hooper was having his best game of the season and, on the hour, he hit a delightful ball out wide to Sweet who outstripped his man, but with the ball hitting the corner flag Sweet had nowhere to go.

However, he produced a tremendous piece of skill as he hit a superb outside-of-the-foot cross that saw Noah Kruszynski, on as substitute, arrive late and score a well taken header to make it 3-0.

Clutton scored right at the end but, as the final whistle blew, the raucous cheer from the players and supporters certainly showed how much this meant to everyone.

On a day of top performances, it was Rich Crabb who took the man of the match honours for a fine defensive performance.

Ilminster move up to third bottom but it is the confidence of that first win that, hopefully, will show an improvement after a difficult start.

Team: Chris May, Owen Burn, Rich Crabb, Brad Pitman, Luke Paul, Doug Whitfield, Ben Pitman, Mitch Hooper, Lee Sweet, Taylor Jefferson, Charlie Rutter; Subs Used: Noah Kruszynski, Tom Fletcher, Jordan Allen

Somerset County League Premier

Chard Town 1, Shirehampton 3

LOWLY Robins met the unbeaten league leaders on Saturday at Zembard Lane . . . but don’t look too much into the final score, writes Rod Harrington.

Chard played some decent football for most of the match and, with better finishing, could deservedly have come away with at least a share of the spoils.

Playing down the slope in the first half, Liam Cleal hit a shot wide and James Boyland had a good effort deflected behind.

It was the visitors, however, who scored first. On 17 minutes, from a free-kick, George Brimson neatly flicked the ball in past keeper Owen Searle with his back to the goal.

Cleal was lively again and could well have equalised after Boyland’s effort rebounded to him with the Shirehampton keeper stranded.

However, on 32 minutes, Shirehampton increased the lead when Mark Johnson weaved round the defence and fired in.

Cleal, again, was in the thick of things when his free-kick deflected on to the bar.

On the stroke of half-time, though, at the other end a Johnson volley was brilliantly saved by the young Chard keeper.

Soon after the break, Alex Harper replaced Luke Jackson and the Robins proceeded to have a considerable amount of the play but without reward.

Unfortunately, they went further behind on 70 minutes: Joe Harvey was allowed space on the edge of the box and sent a well-placed shot wide of Searle into the net.

This subdued the home side somewhat but a consolation goal came on 81 minutes and it turned out to be the best of the game.

After good work by Marky Jones, the ball fell to Harper who, outside the box, struck a wonderful shot high into the top corner of the net.

Chard deserved nothing less.

Team - Owen Searle, Dan O’Connor (Marky Jones 72 mins), Ryan Mason (Danny Cleal 72 mins), Andrew Holmes, Conor Richardson, Ryan Parris, Tom Salter, Josh Lukins, Luke Jackson (Alex Harper 52 mins), James Boyland, Liam Cleal.

Somerset County League Division 3

Combe St Nicholas 2, Chew Magna 2

COMBE hosted early Division 3 pace-setters Chew Magna in a much-anticipated match on Saturday.

The Saints got off to a horror start, conceding in the first 30 seconds after some poor play.

Chew, who had won all five of their league matches to date going into this encounter, had their tails up and continued to put pressure the home side, creating a couple of half-chances.

Combe gradually got going and had a couple of shots through Kieran Manley and Sam Sheldrake.

Just as the half was finishing, however, Combe gave away a poor free-kick which the Chew player smashed into the top corner.

A change of formation in the second half and, suddenly, all the pressure was being applied by the Saints.

It soon paid dividends when a Chew defender handled in the box; Adam Male took the penalty and scored.

Combe were relentless and kept the pressure up as the game entered its closing stages.

With 10 minutes to go, Joe Allen was brought down in the box for another penalty.

Adam Male stepped up once more to score the equaliser and earn Combe a share of the points.