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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Tuesday 05 December 2017
Taunton Town v Barnstaple Town
3 - 0

A workmanlike display from the Peacocks steered them to another three points and a successful start to their run of five successive Evo-Stik League games at the Viridor Stadium.  Holding a two goal lead at the interval, Town went on to add a third early in the second half which effectively snuffed out any hopes the visitors may have harboured of taking something from the evening.

The only change from the weekend win at Larkhall saw Ollie Chamberlain return to the starting line-up after a rest on the bench, with Omar Simpson among the substitutes. All the early impetus was with the Peacocks attacking the Invest Southwest End. Matt Wright headed wide from Shane White’s free kick while Matt Buse volleyed over after Chamberlain had nodded down Dan Sullivan’s crossfield pass. The first effort on target came ten minutes in and Town thought they had taken the lead with it. A Wright flick-on bypassed Sullivan and a defender to fall to Chamberlain who slotted wide of former Peacock Grant Fisher in the Barum goal. After several moments it became clear that the strike was being disallowed by referee Halford to the bemusement of the home fans, setting the tone for a frustrating night of officialdom. It later transpired that the goal was cancelled for a shirt pull leading up to it.

Town kept pressing, with Wright heading over and a clearance cannoning back off Chamberlain to Fisher. However it was Barnstaple who nearly capitalised with their first real opportunity. A slip by Ben Adelsbury let Jordan Charran in and despite the Town defender recovering to challenge, the ball ran loose to Karl Rickard but Lloyd Irish was out quickly to foil.

Rickard then escaped with a yellow card after going in late on Irish as the game became increasingly bad-tempered. Pierce Mitchell fired an angled drive narrowly over and Sullivan headed a decent chance off-target from Palmer’s cross before the Peacocks made the breakthrough on 33 minutes. Another Palmer cross was laid off by Wright to Sullivan just inside the box and the Town striker skilfully switched feet and made room to fire home via Fisher’s outstretched leg. Palmer then blasted a volley well over from close in and Ryan Brett sliced a shot wide following a well-worked build-up.

Town got the second goal their dominance merited two minutes into first half stoppage time. Fisher made a great one-handed save to keep out Wright’s header but in the ensuing melee Brett was there to stab the ball over the line. The second half was only four minutes old when the Peacocks then added a third. Chris Ibbeson was penalised for a push on Chamberlain and although Fisher dived the right way to keep out Adelsbury’s penalty, Wright delivered the ball back across for Buse to find the corner.

Little had been seen of Barnstaple as an attacking force with their main threat coming from set pieces which nearly led to them getting on the scoresheet. Irish made a fine tip-over save to deny Ibbeson who got on the end of Jed Harper-Penman’s free kick and from the resultant corner Irish stuck out a hand to divert Kai Fisher’s header wide. Harper-Penman then fired just wide while another header from Ibbeson went straight to Irish as Barum enjoyed their best phase of the game which went flat midway through the half.

The Peacocks came on strong again in the final stages.  Fisher clutched a Brett shot and the Town midfielder then came very close to flicking a Sullivan cross inside the post. The tireless Sullivan then made way for Simpson with just over ten minutes left and the Town sub soon made an impact, latching onto Brett’s pass over the top to force Fisher into another excellent stop with a rasping half volley.  Good work from Simpson then set up Brett for a header which was held by Fisher who then kept out Chamberlain’s close range attempt with his leg, White blazing the loose ball over.  Despite the late pressure, there was no further addition to the scoreboard, leaving Town to reflect on a job done and a seven point buffer now built up between themselves and their nearest rivals.

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Ben Palmer, Shane White, Chris McGrath, Ben Adelsbury (Ross Staley 59), Matt Buse, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain) (Les Afful 85), Dan Sullivan (Omar Simpson 77), Ollie Chamberlain. Unused subs: Tom Stone, Brett Trowbridge

Barnstaple: Grant Fisher, Austen Booth,  Connor Clifford, Nathan Cooper (Harry Stevens 54), Chris Ibbeson, Kai Fisher, George Nancekivell, Jed Harper-Penman (captain) (Mike Humphreys 65), Jordan Charran (Tony Radford 54), Karl Rickard, Lloyd Gardner. Unused sub: Rob Holmes    

Referee: Michael Halford (Bristol)

Assistants: David Jones (Yate), Gregory Wentland (Bristol)

Match Sponsor: Dexterous Designs

Matchball Sponsor: MA Collard Family Butcher

Attendance: 313


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