It was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show for the Peacocks as they went down to a single goal defeat in Dorset. As good as Town had been in their FA Cup win over St Albans, they were equally as unconvincing against a Poole side which carried the greater threat throughout and which were only denied a bigger winning margin by the woodwork and some excellent Lloyd Irish saves.
There is no doubt a factor for the dip in Town’s performance was the absence of four regulars, with injury forcing Dan Sullivan and Ben Adelsbury to the bench while Ryan Brett was beginning a three match suspension alongside Matt Wright who was completing his. The team which took to the Tatnam pitch though was still capable of gaining something from the game but on the day it just didn’t happen.
The home side settled to the task quicker with Marvin Brooks seeing an early shot held by Lloyd Irish while Steve Devlin’s corner flashed across goal. Gradually Town eased themselves into the game as former Poole favourite Keith Emmerson headed over at the far post from Shane White’s free kick and a well-timed Jake Smeeton tackle deprived Craig Veal after he had latched onto a White pass over the top. Ollie Chamberlain then won the ball to give Andrew Neal a shooting opportunity but his effort was too high.
Chances remained scarce until the Dolphins scored the only goal of the match on 27 minutes. It was all rather too easy for Corby Moore to make progress in from the left and when his cross came in Brooks was untroubled to net with a close range header. Town’s response saw a long Nuno Felix throw-in reach Veal who turned and shot straight at keeper Luke Cairney. Chamberlain was then fouled by Jamie Whisken on the edge of the area but Neal’s free kick from a central position travelled way over the bar. Poole’s set pieces were in comparison far more dangerous during the 90 minutes, Sam Griffin heading Moore’s free kick back into the six yard box just before the interval but no one was able to capitalise.
Hopes that Town could get their game going in the second half never materialised as they continued to struggle for cohesion. Poole conversely began to dominate and create more opportunities. Brooks took advantage of some slack play to send in a cross just too far in front of Griffin before Irish parried a strike from Brooks who had received a throw and Bedford was also denied by the Town keeper. Devlin’s corner was then met by Jamie Whisken’s header at the near post but Irish made a fine stop to tip the ball over.
Another spanner was thrown in the works after 56 minutes when Pierce Mitchell was red carded after a debatable second booking for a seemingly innocuous challenge. Poole came close again when Bedford weaved through, Irish blocked his attempt with the follow-up hacked clear off the line. Brooks then saw his header from Devlin’s free kick glance the crossbar as Town continued to live dangerously before the hosts were also reduced to ten men just past the hour when their captain Whisken was shown his second yellow for another questionable decision by the referee who had decided to take centre stage in the second half.
Emmerson took the initiative and surged forward before firing past the post and Veal’s header was wide from White’s cross but most of Town’s attacks foundered in the final third. Irish, the Peacocks’ Man of the Match which tells its own story, then showed his agility again by touching over Griffin’s deflected shot. The woodwork was struck for the second time with seven minutes remaining, Alawode-Williams’ looping cross being headed against the bar by Griffin and Moore’s follow-up being blazed over. An extra four minutes of stoppage time could not conjure up an equaliser for Town who were beaten by a better side on the day.
Match: Poole Town v Taunton Town
Date: October 13, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Black Gold Stadium
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Poole: Luke Cairney, Jordan Alawode-Williams, Jake Smeeton, Josh Leslie-Smith, Jamie Whisken (captain), Corby Moore, Sam Griffin (Adam Grange 89), Steve Devlin (Sam House 67), Carl Pettefer, Marvin Brooks, Jez Bedford. Unused subs: Richard Gilot, Olly Balmer, Pete O’Connor
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Nuno Felix, Shane White (captain),Keith Emmerson, Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain (Harry Gardner 87), Brett Trowbridge, Craig Veal, Josh Nelmes (Douglas Camilo 70), Andrew Neal. Unused subs: Dan Sullivan, Matt Villis, Ben Adelsbury.
Referee: Declan O’Shea (Chippenham)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Mark Shapland (Andover)
Referee’s Assistant 2: John Foster (Andover)