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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Tuesday 05 September 2017
Taunton Town v Tavistock
1 - 2

The Peacocks’ epic Emirates FA Cup battles of last year seemed a distant memory as they were removed from this season’s competition at the 1st Qualifying Round stage by the Peninsula League champions. The closing line to the match report for the first tie at Langsford Park suggested Town would require a more professional and clinical performance second time round to avoid an upset but unfortunately on the night this did not materialise.

With the kick-off delayed by 15 minutes due to the late arrival of the referee after his car had suffered a puncture, the home side showed two changes from the first meeting in Devon, Matt Villis replacing Owen Irish at the back whilst loan striker Olly Mehew took over from Lewis Powell up front. The visitors carried on where they left off on Saturday though when they took the lead from the kick-off to stun the home fans in the 373 crowd. After the ball was played back to start proceedings, it was worked up the pitch via a couple of assists to find Dan Sullivan wide on the right and when he rounded Lloyd Irish, his attempted finish was kept out at the near post by the hand of Arran Pugh with just 15 seconds on the clock. Referee Lamport had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Josh Grant drove low into the corner past the static Irish.

This initial jolt spurred Town into action and for a time it looked like an equaliser was on the cards. Ollie Chamberlain headed down a Ryan Brett cross, giving Pierce Mitchell a sight of goal from the angle of the box but his strike whistled narrowly over. A cross from Matt Villis then reached Brett at the far post but his drive was touched over by Lambs’ keeper Josh Oak. However the Peacocks’ tendency from the first encounter of being far too open continued to manifest itself as two goal man Jack Crago was stopped from running free by a timely block.

Tavistock’s annoying knack of scoring out of nowhere turned up trumps again after 24 minutes. A loose ball following a throw-in was cleared upfield and suddenly Luke Brown appeared, and with no defender close he had the freedom to run on and slot past the exposed Irish from 18 yards. The hosts responded by replacing Pugh with Ross Staley as they altered formation but this had little impact on the complexion of the game which petered out leading up to the break, Oak pouncing on the ball after Matt Wright’s header goalwards being the only opening that Town could conjure up.

The second half began more positively for the Peacocks as Brett’s cross from the left beat Oak but rebounded off the bar, then Wright was put clear but with Oak advancing he dinked his finish the wrong side of the post, penalty appeals being dismissed after Wright seemed to be caught by the keeper. However Town got themselves back in it after 56 minutes when Owen Irish pumped in a high ball from the right which deflected to Staley who swivelled to blast a shot into the roof of the net from eight yards.

With over half an hour to play, there was still plenty of time for Town to gather momentum and give the Lambs the chop, with Powell entering the fray just past the hour as Town employed all three strikers. Wright headed just over from a Brett cross before the Peacocks enjoyed a slice of fortune, a quick break seeing Sullivan feeding Ben Cross who fired against the post, with the ball rolling across the face of goal and out. Irish then clutched a cross-shot from Brown who also lobbed over after finding space as the match went from end to end, the home side responding when Brett rifled inches over after Mehew had teed him up from Staley’s cross.     

Despite the time and possession available though, Town’s blunt attempts to unearth an equaliser proved fruitless. Various crosses were delivered into the Tavistock box, Oak dealing with some better than others, but none led to a clear cut opportunity. Brett was unable to connect properly with one half chance and Chamberlain blazed over, while Tavistock always asked questions on the counter, Brown shooting wide after one break. Time ran out as Town endured the result of a disappointing display while Tavistock and their band of supporters celebrated a notable yet deserved victory.             

 By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell (Lewis Powell 61), Ryan Brett, Matt Villis (Owen Irish 48), Arran Pugh (Ross Staley 28), Ben Adelsbury, Shane White, Brett Trowbridge,  Matt Wright (captain), Olly Mehew, Ollie Chamberlain.  Unused subs: Les Afful, Ben Palmer

Tavistock: Josh Oak, Ben Cross, Josh Robins, Dan Evans, Warren Daw (captain), Jake Miller (Tyler Elliott 64), Dave Hallett, Dan Sullivan, Jack Crago, Luke Brown (Jack Tribble 84), Josh Grant. Unused subs: Lewis Daw, George Swain, Rikki Sheppard, Kosta Andrejenko  

Referee: Daniel Lamport (Swindon)

Assistants: Sam Iddon (Taunton), Darren Gay (Radstock)

Match and Matchball Sponsor: Peacocks Prize Bingo

Attendance: 373


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