Somerset County Women’s League division one: Ilminster Town Ladies Reserves 0, Wellington Wildcats Ladies 6
Our newly promoted Wildcats began life in division one with a comfortable victory over Ilminster Town Ladies Reserves.
Wildcats played up the significant slope in the first half and took the lead in the seventh minute through Robyn Stockman who thundered home from the tightest of angles after being set free by Ebony Sellick.
Ilminster struggled with the pace of the Wildcats attack all afternoon and it was no surprise when Emily Ayers doubled their lead, finishing from just inside the area following a fine team move.
Sellick had a ‘goal’ chalked off for offside before the first-half drinks breaks on 25 minutes. Stockman added her second on 32nd minutes after an excellent individual run and chase down the right flank.
Chloe Payne, making her senior Wildcats debut, scored the final goal of the half after excellent link play from Sellick and Heidi Stucki. In between the Wildcats goals, Ilminster had a few chances of their own, but found the Wildcats defence in top form. Half-time saw the visitors 4-0 up.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first with Wildcats on the attack from both wings, but unlike the first they were unable to find a breakthrough.
It wasn’t until the 58th minute that they scored their fifth, Payne capping a fine debut with a calm finish after being put clear by Sellick. Unfortunately, the Ilminster keeper was injured attempting the save and had to be replaced.
The replacement keeper made a couple of fine stops to deny both Stucki and Stockman adding to the total, while, at the other end, Wildcats ‘keeper Bianca Hamlyn made two excellent one-on-one saves to deny Ilminster.
Last season’s top scorer Sellick netted a goal her performance deserved on the 66th minute.
After the second-half drinks break, current manager’s player of the season Tenika Goss was given the captain’s armband as Grace Winter took a well-earned rest.
To their credit, Ilminster never gave up and had the best of the final 20 minutes, testing the Wildcats defence to the full. Centre back pairing Noami Southcott and Goss were excellent as was the midfield pairing of Ayers and Georgia Purdy.
This was a superb team performance from the Wildcats, with all members playing their part in the victory.
It was satisfying to see the majority of last season’s players returning, along with Payne who has stepped up from the junior ranks and Megan Lang who is a new addition to the club.
There were some notable performances for Wildcats’ Stockman and Payne for their goals and Southcott for her defensive efforts, but the player-of-the-day was awarded to Ebony Sellick.
Team: Bianca Hamlyn, Bryony Sellick, Naomi Southcott, Tenika Goss, Grace Winter (capt), Robyn Stockman, Georgia Purdy, Emily Ayers, Leah Morrell, Heidi Stucki, Ebony Sellick. Subs: Imogen Edmondston-Low, Amber Perry, Chloe Payne, Megan Lang (all used).
Next week, Wildcats are away to Banwell Ladies, kick-off 2pm.