Taunton Town v Thatcham Town

They say that when you are down in football all the luck goes against you. So surely the most depressing aspect of this game was that, for once, Taunton had all the luck and yet still lost.

After only five seconds the good fortune commenced when Thatcham hit the bar, and only a string of fantastic saves by Ian Jones, and several other brave last ditch challenges and blocks by defenders stopped the visitors racking up a healthy half-time lead.

Taunton threatened just once when an exhilarating 9th minute passing move saw Ali Pounde feed Jamie Price on the right. John Harris, sliding in at the far post, just failed to connect with the captainís centre. Other than that attack, there was non-stop Thatcham pressure until Charlie Welch, with a low shot into the far corner on 41 minutes, gave Town an immensely fortunate half-time lead.

Tauntonís second stroke of good fortune came when on the hour mark. Thatchamís Dave Asker was caught late by Harris and uttered a profanity as he crumpled to the ground in agony. After lengthy treatment, Asker was unable to continue (he later required a stretcher) but, as he was being helped from the field, he was shown a straight red by referee Derek Eaton for the earlier foul and abusive language.

Last season Taunton benefited from a harsh dismissal to defeat Thatcham at Wordsworth Drive, and it appeared that history was about to repeat itself. But they were unable to capitalise. Substitute Stefan Brown equalised from close range on 80 minutes, then after 84 minutes Mario Nurse cut in from the left to slot home the winner.

In the end, the only luck that did count for Taunton was staying out of bottom spot by virtue of Winchester City losing at Burnham.

By James Wright

Taunton: Ian Jones, Jason Burt (Ben Newby 58), Charlie Welch, Jamie Price (captain), Lee Bridson, Sam Jones, Ben Swallow, John Harris, Alex Pounde, Rob Sage (Matt Rawlins 70), Dave Anthony. Unused sub: Mike Nixon 

Thatcham: Paul Strudley, Jamie Leacock (captain) (Stefan Brown 70), Paul Taplin, Gareth Thomas, Sam Rea, Tom Melledew, Dean Flockton, Dave Asker, Ashley Vine, Jemel Johnson (Barry Elmore 70), Mario Nurse. Unused subs: Ryan Williams, Steve Hale 

Referee: Derek Eaton (Tewkesbury)

Assistants: Russell Price (Gloucester), David Rees (Gloucester)

Attendance: 146

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