A strong looking line up for the Ilminster Ladies Reserve team today as they welcomed the league leaders Portishead Reserves.
First 20 minutes saw Ilminster dominating the chances and the ball with some good passing and most of the possession and play in Portisheads half. A swift counter attack however, saw Portishead break rapidly in numbers and hit their first shot towards goal which hits the post and bounces in.
This certainly has knocked the wind out of the home team as that against was definitely against the run of play.
The girls are trying to get back to business, but a few individual errors lead to the next goal as the ball is given away and with only their second shot of the game Portishead and now two goals to the good.
Ilminster push hard to register a goal creating lots of chances but their keeper so far as proven up to the task and kept the home team at bay. Another counter attack from Portishead and it looks like almost the entire midfield as broken through. Outnumbered at the back and unable to recover the on rushing keeper is beaten. Its almost unbelievable that Portishead are 0-3 up !!!
Finally Ilminster get onto the score sheet, Tia Shoemark making her Reserve debut today, has been showing great physical strength and has burst through from the defence with the ball and hits a hopeful high shot from long range. The keeper was not expecting that and tries to retreat to her line, but she's not going to get back there In time, the ball drops down into the net. (1-3)
Ilminster finally off the mark.
A tactical change for the home team to try and cope with the pace of some of the Portishead players and counter attacks.
Portishead with one final sting before half time as an Ilminster move down the right breaks down and despite valiant efforts from the defenders and Lorraine Szczepanski reaching the ball with both hands, she is unable to keep out the shot at the end of the attack and the first half ends 1-4. A flattering scoreline in truth.
Girls need a bit of a boost at halftime as the management firmly believe that this game is far from finished. There has been a slight lack of hunger and a few mistakes in the first half and maybe a slight lack of fitness from some of the players.
Second half shows a massive improvement as the home team step it up through the gears showing themselves to be much more hungry for the ball. Winning more of the 50/50s chasing down potentially lost causes and creating chances from them.
Its not long before this pressure reaps its rewards. With good team pressing Jessamine Humphrey advancing down the left hand side tries a shot from outside the box. it beats the keeper and finds the far corner of the net. (2-4)
The away team are beginning to tire and ilminster now have the bit between their teeth as they begin tightening the screw. Portisheads goal is now being peppered with shots some just wide and some blocked and some saved by their ever busy keeper. The home team are now pushing with two up front.
Ilminster register again with a great through ball from Chelsea Board to Lucy Pitman, who has beaten the offside trap and with defenders closing her down quickly remains clam and strong on the ball to beat the keeper 1-on-1, with a good finish. (3-4)
The home supporters are right right behind our girls and there is a buzz and expectation around the ground. Sustained pressure and we are setup for a tense final 10 minutes.
Two more very big chances come the home teams way as Portishead just cant clear their lines. Unfortunately both attempts go just agonisingly wide of the posts.
The full time whistle blows and Ilminster can feel hard done by that they were unable to get anything from this game today. A valiant effort against a team that has scored 79 goals in just 11 games and is so far unbeaten in this campaign. We definitely took them to the wire and were extremely unlucky. If our first half performance had matched our second half performance who knows, Ilminster could have maybe been walking away with three points.
Lady of the Game: Tia Shoemark
Versatile performance, strong physical presence on the pitch, consistent throughout, both attacking and defending. her goal was the catalyst for the teams revival.