Ilminster travelled to AEK Boco for a crucial game early in the season. Both teams sitting on 3 points after their opening 6 games, a win here would boost the confidence of the victor, and Town knew that they would have a fight on their hands after clashing 3 times last season against the hosts.
Town travelled with a squad of 12, calling up Leila Salter for her first appearance for the first team, and Dee Clarke-Trott Cracknell made her first appearance of the season after starting her comeback from injury, Meg Purchase also made her first appearance since early in the season after a knock picked up in the first game of the year.
Town started the game bright with the midfield trio of Captain and Birthday Girl Sarah Miller, Charlie Pettinger and Meg Purchase linking up well to create lots of chances for the sharp Town attackers. After lots of early pressure it took until the 23rd minute for Town to break the deadlock. A great ball down the left hand side by debutant Leila Salter found the feet of Maisie Poole, she took the ball in her stride and played a teasing cross straight to the feet of Shannon Crouch who calmly tucked the ball home from 1 yard, 1-0 Town.
The remainder of the half saw both teams creates chances, perhaps the best chance of the half for the hosts was a dangerous free kick from 25 yards which just flew over the bar. Town went in 1-0 up at halftime.
Town started the second half brightly, this showed in the 49th minute when the
returning Dee Clarke-Trott Cracknell got a goal. A dangerous corner from the left
hand side saw the ball eventually make its way to the far post, Dee controlled the ball
well under pressure and sent it goal wards from a tight angle heading into the goal a
defender gave it a helping hand, this ones goes to the Ilminster attacker however, 2-0
to Town a promising start to the half.
After the early goal the hosts found their footing a little more, seeing them create a handful of chances but Town coped well under the pressure. The next clear cut chance feel to Town seeing Maisie Poole strike the ball against the upright, the rebound fell kindly to Captain Sarah Miller , who unleashed a viscous volley towards the corner flag, not her finest moment of the game, in a real Captains performance.
The Town keeper Charlotte Johnson was rarely called into action today, but when she was she did what she always does and kept the ball out the net. A deflected shot from a Boco attacker was deflected, leaving CJ wrong footed not seeing this until late she reacted superbly to get down well to her left and tip the ball just past the post. AEK Boco however did get the next goal, In the 80th minute, a dangerous free kick was played into the box from 30 yards, a Boco player got to the ball forcing Johnson in goal into another good save, however the rebound fell to the feet of a Boco attacker who calmly put the ball into the net from 8 yards, 2-1 would this be a nervy last 10 minutes for Town?
Fortunately Shannon Crouch helped settle the nerves for Town. In the 89th minute Meg Purchase made an uncharacteristic 50 yard run with the ball following a corner for the hosts. The Town midfielder did well to keep the ball under control and play a pin point pass between the Boco defenders right on the toe of Crouch, who controlled well and placed the ball well to the left of the keeper! 3-1 Town, but they weren’t done.
Two minutes later Town won the ball well, it made its way to the right hand side where Colette Martin and Maisie Poole linked up well with a series of passes, the latter was played in behind the defence, finishing well to wrap the game up. 3 points secured!
A great performance from back to front seeing the ever present figures of Dana Andrews, Daisy Charles and Sammie Knight keeping any danger away from the goal, really highlighting what the team is about!
Man of the match for today was Meg Purchase for her fine display in the midfield. Next week see’s Town host bottom of the league Downend Flyers in another crucial game. 2 o’clock kick off at the Archie Gooch Pavilion.
Sam Clarke- First Team Assistant Manager