Sunday the 3rd of September saw Ilminster Ladies play their first game of the season away to Warsash Wasps in the 1st Qualifying round of the FA Cup.
On a wet September morning Town started the 2 and a quarter hour journey down to Warsash. Full debuts came for Charlotte Johnson in goal, Amy Jones in defence, Charlie Pettinger and Lucy Pitman in midfield.
Town didn’t start well, falling behind in the 1st minute of the match. A ball worked down the right-hand side of the pitch found its way to the wide player for Warsash who cleverly hit a shot towards the far corner, only to be denied by the post and defender Sammie Knight to clear the ball off the line, however her efforts were to no avail, as a Warsash attacker ran onto the loose ball and struck home from all of 6 yards to put Ilminster behind.
The first half was end to end with Warsash finding slightly more space and creating a few more chances, but it was Town who came closest to scoring the next goal when a good piece of work through the Ilminster midfield, resulted in the ball finding the feet of Ilminster’s young midfielder Maisie Poole who took the ball in her stride to beat one defender and try to place a shot low to the keepers right but it was stopped and held well. That was all the action for the first half and the Town went in at half time 1-0 down.
The second half started much like the first! Warsash broke away down the right-hand side quickly, for the ball to find its way out to the edge of the box, where a shot was struck, which proved tricky for towns debutant goalkeeper Charlotte Johnson to deal with, and the ball found its way just under the cross bar and in the back of the net, 2-0 to Warsash.
The next goal came in the 69th minute seeing Town fall 3-0 behind. A deep ball was played in from the right-hand corner, the ball fell kindly at the feet of a Warsash attacker, who brought the ball under control and struck home to put the game all but out of Towns reach.
However, Warsash didn’t give Ilminster time to get back into the game and 2 minutes later they found themselves 4-0 down. The ball bounced around in the box, after a deflection or two the ball found its way to a Warsash attacker who placed the ball low into the net, now surely damping any hopes Town had of getting back into this one.
Ilminster did put together some fine football at times throughout the match, with the ball being played well out from the back. Although the root they did look most likely to score was through new Town goalkeeper Charlotte Johnson’s kick. Johnson made some fine saves also on her debut for the club, the most notable being in the 80th minute when from point blank range she managed to scramble across her goal and get a foot to a shot that looked certain to be in.
The best chance Town created came in the 75th minute when Maisie Poole tackled the on-rushing goalkeeper, the ball fell to captain Sarah Miller but no shooting chance developed and the ball was cleared safely away by Warsash.
The game however did end on a low point, when in the 89th minute the game was stopped when a serious leg injury was sustained by a Warsash defender, who everybody at Ilminster wishes a speedy recovery.
Unfortunately, Town couldn’t progress in the competition this year! Their attention now turns to the League, as two of the newly promoted teams face off, when Ilminster host Forest Green Rovers on Sunday 10th September, with a 2 o’clock kick off.
Sam Clarke- First Team Assistant Manager