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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Saturday 09 September 2017
Kidlington v Taunton Town
2 - 2

Whether this was two points dropped after Kidlington equalised in the last minute or a point gained given an inconsistent display by a Peacocks side still not up to speed or full strength remains to be seen. The result though maintains Town’s unbeaten start to their Evo-Stik League campaign as they made their first ever visit to the Oxfordshire club.

Ross Staley and Owen Irish were both restored to the team after being substitutes for the midweek FA Cup meeting with Tavistock while a number of Town players were missing through injury, suspension and unavailability. The first half of the game was played in constant rain and the miserable weather was in keeping with Town’s poor start when they conceded with just six minutes on the clock. Anaclet Odhiambo shielded the ball down the right and fed Mark Bell whose cross reached the completely unmarked Darius Browne who slotted into the far corner.

Owen Irish headed past the post from Shane White’s corner but this proved a rare attempt for Town in the first quarter of the game and they could have found themselves further behind when Arran Pugh missed his kick on Tommy Castle’s cross, allowing Bell a strike at goal which deflected onto the crossbar and from the rebound Odhiambo’s close range effort was kept out by Ollie Chamberlain on the line. Odhiambo then fired over from Browne’s square pass as a Kidlington side, which included three members of the Banbury team which beat the Peacocks in the 2015-16 Play-Off Final, looked for more.

It took until the 23rd minute for Town to register their first meaningful effort, Chamberlain seeing a shot held by Bojan Tetek. This broke the seal as moments later White missed his kick on Staley’s cross and Olly Mehew blasted the loose ball over. A goal was imminent though and it came via the head of captain Matt Wright on the far post who got on the end of Ryan Brett’s curling cross from the left to bring the scores level after 26 minutes, delighting the travelling Town faithful who made up half the crowd.

With Ben Adelsbury pushing up into midfield after Town switched to 4-4-2, the Peacocks assumed a more solid feel and looked better offensively, further attempts from Chamberlain and Wright missing the mark before a drive from Brett was held by Tetek on the half time whistle. The second half nearly got off to a disastrous start for Town when a stray back header from Owen Irish went straight to Odhiambo but Lloyd saved his brother’s blushes as he came out on top in the one-on-one.

The momentum though was now with Town. White and Staley both skewed shots wide while new signing Omar Simpson, whose transfer had only gone through that morning, saw his flick from White’s cross nick the post. The Peacocks were then awarded a penalty on the hour after Wright was pushed over by Lewis Gabbidon. However Staley’s spot kick caught Tetek’s leg as he dived to his left and a great opportunity had passed. The lively Simpson also saw a close range drive take a deflection and hit the bar before being hacked clear before Town finally got their noses in front when Wright netted a near post header from Brett’s inswinging corner from the right after 72 minutes.

Tetek got his hand on Staley’s ground shot while Pierce Mitchell advanced onto Simpson’s pass but fired well over as Town looked to put the game beyond reach but their failure to do so eventually proved costly. There was an early warning when Bell beat a number of men as he advanced into the box and flashed the ball across the face of goal. Castle’s cross then skimmed off the face of the bar and came off Odhiambo’s head and went wide as Kidlington reawoke and pressed forward in the closing stages.

With 90 minutes played, Jack Quainton got free on the right and from his centre Odhiambo was there at the back post to convert and level the scores. A second yellow card after stopping Chamberlain take a quick free kick then saw Ben Willoughby receive his marching orders in stoppage time but this was too late to have any bearing on the outcome although Town came mightily close at the death when Brett drilled in a low cross from the right and the ball got stuck under a defender’s foot, crucially diverting it away from the waiting Wright.            

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Ryan Brett, Owen Irish, Arran Pugh, Ben Adelsbury, Ollie Chamberlain, Shane White, Matt Wright (captain), Olly Mehew (Omar Simpson 57), Ross Staley (Brett Trowbridge 83). Unused subs: Matt Trump, Matt Villis

Kidlington: Bojan Tetek, Mark Janes (Jack Quainton 39), Tommy Castle, Ben Brown, Ryan Wharton (Tom Franklin 80), Lewis Gabbidon (captain), Darius Browne (Roger James 64), Duran Martin, Anaclet Odhiambo, Ben Willoughby, Mark Bell. Unused subs: Lewis Coyle, James Organ   

Referee: Bhupinder Gill (Iver)

Assistants: Luke Peacock (Wantage), Darren Hill (Wantage)

Attendance: 60


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