Sunday the 24th September saw Ilminster play their second league game of the season as they hosted a strong Bishops Lydeard team.
Looking to pick up their first points of the season, Town put out a strong squad of 12 with Hannah Billing making her full debut for the First team. Amy Burge was handed her first start of senior football.
The game started slowly with neither team gaining an upper hand, but with 10 minutes played Lydeard started to find more space and look dangerous on the attack. But it was Town who broke the deadlock.
Good work in the midfield to win the ball back saw it fall kindly to the feet of Maisie Poole, who played a great pass out to the right-hand side of the box, Shannon Crouch ran onto the loose ball and was strong to fend off the challenge from the defender. Crouch played an inch perfect ball to the feet of Colette Martin who finished calmly into the bottom left corner. 1-0 to Town, a great start to the game.
The first half didn’t see many clear-cut opportunities for Town. Maisie Poole had the ball in the net for Ilminster only to be denied by the linesman’s flag, after a slightly early run onto a deep free kick from Charlie Pettinger.
Ilminster soaked up pressure very well, and goalkeeper Charlotte Johnson pulled off some great saves to defend her clean sheet. The best chance of the first half for Lydeard came in the 30th minute. Some good work from a Lydeard midfielder saw her create a yard of space to get a shot off, the shot deflected off Town Captain Sarah Miller, it cannoned off the inside of the post and fell to the feet of a Lydeard attacker who missed the target from 12 yards, Town were let off lightly here.
Town went in 1-0 up at half time after a very organised first half performance, hopefully they could recreate the same in the second.
Town started the brighter of the two sides after the break, playing some good football. But Lydeard found their feet quickly to apply pressure to the stubborn Ilminster back line. The moment of the moment of the match came when a fine reaction save was produced by the Young Ilminster keeper Charlotte Johnson, wrong footed by a deflected shot CJ got her right hand up high and well to push the ball destined for the goal over the bar and away safely, this wasn’t the only great save she made, and this spurred the players on.
This showed when in the 60th minute Town doubled their lead. A throw in from the left from Dana Andrews saw the ball find the feet of Colette Martin some smart play by the attacker saw the ball flash across the six-yard box, good anticipation from Amy Goss saw her get to the ball first to calmly tuck away to the keepers right into the back of the net. 2-0 to Ilminster, and despite some pressure from the opposition this is how the match finished.
Man of the match for the game was Charlotte Johnson for her fine display in goal. The team showed real heart and desire today to go on and get the 3 points, hopefully this will be the focus for the squad in all their games this season, work rate and togetherness won them the match today!
The next match is Sunday 1st October away to Middlezoy.
Sam Clarke-First Team Assistant Manager.