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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Saturday 07 October 2017
Taunton Town v AFC Totton
1 - 1

If the Peacocks are to progress through this Preliminary Round Buildbase FA Trophy tie they will have to do it the hard way with a midweek trip to the Hampshire coast now necessary after the sides could not be separated at the Viridor Stadium. Town were well worthy of their half time lead following a dominant 45 minutes but could not do enough to put the game to bed as the Stags hit back after the break.

Five players who had all missed the midweek win at Bideford returned to the Town side who were facing Totton for the second time in the space of three weeks. Early play was low key with little happening until Omar Simpson diverted a Pierce Mitchell cross wide. Another Mitchell centre then reached Ryan Brett on the left who flashed a shot past the far post while Ben Adelsbury drilled a free kick narrowly wide after Simpson had been unceremoniously hauled down.

A deceptively strong wind saw the one way traffic continue towards the Invest Southwest End, with Ollie Chamberlain unable to get enough power into his header from Mitchell’s cross and Simpson trying an ambitious half volley which whizzed high over the top. In contrast Totton were showing little intent going forward and it wasn’t until the 22nd minute that they managed to get into the home box but Curtis Young was flagged offside.

A foul by Patrick Nolan on Les Afful around 25 yards out gave the Peacocks the opportunity to make the breakthrough after 26 minutes. Adelsbury and Ross Staley both loitered over the ball and it was the former who made the connection to fire past a flimsy wall to beat keeper Shane Murphy inside his left post. Simpson headed over soon after at the back stick as Town looked to build on their advantage but chances were proving elusive at either end. Brett’s low angled cross was pouched by Murphy and Afful latched onto a stray header to try his luck with a lob but failed to hit the target. Lloyd Irish meanwhile was untested in the first half, a routine catch from Nolan’s back header providing a rare moment of activity.

Attacking the Town end, Brett Trowbridge released Simpson who made inroads into the box to win a corner as hopes were raised of a second score to make life more comfortable. However it was the visitors who were back on terms after 57 minutes. Three minutes earlier Irish had made an excellent block to deny Craig Feeney after the Stags striker had found himself clear on goal but the equaliser was route one, Murphy’s long punt downfield seemingly going to give Irish a standard catch but the bounce caught him out and the ball slipped through his outstretched hands and Feeney couldn’t believe his luck as he nudged home into the unguarded net.

Buoyed by the somewhat fortunate leveller, Totton enjoyed a good spell, with Nathaniel Sherborne flicking a header over from Jack Masterton’s free kick. Adelsbury’s challenge on Tobi Adekunle then fell loose to Feeney whose 20 yard strike smacked off the bar. Town rode the storm and responded but their lack of a cutting edge ultimately meant chances remained few. Afful’s flying header from Brett’s cross was well wide while Staley had a clearer sight of goal but couldn’t repeat his wonder strike at Bideford as he hooked over the top after Chamberlain had nodded down a Mitchell centre.

Another corner, this time from Shane White, fell to Mark Preece whose goalbound shot was cleared off the line and when Staley collected the loose ball, he was brought down as he ventured into the area. However the referee deemed the offence had taken place outside the box to the puzzlement of players and fans alike and Adelsbury’s subsequent free kick hit the wall.

As Town searched for the winner to avoid the Tuesday night journey, Brett whipped in a cross which Staley headed wide at the near post and Afful was gifted the ball but his prod past Murphy lacked legs and was easily cleared. It was so nearly Totton though who sneaked the victory, substitute Charlie Gunson getting free in the box after Town failed to clear their lines but Irish came to the rescue with another block, leaving both teams to fight it out again for the £3000 prize fund and a home tie with Merthyr Town in the next round.               

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Ryan Brett, Ben Adelsbury, Mark Preece, Shane White (captain), Ollie Chamberlain, Brett Trowbridge, Omar Simpson, Les Afful, Ross Staley.  Unused subs: Matt Villis, Chris McGrath, Matt Trump, Michael Meaker

Totton: Shane Murphy, Connor York, Ian Oliver, Patrick Nolan, Jack Smith, Jack Barker, Curtis Young, Jack Masterton, Craig Feeney (Nimes Pina 88), Nathaniel Sherborne (captain) (Charlie Gunson 73), Tobi Adekunle. Unused subs: Oliver Davis, Adam Wilde, Callum Chugg    

Referee: Aaron Farmer (Bristol)

Assistants: Thomas Staten (Newent), Spencer McNaught (Lydney)

Match and Matchball Sponsor: Peacocks Prize Bingo

Attendance: 335


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