The 10th of September marked the beginning of the league season for Ilminster Town Ladies. Town had a strong squad for the game with vice-captain Dana Andrews returning after serving her 1 match ban in the last outing, a full senior debut was handed to youngster Amy Burge, a further debut for new town signing Colette Martin, and Tia Shoemark also came back into the squad.
The game started slowly with neither team wanting to make a mistake to concede an early goal, some good early possession for Town, but they didn’t manage to create any chances from it. The breakthrough came in the 14th minute, and Town were unfortunately on the receiving end. A ball played from the halfway line proved difficult for Dana Andrews to deal with, as the attacker closed in on goal, she had a shot from 18 yards and forced town keeper Charlotte Johnson into a smart save, but the rebound fell kindly to a Forest Green attacker who put the ball calmly into an empty net from 12 yards. 1-0 Forest Green.
A second Forest Green goal came shortly after, where Ilminster were on the receiving end of some bad luck. The ball went through the Town back line and young centre half Daisy Charles tried to shepherd the ball back to Johnson in goal, however the pressure from the on-rushing attacker proved pivotal as Town keeper Johnson went to clear the ball, it hit the Forest Green attacker and flew back over the keeper’s head and nestled into the bottom left corner. 2-0 to Forest Green.
In a half that Town created some good chances and enjoyed plenty of the ball they just couldn’t quite find the all-important goal. The closest they came to a goal was in the 35th minute. New recruit for the season Colette Martin beautifully struck a free kick from 25 yards that was destined for the goal however the Forest Green keeper made a fine save to deny her of a goal. The ball did fall in the box and kindly at that, but young Town midfielder Maisie Poole just missed the target from the follow up.
The half ended 2-0 not quite what Ilminster deserved.
The second half got underway and Forest Green Came straight out the blocks forcing Ilminster keeper Charlotte Johnson into a terrific save. A well placed header from the Forest Green striker was certain for the top left corner, but the Town keeper had other ideas. CJ leaped well and pushed the ball at full stretch over the cross bar, an early contender for save of the season!
However, a 3rd goal did come for Forest Green not long after this, when in the 48th a well struck shot could only be palmed away, and much like the first goal the Forest Green attacker was first to react to the loose ball and pounced on it from 12 yards making it 3-0.
Ilminster didn’t get what they deserved in this game, and Forest Green poured more salt in the wound by making it 4-0. A slight mix up in the box led to Town Captain Sarah Miller being dispossessed and the Forest Green player took the ball calmly and struck it high into the goal out of the keepers reach.
This is how the game finished, not how Ilminster wanted to start their league campaign, but there were still many positives to take from the performance.
The next game for the Ladies is in two weeks’ time when the play host to Bishops Lydeard, which will be a tough test for the young Ilminster team.
Sam Clarke-First Team Assistant Manager