Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Watchet Town 3, Ilminster Town 2

AFTER more than six months without competitive football - Ilminster Town’s last match being a 4-1 defeat at Watchet Town back in March - the Blues returned to Watchet again for the delayed start to the County League season, writes Andy Fish.

The Memorial Ground is always a hard place to visit, but Ilminster, with a new management team, started the match with a high tempo as they completely dominated the first 25 minutes.

Lee Sweet gave them a 15th-minute lead when he ran through onto Charlie Rutter’s flick-on and finished well.

The hosts slowly began to come back into the game, however, winning a succession of free-kicks and corners that the Blues dealt with until the 40th minute, when the defence switched off at a corner and left a man at the far post who headed back across goal for Samir Abraham to make it 1-1.

After half time Watchet came out with renewed vigour and took the lead when Blues goalkeeper Jack Rutter raced out to clear but failed to get a good connection, and with the Ilminster centre-halves split, Tom Sparks lobbed Rutter to put the hosts 2-1 up.

Ilminster probed for an equaliser and after good work by Will Spurway down the left his excellent cross was met by substitute Bruno Domingues, who volleyed home to level the scores at 2-2 in the 75th minute.

Both sides created chances to win the game in an end-to-end finish.

The crucial moment came when Sam Sheldrake, who had been dominant in defence on his Ilminster debut, made an error and fouled a Watchet attacker, earning him a straight red card with six minutes left.

This gave the hosts the impetus to push Ilminster back, and a quick break down the left allowed the lively Sparks to squeeze between two defenders to score a last-minute winner.

Ilminster Town: Jack Rutter, Ben Pitman, Sam Sheldrake, Doug Whitfield, Rich Crabb, Will Spurway, Brad Miles, Brad Pitman, Lee Sweet, Charlie Rutter, Ben Evett. Subs: Karl Davis, Bruno Domingues, Noah Kruszynski.

This coming Saturday (3pm) the Blues are away to Clevedon United, who also lost their opening match, 1-0 against Nailsea & Tickenham.


CHARD Town’s Premier Division opener also ended in defeat, 5-0 away to a strong Chilcompton Sports side.

This was always going to be a tough assignment for the Robins, who found themselves 4-0 down at half-time.

Chard hit the woodwork after the break but could not force their way back into the contest - Jake Curtis ending the day with a hat-trick for the hosts.

The Robins host Westfield this coming Saturday (3pm).


COMBE St Nicholas also began their 2020/21 County League season with a 5-0 defeat on Saturday.

Goals from Zac Ryder (2), Jordan Hayman, Jake Quick and substitute Will Hazeldine won the game for hosts Bishops Lydeard Reserves.

Combe’s next Division 3 match is on Saturday, September 26 (3pm), away to Banwell.