Two goals from Matt Wright and a Craig Veal winner saw the Peacocks edge a competitive friendly at a sunny Oakfield Stadium.
The hosts, newly promoted to the Southern League, made most of the early running with Mike Perrott running in to direct a header over the top from a Jon Davies corner. Sloppy play from Town then allowed Davies to feed Luke Ballinger who fired another opportunity wide. In response Pierce Mitchell headed the Peacocks’ first glimpse of goal over the bar from Ryan Brett’s free kick before the visitors took the lead after 15 minutes. Andrew Neal was brought down by David Thompson as he ran into the area and Wright duly converted the penalty.
Irish remained the busier of the keepers though, clutching a Ballinger header and then diving to push away Neikell Plummer’s strike after the dangerous Davies had set him up. Irish could do little about the Melksham equaliser four minutes into the second half though, Ben Thomson’s drive into the box falling to the unmarked Plummer who slotted past the exposed Irish despite appeals for offside. Melksham continued to press and went ahead after 61 minutes when Davies’ corner got a flick off a defender to find Ballinger whose header evaded a throng of bodies to nestle inside the post.
Some slack possession nearly cost Town a third but Irish denied Davies before the Peacocks restored parity with 20 minutes left. Neal looped in a cross from the right and skipper Wright was on the end of it to power a header past Kauppinen. Plummer nearly regained the lead but his angled effort missed the target for the home side as Taunton finished the game strongly. Veal was inches away from connecting with Neal’s left-wing cross but had no trouble finding the net after 77 minutes. Shane White’s pass found Neal on the left and when Wright nodded down the cross, Veal pounced to drill into the net and keep the Peacocks undefeated in any game since last December.
Match: Melksham Town v Taunton Town
Date: August 2, 2018
Venue: Oakfield Stadium
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Melksham: Alex Shaftoe (Kent Kauppinen 45), Mark Cooper (Jake Brown 83), Brandon Mundy (Ben Thomson 45), Mark Wall, Warren Maidment, David Thompson, Luke Ballinger, Mike Perrott (captain) (Leigh Rogers 83), Neikell Plummer, Jon Davies, Rob Hobbs (Lee Davidson 79). Unused subs: Seth Wain, Dan Watts
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Nuno Felix, Josh Nelmes, Shane White, Tom Stone (Craig Veal 50), Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett (Douglas Camilo 70), Matt Wright (captain), Andrew Neal, Matt Buse. Unused sub: Michael Meaker
Referee: Shane Mansfield (Chippenham)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Graham Pearce (Melksham)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Cain Collins (Melksham)