Against a side from two divisions higher up the Pyramid, Taunton put in a spirited display but ultimately came out second best in this Somerset Premier Cup tie on Monday October 6th.
Attacking the covered end of Weston’s lop-sided stadium, Town were first to show with Charlie Welch firing just over after three minutes. However The Seagulls went ahead on nine minutes when Ryan Havard, who featured so memorably when Taunton lifted the cup at this ground two years ago, scored following a corner from the left.
On 25 minutes Sam Jones curled in an enticing free-kick from the left that Scott Thomas emphatically despatched, a la Ronnie Mowatt of that afore-mentioned glorious night. This put Town deservedly level, and they were playing with a fluidity that belied recent poor form.
However, the game was lost during a crazy three minute spell when the attention of many in the ground was on a childish terrace scuffle between the younger followers of both clubs. On 32 minutes Dean Grubb scored from close range, and three minutes later Marvin Brown cracked home a drive from the left to send Taunton in two down at the break.
Just one minute into the second period, Darren Mullings hooked home an inadequately cleared corner to put Weston 4-1 up. Taunton in vain appealed for a foul on manager Ian Jones, in goal in his home town in place of the ill Simon Cooper.
With commendable spirit, Taunton rallied and pulled a goal back when Ali Pounde latched on to a through ball and deftly lifted it over Luke Purnell into the empty net. Had Shaun Anthony not blazed wildly over when well placed a few minutes later, there could well have been a photo finish.
As it was, the last scorer of an eventful night was the first scorer – Weston lad Havard bursting right through the heart of the visiting defence to show us what could have been if only we had played him up front in his previous spells at the Drive.
By James Wright
Weston: Luke Purnell, Ben Willshere, Ryan Paddock (Mark Armstrong 79), Darren Mullings, Andy Gurney (captain), Cedric Abraham, Dean Grubb, James Palmer, Ryan Havard, Marvin Brown (Ashan Holgate 59), Mark McKeevor (Ben Wells 73). Unused subs: Charlie Comyn-Platt, Ryan Northmore
Taunton: Ian Jones, Jason Burt (Ben Newby 66), Charlie Welch (Ben Swallow 52), Jamie Price (captain), Sam Jones (Lee Bridson 66), Scott Thomas, Rob Sage, John Harris, Alex Pounde, Shaun Anthony, Dave Anthony
Referee: Richard Corp (Frome)
Linesmen: James Maule (Portishead), Kevin Williams (Radstock)